What does it mean to be the "best" at something? And who decides? It being the best really an objective thing that can be scored and measured? Or is it more subjective, due to the whims of the judges, the state of society, the weather?
These questions might be even more pertinent when we're talking about art-forms, such as painting or writing. I love Picasso's tweaked portraits, but am rarely moved by Monet's gorgeous gardens (even though I know I should be). And, even as a writer, I sometimes struggle to get through the classics, those books that have been deemed as the "best of" the past.
However you define "best," when it comes to erotica, this year's edition of Best American Erotica (which hits U.S. bookstores today) is likely to have a story that fits your definition. From a girl who smells of salt-sea and asks for star-shaped tattoos ("Blue Star," Sera Gamble) to a woman who goes in search of her husband's lover and finds way more than she expected ("Dangerous Games for Competent People, Kim Wright), these pieces show off the erotic storytelling ability of some of the most amazing writers in America. Chosen and edited by Susie Bright, the stories are hot as hell, filled with sexy men and women and they invite you to think and feel (in all senses of that word).
I'm honored (and still pinching myself) because I have a story in this year's collection as well! Susie Bright describes it this way, ”Shanna Germain’s story, "Entry Point," of a family camping trip, reveals a married couple who discover something in their own relationship because of their grown lesbian daughter’s example.”
For me, it’s a story of joy, discovery, sensuality, and hope. Of people coming together, physically and mentally. And however else you define it, I think that those are always the best kinds of stories. I hope you think so too.