Want a little help in easing into a hot and sexy mind set or just looking for some juicy literature to read with your partner? Slipping between the pages of edgy erotica or sensual sonnets could be just the thing you are looking for! Getting your hands on some steamy erotic stories can lead to a pleasure-filled evening for a solo read or bring on some spicy inspiration for sexy play time with your partner.
But with so much erotica out there, where does one even begin? I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite erotic authors and books below to get you started in textual explorations. Go forth, my sexy explorers, and see what type of erotica turns you on!
#1 Keep the Roses, Give me the Thorns – Kinky AF Erotica
As a longtime kinkster, I’m definitely partial to erotica with a bite to it. One of my favorite erotica novels, which submerges the reader into San Francisco’s notorious queer leather scene of the 1990s full of gender fuckery and dark alleys, is the classic – Leather Daddy and the Femme written by sexologist Carol Queen.
Equally arousing is Carrie’s Story written by Molly Weatherfield. When finding kinky erotica that turns me on, a must have is a strong submissive protagonist that is intelligent, grounded in her own sexual pleasure, and relatable. Carrie’s Story provides just that. The reader is brought into fantastical worlds of submissive training regimes and human “ponies” preening for dressage competitions. If you enjoy Carrie’s Story, you will swoon over the continuation of this story of sexual pleasure in Safe Word.
Or maybe you have a penchant for the darker realms of the kinky fantasy where erotica, thrillers and horror have a mangled menage-trois, like J.G. Ballard’s 1973 classic, Crash, in which the protagonist, Vaughan, experiments with erotic atrocities among auto crash victims.
As someone with a bonafide fear of cars (and driving), Ballard’s novel has always been a supercharged form of titillation for me, while also striking me with absolute fear.
If that adrenaline rush of horror meets sexy times gets your engine revving, you might also want to check out Clive Barker’s Tonight, Again which jumps in and out of erotica as much as it does horror.
#2 – Anthologies – Potpourri of Perversions
Erotica anthologies and collections of short stories can be radically fulfilling when you just want a spicy quickie. Cleis Press is an erotica publisher best known for their epic annual anthologies like Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year or Afternoon Delight: Erotica for Couples.
One of my favorite collections that I consistently return to is Bottoms Up, edited by Diana Cage and featuring a bevy of super star wordsmiths like Michelle Tea, Eileen Myles, and Patrick Califia. This collection of writing is like a time capsule of queer sex and desire from the early aughts that leaves me feeling both nostalgic and turned on all at the same time.
#3 Prose for Hoes
It’s hard for poetry to not get me all turned on even when the poetry isn’t about sex! When reading poetry, the words trip off your tongue in this beautiful lyrical way. The text yearns to be read out loud. The sensual, yet taboo subject matter and language of Anais Nin or the gritty visceral sexuality of Charles Bukowski’s full bodied prose each craft their own boudoir of seduction in very different, yet similar, ways. Each poet allows us into the intimacy of their seduction, a private dance with their inner landscape.
One such poet that seduced me with her pastoral poetry was Arielle Greenberg in her collection of poetry entitled I live in the country and Other Dirty Poems. Greenberg hauls out what has previously been stored under dark counters and labeled deviant — kink, fetish, and bondage — and moves it into the sunshine of sex-positivity and mutual consent.
#4 Because Sometimes Fact is Kinkier than Fiction
If you are looking for a non-fiction sexual adventure, you can always pick up a memoir like porn star Asa Akira’s Dirty Thirty or multi-hyphenate erotic adventurer Stoya’s Philosophy, Pussycats, and Porn, or perhaps you’ll even want to pluck my memoir Daddy off of the book shelf at your local bookstore and follows my underground erotic adventures through the feminist porn scene, queer bars, and San Francisco kink community as I search for a leather daddy.
#5 – Let’s Get Graphic
Confession time. My first foray into the alluring world of erotica as a teen was Cat Woman comics. It’s true. That latex clad villainess had me utterly seduced. My love for comics and graphic novels has only grown over the years.
If you prefer your erotic narratives laid out one panel at a time and accompanied with bad ass illustrations, you will want to check out SFSX (Safe Sex) Volumes 1 and 2 created by notorious kink writer Tina Horn. SFSX ushers us into a world where a group of radical queer sex workers use their unique talents for bondage and seduction to infiltrate the mysterious government Pleasure Center, free their incarcerated friends, and fight the power.
#6 Aural Sex: The Seductive Sounds of Audio Erotica
We all know the power of a good erotic story and a seductive voice. New sex tech companies like Quinn and Dipsea are providing just that. Stories range from full on teleplays played out by voice actors on Dipsea to more intimate stories in which the storyteller is speaking directly to the listener on Quinn. Stories are diverse in their narratives, fetishes, and the gender identities of the folks reading the stories, spanning a range from kink to cuddles.
#7 – Queer AF – Queer, Transgender, and Non-Binary Representation in Erotica
As a queer book nerd, many of the books, including erotica, that I gravitate towards center around queer, transgender, and non-binary characters.
The Marketplace – arguably one of the best erotica fiction series ever written – centers around, Chris, a queer kinky trans-masculine trainer for a BDSM academy. It’s fucking HOT and intense! The relationships, the characters, the sex – it’s all mind-blowing.
Author of the series, Laura Antoniou, envelops you deep into the kinky world that she has built with such incredible detail that it is no surprise that Antoniou is a part of the community that she writes about.
This kind of representation matters. It’s radically affirming to see ourselves, and our gender expression and identity reflected in the stories that we are reading.
Luckily there are brilliant editors and publishers that also recognize the importance of bringing visibility to transgender and non-binary erotic experiences and narratives. Anthologies like Nerve Endings , Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, and Heckin Lewd : Trans and NonBinary Erotica provide a vast spectrum of hot steaming erotic stories from the voices of the transgender community.