Here is my review, Vanessa:
Pain is not my thing, normally, both as a recipient and an inflictor (apart from some good, honest spanking, naturally!) but a young Chinese woman deliberately seeking danger in a notorious Amsterdam nightclub riveted my attention right from the start of Vanessa Wu’s Love Has No Limits.
Beautifully written and suspiciously autobiographical, the story conveys a mood of stark reality as well as frequent erotic jolts, while the first-person character is hurled from one sexual situation to another – sometimes screaming and struggling against her attacker / lover(s) in scenarios that bend the limits of consensual sex to breaking point. But somehow Beiru never goes to the police as she threatens, mesmerised by the pain and pleasure she’s absorbed.
This is initially a dark narrative, painfully detailed with the true consequences of punishing, near-rape, with its risk of permanent physical damage, and even the practical difficulties of wanting to pee while handcuffed to a bed!
But the darkness fades when Beiru returns to Berlin and enjoys a more conventional relationship with a very young man, finally realising that pain is not included in the sexual fulfilment she desperately seeks. Interestingly the threesome aspect of her Amsterdam experiences comes back to haunt her. Her young boyfriend, told of this, comes to fantasise of a threesome that includes Beiru’s curvaceous best friend, Maria.
The apparently separate threads of this tale of two cities converge in the closing chapters. A feral friend from Amsterdam comes to Berlin to find work, the sex explodes, and we find that love truly has no limits.
The protagonist, contemplating writing of her experiences reflects that “Perhaps writing a story or a novel was not something that should be done for money, or to win praise, but for the sheer sensual pleasure of it. I liked that idea. It made me want to write lots of stories, to give myself that pleasure.”
This is the core motivation in being a writer, in my humble opinion; it is something we have to do and something that Vanessa Wu does very well indeed. We are certainly going to hear a lot more of her.
Review by Roger Frank Selby, latest stories: The Farmer’s Gun and Thou Shalt Not Covet.