Read me your erotica

Sex. Just the word, one word, can physically alter a state. Eyes squint, tongues moisten, lips swell, and skin trembles.

And that’s just one word to describe the act that’s on our minds several times a day (or all day). Imagine what pages of words can do. Pages and pages. All describing, outlining, drawing, and mapping desire, lust, and love.

Books like 50 Shades of Grey may have brought erotica into the modern mainstream but the genre has been turning people on since the reign of the Greek gods. Sappho, a poet in the 500s BC, wrote lyrical lines of lesbianism and Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland, published in 1748, was the first pornography written as a novel.

Here’s some more erotic books all libidinous souls should have under their belts:

1. Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

“When she closed her eyes she felt he had many hands, which touched her everywhere, and many mouths, which passed so swiftly over her, and with a wolflike sharpness, his teeth sank into her fleshiest parts. Naked now, he lay his full length over her. She enjoyed his weight on her, enjoyed being crushed under his body. She wanted him soldered to her, from mouth to feet. Shivers passed through her body.”

2. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure (aka Anne Rice – yes, that one)

“Just the two of us in my bedchamber, where I should envelop her naked soul in rituals and ordeals beyond our past experiences, our dreams. No one to save her from me. No one to save me from her.”

3. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

“Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to the same thing.”

4. Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl by Brooke Magnanti

“Why fantasize about what you already experience? I go to the written word for places and faces that I don’t get at home. Hot people in hot climates. Sex acts I can hardly imagine. Porn is about the unachievable … and, therefore, the inherently desirable.”

5. Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane DiPrima

“There are as many kinds of kisses as there are people on the earth, as there are permutations and combinations of those people.”

Forget your discrete eReaders, we dare you to read these in paperback form. And even better, find someone to read them to.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider