Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition (and a FREE book)

Congratulations to Denee! She won a copy of Best Lesbian Erotica from Sacchi Green. Check it out! One of my very favorite people to work with in this industry, Sacchi Green, is here to tell us about her newest anthology,  Best Lesbian Erotica.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of BLE from Cleis Press. And our very own RG Emanuelle has a story included in this edition. Woo!

And, because Sacchi is amazing, she’s giving away a copy! Here are the details from Sacchi herself:

Just comment here between today and April 1st for a chance to win a copy of Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition (and if you already own a copy, you can choose from any of my other anthologies.)

Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition

Edited by Sacchi Green

BLEOfTheYear_approvedThe Best Lesbian Erotica series has a special place in my heart. Twenty years ago, in 1996, Tristan Taormino and Cleis Press published the first volume of Best Lesbian Erotica. I didn’t find out about this until 1998, when I saw a call for submissions and thought writing erotica might be an interesting temporary change of pace from the science fiction and fantasy stories I’d been writing with only moderate success. In 1999, to my amazement, my own very first erotica story made it into that year’s anthology. When Tristan Taormino called and said that she loved my piece because it was so different, I was hooked on the series and the entire genre for good. (Tristan also very kindly pointed out the many improvements I needed to make, of course; I had a lot to learn about the genre.) Seven more of my stories made it into further editions of Best Lesbian Erotica, although I got a bit distracted in recent years with editing ten themed anthologies of lesbian erotica myself, eight of them for Cleis Press. Editing this one feels like the greatest honor of all.

Back in 1996 there were far fewer markets for well-written lesbian erotica than there are now, but there were many majorly talented writers with the courage and the burning desire to tell the stories demanding to be told, stories that can still stir your senses and linger in your mind. There have been some changes in erotica over the years, largely in how far we dare to go and how much we think we can get away with, but I still remember stories from those earlier years as challenging as any written today.

The main difference these days is in the quantity of lesbian erotica available, and the numbers of people writing it well. For this 2016 edition (the series title, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, has changed just a bit, but it’s still the same series) there was a superabundance of excellent work, and choosing was a harrowing as well as stimulating experience. Tastes differ, of course, especially when it comes to erotic preferences, so not every story will push every reader’s buttons, but for me the writers here make this edition outstandingly worthy of Best Lesbian Erotica’s long tradition of sexy excellence.

In the limited space of a single anthology, “best” has to take into account factors beyond any single measurement of quality. An apples and oranges comparison just won’t cut it; envision instead, say, peaches…smooth, rosy, rounded peaches…and pears…and maybe the occasional heavy melon… But don’t worry. No actual fruit metaphors are abused in this book.

Like Tristan way back then, the idea of “best” for me includes “different,” whether it’s a brand-new treatment of a familiar theme, a way with language that makes the words dance to an inspired beat, or a plot I’ve never seen before. Beyond those, each story has to contribute to a balance in the work as a whole, which should include a variety of themes, settings, voices, tone, and diversity of ages, ethnicities and physical attributes. Above all, “best” should mean original ideas, vividly drawn settings, creative imagery, fully developed, believable characters, and, of course, intensely erotic scenes that flow naturally from the story as a whole.

Originality takes many forms in this anthology. D. L. King melds the familiar tropes of werewolves and lesbian auto mechanics into a character as likable as she is sexy. Megan McFerren’s characters take refuge in a London bomb shelter during WWII. Emily L. Byrne’s brilliant incarnation of Miss Scarlet seduces a police detective in the NYC subway system. Louise Blaydon’s “nice girl” and “bad girl” strike sparks together forming a band on the gritty side of Liverpool in 1961. R.G. Emanuelle sharpens your appetite with an artistic slant on the pleasures of eating. There are stories with touches of humor, or moments of tenderness, or immersions in the no-holds-barred depths of bondage—and now and then all three at once.

What you get, in this anthology, is a seemingly infinite variety of lesbian erotic desires, in all the heat, beauty and power of both our darkness and our light. In more than half of them you also get romance that touches the heart. I’m immeasurably grateful to all these writers who crafted their stories as only each one of them could, and offered them to be included here.

From me, from the writers, and, I hope, from many of you readers; Happy Twentieth Birthday, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year! Birthday spankings may be in order, but be gentle with your paperbacks. With e-books—well, maybe you’d better find a surrogate spankee. Just read a few of these stories with her to warm things up.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

  • Dust  Rose de Fer
  • Ascension  Louise Blaydon
  • Tomato Bondage  Teresa Noelle Roberts
  • The Royalty Underground  Megan McFerren
  • Reunion Tour  Harper Bliss
  • Hot Blood  D. L. King
  • Make Them Shine  Sossity Chiricuzio
  • Tears from Heaven  Jean Roberta
  • Luscious and Wild  Sinclair Sexsmith
  • Smorgasbord  R. G. Emanuelle
  • A Professional  Rose P. Lethe
  • Easy  Anna Watson
  • Grind House  Valerie Alexander
  • Give and Take  Annabeth Leong
  • Mirror, Mirror  Frankie Grayson
  • The Road to Hell  Cheyenne Blue
  • The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet  Emily L. Byrne

Just comment here between today and April 1st for a chance to win a copy of Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition (and if you already own a copy, you can choose from any of my other anthologies.)




  1. I remember rushing back to my hotel after a day of military payroll training at Fort Ben Harrison (when it was still open), quickly changing out of my camo uniform and putting the petal to the metal to get to downtown Indy 11 or 12 years ago to visit my first LGBT bookstore. DADT was in full effect then. One of the books I bought that day was ‘Best Lesbian Erotica’ from the previous year. I still have it. Count me in on the drawing for this one too.


  2. Happy 20th Anniversary. Very interesting to once again see how far we’ve come in this genre. Great line-up of writers. And I’m happy to read no fruit metaphors were harmed in the making of the book. Please add my name to the drawing for a copy. It is still cold up here in the mountains, and this book would surely warm up the nights.


  3. I have enjoyed this series but certainly not for the last 20 years. Wow that makes me feel like a youngin on the erotic lesfic short story scene. Congratulations on 20 years of this series and I look forward to reading this year’s instalment.


  4. I love erotica and own many editions of this book and would love to have the twentieth…especially since this is my twentieth year out as a femme lesbian! Woohoo! Way to go BLE and way to go me! 😉


  5. Great post, Sacchi. It’s interesting to read your take on the anthology.
    Please don’t include me in the drawing (I already have my copies :)), and I’m already reading and enjoying the anthology.
    Congratulations on an excellent anthology. It’s always such a great thrill for me to have a story in one of your anthologies.


  6. I sold you a couple of stories some time back, around 2006 and 2007 under the pen name Aunt Fanny. It’s nice to see you still operating some ten years later! Congrats on the 20th anniversary! And yes, I’d love to win a copy of the new book.


  7. Wow! Twenty years is something to celebrate. It was the first lesbian book I read when I first came out.


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