NEVER SAY NEVER is another reliably good erotic anthology from Cleis Press and Alison Tyler, this time with the intriguing premise of providing guidance and inspiration for lovers in long-term relationships. Each chapter takes on an erotic subject, such as bondage or ménage, with its own introduction from Alison Tyler including several related short snippets from other stories. The chapters build on each other so that by the last one, the topic of discussion has moved to living a kinky life in full. It’s a natural progression that works well, even as the themes and stories become more powerfully seductive.
As with most Cleis Press anthologies, the stories featured within NEVER SAY NEVER are uniformly entertaining and perfectly chosen to represent their individual topics. Those that were especially effective for me tended to explore less obvious ways to highlight their assigned topic. Charlotte Stein’s “Allowed” showed how being deprived of the one thing you want makes it the one thing you want even more. “Silk” by Teresa Noelle Roberts proves yet again that submission is just as much psychological as it is physical. And Dante Davidson reminds us in “No Shame” that knowing exactly what will happen next can be the best aphrodisiac ever.
Although I enjoyed the featured stories in each chapter of NEVER SAY NEVER, I did find its framing device of multiple short story snippets to be more distracting than helpful. It may just be the choice to have them shown in italics that kept me from enjoying their inclusion as much as I would have anticipated. However, other readers might not have any problem with long blocks of italicized text, and my issues with that didn't take away the pleasure I had with the book as a whole. If you’re looking for ideas on how to spice up your committed relationship, or for stories you can share with your lover, you can’t go wrong with NEVER SAY NEVER.
Monogamy does NOT have to equal monotony and eroticist author Alison Tyler has made it her life's mission to make sure it never is with Never Say Never! Half of a very happily married duo, Tyler's advice is that couples can build a trust level that makes experimentation truly possible and posits that uninhibited, really exciting, and highly imaginative sex happens best with lovers who just happen to be couples, too. This follow up to Tyler's bestselling Never Have the Same Sex Twice blends her wisdom, expert advice, and favorite erotic scenarios illustrating myriad sexual techniques and fantasies designed to liven up the bedroom.