How to choose written erotica

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Dear Sex Counselor,

There are so many erotic books out there...how do I choose some that are likely to be fun for me to read?


The erotic fiction we carry can be split into several categories.

First, there are compilations of short stories, written with specific erotic themes and content, including distinct plots and character development. We carry well-written collections that are often edited by women and feature stories that are intended to appeal to the readers’ minds and libidos.

For those of you looking for erotica that is more romantic and couple-oriented, we recommend the collections edited by Lonnie Barbach PhD, including Erotic Interludes, and The Erotic Edge: 22 Erotic Stories for Couples. These feature soft scenarios, with lots of erotic connection and closeness in addition to explicit sex scenes. We also recommend the erotica written by Anais Nin - poetic tales of lust, fulfillment and betrayal with the most excellent writing you’ll find in erotic fiction; take a look at Delta of Venus

Are you seeking well-written erotic stories, but want more adventurous tales of bisexual and heterosexual women? Go in the direction of the Best Women’s Erotica and the Best American Erotica collections. These feature women and men exploring a wide range of sexual experiences; group sex, sex with strangers, sex with other women, dominance & submission and lots of toy play. Story collections edited by Alison Tyler or Rachel Kramer Bussel are good examples of spicier erotic story collections, like Curvy Girls: Erotica for Women and Hide and Seek.

What if you want a longer story to give the sex scenes more context? There are lots of erotic novels available, some fairly well-written, and some clearly just written as vehicles for the erotic adventures of the heroine. We  particularly like the books by Emma Holly, including Cooking Up A Storm, and Menage. Some have dominance & submission themes, some are historical, and some are modern stories of daring and adventure.

If Dominance & Submission, Bondage, corsetry, and sensation play are your interests, there are lots of books, many quite well-written, that have these themes. Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy is a set of three novels that draw the reader into the awakening and sexual enslavement of Beauty.  The Story of O is a classic tale of one woman’s complete sexual submission, and it remains lyrical and entrancing in its storytelling. Many people tell us that it allowed them to admit a submissive side of themselves they had never before recognized.

Looking for lesbian or gay erotica? You’ll find mostly short story collections out there, especially if you want something that is well-written. For those who love the story of first lesbian or gay love & sex, Girl Crazy, Boy Crazy or  the Early Embraces series of books also presents these in yummy detail. If you want a lot of variety, with a bit of an edge, then the Best Lesbian Erotica or Best Gay Erotica will satisfy that craving. 

There is a wide world of erotic writing, and the best way to learn about it is to pick up a couple of different types of books and start reading. Hopefully you’ll find yourself tickled in more than one way. Then, when you know what you like, we can help you find more of the same.

The Sex Counselor