Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotica edited by Shane Allison

Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotica
Title: Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotica edited by Shane Allison
Genre: M/M Romance, Erotica, Anthology
Published July 16th 2013 by Cleis Press
Length: 216 pages

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Good Clean Fun

Steamy encounters in the bathhouse have been the stuff of erotic legend for centuries—just ask Spartacus! Shane Allison busts open the sauna door in Steam Bath, a rollicking romp of pretty boys and dashing daddies out to cruise. From fresh-faced twinks to silver foxes and beautiful bears, Shane delivers sensational stories of sweaty, muscled men eager to shed their clothes. A towel-snapping good read, Steam Bath is filled with sizzling porn bodies, sexy boys next door, and tantalizing tricks that fully capture the erotic dynamics between men. A gorgeous, tattooed bad boy asks to be taught a hard lesson in Eric Del Carlo’s “Steam Punk.” A twink finds true love for one night at the baths, who blows his mind and more in Rafaelito V. Sy’s “Raf’s Journey.” Things get hot and heavy when two college professors and a horny student stumble upon a Belgian bathhouse in Roscoe Hudson’s “The Chaperones.” And who knew that sex between two randy strangers could be so hot in “Across the Bay,” by T. R. Verten? Gaybie award-winning editor Shane Allison is a rising gay erotica star who proves he is here to stay with Steam Bath.

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Excellent compilation of M/M erotica with a bathhouse theme. Each stories is about 10 pages long (PDF). Like any other anthology, some stories stand out more. The stories I like best are the ones that invoke some emotional response and leave an impact.

Arnie's Ass by Troy Storm
Short, hot, sexy read. Two coworkers went to the bathhouse to unwind after a long day at work. Arnie fell asleep and his coworker met a hot, sexy older man. They proceed to lure Arnie into a threesome.

The Real End of It by Shaun Levin
This one leaves you a feeling of finality and maturity in a lesson-learned way with a negligible heart throb of regret at what might have been. The main character met his past love, Martin, at a bathhouse after years of separation. As they proceed to have a threesome, the main character decided to end his love for Martin.

The Key by Rob Rosen
This story is one of favorite. It feels complete and has a HEA ending. I like the description of the exclusive bathhouse club called RAIN. I can imagine a whole series of erotica shorts at this club. The main character finds a key labeled "RAIN" dropped by his crush at the office. He hatches a plan to steal his crush's credit card and meet him at the bathhouse.

Incubus Steams by Logan Zachary
This is a hot steamy read with a promising premise. Sadly, most of it is implied. A detective walked into Incubus Steams to find more info on a case of missing young men.

Steam Punk by Eric Del Carlo
A sweet and fluffy read. Assertive, tough guy meets a punk who has bad luck with sex partners.

 Raf's Journey by Rafaelitio V. Sy
This story has too much telling and not showing with awkward time skips. Raf met Hank, a man he never forgot, but they parted ways.

The Chaperones by Roscoe Hudson
Two professors are taking undergrads on a tour of Western Europe. They are married and in love with each other, but one of them is checking out another guy, Cliff. This leaves me questioning whether the couple reaffirmed their relationship or not, but the suspense was well written.

Easy Dick by Jeff Funk
An easy read filled with sex. A man cruising in a bar found a haters judging him, so he went to the bathhouse for some easy dick.

The Aqueducts by T. Hitman
A wonderful short story set in Rome, when men question Gods' existence. Heavy with the sense the duty and hope for the new age of men, a senator and a general enjoyed their last night in the aqueducts before the general has to leave for war. This story leaves an emotional impact while still manages to be sexy.

Showtime by Heidi Champa
A hot, steamy read with 4 guys in the steam room. A dom lets another couple join in with him and his sub.

The Changing Man by Thom Wolf
An overweight man decided to exercise in the pool, then experienced sex for the first time with a man in the bathhouse at the gym. From being bogged down by a divorce, child support, and being overweight, he changed into someone confident, sensual, and know what he wants. This made me smile at the end.

What I am For by C.C. Williams
A professor talked about his first gay sexual experience at an event. I didn't like the writing style and most of the story was told in dialogue.

Relationships by Michael Bracken
A new bathhouse on 69 Long Avenue attracts a certain type of residents into the neighborhood. The main character struggles with old age, Viagra, and long-lasting relationships. My favorite is when the MC gives himself another chance after experiencing sorrow and loneliness.

Saunsational by Landon Dixon
A hot, sexy read about a virgin meeting an older, more experienced man in the sauna.

Across the Bay by T.R. Verten
A man always in control desires to lose control for one night a week at the bathhouse. He likes to keep his business private and personal life separate from work. What happens when he sees someone from his "work life" in the bathhouse? The ending leaves me wanting more just to clear some things up.

Meanwhile in the Sauna... by Jimi Goninan
I like the character's voice and his observations on what goes on at the bathhouses. And then there's the twist....

Montegomery Gymnos by Shane Allison
A guy cruises at a college gym while avoiding the cops. I would like to see more interaction between the characters.

The Gay Dude by Gregory L. Norris
A funny story about 4 dudes. A trio of hot, cute, and smart dudes adding another dude to their rank. This story offers a nice end to the anthology where even the straight guys can try something new and be accepting.

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