Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women

by butterfly on November 19, 2011

I’ve been reading (and re-reading) Obsessed. Nineteen stories of erotic romance that pivots upon the g-spot of love like a 110-volt charged vibrator in search of the female cerebral orgasm. It hits the spot; the emotional and psychological soft spot that causes obsession to grow, germinate, and blossom.

In the introduction written by editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, she hopes that “Obsessed speaks to the part of you that knows what it’s like to do anything for the right person, to bare yourself body and soul in the hope that once stripped to your most secret self, you will be rewarded with someone who sees you for who you truly are.” And isn’t that where the depth of obsession comes from? Our deepest, most secret self; the raw part of us that yearns to be touched, even down to the nerve and bone. The word “obsessed” is fraught with a hungry notion that we cannot get enough of something or someone so painfully compelling to us, and that is the very point and place where we lose ourselves to it.

The Western perspective of “romantic love” has idealized this experience, making an unconscious psychological demand that the person we are obsessed with fit our ideal “other half.” The anima and animus of Jungian archetypes present this kind of obsessive love in a mythical and dreamlike state of being “in love.” In Eastern and Zen philosophies, this kind of emotion is where inner growth begins— the experience of a “red-hot coal in the throat” allows us to evolve, and, as we know, growing pains are part of the experience. Obsession can be beautiful like a thorny rosebush. If we throw ourselves into the thick of it, blood will be drawn. Like sailors entranced by sirens, we crash into the rocks despite of it all when we are obsessed. These nineteen writers tell us about erotic obsession with extreme eloquence. Romantic obsession is one subject to contend with. Add some hot and steamy sex into the equation and erotica has some literary weight.

Each story of women in the throes of erotic obsession has taken me on a journey, caressing my own passionate emotions, comforting me while I read, reminding me that I am not alone in my own experience within the tangle of obsession, sex and love. It is because as I have been reading, I have been obsessed with a man myself. It began as mental attraction, a parallel, and a familiar feeling of like-minded connection. I was a fool to think it was merely a budding friendship, for when I first saw him I was consumed by a fire that only poets throughout history can explain. Then my sexual obsession began to brew, to be sure, after our first time together. Boiling over like a hot cauldron, the flame of my obsession is now a hot pot of scalding desire. But sex is not the only reason. There are many other aspects and layers to my own obsession with my lover. Well, the sex is amazing, I’ll admit. And not for the reasons anyone might assume. It is because he touches that naked part of me that is hidden, my secret place, and he sees me for who I am inside.

There are the obvious symptoms of a woman obsessed with the man she wants: she feels an immense desire, uncontrollably so. She can’t stop thinking about him and all the things he does to arouse her lust. Sometimes, it’s someone she cannot forget. Perhaps it’s the way he smiles at her with a gleam or the tone of his voice, or maybe she doesn’t get to hear his voice at all, as in Silent Treatment, by Donna George Storey, the first erotic tale that opens this anthology of women writers. She’s on a weekend yoga getaway where silence is mandatory, talk is forbidden. During her stay at the retreat, she reconnects with a former lover without words. “He blushed, but kept his gaze fixed on me. It was, in fact, the only way we could speak. In the almost palpable weight of our silence, that prickling warmth of desire suddenly sprang to life down there. Stephen was glad to see me. There was no question about that. And he wanted to express something else with those bottomless amber eyes: Apology. A faint sorrow. And— no mistake about it— hot, smoking desire.”

Yes, I admit, desire began with the smell of his skin, the look on his face, and his kiss. The feeling stirred itself up in my gut, a tingling sensation. Butterflies in my belly. Swarm of bees in my brain. My body became lighter, and my mind dizzy with want. Obsession. It’s real honest-to-goodness passion that takes your life off the path and creates a whole new one you never thought you’d take, and as you follow your heart (and other parts of your lusty body), obsession undoes every bit of reason you thought you had.

I know obsession intimately, and sometimes excruciatingly so— and the pain of falling in love is exquisite. Obsession is a delicate matter; it doesn’t come all neat and tidy, packaged in a pretty box with a ribbon. It can be ink-stained and needled deep under your skin like a tattoo. In Raven’s Flight by Andrea Dale, a woman’s fetish for licking her lover’s tattoo begins her adventure with a silver-tongued Irishman. “I had the overwhelming compulsion to lick his tattoo, trace every spiral and intricate knot and line with my tongue.” She goes from longing to action: His kiss tasted peaty and smoky like the whiskey from his chalice, she explains, and the sweep of his tongue sent her into a full body shiver. “My nipples peaked, my clit trembled. All that just from a kiss. A kiss that rocked my world so soundly, I half thought we were having an earthquake. So I did what any right-minded hussy would: I took him home with me, and I confessed my burning need to explore his tattoo.” Tongues, kisses, and tattoos on the skin and underneath, ink-stained within the heart.

Ah, my lover’s kiss. But, there are other things about him that arouse me. I know the way the heat of his mouth grazes my lower lip in a kiss, how it travels down along the back of my neck. His kiss intoxicates me. And I’m obsessed with his hands, remembering how the wide expanse of them holds my hips firmly as he plunges deep inside. His hands rule my body. His hands are my obsession, too. Looking upon the shape of them sends shivers of longing through me, sensations I cannot describe; there aren’t any words that can explain the way they undo me, bit by bit, like sugar dissolving. In Memphisto Waltz by Justine Elyot, Lily has a reunion with her childhood piano teacher, the passionate Russian Leonid Gorodetsky. She marvels his hands: “Gorodetsky’s hand. I am holding his legendary hand. Those women outside by the rubbish bins would kill to be in my position. It’s a very nice hand, too, warm and smooth, nothing limp or clammy about his grip. It’s the hand I remember from my childhood. The magic hand, the hand that turns notes and chords into sensual experience and fill the critics’ heads with hyperbole. I feel as if I ought to light up, or crackle, or something. Actually, I’m not far off crackling.”

And yet another story about a woman’s obsession with a man and his hands; perhaps there is such a thing as a hand fetish? If so, I have an obsession for my man’s hands and what they do to me.

In Rachel Kramer Bussel’s piece, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Shelly’s obsession is her husband. When he lost over two hundred pounds, he changed from the sexy teddy bear of a giant to more like a linebacker. Her desire is rekindled when she feels jealous over the new attentions her husband receives from other women. But, Shelly admits, she liked her husband heavier, in fact, she preferred him bigger. Knowing that some things don’t change, as Ron still had the heft of his hands and his cock, Shelly thought of what reminded her about falling in love with her husband: “his hands, though, were big, strong, powerful; there was nothing he could do about his man hands. Ron had always been able to speak to her with his hands, even on their first date, when he’d reached for one of hers and massaged it, his thumb tricking along her palm, his fingers tickling her skin, making her curious about him, about what he could do to her.” Shelly and Ron run off to the movies and in the seats of the theater they rediscover their desire for each other, remembering why they came together in the first place.

The whistle of the kettle reminds me of an afternoon when we were in the midst of making tea, and suddenly his hands clasp my waist, then my wrists, and he pins me to the wall of the hallway, the whistle screeching with boiling hot water, his mouth on mine, going down further, until I am forgetting what the sound of steam is persistently calling out for, as the heat of his mouth on my sex causes me to lose control. His tongue dances on my clit, inscribing something, some kind of language. I’m obsessed, and I’m in love. Like a kettle on the stove to boil and whistle, I’ve spouted out “I love you” during the heat of passion, but he doesn’t express the way he feels for me in words. How he feels is secret, hidden. In Secret Places by Adele Haze, Marian’s mouth shaped the words I love you during sex with her lover, Dan, or as she calls him “the boy,” in an unusual coupling between once-strangers on a subway commute, who become tender lovers that hide their emotions from each other.  “Underneath it all, there is so much tenderness, so much of the unnamed, unknowable feeling. The other’s pleasure is the ultimate reward for each of them; they compete to bring each other to the brink. Out of bed, they race to make each other tea, to give comforts, to spoil the other with small kindnesses. Still, neither of them will say the words.” And during their lovemaking and revealing of their innermost places during sex, Marian decides to use her finger to tell her lover what she feels. “With the tip of her finger she writes on his naked shoulder: I L-O-V-E Y-O-U. Her heart whispers the invisible words.” 

Obsession is an attraction that goes beyond the ordinary, a feeling that inspires as well as terrifies, because a woman obsessed is a woman that will do anything for the man she so desires. Obsession runs deeper than lust. It tangles up the mind with feelings you never thought you would ever have. It’s irrational, passionate, and a little crazy. It’s sometimes dangerous. It’s risk and pushing your boundaries. Feelings that overwhelm you when they are near, the smell of their skin, the chemistry that has you obedient like a dog on a leash, the nearness of the one that you desire emanating power over you like gravity, like magnet pull. And sometimes your obsession can be your ex-husband, shaking you up with aftershocks of your desire in Aftershocks by Bella Andre.  “Oh god. They’d just survived one hell of an earthquake in a room full of dangers and instead of crying, instead of freaking out, she was wet. Soaking through her panties from nothing but his arms, tight around her, his breath whispering over her ear. She’d been looking for adventure, had been wanting to live on the edge for so long, that instead of frightening her, the earthquake had been foreplay. That was why she knew that the biggest danger wasn’t going to be from aftershocks and falling boxes. It was staying here with Darren. Because if she wasn’t careful, she’d give in, and they’d be right back to where they always had been. Back to good. But good wasn’t good enough— not when she wanted fireworks and breathless need and desire so strong that pleasure was almost pain.”

I think of my obsession during the day when I’m at work, and I replay scenes from our moments together. He’s just a drive away from me. I have had the pleasure and fortune of having my lover know about my obsession with him, where as Vivian Sinclair, the executive assistant in One Night In Paris by Kayla Perrinhad to fly all the way from Dallas to Paris to let her lover know how much she wanted him. I suppose I would do the same as she did— act on her desire and make her obsession known: “You’re like a fever I can’t shake. Ever since that time we were together, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.”

Portia de Costa’s eloquent Concubine tells a historical erotic story much like Scheherazade would have done. Merry weaves a romantic and juicy tale within a tale, as she tells her convalescing lover Rick a naughty story about the Concubine Merissa and her obsessive love for her Lord Alaric. Concubine Merissa’s body is moist with longing by the memory of their first night together as concubine and prince, with the memories of their love building within her a desire as strong as his princely male magnificence took her that first time. With her intense and steadfast love for her prince, she brings him back to his virile strength after a battle injury that caused him a momentary lapse in masculinity. “It was almost a miracle, but where had it started? In her mouth, or with him, as she sucked… or in her sex, through the unstoppable force of love?”

Love and Demotion by Logan Belle is about a woman who leads a secret life as a stripper, obsessed with her boss at her day job at a publishing house. Around her obsession Declan she felt like the world was in Technicolor, and when she was away from him, black and white. Hiding her moonlighting burlesque occupation from her employer was as difficult as it was to hide her Vargas girl tattoos onstage while she stripped down to Marilyn Manson’s “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” dressed as a sexy Lolita.

Obsession can be dark, full of the shadows of our souls. It can be wild-eyed lust until our throat is hoarse from moaning out of sheer animalistic fucking, from being taken, and surrendering and submitting to the man of our dreams. It can be voluptuous and full of black magic. Obsession holds us like a voodoo spell. In Spellbound by Garnell Wallace, Kia Monet goes back to her roots in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, under the spell of Jonah’s smile, his voice, and his magnificent cock. “Even his long, tapered fingers buried deep in my pussy can bring on multiple experiences of what we French call “la petite mort,” or the little death, when you are so inflamed with passion at the moment of surrender it feels like you are about to surrender your soul as well.”

Sometimes obsession is a fantasy. In Hooked by Ariel Graham, the obsession is a thing that provokes a woman’s erotic curiosity and dares her to explore it. A couple, Ricki and Jody, just move in to their new home and in one room there is a mysterious hook in the ceiling that fascinates Ricki. It’s too heavy duty for a plant and the light isn’t good in the corner either. Ricki wonders about the hook and imagines all kinds of scenarios that the hook could be used for. She wants to tell her lover Jody about her wildest fantasies involving that curious mounted hardware. “Why don’t you just look back up at that hook?” he’d asked. “Like you want to reach for it.” She reached for it. On tiptoe, as if she could touch the ten-foot ceiling, she reached with both hands. An image came to mind: her hands bound at the wrist, with some kind of silken cord, maybe a curtain tie; something soft but strong enough to keep her bound, even if she struggled. Would she struggle? Ricki held her hands out toward the hook and imagined Jody standing behind her.”

I’ve enjoyed all of these adventurous, wonderful, and genuine stories about obsession and reasons why women become obsessed. Reasons why women stayed obsessed, and things that caused them to follow their hearts and nether parts to explore the wilderness of the erotic landscapes they could not keep from traveling. Reasons to be irrationally lost in the arms of the one they are obsessed with.

Obsessed is a treasure full of tenderness, raw lust, longing, and all of the many things that fill our sexual lives and erotic minds. The nineteen stories written so fluidly fills the oceanic depths of desire where obsession lies. Perhaps the word “obsessed” is as elusive as the state of being it exists in. Like a drug, we want more. More stories, more lust, more sex, more love, and it’s never, ever enough.


Bella Andre ( writes “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publisher’s Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever. Her books have been Cosmopolitan Red Hot Reads twice and have been translated into German, Thai, Japanese and Ukrainian.
Logan Belle went to her first burlesque show on her birthday two years ago and has been following the scene and writing about it ever since. Her debut erotic novel is Blue Angel, the first in a series. Her short fiction has appeared on Oysters & Chocolate. She lives in New York City. Read more at
Elizabeth Coldwell lives and writes in London. Her work has appeared in a number of Cleis anthologies including Please, Sir; Fast Girls; Bottoms Up and Naked.
Portia Da Costa pens both romance and women’s erotica and is the author of over twenty novels and a hundred-plus short stories. Praised for her vivid, emotional writing, she’s best known for her Black Lace titles, but now writes for a variety of publishers, including Harlequin Spice and Samhain.
With coauthors and on her own, Andrea Dale has sold two novels to Virgin Books UK and approximately 100 stories to Harlequin Spice, Avon Red and Cleis Press, among others. All she can say about her inspiration for this story is “Mm, tattoos…” Her website is at
Justine Elyot has contributed to a plethora of anthologies from Black Lace, Cleis Press, Constable & Robinson and Xcite Books, and is the author of the Black Lace title On Demand. More recently, she has been writing erotic romance novellas, which are available from Total E-Bound.
Emerald’s erotic fiction has been published in anthologies edited by Violet Blue, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Jolie du Pre, and Alison Tyler as well as at various erotic websites. She lives in Maryland and serves as an activist for reproductive freedom and sex worker rights. Find her online at
K D Grace lives in England with her husband. She is passionate about nature, writing and sex—not necessarily in that order. Her novel, The Initiation of Ms. Holly, was published by Xcite Books.
Ariel Graham lives, writes and entertains her own obsessions in northern Nevada with her husband who is also her best friend, and her own deeply suspicious cats. Her work can be found in anthologies including Please, Sir; Please, Ma’am; Afternoon Delight: Erotica for Couples and in various web-based magazines.
Louisa Harte’s erotic fiction appears in the Cleis Press anthologies Best Women’s Erotica 2010 and 2011; Fairy Tale Lust; Orgasmic: Erotica for Women and Smooth: Erotic Stories for Women. Currently living in New Zealand, she finds inspiration from many places, including her thoughts, dreams and fantasies. Visit her at
Adele Haze writes sexy stories because she doesn’t know how not to. When she isn’t writing fiction, she tries to educate the world about sex-positive attitudes, female gaze in erotic arts, and acceptance of sexual preferences of others. For the rest of the time, she models for BDSM erotica.
Kayla Perrin ( is a multi-published USA Today and Essence®bestselling author with thirty-six books in print. She is published in a variety of genres, including mystery/suspense, romance and mainstream fiction. She has been featured on “Entertainment Tonight Canada,” Who’s Afraid of Happy Endings (Bravo documentary about the romance genre) and “A.M. Buffalo.”
Jennifer Peters has a lot of obsessions, including avocados, music, books and everything kitsch. When she’s not obsessing about the finer things in life, she’s a completely neurotic writer and editor for the Penthouse magazine group, where she obsesses over porn and punctuation, in that order. Her stories can be found in Peep Show, Fast Girls, Smooth, Best Bondage Erotica 2011 and Gotta Have It.
Caridad Piñeiro is the New York Times–bestselling author of over twenty-five paranormal romance and romantic suspense novels and novellas. Her popular The Calling vampire series returns in 2012 and look for The Lost, the latest release in the acclaimed Sin Hunter series. For more information on Caridad, please visit
Teresa Noelle Roberts’s short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, includingSweet Love: Erotic Fantasies for Couples, Orgasmic, Dirty Girls and Best of Best Women’s Erotica 2. She also writes erotic romance for several publishers. Disclaimer: author is not liable for injuries incurred under the influence of this
Charlotte Stein has published many stories in various erotic anthologies as well as her own collection of short stories, The Things That Make Me Give In. She has novellas and a novel with Ellora’s Cave, Total-E-Bound and Xcite, and you can contact her
Donna George Storey believes a kiss is worth a thousand words. She is the author ofAmorous Woman, a steamy tale of an American woman’s love affair with Japan, as well as many short stories, which have appeared in Best Women’s Erotica, Penthouse, Fast Girls, and Passion. Read more at
Garnell Wallace has been spellbound by love stories ever since she read her first one as a teenager. She is hard at work on her own addition to this continually evolving and enduring genre. She can be reached at
Kristina Wright ( lives in Virginia with her husband Jay and her son Patrick. She is the editor of the anthologies Fairy Tale Lust and Demon Lover and her short fiction has appeared in over eighty anthologies. She holds degrees in English and humanities and teaches college-level composition and mythology.
About the Editor
Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York–based author, editor and blogger. She has edited over thirty books of erotica, including Gotta Have It; Best Bondage Erotica 2011; Surrender; Orgasmic; Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories; Spanked; Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 1 and 2; Fast Girls; Smooth; Passion; The Mile High Club; Do Not Disturb; Tasting Him; Tasting Her; Please, Sir; Please, Ma’am; He’s on Top; She’s on Top; Caught Looking; Hide and Seek; Crossdressing and Rubber Sex. She is the author of the forthcoming novel, Everything But…, and the nonfiction book, How To Write an Erotic Love Letter, Best Sex Writing series editor, and winner of 5 IPPY (Independent Publisher) Awards. Her work has been published in over one hundred anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006; Zane’s Chocolate Flava 2 and Purple Panties; Everything You Know About Sex Is Wrong; Single State of the Union and Desire: Women Write About Wanting. She serves as senior editor at Penthouse Variation, and wrote the popular “Lusty Lady” column for the Village Voice.


Rachel is a sex columnist for and has written for AVN, Bust,, Cosmopolitan, Curve, The Daily Beast, Fresh Yarn,, Gothamist, Huffington Post, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, Penthouse, Playgirl, Radar, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York and Zink, among others. She has appeared on “The Martha Stewart Show,” “The Berman and Berman Show,” NY1 and Showtime’s “Family Business.” She hosted the popular In the Flesh Erotic Reading Series (, featuring readers from Susie Bright to Zane, and speaks at conferences, does readings and teaches erotic writing workshops across the country. She blogs at
Find out more about Obsessed and the contributors at





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