Think Big

One of the perennial debates on newspaper women’s pages is whether the hourglass figure is currently in or out (usually accompanied by old pictures of Sophia Loren squeezed into an unfeasibly tight corset). Though the answer seems to vary from week to week, it’s no doubt there are plenty of admirers of Rubenesque curves, and they’re bound to find something to enjoy in the Big And Beautiful anthology from Xcite Books.

It’s a deliciously diverse selection, both in style and setting. Alcamia Payne’s The Cherry Picker is the story of Sofia, whose figure is as juicy as the cherries she is employed to pick. It attracts the attention of her employer, Senor Porfino, who decides to show her there’s more than one way to pluck a ripe fruit. Sensuality drips from the paragraphs, and every last sexual meaning of the word ‘cherry’ is wrung from the situation as the tale builds to its climax.

Victoria Blisse’s Naked Rain sees frazzled writer Sandra greeting the first storm after a long, hot spell by dashing out to dance naked beneath the raindrops. She attracts the attention of her neighbour, Richard, and while she worries that she might be too old and too fat for him, he’s very keen to show her just how attractive and sexy he finds her. There seems to be a natural overlap between Rubenesque fetishes and cougar tales (which is a great excuse to stop worrying about the fact you weigh more now than you did when you were 18!), and Blisse’s story explores that to the full.

Ralph Greco’s Bessie Challenge is set at a mediaeval rôleplaying event which gives the very busty and very exhibitionistic Bessie the opportunity to reveal almost all in a very low-cut corset. She and the narrator, Freddy, have been friends with benefits for a while, but will Bessie’s costume capers provide a chance for them to take their relationship to a more intimate level? Greco offers the male point of view here, which is a nice counterpoint to the other stories, and Freddy’s agonising over whether becoming lovers will spoil their relationship definitely rings true.

Equally engaging as a heroine is Eliza, in Viva Jones’ Arousal. When she discovers her newspaper editor husband is cheating on her with his glamorous star columnist, she feels like her world has collapsed, particularly when she’s snapped in the tabloids looking fat and frumpy. A chance meeting with photographer Charles, who wants her to pose for him in all her naked, curvaceous glory, offers her a way to regain her self-esteem and take control of her life – as well as enjoying some fantastic sex along the way. There’s a delicious twist at the end, and Arousal stands as a perfect example of Xcite’s long-stated aim of celebrating female sexuality in their fiction.

As for the remaining story in the collection? Well, I’m responsible for that. Tight tells of what happens when Eleanor attends a job interview in a suit which has been accidentally shrunk at the dry cleaners’, and how the horny young interviewer, Ryan, reacts to the sight of her curves squeezed into the clinging garment (yes, it’s another one for cougar lovers, as well as spank fans…). Here’s a little extract to whet your appetite, but for the full story – and the adventures of the rest of the Big And Beautiful babes – go to the Xcite site:

I should have found something else to wear, but my other work suits were in storage in the attic, and I didn’t have time to go hunting for one. Already, I was running the risk of being late for the interview. I would have to go as I was.

Now, I’m a big girl. Not fat, although I would be if I didn’t exercise as frequently as I do, but voluptuous. My breasts are huge, creamy mounds that beg to spill out of a man’s hands, my thighs are full and fleshy and my bottom is round and delightfully dimpled. It’s the figure of a Forties pin-up girl, designed for the bedroom rather than the catwalk, and I’ve had more than my share of lovers who could have happily spent the rest of their lives buried in my generous curves.

Looking at myself, watching the way the buttons on my jacket strained across my chest to the point of bursting, I knew this wasn’t exactly the way I’d hoped to present myself to a prospective employer. The jacket wasn’t too much of a problem, once I’d left all but one of the buttons unfastened . The skirt was a different matter. It had been on the tight side when I bought it, as was the current fashion, but now it stretched taut as a drumskin across my backside. It clung to the gentle swell of my stomach, gave me a wiggle when I walked and made me look – available, somehow, as though I was seeking to be judged on something other than the information listed on my CV.

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