Clay Ferrill, $0.99, ISBN 978-1005123512
Contemporary Erotica, 2021
Souvenir is another story by Clay Ferrill that follows what seems to be the author’s formula: a hungry, thirsty, sloppy hippo-bottom-us plowing through a parade of three fit, randy blokes.
This time around, the bloke in question is Trevor Mink, the manager of the gym Onyx Sports Club, and the place is going to be an X-rated version of Olivia Newton-John’s Physical music video. There’s the hot Roman, who wants to try out Trevor’s brand of oral kindness after hearing of how Trevor will perform such gratitude on another bloke, the trucker Angus, for Angus giving Trevor a ride home from the gym. Then there’s Tarin, whom Trevor has sex with and then they… move in and are boyfriends now? Well, I guess the story has to end somehow, and an abrupt happy ending may as well be one way to do it.
Unlike the previous naughty stories by the author that I’ve read, this one is missing something—I find it easier to get distracted while reading this thing. I don’t find myself riveted to every hot naughty deed committed on the pages, and honestly, I spend more time trying to figure out the physics behind the shag festival of Angus and Trevor than actually enjoying the scene itself. After thinking about this, and I think I spend far more time and thought into this than the author probably did into this story, I think my lack of enthusiasm stems from how perfunctory the whole thing feels.
The souvenir in the title refers to Trevor collecting the jockstraps for his conquests… but that one doesn’t go anywhere beyond a token mention of that now and then. I’d have thought something that gives this thing its title would play a bigger part of the story. Perhaps give Trevor a jockstrap fetish, like maybe he likes being gagged or bound by those smelly, used things or something? Also, the three blokes here feel interchangeable despite the differences in their physical appearances. Again, this is where the perfunctory feeling comes in: the guys never feel as developed as they could have been. Angus is pure rough trade, and he finally breaks down and kisses Trevor after some jealous-angry sex upon the man realizing that Roman had Trevor first earlier that day… and that goes nowhere. Roman bandy-shagged Trevor until our hero sees stars, but then vanishes from the story. Poor Tarin feels like some bloke Trevor settles on just because our hero needs a guy to shack up with.
I hesitate to say that this one is a bad read, because on a superficial level, it does what it sets out to do. However, the three guys are boring, their sex scenes while okay are nowhere as hot as those in the other titles I’ve read, and the protagonist feels like he’s just going through motions. I don’t know what happened, but this story never succeeds to capturing any fetish or thematic element the author has set out to include. Souvenir just feels like three average sex scenes spliced together; it’s like that fellow on the hook-up app that one just swipes right to because the usual people one’d prefer to get together with are not available on that day. Sure, it helps scratch an itch, perhaps, but nothing magical really happens beyond just simply getting that itch scratched.