Fifty Shades fatigue has been creeping up on us the past few weeks, so we decided to ask Amy Sohn, former sex columnist and New York Times bestselling author of Prospect Park West and this month’s equally delectable sequel Motherland for help coming up with some worthy alternatives. “If Fifty Shades has taught us anything it’s that American women are starved for hot lit,” she told us.
We asked Sohn, who we have come to appreciate over the years for her unapologetic depiction of intimacy (or lack thereof) from the female POV, what she believes constitutes a “good” sex scene in lit. “I like scenes that don’t begin at the beginning and end at the traditional end: the man’s orgasm,” she told us. “I prefer scenes that begin in the middle, or skip around like a record or end with the female orgasm. Maybe the woman comes and we don’t get to hear the rest of it.” So, how do you write “good” sex? She offered up this tip: “Sex in fiction should never read like the scene between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, for a thousand different reasons. There is no blue light in real sex unless you live across from a neon sign, like the character in Fame.” So, dear readers, if you’re looking for some real, un-tinted sex, click through Sohn’s recommendations, and see what lies behind the seemingly perfect exteriors of Brooklyn’s most prized parenting demographic once more in Motherland (which, full disclosure, we weren’t able to put down).
Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
“Hot, funny, dirty, provocative, and feminist, it’s also a one-handed read. Special fun for those with a fetish for redheaded Australians.”