It’s getting cold out there, and though there are a few ways of keeping warm, one which most people don’t talk about is reading a steamy book. But it can be hard to choose the right one. Most people want a book that doesn’t carry the shame of the E.L. James cover or the — let’s face it — often terrible quality of the writing of most erotica online. We sympathize with people who don’t want to read straight-up pornography, at least not always, and who like a little wordplay in their sex. 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. Let’s hope the next century provides us with wider variety in our smut.
Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin
Plot, if any: More short stories than a whole novel. Nudes posing for artists, etc.
Teaser quote: “I would tell him how he almost made us lose interest in passion by his obsession with the gestures empty of their emotions, and how we reviled him, because he almost caused us to take vows of chastity, because what he wanted us to exclude was our own aphrodisiac — poetry.”