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Always Doing

Escapist reading for those who are always doing.

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Mari Fujimura, 藤村真理
Enchanted: Erotic Bedtime Stories For Women - Nancy Madore I love what Nancy Madore is setting out to do. From the intro:"It is my belief that to really empower women sexually... we must accept them exactly as they are.... We need to feel safe being sexual without the fear of being exploited, changed, categorized, punished, shamed, or degraded."Amen!She says she wrote these erotic bedtime stories for women, about women, based on the real fantasies of women. "Do not be alarmed if you find a fantasy or two that is not quite 'correct' from every point of view." In other words - your kink may be different from someone else's kink. So true.Some stories are based on honest to goodness fairy tales (The Ugly Duckling, Cinderella) while others are takes on a trope (Cat and Mouse, The Sheep in Wolves' Clothing). All kinds of kink are included, including polyamory/menage (Snow White in the Woods), exhibitionism (The Empress' New Clothes), wife swap (Mr. Fox), and discipline (Bluebeard).My favorite story by far is Beauty and the Beast. It's a more sexy retelling but it brings up an intriguing point - Beauty fell in love with one person, but when she agreed to marry him she was presented with another. In the Disney version it feels like a bonus, as she fell in love with this ugly guy but look, he's actually handsome! Thank goodness! Here, though, Beauty mourns the loss of the Beast she fell in love with. It made me think a lot about the meaning of love, and how many happily ever afters I've seen in film and books may not actually be so.At times Madore is a bit too on the nose in the lessons she's trying to impart. From Mirror on the Wall, about a cruel kingdom: "First, [women] starved themselves almost to death, because this emaciated condition was thought to be more appealing.... Aging was the most detestable of all the natural manifestations.... Although such an existence may seem far-fetched and improbable to many a reader, I assure you, it is quite true". This could have been handled subtly for more impact, but instead I felt assaulted by the implications.Cinderella also left me confused, as she was confined by her pinching glass slippers. Why didn't she take them off? Was she cursed to wear them? Later she is bestowed with another set of footwear she can remove at will so I don't get it.Enchanted is an enjoyable erotic look at old tales. Like any anthology there are bound to be stories you like more or less, and while some got preachy all in all it's a good read.