Editor Roche chose to take the world of noir and combine it with sexual fiction. As he says in the Introduction:
Where there's power, or truth, there's sex. . .The erotic appeal of this world seems obvious to me. To be able to take the nightmare world of noir with the world of sex, the erotic impulse with the dark side of the city--that seems like something that needs to be done. Lies, perhaps because they are more immediate than truth, can be incredibly erotic. And sometimes in telling lies we are finally able to tell the truth. The anti-mythic world of Noirotica is one where bad things happen and this truth is always at a premium. Roche, with his choices, succeeds admirably.
There are private dick (no pun intended) tales (most notably Roche's own and those by Simon Sheppard, Bill Brent, Maxim Jakubowski, Charles Ardai, and Kyle Stone;) flat out good dark stories (Nancy Collins, Amelia G, Sean Doolittle, Nancy Kilpatrick, Lucy Taylor, and John Shirley;) edgy characterizations (M. Christian, Poppy Z. Brite and Christa Faust, and Carol Queen) and some of what are primarily powerful vignettes.
Moreover, there is a redemptive quality here that moralizing yahoos, too busy defeating their own arousal by censorship and condemnation, will not notice. The sex, death, and crime in these stories all have consequences. Actions have reactions in the world of noir--not ever very pretty, occasionally positive, more usually negative.
Noirotica is a breakthrough anthology. Its raw violence and sexuality, the nightmare slice of the noir knife-- combine to portray a literature that may not be for the masses, but establishes a place for some of the darkest, hardest-hitting and most provocative writing you'll find today.
If you can't stomach truth, don't touch it. It's sick, twisted, and degenerate. Bad to the bone. I love it.