If Fifty Shades of Grey proved anything, it's that flipping through several hundred pages of NSFW prose is fun and nothing to be embarrassed about. So, please come no pun intended with us into a whole new world of books with stunning sex. Erotica often gets labeled a "guilty pleasure," and while, I mean, yes—there are many campy books to read, some of which are on this list—there's also plenty of erotica that overlaps with genre and literary fiction. Some of these books have inspired Golden Globe-nominated shows, after all.
19 NSFW Sex Scenes From Romance Novels That Leave You Begging for More
15 Best Erotic Short Stories for Women by Women
This article appears in the March '17 issue of Esquire. Sex in fiction, like sex on a beach, ought to be a no-brainer. On the one hand, there's, well, sex, a source of mystifying pleasure and profundity that for most people rarely elicits any articulation other than a contented grunt, groan, or gasp. On the other hand, there's the novel, an artistic enterprise devoted to making verbal sense of mute experience.
The 15 Best Erotic Novels to Read Now
Unlike a lot of my sneering literary colleagues, I was excited to read Fifty Shades of Grey. A naughty novel that American women are going wild for? Sign me up! Imagine my tremendous disappointment, then, to discover that Fifty Shades of Grey didn't even have all that much transgressive sex in it, certainly not by erotica standards. If memory serves, it took about 80 or so pages of the least erotic blather around to even get to the first sex scene.