Book Review: Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution, and Female Sexuality

Image description: the book sits on a background of tree bark. The cover is pink on the top and purple on the bottom with simple title and subtitle text.

Book blurb/description:

The stark contrasts between romance novels and pornography underscore how different female and male erotic fantasies are. These differences reflect human evolutionary history and the disparate selection pressures women and men experienced, say the authors of this thought-provoking book. Catherine Salmon and Donald Symons review the fundamental importance of evolutionary history to human psychology, discuss how male and female sexual psychologies differ, and then demonstrate how sex differences in erotica illustrate this. The authors focus particular attention on slash fiction, an erotic subgenre written by and for women and found on-line and in fan magazines.

This is going to be a very short review as I read this book back in 2017 and, quite honestly, I need to read it again. I read it quickly and didn’t take any notes. For shame. But I wanted to put this out there as a resource for anyone interested in the topic.

I read this book because I was particularly interested in the bits that address slash fanfiction. While I have acquired some more resources on the topic, at the time, I found there was scant writing on the topic and I was excited about reading this aspect. I found the book helpful enough to keep it and have been wanting to reread it for some time.

This is a small book, not quite 100 pages. The book explores evolutionary psychology in mating preferences between men and women of various sexual orientations, getting into romance and slash fanfiction tropes/conventions and how they are similar and different. The book explores different ways we relate to our fantasies and the roles they might play in our psychologies. And some other sprinklings of fandom and insights into sexual orientation. It takes a bit to get into the central point of the book as the foundations of some evolutionary psychology concepts and their roles are explored first. For such a short book this is a bit frustrating, but the overall tone of the book is conversational and accessible.

If you’re specifically interested in erotica, romance as a genre, fanfiction, or slash, then this little book is one you’ll likely want to have in your library.

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