Erotic fiction has been around for centuries. Since at least the days of Ancient Greece and Rome, the written word has been used to set pulses racing. And although the genre itself might be old, it’s most definitely in rude health. Fuck.com asked Jillian Boyd for her top 5 list of erotic literature, and she was happy to share. 

 

Erotic fiction is also a genre which is constantly changing, whether through the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey series or the boom in self-publishing (and that’s just in the last couple of years alone). So if you’re new to erotica, you might not quite know where to begin. 

As someone who’s been writing erotica for quite a while now, it’s fair to say that in addition to writing a lot of words, I’ve read a lot as well.  This top five of sizzling, sensual reads (which is, of course, by no means exhaustive!) is both a solid primer for a newbie to the genre and also just a list of great erotica to add to your bookshelf/e-reader. 
 

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On Demand (Justine Elyot)

A classic, from the excellent Justine Elyot. Through the eyes of receptionist Sophie Martin, we delve into the world of the Hotel Luxe Noir. Whether dealing with her romantic struggles or playing voyeur to what else goes on between the walls of the hotel, Sophie is an entertaining guide into a haven of sensual pleasures. Both very sexy and very funny – and if you’re left wanting more afterwards, Sophie returns in the sequel, Game.

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A Gentleman in the Street (Alisha Rai)

Flipping the billionaire erotica trope straight on its head, Alisha Rai’s A Gentleman in the Street is so red-hot you can almost see the steam rising from the book itself. Billionaire businesswoman Akira Mori can get anything her heart desires... well, almost anything. The one thing she truly wants in life is the one thing she can’t seem to get – aloof author Jacob Campbell. The sizzling chemistry between Akira and Jacob comes with a complicated history, one that’ll make you breeze through this book desperate to know what’ll happen next. If you’re not in need of a break for a cold shower and some play time, that is.

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All Other Things (Charlotte Stein)

If you’re not familiar with Charlotte’s writing, GET ON BOARD. Relatable, human, and breathtakingly erotic – all hallmarks of her writing and all excellently demonstrated in this novella. Bea is utterly in love with her husband, Tommy. There is, however, one thing that frustrates her: he seems to not be into the kind of hot, passion-filled sex she’s craving. Something her handsome colleague Kieran is offering her - dark to Tommy’s light, he is everything her lovely husband is not. But Bea refuses to be tempted... until she discovers that Kieran and Tommy have been talking via IM, and the conversation is by no means an innocent one. 

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Diary of a Library Nerd (Kyoko Church) 

In the mood for something a little different? Get yourself a copy (my recommendation – print copy) of Diary of a Library Nerd. Illustrator Vanity Chase lends visuals to the words of Kyoko Church’s main character, whose sexual appetites are reawakened in the strangest of ways by two very different – and very kinky - men.  Through “diary entries” and drawings, we follow shy, jilted librarian Charlotte, discovering a new side to her sexuality while trying to heal the wounds of her past. With the help of two very different – and very kinky – men, she opens up once again.

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Cover Him with Darkness: A Romance (Janine Ashbless) 

Warning: this one’s not for the faint of heart! Cover Him with Darkness started life as a short story in an erotica anthology. Writer Janine Ashbless expanded it into the first part of The Watchers trilogy. She twists the definition of romance on its head with this story of an archangel banished from heaven, who falls for a human woman. The writing is shockingly stunning and sensual, and the story will make you gasp in more ways than one. 
Part two, In Bonds of the Earth, was recently released. 
 

Bonus! 

If novel/novella length erotica doesn’t whet your appetite just yet, a great introduction to the genre and its writers is through short story anthologies. Cleis Press has a vast back catalogue of themed collections, as well as their yearly Best Women’s Erotica and Best Lesbian Erotica series. 

Other titles to look out for (full disclosure – I contributed a story to the first two):
•    Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica (edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel) 
•    Goodbye Moderation: Lust (edited by Lola Sparkles)
•    Frenzy: 60 Stories of Sudden Sex (edited by Alison Tyler)
•    The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica (edited by Rose Caraway)
•    Red Velvet and Absinthe (edited by Mitzi Szereto)
•    Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance (edited by Kristina Wright)


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