Good stories are told with an audience in mind. Great stories can stay true to that audience, yet appeal to a broader range of readers. Pledges, a new anthology of gay erotica manages to do exactly this. I am surely not the audience Shane Allison had in mind while editing the book, but show me a 20-something who didn’t grow up flicking her bean to Queer as Folk and then you can tell me guy-on-guy never has its appeal to those of us otherwise identified.
I will say however that no, I didn’t find myself reaching for my vibrator like I might with a particularly hot Cleis Press publication. In my crotchety adulthood, stories of College-aged, masculine, cis dudes and their mighty boners just don’t do it for me, but I’m in the minority on that. So if you, dear reader, are mighty boner-inclined, I have good news! Pledges is filled with them!
Mighty boners in virgin butts, like in the book’s opening story. Mighty boners quietly jacking it to other mighty boners in butts, like in “It’s Not Hazing, It’s Brotherhood.” Tongues in butts and on mighty boners, like in “Heavenly Hell Week. “Legacy” by Rob Rosen is a particularly hot story about a frat boy coaxing a pledge out of the closet. With his mighty boner. And, while most of them have the same tone of hazing-but-he-likes-it, the array of mighty boners keep it fresh.