Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Home | Erotic Books | Authors Resources | Inside The Erotic Mind | Erotica Gallery
Adult Movies | Sex Toys | Erotic Music | Email Discussion List | Links

'08 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations

by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons

Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft

Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons

2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
I’m Easy, But I’m No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will

Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance

Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel

Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn

Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics

On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank

Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her


Edited by Shane Allison

Book Review by Vincent Diamond


Gay Erotica

Editor Shane Allison has picked seventeen hot tales (oh, come on, you knew there had to a cliché in this somehow) that focus on firefighters as objects of desire. From the romantic to the down-and-dirty stories, this book from Cleis Press continues their long-running series of erotica anthologies. Backdraft: Fireman Erotica uses a somewhat politically incorrect title but its contents are right on target.

Allison chooses stories from some familiar names among gay erotica writers. Veterans like Rob Rosen, Simon Sheppard, M. Christian, Shanna Germain, Neil Plakcy and Jeff Mann join newer authors such as Charles Harvey and Elazarus Wills. These authors generate a variety of voices, settings, and styles for the collection. Many of the pieces have a dark side, an element of true-to-life tragedy is laced into several of the tales. It's a surprising touch, one that editor Allison should be commended for.

The collection's opener, "Four-Alarm Fire," is a strong piece from Rob Rosen. Quickly paced, with short dialogue that works well for the characters, Rosen's fireman hints at a dark past and a tragedy that's unvoiced. When asked about the scars on his back, this fireman points to his head and  acknowledges that they only hurt "up here." This is a nice nod to psychological issues that show some realism and depth.

"Safety Zone" from Elazarus Wills is a romantic tale in which a firefighter's own house burns down. Like several of the stories in the book, this one has characters who are involved with/cheating on partners, another nod to the realism of gay sex. In the end, the two lovers end up fighting fires together, and the warm implication of happily ever after lifts the story.

Stephen Osborne's story, "Unattainable" splashes cold water on his character, Bobby, who pines for fantasy firemen when real-life possibilities are already in his life. In a distinctly non-sexy encounter with a fireman, Bobby's first sexual encounter ends badly: no tenderness, no whispered sweet nothings, and no orgasm. It's a surprising choice for an erotica collection, but once again, adds that touch of realism for a distinctive voice.

One of the strongest pieces is "Smoke and Semen" from Jeff Mann. With its strong images of passion and love, Mann mixes firefighting, bears, and bondage into a bittersweet combination of erotic and mourning. The narrator ponders his current lover:  "I've never told him about Aidan, about that passionate love affair fifteen years ago, about Adian's beauty, sweetness, and submission. Nathan doesn't need to know he lives in a shadow." With vivid imagery and a controlled voice, Mann's story is worthy of re-reading.

Another mournful story is "Holding Pattern" by Tom Cardamone. This narrator survived a plane hijacking and spends his days taking pills, watching television and waiting for a lover. After seeing a fellow passenger shot dead right next to him, this is a character who is broken and cold. Ko, his part-time lover who has another boyfriend, comes to him with food and touch, trying to warm something that can't be touched again. "…the permanent passenger who had absorbed the blood of the dead and milled it into ash." There is no hope for this couple yet the story works as poignant reminder of mortality.

Other stories are the more traditional, meet-em, suck-em and fuck-em kind of encounters. Short-term encounters between strangers, men cheating on their partners (both male and female), quickies. These work just fine within the theme; firefighters are an enticing masculine icon, and reading stories about their sex lives is fun. Both as text and subtext though, some of these tales warn readers of the dangers of fire, the embers that never cool, and the warmth that can turn to raw heat with passion. Be warned: this is a hot book, in more ways than one.

Vincent Diamond
November 2008

Backdraft: Fireman Erotica
(Cleis Press; September 1, 2008; ISBN-10: 1573443255)
Available at:  / Also Available in Kindle Edition

© 2008 Vincent Diamond. All rights reserved.

About the Author:
Vincent Diamond's short story collection, Rough Cut, was released by Lethe Press in 2008. "An erotic wordsmith," says noted editor Richard Labonte in the foreword to the book, "...erotic fiction that possesses story-telling heft." Diamond's stories have appeared in Screaming Orgasms, Sex on the Beach, Coming Together: Under Fire, Country Boys, Truckers, Best Gay Romance 2007, Hot Cops, Love in a Lock-Up, Best Gay Love Stories 2005 and 2006, in the e-books Feathers, Chance Encounters, Under Arrest, and Play Ball from Torquere Press, and online at Fishnet, Clean Sheets and Ruthie's Club.
More info, with free stories and excerpts, available at:

  E-mail this page

Search ERWA Website:

Copyright 1996 and on, Erotica Readers Association, Inc.
All Rights Reserved World Wide. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or
medium without express written permission is prohibited.

'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews


Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

Bound Brits (ebook)
Review by Ashley Lister

Deep Inside: Extreme ...
Review by Cervo

Dirty Girls
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Hide and Seek
Review by Ashley Lister

Hurts So Good
Review by Ashley Lister

J is for Jealousy
Review by Ashley Lister

K is for Kink
Review by Ashley Lister

Lust Bites
Review by Ashley Lister

Open for Business
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex & Candy
Review by Ashley Lister

The Shadow of a... (poetry)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Victoria Blisse

Tasting Her
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Tasting Him
Review by Ashley Lister

Tasting Him
Review by Kathleen Bradean

White Flames
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Yes, Sir: Female Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn


The Art of Melinoe
Review by Ashley Lister

Demon by Day
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Gemini Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

Gothic Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

The Hidden Grotto Series
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The House of Blood
Review by Lisabet Sarai

In Too Deep
Review by Ashley Lister

In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Donna George Storey

Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Rose B. Thorny

Seduce Me
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduced by the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Serve the People!
Review by Donna G. Storey

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sunfire (eBook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Templar Prize
Review by Angelika Devlyn

The Wicked Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Wild Kingdom
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
Review by Vincent Diamond

Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Donna George Storey

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

The Night Watch
Review by Lisabet Sarai


America Unzipped
Review by Rob Hardy

Best Sex Writing '08
Review by Rob Hardy

Bonk: The Curious Coupling
Review by Rob Hardy

The Book of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Casanova: Actor Lover ...
Review by Rob Hardy

Dishonorable Passions
Review by Rob Hardy

Flagrante Delicto (photos)
Review by Jack Gilbert

The Flesh Press
Review by Rob Hardy

Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Humble Little Condom
Review by Rob Hardy

Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
Review by Ashley Lister

Man O Man! Writing M/M...
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Not So Invisible Woman
Review by Ashley Lister

Swingers: Female...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Who's Been Sleeping in...
Review by Rob Hardy