Erotic Fiction – 10 Books If You Hated 50 Shades

Between shipped fan fiction as well as everyone and their mother being able to self-publish on Amazon, it’s sometimes hard to know if you’re going to get a book that isn’t just someone’s wet dream or a truly steamy read. Or, perhaps, you’re traumatized by the horrific prose and BDSM views in 50 Shades.

Either way, we’ve got you covered (pun intended).

Here are 10 works of erotic fiction – some old some new – that will light a fire under you. You might also recognize a few titles that have appeared in moves or on television.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

When a best-selling erotica writer and a reclusive, award-winning novelist cross paths at a New York City literary event, their chemistry is instantaneous…and only partially because the two had a steamy, weeklong affair 15 years earlier. Their reunion? Even hotter.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

If you thought the show was sexy, you have no idea what’s coming. The Outlander novels are about a time-traveling nurse who finds herself in 18th-century Scotland, where she falls for a Highlander. The catch? She’s definitely married and her husband is living in the future.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This swoon-worthy romance tells the story of Stella, an economist on the spectrum and the male escort she recruits to give her some sexual experience. Though Michael the escort attempts to keep his relationship with Stella as professional as possible, it isn’t long before these two start falling for each other.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

While now considered a masterpiece, this steamy love story—which revolves around an extramarital affair between an unhappy woman married to an aristocrat and a gamekeeper—was banned as pornography until 1960. Be sure to read it before it becomes a movie starring Emma Corrin.

Story of O by Pauline Réage

Published in 1954 by French author Anne Desclos under the pen name Pauline Réage, Story of O tells the story of a Parisian fashion photographer who wants nothing more than to bring sexual satisfaction to her lover, René.

Follow Me Darkly by Helen Hardt

This new series from Helen Hardt is like if  Fifty Shades of Grey got a much-needed face-lift. Assistant to a social media influencer, Skye Manning, meets a billionaire, Braden Black, and sparks fly! Both become enamored with each other as they experience something they’ve never felt before, but not all good things last forever. 

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice

Anne Rice, the woman who gifted us Interview with the Vampire, also wrote The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, a three-book series that’s pretty much the same as the beloved fairy tale only with tons of sex. Read with a 2020 lens, some of the themes are a bit problematic—but in the words of Rice, “The books aren’t about literal cruelty; they’re about surrender, the fun of imagining you have no choice but to enjoy sex. Beauty’s slavery is delicious, sensuous, abandoned, and ultimately liberating.”

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Best-selling author Sylvia Day’s series takes you through a complicated web of 20-something Eva Tramell and billionaire Gideon Cross’ love lives. Their relationship begins as an “office” romance—they work in the same building—and develops into an emotional roller coaster as both characters deal with past sexual abuse and secrets they’ve buried.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

To quote Roxane Gay’s blurb, this book truly is as charming as it is sexy. And not just because of the scorching bedroom scenes, but because of the nuance with which the love story—between a black woman and white man who meet in an elevator—is told

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Call Me by Your Name is so much more than an “erotic novel” (though there’s plenty of eroticism). It’s a coming-of-age story filled with beautiful prose and, more than that, it’s a reflection on the all-consuming power of love and attraction. The movie is great, but the book is a masterpiece.

Anything else you want to add? Share in the comments!

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