On November 8, 2013, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded slammed into the southern islands of the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan created a storm surge as powerful as a tsunami, a giant wave that more or less wiped the city of Tacloban off the map. Over six thousand people are confirmed dead, with many people still missing and bodies still being found, months later. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless and without resources. The Philippines is a poor country, compared to the U.S., Europe and even the Southeast Asian state where I live. Haiyan's victims started with little, but many now have nothing.
In response to this catastrophe, Coming Together, the original home of altruistic erotica, rallied the faithful to put together a brand new anthology, Coming Together: Through the Storm. Edited by Nicole Gestalt, this volume collects thirteen tales exploring the erotic possibilities of weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms and heat waves serve as the backdrop for a delightfully varied range of sexual adventures.
Teresa Noelle Roberts has two stories in the book, and they're both among my favorites. In “Storm Surge,” a couple who share a dangerous addiction to difficult weather head out to Cape Cod to experience the fury of a Nor'easter – and their own passion. “Country Pleasures” takes its protagonists to a country castle in rainy Ireland, where they discover the sensual aspects of rubber – as in rubber raincoats!
Spencer Dryden's “Storm Across the Prairie” unfolds in Tornado Alley, where the narrator rescues a stubbornly independent young lady in a tent from the ravages of a “Nebraska gully washer.” This was the only story in the collection taking a male point of view. The narrator's voice is wry and engaging.
There's nothing that gets me in the mood for sex like the sound of rain on the roof of a motor home.
“Everything gets you in the mood for sex,” my wife Linda chimes, hearing me trying to dictate a story with this new fangled device.
“Thunder,” by Karenna Colcroft, gives the theme of storm-enhanced arousal a bit of a paranormal twist, while Skilja Peregrinarius creates an entire new world wracked by vicious winds in the richly detailed fantasy “Inside the Eye.”
Several luscious lesbian tales add to the mix. Annabeth Long's “Sinkhole” is about getting muddy, letting go, and learning to trust yourself and your desires. Ice barely helps to cool Brantwijn Serrah's heroines who escape to the roof “In the Heat of the Night.” “Duet” by Lady Grey portrays the deliciously ambiguous coming together of two very different women as rain pummels their roof.
Appropriately, two stories focus on the devastation and disorientation wrought by a hurricane. Leigh Ellwood's “And Lily Makes Three” illustrates how the passions of nature can inflame those of her creatures. “Take Me Like a Hurricane” by Naomi Bellina takes place after the wrath of nature is spent, when electric power is spotty, food, water and air conditioning are scarce, and tempers are short. A man and woman both claim the last available motel room and end up sharing more than just accommodation.
Of course, authors have often used weather as a metaphor for human emotion. Like weather, sexual passion can be violent, disturbing, even frightening. Both can irrevocably change the world. This collection captures that truth.
All proceeds from Coming Together: Through the Storm support the Mercy Corps, one of the charities working in the Philippines and elsewhere to help victims recover from natural disasters. However, this arousing collection would be worth buying even without the altruistic motivation.