Summer is fast approaching, and soon people will spend their days basking under the warm sun with hot-blooded daydreams of romance and not-so-innocent trysts.
Summer exudes eroticism, and in the upcoming months, our libidos will soon be calling out to us.
The landscape of adult reading has changed, and books like 50 Shades of Grey have paved the way for some of the best sex-positive books to get the exposure they deserve.
Don’t worry if your bookshelf gets more action than your bedpost. We’ve compiled 10 of the best erotic books to keep you occupied this summer.
1. Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex And Love – Zane
The best sex-positive books come from a place of honesty, openness, and humour. Zane’s guide to modern love and sex encourages you to unzip your insecurities, as well as your clothes!
A New York Times bestselling author, Zane delivers raw honesty, covering a broad range of sex topics in her own unique way.
Dear G-Spot is an erotic book full of actual letters written to the ‘Queen of Erotica’ from people in search of sex advice. This uninhibited book places emphasis on the importance of being comfortable in your own skin.
The real beauty of this book is in how every funny, and relatable story facilitates an open and honest approach to sexual communication.
2. These Queer Merboys – Serge Neptune
Serge Neptune’s debut poetry pamphlet brings resplendent wordplay to the forefront of gay erotic poetry.
Neptune’s writing warns us of the dangers of infatuation, and how love is as calloused and fickle as the thumping waves against the ocean’s jagged rocks.
With titles like ‘Last Time My Lover Came Inside Me’ and ‘A Queerness of Mermen’, Neptune dissects the very nature of love.
Amid the soft, gay erotic poetry is a stark warning to those of us who follow our hearts too hastily and succumb to the pull of the ocean’s mighty song.
Throughout the collection’s eroticism lies a tragic sting in this poetic tale thanks to Serge’s bittersweet musings on whether a Merman will find a true human connection in that vast body of water.
We can only hope he does.
3. NAKED – Gina Gordon
Withdrawn from the world after a traumatic car accident, Violet Walker tries to learn to love herself again and finds distraction in spying on Noah, the sexy, shirtless construction worker next door.
When he catches her in the act, Noah finds himself drawn to Violet, and encourages her to view herself as the beautiful woman he sees.
Adult fiction should be fun, and this hunk-centric erotic book sweats up a storm with its romantic, and easy-to-read story.
While the characters are archetypal, they expose the reader to the joys of finding love after a traumatic experience. Naked in every sense of the word, this steamy piece of erotica is a journey of self-love and sensuality.
4. Sunstone – Stjepan Šejić, Linda Lukšić Šejić
Erotic graphic novels are an immersive reading experience, and the perfect mix of image and story to keep you company on hot, restless nights.
Sunstone is a lesbian erotica comic series that focuses on Ally and Lisa, as they navigate the world around them and explore BDSM erotica.
They begin to fall in love, pushing their ‘friends with benefits’ relationship to the limit. While the BDSM eroticism stays saucy, their internal feelings become more insecure.
BDSM erotica is a difficult subject to write about, but the characters in Sandstone are strong enough to keep readers engaged. It’s a love story, after all, it just happens to be about lesbian erotica.
These erotic graphic novels have introspective characters in a deceptively sweet erotic story.
5. What Belongs To You – Garth Greenwell
The debut adult fiction novel from Garth Greenwell is a gay erotica story that packs an emotional punch.
Our narrator is an American ex-pat teaching in Bulgaria, who solicits sex from a young hustler named Mitko in a public bathroom.
The narrator’s insatiable appetite for sex to suppress his loneliness leads him into an uneasy relationship with Mitko.
Few erotic books can pull you into a world like Greenwell’s prose can. Lust permeates through the city, as our narrator seeks solace in a post-soviet city.
The emotional hangover of trying to quench sexual hunger might not sound like the kind of gay erotica you’d want on your summer reading list. But this world of mistrust makes the sexual encounters feel immediate and furiously passionate.
6. Aubade After A French Movie – Zoë Brigley
If you’re looking for erotic poetry with a powerful legacy behind it, ‘Aubade After A French Movie’ is something of a masterpiece. This sex-positive poetry pamphlet brings Medieval Welsh Poet Gwerful Mechain into the modern era.
Rebellious books belong on your erotic poetry shelf, and Zoë Brigley evokes the spirit of her medieval counterpart into her own work.
This striking collection honours where erotic poetry has been, and gives us an exciting look into where it’s going.
7. Backstage Pass – Olivia Cunning
Myrna Evans is a sex psychologist who embarks on a whirlwind tour with rock group ‘The Sinners’ to better understand groupie behaviour.
It’s not long before every member of the band has put the moves on her, but Myrna only has eyes for the group’s enigmatic lead guitarist.
Backstage Pass is the first book in the ‘Sinners On Tour’ series which shows us the antics of a rock band amid the backdrop of loud guitars, and high sex drives.
Myrna soon becomes the new muse of Sinners’ guitarist Brian Sinclair, inspiring him to write more songs than ever before.
Erotic book lovers with a penchant for piercings, tattoos, and loud music will love Backstage Pass. Get your rocks off to this provocative duet of rock and raw sexual magnetism.
8. Bad Behavior – Mary Gaitskill
One of the short stories in this collection inspired the erotic film Secretary, and focus mainly on sexual escapades in 1980s New York.
The brutally honest style of Gaitskill may not be for everyone, but if you’re enticed by the darker side of a big city, then Bad Behavior could fast become one of your favourite go-to books.
Urban life and sexual status play a big part in her tales of depression and sex workers navigating a large and cruel city.
However, this isn’t a sordid collection of one-dimensional characters. The danger of its stories entices the reader to feel every character’s heartbeat.
9. Kink: Stories – R.O. Kwon, Garth Greenwell
This erotic book anthology explores the deepest sexual desires of its authors. In a series of short stories, writers like Roxane Gay, Larissa Pham and Alexander Chee explore the sexual spectrum with aplomb.
Equal parts bold and brilliant, each story brings the reader on an erotic journey of whips, chain, true love and underground sex clubs.
It’s refreshing to find an erotic book that changes settings and situations. The punchy nature of the writing gives the reader a quick burst of sensual prose before moving on to another time and place.
10. Dark Lover – J.R. Ward
What erotic book list would be complete without a vampire novel?
In Dark Lover, the last purebred vampire warrior alive visits the bedroom of Beth Randall. Shaken at first, Beth finds herself drawn to him, unable to resist the charms of this mysterious visitor.
His whisperings of a dark brotherhood and bloodlust turn her life upside down and send shivers down her spine. And yet, there’s something inside her that begins to ache.
Half afraid, and half lustful for the tall dark stranger who visits her at night, Beth begins to embrace a side of herself she never knew existed.
This fun and inventive series will keep fantasy readers satisfied and excited.
Books like 50 Shades of Grey may have helped you discover adult fiction, but a good erotic book is like a sweet summer fruit.
So if your sensual summer fling doesn’t happen, the soft wordplay of these books is sure to leave its juices running down your chin.