The back cover of Model Men poses the question: Whether gazing at a billboard or flipping through a magazine, who hasn't felt a jolt of longing for the stunning male model who gazes back? Unfortunately, that person who hasn't is me. Since the idea of pretty men isn't an automatic turn-on the premise of this book is lost on me, so the stories I liked tended to be more about the characters than the idea of physical perfection. Fair warning.
If your kink is medical play, you're going to love “Medical Model” by Logan Zachary. As a favor to a doctor he likes to flirt with, a man volunteers to be a test patient for medical students. He receives a folder with a description of his problem and he acts it out with the intern. In the first scenario, he pretends to suffer from migraines. It's a breeze, right? But his doctor friend sets him up for a prostate exam with the hunky intern who walks in next, and then decides to lend a hand. Things get decidedly kinky from then on.
In “It's All About the Attitude” by Aaron Michaels, a model is failing at a photo shoot. He asks for a brief break and calls his boyfriend in a panic. After his boyfriend gets him into the right frame of mind, he returns to the shoot and delivers what the photographer is looking for. This one I liked for the (dare I admit it?) light romantic tone that follows the sex. It turns out the boyfriend likes being someone he'd turn to, and what was probably going to be a temporary relationship deepens into something permanent. (And this is probably the last time I'll ever admit - or feel - that the romantic side of an erotic story was what set it apart for me)
But never fear for my momentary lapse! Because “Head Shots” by Neil Plakcy was the next story to catch my eye. Sure, his characters have the looks to model, but this story isn't about ethereal male beauty. Nope. Just healthy, horny young naked men doing what comes naturally. Yes, someone is taking pictures of them while they enjoy themselves, but it's not about showing off or posing, and it's definitely not about the underwear they're supposed to be showing off.
“Beautiful. Dirty. Rich.” by Clancy Nacht deserves a special mention for being the ultimate fucking the unobtainable fantasy in this anthology. And in “Pink Cowboy Hat,” Gavin Atlas writes about the pursuit of beauty that few of us could afford. Yes, his narrator is shallow, but somehow endearingly forgivable.
If the thought of male models is enough to get you in a steamy frame of mind, you're probably going to enjoy this anthology. This is listed as gay erotica, but I noticed quite a few slash (M/M - and yes, there is a difference) stories. So this can appeal to both male and female readers. Given that this wasn't fantasy fodder for me, I still found stories I enjoyed, so I'm giving Model Men a thumbs up review.