Between the Lines

Why this book of erotica is far better than Fifty Shades of Grey

The Pleasure Principle explores the emotional landscape, with physicality a part of it.

 |  Between the Lines  |  2-minute read |   26-08-2016
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As a reader I was disappointed by Fifty Shades of Grey to the extent that after a couple of chapters I could barely even read cursorily. To me, its story with an abundance of erotic situations but a lack of intriguing and tantalising storytelling was kind of dry. To an erotica non-fan, such stories have little to offer. I assume even many erotica fans would have that complaint.

So when I read the introduction of The Pleasure Principle and realised that it was another entry in the erotic literature segment, I wasn't very excited. But that was till I hadn't moved beyond the introduction.

pleasure-principle-e_082616031531.jpg In The Pleasure Principle erotica isn't only the realm of the young.  

The Pleasure Principle introduces itself as a collection of short stories exploring the sexual landscape. But through its stories it succeeds in exploring the emotional landscape with physicality a part of it. Here erotica isn't only the realm of the young; and protagonists come from various social backgrounds and with emotional baggage. Each character has a story of its own and their sexual desires just one intricately crafted chapter in it. Of course the book has few exceptions to this description.

This 15-story collection has an interesting list of contributors, from seasoned authors to a few new faces, none of them known as erotica writers.

The heroine of Taslima Nasreen's story "Sex Boy" - rightly the first story in the book - is a middle-aged woman eager to get into a strictly sexual relationship with a man she met online but ends up finding love in him.

Krishna Shastri Devulappali's "The Middle-East Position" is an extremely humorous account of gay sex that doesn't happen.

50-shades_082616031647.jpg Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Rupa Bajwa's "The Last House" is a tale of hidden feelings developing beyond marital boundaries.

And this is a small list of many mentionable stories in the collection.

Another deviation The Pleasure Principle makes is not focussing predominantly on male readers, a barrier that this genre often fails to cross. It is as much a woman reader's book as a man's.

If the book intends to bring erotica to people's bookshelves rather than be tucked away in an unfindable corner, it pretty much takes that leap.


Rashmi Singh Rashmi Singh @rashmisc

The writer is an Associate Editor with NewsFlicks, India Today.

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