Because there’s a lot more than 50 shades of erotica out there.
Oh, erotica! So undervalued and misunderstood. For years these saucy books remained destined for the darkest corners of the library, tempting only the most daring and liberated of us to delve into their tantalising pages. But then something happened. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Fifty Shades of Grey — the number one top seller that put erotica back on the map!
Whether you’re a mega fan or a hater, we can all agree that Fifty Shades’ meteoric rise in popularity has opened up the world of erotica to the masses. And that can only ever be a good thing. Erotic literature is the perfect ingredient to spice up your love life. Reading, more than anything else, stimulates your mind and imagination.
But there’s a lot of great erotica out there — and it’s not all moody businessmen and mousy interns. Check out our list of 8 great pieces of erotica to get your imagination racing and your blood pumping.
1. The erotically charged 70’s novel that sparked a nationwide panic
Blume’s 1975 groundbreaking novel was so sexually charged that it was banned from many school libraries. Dealing with teen sexuality and those first sexual experiences, Blume’s book makes the list for its rawness, sincerity and hot intensity. Katherine and Michael are a young high school couple on the brink of their sexual awakening. But will the reality of their passion live up to their expectations?
Teaser: “You’ve got to enjoy whatever you can and forget about the rest.”
This book will get you going if: you still think about your first time and your youthful sexual escapades have got you through long, lonely nights
2.Vampires. Demons. A sassy female lead.
A fiery combination of paranormal beings and sweltering romance, J. R. Ward’s series is a must-read for anyone who secretly harbours a passion for Edward from Twilight. Centred around a society of hunky vampires, The Black Dagger Brotherhood series broods with sexual tension and uncontained passion. Things get steamy when Beth Randall falls for a dangerous man who comes to her at night — but will their desire consume them both?
Teaser: “His eyes closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang. The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel.”
This book will get you going if: you fantasise about manly men that fight demons and fall for sassy, self-sufficient girls. Or, if you still have a thing for Brad Pitt in Interview with a Vampire — Oh, Louis!
3. The revolutionary novel that opened up the world to lesbian bohemia
This delicious and complex piece of erotica earnt Bannon the title ‘Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction’ and is an absolute must-read. College student Laura flees from her campus after suffering a brutal heartbreak over sorority sister Beth and hurdles head first into the erotic lesbian bohemia of 1950s Greenwich Village. Drenched in booze and sex, Laura’s struggles with love, desire and sexuality are both deeply human and utterly seductive.
Teaser: “For the first time in her life she was proud of her size, proud of her strength, even proud of her oddly boyish face. She could see interest, even admiration in the faces of many of the girls.”
This book will get you going if: you want to experience the heady eroticism of the Greenwich Village community. Or, if you’re interested in erotica with a deeply human side.
4. Like Fifty Shades… but even better
An ambitious, beautiful intern. A demanding, sexy executive. A dangerous game of sexual intrigue. Sound familiar? If you couldn’t get enough of a certain Mr Grey, Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard is the next book you need to read. As with Fifty Shades, this book originated as fanfiction for Twilight. But don’t let that put you off. This one makes the list for the sizzling and irresistible dance between Chloe and Bennet — how much are they willing to lose to have one another?
Teaser: “For some sick reason, fighting with this woman always ended with her panties in my pocket.”
This book will get you going if: you’re one of the millions who fell head-over-heels for Christian Grey.
5. A remake of your childhood favourites with a sexy twist
Ever wondered what happened to Alice after she went through the looking glass? Or Dorothy after she got to the end of the yellow brick road? Or Wendy after Peter Pan had long since flown back to Neverland? Well, Alan Moore’s delectable graphic novel series, Lost Girls, takes us into the adult world of our favourite fairytale characters as they embark on their sexual awakening. Colourful, explicit and carnal, we promise you’ll never have read anything like it before.
Teaser: Chapter titles include “Shaking and Waking” — intrigued?
This book will get you going if: you’ve ever fantasised about your favourite fairytale characters getting down and dirty in unimaginable ways.
6. A startling and brave novel about homosexual love
Recently made into a film, Aciman’s tale of obsession, fascination and desire between an adolescent boy and a Columbia University professor is steamy and seductive. Set on a cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera, Call Me by Your Name explores the powerful romance and dangerous intimacy of these two unsuspecting lovers. Recklessly in love and motivated by passion, theirs is a love for the ages.
Teaser: “If I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life, I’d stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest.”
This book will get you going if: you’re a romantic with a naughty side, or if you’ve ever experienced a heart-stopping, all-consuming passion for another person.
7. The book that changed everything
No list of erotica would be complete without the mother of erotica herself, Anaïs Nin. Nin wrote erotica prolifically, but we’ve chosen Delta of Venus because it showcases the very best of erotica. In Nin’s lush, erotic world, we’re welcomed into a universe of desire and sexuality. Over the course of 15 short stories, we encounter a Hungarian adventurer who seduces wealthy women and then robs them, a veiled woman who hunts for sexual victims in swanky restaurants, and a Parisian hatmaker who throws it all in to live in the opium dens of Peru. Nothing is off limits — sex lurks closely with danger, violence and crime.
Teaser: “He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.”
This book will get you going if: you’re sexually curious about the limits of desire, passion and longing, or you’re looking to read something totally revolutionary.
8. The novel that introduced the masses to masochism
If you’re interested in dipping your toe in masochism and kinky BDSM, this is a must-read. Did you know that the word masochism itself was coined by Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch? Well, that should give you a clue of the kind of debauched and sordid sexuality enacted in Venus in Furs. When Severin Von Kusimeski said that he wanted “to be maltreated and betrayed by the woman” he loves, he couldn’t foresee the powerful and awesomely erotic pain that would come at the hands of the formidable Wanda Von Dunajew. A classic that has inspired a whole cultural movement — your erotic library isn’t complete without it.
Teaser: “You have corrupted my imagination and inflamed my blood…”
This book will get you going if: you’re into female domination, kinky sex and BDSM.
Ready to get sucked into the sexy world of erotica? Head down to your nearest bookshop or hop on your Kindle, then settle in for the night and get carried away with some steamy fiction. To really turn the pleasure up, check out our selection of sex toys and accessories and make your reading session the hottest it’s ever been.