Best Local Anthology (2001)

Gynomite: Fearless Feminist Porn

Yogi, Webmaster and Gynomite founder (and former Houston Press staffer) Liz Belile has since moved to Austin, and Abram Himelstein, whose New Mouth From the Dirty South published the volume, is living in New Orleans now. But this collection of erotic stories by women features more than a half-dozen local writers -- including Olive Hershey, Michelle Glaw and Press writer Melissa Hung -- and is very much a Houston-based effort. Hailed as "a milestone document to change the world, one orgasm at a time," Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn is a subsidiary of a reading series that Belile started in Los Angeles in 1994. Belile took a rotating group of contributors on the road last year, for a tour that culminated with a documentary film shot by HBO. On the page, something is missing from the live rendering of these musings -- the excerpts from The Starr Report, for example, suffer without Shaila Dewan's breathless recitation. But there are plenty of entertaining, not to mention enlightening, moments. Surprising, perhaps, is the pervasive psychological and physical violence of these stories. Those expecting the subtle sensuality of, say, Anaïs Nin will be taken aback.


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