Speaking in Whispers: African-American Lesbian Erotica by Kathleen E. Morris

Publisher/Date:  Third Side Press, Oct. 1996
Genre(s):  Short Story, Erotica
Pages:  161

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour can best describe these outrageous tales of lesbian passion in Kathleen E. Morris’ SPEAKING IN WHISPERS: AFRICAN-AMERICAN LESBIAN EROTICA.

Morris has compiled 14 stories of lesbian lust with candor, with four interludes named for a season thrown in as a quick tease. The style and characters are contemporary, and some will leave you hot and bothered. Here, black lesbians are referred to as “wimmin” or a “womon,” Morris’ own term she coined.

In “HER,” a womon meets HER on a crowded train and lives out her fantasy with the stranger, while Loren has to teach her stud a “Lesson” she’ll never forget. Jaime gets a “Second Chance” at love with a new wommon after boarding up her heart.

Speaking in Whispers does manage to venture out for pleasure. A trip to “The Movies” gets a little freaky for one pair, and a spicy encounter with a womon at “The Club” gets Tita’s blood racing. In “The Painter,” an art student finds a new source of inspiration with a sexy classmate, while an overworked womon gets a different kind of treatment at “The Spa.” “Appetizers” are what’s on the menu for Carmen and Paula, two wimmin wanting to taste the rainbow.

Making time for love is also a theme in Speaking. At “The Festival,” a security guard at a wimmin’s camp can hardly find sometime alone with an exotic, dreadlocked beauty vying her a little of her attention. “The Honeymoon Cottage” is where it all goes down between Hillary and Sonia, two passionate wimmin with no time for each other between their busy schedules. Kimberly finally gets her fantasy with “Pongee,” a professor she’s lusted after for years and gets her chance with years later.

Other tales include a lover getting caught looking in her girl’s “Honey Eyes,” while there’s nowhere for desire to hide in “The Exit.” “The Gateway” leads Patrice to another dimension, one where an erotic alien is taught the real meaning of human sexuality.

Morris’ stories are titillating, but a few didn’t hit the spot. There were a couple of stories that left me hanging with how short they were, and there were a couple that just didn’t do it for me. And I’m not quite sure what the seasonal interludes were supposed to do. Morris also should focus more on making her stories more varied and wide-ranging, as sometimes I felt I was reading the same story twice.

But most of the tales I enjoyed, the ones that managed to do their job, leaving me craving for more.

Reviewed February 2006