Sizzling with She 2 She comes with a subtitle that is also a disclaimer which warns that the book is strictly for those who are legally considered adults or 18+ years old. This word of caution comes with the need of the author to make readers aware of the content of the book that is mature and needs a certain understanding and sensibility to go through. The central theme of the book is lesbian stories and the voice of the narrative is such that the author serves as one who intends to make readers aware of the needs, desires and wishes of the lesbian couples.
The preface should be read with a lot of attention as it reveals a lot about what is to follow in the book and the main idea or motive that drives the author to write around this topic which is still a taboo in India and is also legally unacceptable if not considered illegal in many other places of the world and people who identify as lesbian or fall anywhere in the spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ are largely stigmatised. The book covers 10 short tales that span over 108 pages.
Kazi strictly warns the readers about being careful of the outlook that they hold towards lesbian individuals or lesbianism as a practice of fulfilling physical needs. This care is to be practiced as Kazi says that those who are lesbian are individuals in their own right. They have their thoughts, views, ideas, with only the difference in the way they practice the act of making love with their female partner. Kazi mentions that lesbians are women who have all the physiological activities like the menstruation cycle but their point of difference is the attraction that they feel is towards other women instead of men. Kazi mentions, “Love does not have a gender; it is a sense of an invisible chain that connects the soul” which makes Kazi of the opinion that the readers should not judge lesbians for their choice of making love but learn to understand them for the people that they are. However, this book is a vivid and interesting collection of erotic lesbian short stories that are set in urban, fast paced, modern world of today that makes many people cross each other’s paths. Some of these people have mild attraction towards one another but never meet again. While those who have a strong affinity to one another, end up having a fling that may or may not be carried further into any serious kind of relationship. The author repeatedly stresses on the need to bring about acceptance and respect for one another which he collection of stories serves to reiterate to the readers. This makes the collection rather revelatory of the cause of distancing that is maintained by the regular average people of the society from those who are non-conformists in terms of their sexual preference.
The author deduces that it is fear that makes people fail to connect with lesbians and allow them to take up their own space in the mainstream society. As a result, they remain ostracized and marginalised. This makes them occupy the margins of the society and further complicates their path to attaining their basic rights with their individual values in the heart of the society. It increases the fact that they remain misunderstood. Rejection, according to Kazi, is another issue that makes lesbians or those who conform to the umbrella term of LGBTQIA+ as closeted individuals. They fear telling others about their sexual preferences, their need, joys, sorrows, ups and downs and ways in which they can be accepted by the society or match up to the expectations of the society becomes difficult to explain on their behalf. In this collection, there are stories of women who were not born lesbians but due to certain circumstances in their lives they chose to love someone of the same gender conformation.
Acceptance and understanding is what lesbians need from the society at the moment which Kazi advocates for through her book. Some of the stories explain how a woman to woman attraction works and the readers will note that it is not much different from that of a heteronormative relationship that is based on mutual understanding, respect and the desire to spend time appreciating one another. The narrative style is easy to follow, free flowing with apt vocabulary and vivid rather graphic descriptions that are typical and characteristic of erotic narratives.
This brings a freshness to the writing style and makes the book an enjoyable read. The erotic aspect of the book does not go overboard with the descriptions. It neither romanticizes the idea of lesbian love making nor is the book only about the physical aspects. This reduces any tendency of boring the reader or making them nauseous with characters enjoying cheap thrills. On the whole, the book is a quick and easy read and serves as a basic read before venturing into erotica.
Reviewed by: Tasnima Yasmin