I can take some guilty pleasure and just read," Oprah Winfrey told Harper's Bazaar about bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The entertainment mogul isn't the only one with sexy fiction on her mind. Despite taking bookshelves — and soon movie theaters — by storm, Fifty Shades of Grey is hardly the first, or last, literature of its kind.
These works, spanning from tocontained graphic scenes that stirred public disbelief and outrage. Given the time period in which they were published, it is no surprise that these novels were received with utter shock and, in some instances, banned altogether. In addition to the graphic images contained within the novels, the characters were often seen as defying social and moral conventions.
My grandma used to read tons of erotic novels. She would buy them at the checkout line at the grocery store. When I was little, I thought it was the weirdest and grossest thing ever.
If Fifty Shades of Grey has proven anything, it's that flipping through several hundred pages of NSFW prose is fun and nothing to be embarrassed about. So, please come no pun intended with us into a whole new world of books with stunning sex. Erotica often gets labeled a "guilty pleasure," and while yes—there are many campy books to read, some of which are on this list—plenty of erotica overlaps with genre and literary fiction. In other words, it's fun, it's sexy, and it can be prestigious.
What do you know about erotica? The erotica category covers all kinds of books, including both nonfiction and erotic fiction where sex is described explicitly on the page. It can be romantic sex, or just scratching an itch.
Unlike a lot of my sneering literary colleagues, I was excited to read Fifty Shades of Grey. A naughty novel that American women are going wild for? Sign me up!
In fact, plenty of novels that are considered classic literature are nothing more than dirty books. Lolita is the story of a man who becomes obsessed with a 12 year old, who, incidentally, becomes his stepdaughter. An inappropriate affair ensues.
Christopher Hart is literary editor of the Erotic Review. His second novel, Rescue Me Fabera farcical comedy about a reluctant and incompetent male gigolo, is in no way autobiographical. Buy Rescue Me at Amazon. Song of Solomon The Bible's a much sexier read than most people realise nowadays.
But it can be hard to choose the right one. Here are 25 works of great, nearly-great, or at the very least significant erotic fiction of the last several centuries you could try on for size, and see if they keep your blood circulating to all available extremities. Caveat emptor: in constructing this list, one finds that the books meeting this description currently are low on gay sex.