Sex + Dating

Erotica That Will Legitimately Make Your Sex Life Better

I'm not going to pretend that I'm some literary savant, far too educated to enjoy a little written sex scene. Erotica is the best. Rarely is this kind of sex-infused lit Pulitzer-worthy; but if you accept it for what it is -- entertaining and often pretty hot -- it can be extremely fun and sexy to read.

There's no shame in being into it. Not just because it's hot, either -- sexy stories can also make your sex life better. No one said erotica had to be a solo activity.

There is erotica for everyone. From BDSM to more vanilla passions, you can always find something that will turn you on. Plus, you're getting some reading in on top of getting amped up. What a bargain. The genre isn't limited to books, either -- those of you with shorter attention spans can find all kinds of erotic fiction and nonfiction in magazines and all over the internet. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Crossfire series (Sylvia Day)

I will stand by the Crossfire series until my dying day. Think Fifty Shades, only well-written. You will NOT be able to put them down. I suggest saving yourself the trouble and buying all four at once. I don't get easily sucked in (pun intended), but Sylvia Day will spin you into her web and never let you go.

The stories are four books of pure sexual seduction (and some dom/sub/murder-mystery plot you'll only half-care about). Gideon Cross, YOU ARE THE HOTTEST.

Cosmo's Sexy Stories: Vol. I

Cosmo has these amazing curated stories from contributors. I remember buying the magazine when I was in middle school just to catch the "Red Hot Reads" in the very back. I was a very horny 12-year-old. I have no clue why my mom let me do that.

These stories are actually really amazing. You can download the whole volume here. There's great variety in the types of stories and scenes you'll get, and the words "thrust" and "throbbing member" are used a lot more than one would expect. These snackable stories are pretty tame in the sense that you won't get any serious BDSM or threesomes; so they're perfect for erotica newbies.

Here is one you can read for free. And here's another one.

VivaXO

VivaXO is about as good (read: classy) as it gets online. It's a well-designed website as far as erotica goes, and isn't covered in pornographic adds. If you've got a laptop, the site is pretty SFW.

There's a new one on here I have bookmarked for later called "Lilacs and Pussy" and I'm at once terrified and excited to read it. That's the thing about erotica: it can be so bad, and yet so good. You just have to let yourself enjoy the moment guilt-free.

Forever... (Judy Blume)

Forever... was basically the first thing I ever read and thought, "I guess it's time to masturbate." It's for teenagers, but the sex scenes are pretty intense. And because it's Judy Blume, the story is actually really good too. It's the perfect narrative to encapsulate how we all felt about our first love. And our first orgasms.

The Story of O (Pauline Réage, aka Anne Desclos)

The Story of O makes Fifty Shades look like a picture book for children. If you want some really intense BDSM, this is going to be your jam. The submissive acts O goes through make Anna from Fifty look like a wimp. My favorite part of the book (and also the most traumatizing) is when O undergoes an "anus widening" so that her master can enter her ass more easily. Yeah. Heavy shit.

Aqua (Mary Anne Mohanraj)

I don't even know who gave me this book, but it's one of my favorites. It's meant to be taken into the bath with you and is even waterproof. All 18 stories are super different and sexy AF.

My personal favorites are the one about the married couple who winds up having all kinds of threesomes and foursomes at hot-tub parties and the VERY dirty version of The Little Mermaid. I like to read them out loud to my boyfriend when we're in the tub. It's the BEST.

Alt.Sex.Stories

This site is janky as hell, but it actually has some good stuff, if you don't mind browsing. Click through the "most recents" column. You might find some stories that are awful, but I always manage to find one that's fire.

The Awakening (Kate Chopin)

First published in 1899, this book is one giant volume of blue balls. It follows Edna, a bored housewife who is unsatisfied with her marriage. She finds herself overtaken by this hot, young dude and goes for it. There is so much innuendo and the sex is only ever alluded to. It is HOT.

In case you missed this mandatory reading in high school, spoiler alert: it gets pretty dark in the end, so if you're trying to keep it strictly sexual, skip the last scene.

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Gigi is Thrillist's Sex and Dating staff writer. She reads or has read everything on this list so, you should trust her. Follow her lovable crazy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @GigiEngle.