I’ve made it pretty clear that I have some problems with Fifty Shades of Grey. But I’m a huge fan of smut and erotic literature! I just prefer well-written smut. I’ve put together a little reading list of books I like for those of you who want to get the blood pumping, but prefer a better class of prose.  If you have suggestions to add to the list, please leave a comment!

All descriptions (in italics) pulled from goodreads unless otherwise noted. I have read all of these books and recommend them!

Delta of Venus by  Anaïs Nin

In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

Not for the faint of heart, Nin has no trouble tackling troubling themes. But I dare you to read this entire collection of short stories and not find at least one that leaves you with a pleasant discomfort in your loins.

Little Birds by  Anaïs Nin

Evocative and superbly erotic, Little Birds is a powerful journey into the mysterious world of sex and sensuality. From the beach towns of Normandy to the streets of New Orleans, these thirteen vignettes introduce us to a covetous French painter, a sleepless wanderer of the night, a guitar-playing gypsy, and a host of others who yearn for and dive into the turbulent depths of romantic experience.

My absolute favorite short story is found between the covers of Little Birds. Read it and see if you can guess which one it is.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence 

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was inspired by the long-standing affair between Frieda, Lawrence’s aristocratic German wife, and an Italian peasant who eventually became her third husband; Lawrence’s struggle with sexual impotence; and the circumstances of his and Frieda’s courtship and the early years of their marriage.

Constance Chatterley, married to an aristocrat and mine owner whose war wounds have left him paralyzed and impotent, has an affair with Mellors, a gamekeeper, becomes pregnant, and considers abandoning her husband. One of the seminal class novels of the century, it was considered flagrantly pornographic when first published in 1928.

A must read, if only to find out the story behind “Lady Jane” and “John Thomas”.

Song of Solomon – The Bible (NIV) 

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.

If you don’t think the Bible can be sexy, you’ve never read Song of Solomon.

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani 

In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life.

I read this for book club and the sex scenes are surprisingly hot!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining fertility, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Forced surrogacy isn’t sexy. Starting up an affair with the guy who lives over the garage? Now that’s hot.

Forever by Judy Blume

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

“Forever” is written for an older age group than Judy Blume’s other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.

If you never spent an afternoon hiding out in the teen section of your local library with this book (because your mom wouldn’t let you check it out), then you really missed an important rite of passage.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 

Awe and exhiliration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

Yes, this book deals with some uncomfortable themes. But allegedly, so does Fifty Shades of Grey. Heh.

And of course there are many, many other sexy books that I haven’t read, including:

  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland
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