Marco Vassi’s Fiction: Where to Start

(I’m still working on this; not done yet)

I wrote a long essay about the fiction of U.S. erotica author Marco Vassi. If you are a reader looking to get started with Marco Vassi’s fiction, let me provide some suggestions. Vassi has published 15+ books (and Open Road Media has digitized 12 of the books into ebooks). These ebooks are regularly discounted every month or two. Norman Mailer called Vassi the “foremost erotic writer in America … a sexual explorer … his own experiment, and, ipso facto, a rare mortal.”

In a Nutshell

If I were to categorize Vassi’s fiction, it would be psychedelic explorations of erotic extremes and contemplation about the nature of eroticism and human relationships during the U.S. Sexual Revolution. Sometimes the fiction can be very depressing or a little too cerebral. Sometimes, the amount of sex is just ridiculous. But the writing is always topnotch, and the characters (especially the female characters) are expertly drawn.

The fiction varies a lot in quality and quantity. Some of the novels has so much coupling and throupling going on that there’s barely enough time to keep track. Other books feel like sad soap operas of sexually liberated people unable to deal with the aftereffects of casual sex (and who keep making the same mistakes). Some books seem really heavy on the philosophy and intellectual rants. Many of Vassi’s books are loosely structured picaresque things; with exceptions as noted, it’s more about characters and how they evolve than about about plot. Special mention needs to be made about the dialogue which is always literary and analytical and even polemical.

Best Literary Novel (The Other Hand Clapping)

Hands down, this is the most interesting and beautiful Vassi work, though ironically it has the least amount of sex. It’s about the estrangement of a Zen-minded bookstore owner and his actress wife.

Most Accessible/Fun Novel (In Touch)

The first time I read this, I regarded this as light-hearted reading that didn’t amount to much. The second time, I enjoyed it a lot more. Tons of sex and sensual descriptions, and I laughed a lot too. But there are also nice moments for reflection, and the plot was full of surprises. The heart of the novel is about a therapist and her screenplay writing boyfriend. There’s a lot of room for satire here. I am a huge fan of the fiction of Milan Kundera, and this book seems the most Kunderesque to me.

Most Readable/ExperimentalExtreme Fiction (The Erotic Comedies)

I mentioned in my longer essay that at least one of the stories in this collection would offend people. Possible two or three. This was the first fiction by Vassi I read, and and the stories and characters stay vividly with me. I’m not going to give many plot details (some were mentioned in the longer essay), but these stories cover the widest range of sexual experience. (They are also short and highly readable). They read like fairy tales or horror stories or Kafkaesque parables. All these stories feel relevant to contemporary life, and actually I think they would work well as audio books.

The second half of the Open Road Media edition includes some really important essays on aesthetics and sexuality. The Open Road Media edition also includes a series of essays called “Collection of Bones.” This includes his very important essay Metasexual Manifesto (which I describe in detail in my longer Vassi essay). There are also essays about bisexuality, polyamory and spirituality.

Having a good selection of fiction paired with the essays makes this ebook a must buy — and possibly a place for intrepid readers to get started.

Most Amoral/Promiscuous Novel (Tackling the Team & The Devil’s Sperm is Cold)


Introduction to Vassi’s Philosophy (The Erotic Comedies, A Driving Passion)


also my essay

Biggest Mindfucks (Mind Blower)

Definitely Mind-Blower

Most Pessimistic ( The Saline Solution)


Funniest (In Touch)


Most Biographical (A Stoned Apocalypse)







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