Erotica Book Buyer’s Guide

Because You’d Never Come Up With That Idea By Yourself.

Reading is fundamental, remember the posters from elementary school? Our teachers tried so hard to get us to love books and reading, but all they had to do was throw us some erotica and we would have probably paid more attention. The content in a good erotica book is unlike anything else you’ll find on the shelves, and that’s likely the reason behind the genre’s incredible rise to fame over the last couple years. Well-known, expertly penned books like “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Vox” have put pure erotic literature on the map once and for all. Thanks to our inevitable social acceptance of this relatively normal form of self-expression, the average reader can now be whisked away into a sexually-charged wonderland filled with all sorts of kinky situations while never even lifting a finger (other than to turn the page). Oh what a time to be alive.

Erotica books are changing the face of normal sexual interaction, especially as it pertains to the relationship between willing partners (both near and far). The reader and/or his/her location may change, but the words of the story remain the same – delicately detailed to depict delectable doings, allowing for a better, stronger connection between readers, fans and lovers alike. If the book is written well, it becomes a staple in modern-day bedrooms and could even be turned into a blockbuster. But to get that kind of bang from the erotica book you choose, a little education on the matter is always necessary.

What Is an Erotica Book?

As simply as I can possibly make it, an erotica book is just a work of creative literature that’s designed to inspire sexual arousal through suggestive and/or blatant depictions of sex encounters and acts. Erotica, like any other form of art, deals with a specific subject matter. The only difference is that the subject matter in erotica is generally crafted to stimulate an instant carnal response. Often compared to pornography, erotica is nowhere near the same thing when examined objectively. In fact, erotica books typically require a certain degree of imagination from the reader, while straight-up pornography uses unabashed visual stimuli to encourage the same physical/emotional response without the need for mental clarification.

Erotic literature has been a part of our society for a very long time. Ancient cultures used to view sexuality in a much different way than we do today in the Western world, so the presence of globally-inspired erotica is not surprising. Now found in various forms all over the world, erotica can include everything from painting and sculpture to drama, film and music. Erotic literature and photography, on the other hand, have become genres of their own over the last few decades. With an influx in readability due to relaxed literary standards and decreased censoring, today’s erotica books are being turned into major motion pictures that gain a following of millions.

In fact, one of the biggest grossing films of all time was just recently created and the plot was centered on sexuality, BDSM, and orgasmic release through nontraditional means. Having swiftly normalized erotica in the public’s eye, that film (and many films like it) have done their part to launch our society into sexual overdrive. Erotica books are now sold almost everywhere, from grocery stores and specialty shops to online marketplaces and through private memberships. Likened to smut magazines like Playboy and Easyriders, well-balanced erotica books often combine literature with still-motion photography and/or illustrations to draw a person’s inner freak from its hiding place. The most glaring difference: Smut books have a lengthy storyline that can be enjoyed several times, while pornographic magazines only offer short blurbs that are “one-and-done.”

Why an Erotica Book Though?

No longer seen as a kinky taboo reserved for desperate housewives in unsatisfying marriages, erotica literature has become relatively mainstream and is thus more intuitive than ever before. By harnessing the familiarity of common human behaviors and by vicariously satisfying our collective sexual desires, well-written erotica books have the power to transform a person’s sex life, if not their outlook of human sexuality altogether. And unlike pornographic films that usually have to be enjoyed from start to finish in one sitting, erotica books can be digested in small bites – each of which is equally as satisfying as the last.

Interestingly, the convenience I just mentioned is the least common reason why people enjoy erotica literature. Here are the top # (for now):

  • Erotica Books Can Inspire (or Re-Inspire) Passion

When things have stalled out in the bedroom, it can be difficult to reignite the flames of passion. It can also be tough to inspire the right kind of passion in a new or underdeveloped relationship. Erotica books provide the stimuli required to pull it off, especially if the words are read aloud with your partner or enjoyed in private alongside some gentle masturbation (using a high-end sex toy, of course). Meanwhile, the plots of erotic books are almost always designed to make each situation seem as pleasurable as possible while also answering the questions of the curious and cautious.

  • Erotica Books Give You/Your Partner Ideas 

Feeling intense sexual attraction to someone can be overwhelming to the senses, making it virtually impossible to come up with creative ways of expressing yourself in the sack. Stay on pause for too long and your sexual paralysis could be misconstrued as complacency. Erotica books are made to provide the reader with the inspiration and motivation to act on their sexual impulses, whether that be in a conventional or nonconventional way. Through the storyline and its supporting details, the reader not only gains insight on how potential situations might play out but the reader also gains the confidence to “get ‘er done.”

  • Erotica Books Can Satisfy Your Curiosities in Private 

We all have secrets we don’t want to share, sexual appetites we’re afraid to mention, fantasies we’re not allowed to act out in real life. Being bogged down by those curiosities is a heavy burden that can lead to all sorts of problems including irresponsible behaviors and sexual malfunction. Erotica authors know what people want and need to hear, even if those people don’t come out and admit their nasty kinks. By enjoying erotica books, you basically allow yourself the freedoms of imagination without suffering the ramifications of reality and who wouldn’t want that?

  • Erotica Books Are an Alternative to Pornography 

Looking for a new way to get in the mood before you have sex or masturbate? Erotica books often combine the complexities of pornographic storylines with longevity, intense descriptiveness, and relative customization. What do I mean by that? Erotic literature takes you on the same sexy ride as pornography while allowing you to thicken to plot at your leisure, go at your own pace, and structure the encounter in any way you deem suitable. Not satisfied with how to last chapter ended? Continue on for a shot at redemption – a perk not available with video or photographic porn. And by the way, good erotica isn’t just an alternative to porn either; it can play a supporting role as well if you use it right.

Keep in mind that today’s erotica books are not the corny love stories your mama used to read in the kitchen while your dad was at work. The modern erotica selection includes sophisticated plotlines and penetrating details that can make even the kinkiest among us feel like a virgin school girl. And since pornography is starting to get such a bad reputation in our current social climate, erotica books may soon become the only thing we have to satisfy our sexual thirsts and curiosities. It looks like we need to start supporting our erotica authors a little more, especially if they’ll be our saving grace some day.

The Top 5 Ways to Tell If That Erotica Book Is Worth It or Not

Choosing a good erotica book is a lot like shopping for a new car: Many of them look the same, but it’s what’s under the hood that matters most. Unfortunately, you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover and the descriptions on the back are made to remain vague and alluring – a dangerous combination that leads many readers down the wrong literary path. Several years of that, plus countless decades of terrible writing and insane censorship, has created a reputation around erotica that’s not only unfair but also unwarranted. To reverse the trend and give erotica literature the respect and admiration it deserves, we first have to know how to shop for the good stuff.

How will you enjoy that erotica book if you don’t look at or consider the following 5 things before spending any money on it:

  • The Author 

These days, erotica books are a dime a dozen because authors know that sex sells. Without putting much thought into it whatsoever, some writers publish sloppy stories that leave much to be desired – as opposed to reputable authors who leave your crotch hanging on the edge of its seat with their carefully formulated plots and sexually charged specifications that make you feel like you’re in the room with the characters. Good authors are hard to find, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It also doesn’t mean they have to have several works on their resume either. You’ll know a formidable author by his or her understanding of human sexuality. Do a little research on each writer just to check their credentials.

  • The Storyline 

It can be extremely difficult to determine the quality of the storyline in any work of literature, but erotica books are generally more mysterious than your mainstream counterpart. Not only is the author limited to the information that can be contained in the description, but many authors want to leave out certain details on purpose. However, it’s always possible to determine the content of the book you’re considering (the quality can be determined later by other means). Straight up, you don’t have to buy an erotica book about BDSM if you’re not into that kind of thing. There’s literally something out there for every sexual appetite under the sun.

  • The Page Count 

While many people view reading as a chore, erotica literature is far different than your average scholarly publication. Generally, it uses every sentence to excite the senses and keep the storyline flowing at a rapid pace. Therefore, even people who don’t necessarily enjoy reading will most likely find erotica books alluring and easy to get through. And because erotic literature is made to be used in a customizable, self-lead manner, it makes sense to buy a book with plenty of pages in it. After all, short books may be a quick read but they won’t give you and/or your partner all the benefits mentioned above if the story is too concise.

  • The Chapter Flow or Diversity 

Take a quick look at the Table of Contents in the erotica book you’re considering. Do the titles/subject matters of the chapters seem to flow together or has the author used mystery to keep your curiosity piqued? Does it look like each section will be about the same basic thing or has the author taken the characters on a wild ride through the sexual genre of your choice? A good book will be everything you wanted and more, opening your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and pleasures. It’s important for the literature in your hands to be on par with your expectations, so always read a sample of the book if you get a chance.

  • The Reader Reviews 

They say the best form of advertising is word-of-mouth, which is why taking a quick gander at a few reader reviews is such a good idea when shopping for erotica books. People love to give their opinion of goods and services, but erotica book reviewers are a special breed. Unafraid to “tell it like it is,” today’s erotica book reviews don’t just include thoughts and impressions on the storyline; they often include candid stories of their own about how the literature was incorporated into the reader’s sex life. This not only helps give readers a better idea of what they’re about to read but it also provides even more inspirational ideas to the curious.

Selecting an amazing erotica novel isn’t supposed to be easy because it’s a product that’s tailored to the individual more than most. On the other hand, a few buying guidelines never hurt anybody. But before we get into all that, let’s first go over the things you need to know about yourself (and/or your partner) if you truly want to get the most out of this purchase. Answer the following questions to determine which type of erotica book you should read:

  1. Your Reading Style – Are you someone who needs to be in a quiet, secluded room to enjoy a book or can you read it with things going on around you?
  2. Your Reading Speed – On average, how long does it take you to complete a 100-page book about a topic you enjoy?
  3. Your Sex Life – Does this book feature a storyline that talks about things you’re comfortable with in your current sex life or does it force you to rethink your boundaries?
  4. Your Sex Toy Collection – Do you have a few high-quality sex toys on deck just in case things get hot and heavy or you get inspired by the plot of the book?
  5. Your Budget – How will you pay for the toys, tools and experiences mentioned in the book if you become encouraged to try them at home?

Be honest and familiarize yourself with the realities of the fantasies you’re trying to create. Good erotica books have the power to put a spell on you and your partner, so be prepared for what comes next or things can get nasty with a quickness (in the worst possible way).

The Three Kings: My Favorite Erotica Books

I get it. Standing in the library or book store searching for a good erotica book isn’t exactly posh. Although this type of literature has become somewhat more mainstream in the last few decades, nobody wants to advertise their perverted nature to the world just to enjoy a kinky story. As a bookworm, I can tell from 40 paces when a work of literature is poorly-written. As a self-proclaimed pervert, I can also tell you that the following three books are exceptionally raunchy and perfectly suited for people just like me.

BEST OVERALL: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty: A Trilogy by Anne Rice (Writing as A. N. Roquelaure)

Critics say that the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by “Interview with the Vampire” author, Anne Rice, is the best erotica book since “Fifty Shades of Grey.” In her steamy book, “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty,” A.N. Roquelaure (Anne’s new alter ego), strips away any innocence that our favorite childhood princess used to have. Focusing on a familiar folklore, the protagonists in this story don’t wake Sleeping Beauty with a kiss. Instead, he rejuvenates her through a series of S&M-inspired sexual initiation courses. Wildly erotic and steeped in fantasy, this highly detailed erotica book takes your mind and body on a journey of epic proportions – the likes of which may leave you transformed forever.

Pro: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty” gives readers a fresh, fetish-based perspective on an old classic, making it a unique work of literature that just so happens to give you a boner.

Con: The setting may be a bit too far-fetched for readers who enjoy more realistic plotlines, prudes.

BEST HUMOR: Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister

Hilarious, down-to-earth and charming, Katie MacAlister’s perfectly developed protagonists exchange the kind of witty and appealing banter that we can all relate to. As an ideal erotica book for beginners, this sharp and edgy humorous tale is an enlightening work for bored bibliophiles as well. In “Men in Kilts,” the super loveable and realistic characters, Kathie and Iain, not only make the reader howl with laughter but they also entangle spectators in a full-blown love affair that includes romance, kink and everything in between – all set in an ancient Scottish castle belonging to the snarky ancestors of fine Mr. Iain himself. Laugh and get turned on at the same time while following these two lovebirds through funny, sexy relationship twists and turns that’ll make you fall in love with yourself, your partner, the characters and the author.

Pro: “Men in Kilts” is a light-hearted heavy-hitter that turns you into an instant fan of Katie MacAlister’s surprisingly versatile collection.

Con: Some people may lose their sexual arousal with this much laughter, poor souls.

BEST KINK: Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

This erotica book was originally a private work of commissioned art, but Nin took a unique approach to its creation by using a combination of literary and sexual sensibilities to make this a widely-received literary masterpiece. Reading “Delta of Venus” results in a singular experience, but each of the 15 different short stories within its pages is set in a one-of-a-kind world full of lush and imaginative detailing where the insatiable characters pluck, fuck and play their way to an insanely satisfying orgasm. In an effort to fully explore their sexuality in kinky ways, the protagonists assuage their desires unexpectedly, giving rise to some of the most exclusive experiences one can imagine. Certainly a piece for people who need new ideas in the bedroom, this book is also ideal for beginners who aren’t sure what kind of kink they enjoy.

Pro: The style of this book makes it extremely easy to enjoy in small, digestible bites by yourself or with a partner.

Con: Some of the stories end too abruptly and need to be turned into full-blown books of their own.

The End Game

Judging an erotica book by its cover is no Bueno. An author could have an amazing knack for writing but no connections for a good cover artist. Don’t sell yourself short by selecting a novel simply because it looks good on the outside. And don’t go with the herd either, even if the reader reviews say that the book you’re holding is the most amazing thing since slides bread. If it’s not what you’re looking for, put it down. The most important thing is that the erotica book you choose provides you and/or your partner with a safe and satisfying sexual experience (hopefully more than once). If that takes a 400-page fantasy novel about a knock-off Disney character getting her just desserts through sadism and masochism, then so be it. You didn’t write this stuff. You’d never think of something that good on your own.