Lists of “literary” Erotica

The books listed below all fall into the broad ‘erotic’ category. There are no criteria for these except that I – and of course others – have found the writing both sexually arousing but also well written. For me, the prose of an erotic novel will preferably be evocative, clever, and sensual and, ideally, frank. In other words, stimulating on an intellectual level as well as a sexual one. There are two lists: those I have read and those I have not read but which have had recommended as aligning to the above criteria of, broadly, both written as literature  (ie with some artistic merit) and with erotic content.

Otherwise, they are given in no particular order. These books are from across the past four hundred plus years and some may have stood the test of time better than others. Some of them may be classed as ‘smut’, others as ‘literature’, but for me there should be at least some degree of overlap between the two. They do not meet all tastes!
Any additions to the general list, or comments on those listed, are very welcome.

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Erotic novels and other literature that I have read

The Secret Life of Catherine M. (2001), Catherine Millet

The Butcher (1995), Alina Reyes

Ada or Ador (1969) Vladimir Nabakov

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928/29) D.H. Lawrence

(The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous) Moll Flanders (1722) Daniel Defoe

Bad Behaviour (1989), Mary Gaitskill

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782) (Dangerous Liaisons) Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Lofting (2001), Alma Marceau

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (1983) Anne Rice as A. N. Roquelaure

Wetlands (2009), Charlotte Roche Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure – popularly known as Fanny Hill (1748), John Cleland

Tropic of Cancer (1934), Henry Miller

Delta of Venus(1977), Anaïs Nin

Little Birds (1979), Anaïs Nin

Histoire d’O – The Story of O (1954), Anne Desclos under the pen name Pauline Réage

The Lover – L’Amant (1984), Marguerite Duras

Three (2003), Julie Hilden

Monsieur (2012), Emma Becker

Auletris: Erotica (1950), Anaïs Nin

Tryst (2017), Monica Roffey

The Black Book (1938) Laurence Durrell

Nine and a Half Weeks (1978 – republished 2005), Elizabeth McNeill

Mud (2011) Michèle Roberts

The Lover (L’Amant) (1984) Marguerite Duras

Erotic books I have not read, but which have been recommended

Alenka: A Novel of Budapest (2015), Katerina Bukowski

Never: An Erotic Retelling of Peter Pan (2012), Elizbeta Brooke

Rapture (2003) , Suzanne Minot

An Almond for a Parrot (2017), Sally Gardner

Carrie’s Story (2002), Molly Weatherfield (Pam Rosenthal)

Sex Love Repeat (2015), Alessandra Torre

A Sport and a Pastime (1960) James Salter

The Fermata (1994) Nicholson Barker

Maidenhead (2012) Tamara Faith Berger

The Story of the Eye (1931), Georges Bataille (as ‘Lord Auch’)

The Dream Lover (2015), Elizabeth Berg

The Pretty Women of Paris (1999), Anonymous



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3 thoughts on “Lists of “literary” Erotica

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