Sexy, older men with younger lovers. It’s a winning combination in this new addition to the Lethe Press erotica series. With sexy drawings on the cover and them interspersed with nineteen different stories, this is a fun book. C.B. Potts is the master of the casual, colloquial voice, and experiments to great effect with formal, old-fashioned, and narrative voices as well.
The book starts off strong with “Board Meeting”. Based on a city council voting on a gay marriage proposal, the conflict and dialogue is crisp, cleanly rendered, and almost depressingly realistic. The sad truth of small-town life and its prejudices are on the page. The story takes a happier turn when a James and Wilton get together with some proposals of their own. It’s sexy and sweet at the same time with C.B.’s trademark snappy last sentence. The piece works well.
“Ring Tones” is a twist on the classic Daddy tale, the Daddy who’s tired of being the Daddy. This is classic, straight-ahead porn with its sexual focus clear and as subtle as a Mack truck. A reader’s comfort level with monogamy and infidelity may affect responses to this one, but it’s solid genre piece.
Potts has a knack for quickly establishing a story’s world, and “Where the Buffalo Roam” shows this talent. Mark, the college boy, takes a dude ranch vacation with his family and meets Clint, a hard-edged, tanned, gruff, callused cowboy who takes horses, cattle—and Mark—in hand. They sneak away from the campfire and city boy takes on country man. During sex, concern about scorpions in the dirt is overridden by raw desire. “Every scorpion in the world could have been directly in front of me, marching in formation and singing show tunes, and I wouldn’t have noticed.” Surprisingly, it’s the older man who reaches out and asks for more than a one-night stand. A nice touch.
“R&R” is the first of a two-parter, and this story does have the distinct feel of incompleteness, satisfyingly answered later in the book with “Christmas Morning, 02h00”. I felt right away that this had the potential for a deeper story, and Potts follows through later on. Some of the lines here are giggle-worthy. Describing a character who is a “Jesus freak”, this one is stellar: “He’s so goddammed oblivious that when the Lord does come back he’ll miss the angel chorus and go around asking everybody why the light’s so damn bright.” The heat and horror and wet and sweat of fighting in a swamp is on the page perfectly. Great description and a great voice all in one.
“Crackhead Soup” teams up a stern, middle-aged corrections officer and his son’s college-aged roommate. There’s two storylines going on here: the CO and his son, their relationship uneasy and strained, and the CO and the roomie. When Nate questions Owen, the CO and father, the allusion to Owen’s previous violence towards his son hangs in the air between all three of them. It’s a pregnant moment, for all sorts of reasons. The sex is quick and hard and realistic. The tension between Nate and Owen doesn’t dissipate after the fucking; it’s even better. I’d love to see more with these two characters. Maybe Potts will do a series with them.
For straight-ahead gay porn, “Rough Road” is short and sweet and effective. A hitchhiker who goes out looking for rough trade is hoping to find danger, needing the adrenaline rush, needing to get smacked around first, fucked last. He’s a character that may be a little hard to understand, but he works on the page.
Boxing is the focus for “Ringside”. With dialogue that gets the story moving, the readers is transported to world of boxers and coaches and relationships gone wrong. It’s an intriguing place to set a story. The emotional, physical, and sexual tension between the Champ and his former coach and father figure, is nicely done. The only difficulty I had with this story was a lack of transitions here and there; I wasn’t always able to follow movement and who was speaking, but the prose springs along like a boxer on his toes.
“I’ve never been able to get it up for man who couldn’t carry a tune.” This is another fun line from “Mountain Music.” This story is charming and renders the bluegrass music business in a way that evokes some innocence. Record company owner Jacob, wants Mike Butchers—for his musical skills, to record songs, and in his bed. It’s a tricky dance for them, but a quick bout of sex in Mike’s RV seals the deal.
There’s a part of me that wonders if Potts is doing some tongue-in-cheek Vin Diesel references (who, as he ages, will become a knockout Daddy type). There are at least four uses of fast and furious in phrasing, and two of pitch black. Kinda fun to ponder if the writer is playing some word games in a book.
C.B. Potts has the stellar skill to set up new worlds for readers—the pro boxing circuit, a state prison system, or a bluegrass music festival—and have characters who, while may fit into the erotica archetypes such as Daddies—go far beyond the common tropes. Each of these Silver Foxes has a history, a life, and an agenda. And readers get a taste of more than standard stroke fic; they get a glimpse into the minds and hearts of these men. Well worth the read, with a variety of voices and choices, Silver Fox is solid writing and steamy sex on the page.
© 2010 Vincent Diamond. All rights reserved.