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by Lindsey Elder
Alyson Publications, 2002
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 14th 2003

Early Embraces III

32 stories of women's first times with other women.  The authors describe their experiences at ages ranging from high school to their fifties.  The entries are mostly around eight pages long, and they do a little more stage-setting than one finds in most erotica.  Some tell of charged relationships that built up over periods of several years, while others describe much more sudden flirtations and consummations.  The stories are for the most part well written even if the authors show some fondness for cliché. But they are clearly written as with the aim to arouse the reader, and the writing is explicit yet relatively tasteful.  These accounts are believable enough – certainly more so than accounts one might find in books like Letters to Penthouse.  Yet they also seem to take a rather rosy view of these first experiences, portraying them not only as wonderful expressions of love and affection but also as sexually transformative epiphanies.  Maybe women's first experiences with women tend to be better than their first experiences with men, but surely it sometimes happens that women have difficult, embarrassing or troubling first experiences with other women.  So this collection is better classed as lesbian erotica than memoir. 

© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.