2 min

Not womyn’s erotica

It's good fucking on the subway

FICTION FRICTION. Fear, loathing, joy and intimacy are to be found in Tamai Kobayashi's sexy collection Quixotic Erotic. Credit: Xtra files

There are likely a lot of womyn out there for whom Tamai Kobayashi’s new erotica extravaganza Quixotic Erotic, published by seasoned Canadian dirty birds Arsenal Pulp Press, is a soulful bubble bath of erotic-i-ness.

I am not one of them.

I’m too pragmatic to feel erotica that way. I read other reviews and they talk about erotica like it’s a fluffy towel or a bar of aromatherapy soap, a “soft caress” on the body, an “enlightening of the senses.”


I enjoyed Kobayashi’s book but that doesn’t mean I’m going to resort to using words like “caress” or “enlightened” to describe it. Don’t think that I didn’t like it just because the word “senses” doesn’t appear in this review. Just know I’d rather use a word like “sexy,” a word much closer to my heart.

I read this book on the subway surrounded by a crowd of cough phobic citizens who couldn’t help but lean in and try to figure out why my eyes were like saucers, why I stood in the doorway glued to this book like I was studying it.

One man actually leaned in to me and said, “There’s a naked lady on the cover of the book you’re reading.”

“Hey,” I wanted to say (although I only nodded), “that’s nothing, you should see what’s on the inside of the book I’m reading.”

Lots of naked ladies.

There’s something in this collection for literally every-fucking-one. There’s office fucking, polyamorous office fucking, fucking on woodsy outdoor trips, activist dyke fucking, hotel therapy fucking, SM fucking, time travel fucking, vampyr fucking, even fucking on something called The Island Of Earthly Delights. And that’s not even half of it. It’s back-to-back one, two, three fingers time ladies. It’s women with women every place and every way you could imagine all in one unassuming book with a naked women on the cover.

Good fucking!

And, fortunately for us, it’s well-written good fucking, something you’d expect from Kobayashi. Author of Exile And The Heart, published by Women’s Press, and co-author of All Names Spoken, with Mona Oikawa, Kobayashi has long held a deserved reputation as a woman who gives good fiction. Kobayashi has a way with complex characters and human emotion, a writer who is not afraid to paint her characters both with detail and with bold strokes and her erotica reaps the benefits. In Quixotic Erotic, Kobayashi’s characters let us see the fear and loathing that sometimes comes with intimacy, as well as the joy.

Pick up Kobayashi’s new book because it’s fabulously written erotic fiction. It’s also a fabulous subway read, if you don’t mind riding the subway a little flush.

* Tamai Kobayashi and Larissa Lai give a free reading at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord St) on Tue, May 20 at 7pm; call (416) 922-8744.


Tamai Kobayashi.

Arsenal Pulp Press.

192 pages. $19.95.