He’s On Top

by Rachel Kramer Bussel (editor)

reviewed by alwaysarousedgirl on Wed 25 Apr 2007

he's on top

I was utterly prepared to hate He’s On Top, edited by blogger and cupcake lover Rachel Kramer Bussel.

Why, you ask?

I expected the subject matter in a book about dominant men to be far too harsh for my switch-y sensibilities. I thought I’d read about blustery doms whose only concern was for showing off their super-mighty powers of dom-ness, and the cowering ladies who inexplicably submitted to their demands.

Oh no. Shows you how little I know.

What I appreciated throughout He’s On Top was the way each story demonstrated the dom’s desire to please his partner and his ability to listen closely to what she wanted, then give it to her creatively and sensually. Time after time I noted doms who put their own pleasure on hold in order to create the best possible experience for their lovers. Now that is truly sexy to me.

Here’s how I progressed through the book. I read the introduction and the first couple of stories. At that point I found myself turned-on enough that I had to take a break to masturbate. I came back to the book and read the next several stories. By then I was impressed enough to email a couple of my male friends who love the sound of leather on a bare female bottom; I recommended the book to them in the strongest possible terms. Once again returning to He’s On Top, I worked my way through the rest of the stories, then immediately emailed Rachel Kramer Bussel, thanking her for sending me a copy and telling her how much I enjoyed the book.

The stories in He’s On Top run the gamut from sweet to ferocious. There’s “Confession,” in which an unhappily married couple reinvent their marriage in the harsh language of dominance and submission, and “On the Twelfth Day…” wherein a pair of lovers determines how deeply into the lifestyle they can bear to explore. Those stories read as gritty and hot, quickly giving me a girlie-wood with their excellently-written sex. “Yes” lets us watch a man directing his partner to service his friend, and “Boardroom Etiquette” examines the punishment meted out for a slip-up in a relationship that exists both in the business world and the bedroom.

My favorite tale from the anthology was “The Sun is an Ordinary Star,” where two lovers redefine their dominant and submissive roles in terms of the wife’s illness. The author, Shanna Germain, perfectly captures the theme of the dominant man’s desire to please his partner through her desire for roughness. Very sweet but extremely sexy all at once.

I’d recommend He’s On Top as bedtime reading for men who top and women who love their male tops. It’s also required reading for those, like me, who’d like to know more about the dynamics of dominance and submission.

He’s On Top by Rachel Kramer Bussel (editor)
Available from Amazon.com, or Cleis Press
Trade paper - ISBN 978-1-57344-270-1 - 5.5 x 8, 220 pages