By Kimberly Dawn Neumann
From House of Holes to Sex Toys 101, these racy reads just might make your nightstand blush!
Guide to Getting it OnGuide to Getting It On
By Paul Joannides (Goofy Foot Press, 2009)
So good, they published it six times! Also known as, the "Boinking Bible," this 1,000-page book covers everything and we mean everything you have ever wanted to know about sex. Playful comic-book style illustrations (of naked people doing it) give this tongue-in-cheek -- or should we say "tongue in all kinds of naughty places" -- yet seriously educational book the right non-threatening flavor. You'll find yourself reading chapters like "Kinky Corner," "Nipples, Nipples, Nipples," "Fun with Your Foreskin," and "Clean Jeans, Tight Jeans & Shaving Down Below" and feel like you're in Sex Ed again. Guide to Getting it On! is one of those books that you wish someone had given you at age 18 to explain things... but you can still use today. Think of it as the encyclopedia of sex. Now, where's your naughty professor?
House of Holes
By Nicolson Baker (Simon & Schuster, 2011)
From the looks of its inconspicuous cover, it's hard to tell what this book is about save the fine print that reads (very honestly), "book of raunch." Baker, author of such previous works as The Fermata and Vox -- the book that Monica Lewinsky gave Bill Clinton which recounts a single, highly inventive phone sex conversation -- is becoming a talked about novelist so you can blame the Book Review for your indulgence in a little…okay, a whole lotta erotica. Some are calling this 262 page romp Baker's dirtiest work yet (which is funny because the author looks a little like Santa). House of Holes is a series of loosely linked stories set in a sexual theme park where rides include "Masturboats" and characters can visit the "Porndecahedron," a 12-screen planetarium showing nonstop adult films. And those are just the tame attractions at this twisted "happiest place on earth." Warning: Guests with heart, neck or back problems should not ride!
Sugar in my Bowl: real Women Write about Real Sex
Edited by Erica Jong (Harper Collins, 2011)
When it comes to sex, what DO women want?
Expertly edited by Erica Jong -- best known for her breakthrough novel Fear of Flying and writings on women's sexual expression -- this collection of honest essays and stories chronicles every female sexual experience from one-night stands to lovin' as an octogenarian (that's anybody aged 80-89). The title, taken from a blues song made famous by Bessie Smith and Nina Simone, tasks its 26 contributors -- among whom are the likes of Eve Ensler, Gail Collins, Fay Weldon and more -- with the exploration of sex and desire from all different positions (in life and in bed). "Too often people aren't comfortable talking about their sex lives but when they can read about the sex lives of others and see that they are experiencing similar things, it's a huge relief," says Joel D. Block, M.D. a psychologist and sex therapist. Whether you're craving sex, missing sex, having sex or thinking about sex, Sugar in my Bowl will be eye candy on your nightstand, offer inspiration and provide other-chicks-understand camaraderie for your soul.
Dead Until Dark
By Charlaine Harris (Ace Books, 2002)
What can get hotter than a telepathic Southern waitress (who also happens to be a fairy) having her way with a sexy vampire and a smokin' werewolf? Dead Until Dark is the first of the Sookie Stackhouse books that spawned the HBO series "True Blood" -- where this season's mantra seemed to be "all naked, all the time." The raunchiness of these books is one of the few things the TV series stays true to. And for good reason. "People get turned on by the idea of otherworldly creatures having their way with them because there is sort of this 'Well, it was out of my control... I was compelled to do it' fantasy that lets them feel sexually free," says Dr. Block. You'll see what she means when you get to a love scene -- they are the perfect blend of steamy, dirty and a little bit undead.
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue
By Stephanie Laurens (HarperCollins/Avon, 2011)
This romantic read is chock full of gorgeous damsels and devastatingly handsome but complicated heroes engaged in all kinds of titillating sexual tension and swashbuckling. Even more amazing? It's filth for a cause! Avon will donate 25 cents from the sale of each book with a K.I.S.S. and Teal logo, sold between August 30, 2011 and February 28, 2012, to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. The author -- who before becoming a bestselling romance author was a biochemist focused particularly on finding a cure for ovarian cancer -- describes the book as "Errol Flynn rescues Jane Austen in the wilds of Scotland." Be prepared to be whisked into a world of racy soirees and sexy kidnappers.
Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm
By Nicole Daedone (Hachette/Grand Central & Lifestyle, 2011)
Put on the brakes. Time to slow down, tune in and experience a deeper sexual connection during sex.
For more than a decade, author Nicole Daedone has been leading the "slow sex" revolution, which is dedicated to the art and craft of the female orgasm (any woman knows, it really is an art).
Slow Sex is chock full of "exercises" that you can try (in other words, field study is encouraged). It also includes a 10-day step-by-step Orgasmic Meditation (OM) starter program. But beyond just helping you develop a skill set for enhanced pleasure, this book also manages to be simultaneously spiritual, raunchy and occasionally poetic -- come to think of it, sounds like the description of a perfect orgasm! Thousands of people have attended her workshops, and now you too can learn her unique technique for OM. "Orgasm is the body's ability to receive and respond to pleasure," says Daedone. She claims that in just 15 minutes, you too can join the orgasmic revolution.
Sex Toys 101: A Playfully Uninhibited Guide
By Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
Ever find yourself saying "You want me to put that where?" Then check out this incredibly authoritative, yet unintimidating manual on how to shop for the right toys and use them for maximum pleasure (for you and for your partner). The addition of Sex Toys 101 to your nightstand is a great conversation starter if you've been wishing to spice up your sex life with a little play thing. "Sometimes people feel intimidated to bring outside elements into their sex play but it can really mix things up... so a book that can help demystify the vibrator and then some is not a bad idea!" says Dr. Block. Sex Toys 101 tells you everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about sex toys, from vibrators to lubricants to blindfolds to paddles to well…okay, we're stopping now…but they don't.
Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel
By Walter Mosley (Bloomsbury, 2008)
Known primarily for his crime novels, Walter Mosley ventured into what he calls "sexistentialism" with this highly erotic book. A thinking person's exploration of the deeper recesses of sexuality, Killing Johnny Fry is written in the first person, from a male perspective. This gives you, the female reader, insight into a world of male fantasy to which femmes are not usually privy. While the story contains some of the most explicit sex scenes written by an established American author since Henry Miller and Philip Roth, it is also a legitimately good story. NOT for the modest or easily shocked, this book explores the thin line between the ordinary and proclivities less traveled (like S&M) and will pretty much turn on any guy who sees it on your nightstand.
"Some people may consider this porn, but if porn is as well written and thoughtful as this story, I'm a fan!" says Dr. Block. "Mosley's daring story is erotica for those not of a faint heart... he is on my very short list of favorite writers."
Lady Chatterly's Lover
By D. H. Lawrence (Various publishers)
If you're looking for a scandalous "classic" to add to your now raunchy collection, this would be it. First published in 1928, but then immediately banned in the U.S. and U.K. until the 1960s (with subsequent obscenity trials that established legal precedents for literature still in effect today), Lady Chatterly's Lover was one of the first novels to bust open the subject matter of sexual frustration. This Victorian love story -- once deemed vulgar because of its use of, what were at the time, "unprintable words" -- is about an adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the game keeper who works for the estate owned by her wheel-chaired husband (sounds like an episode of "Desperate Housewives" right?). It's undoubtedly one of Lawrence's best known works, and a classic that changed the face of literature.
The Sleeping Beauty Novels
By A. N. Roquelaure (aka Ann Rice) (Penguin/Plume, 1999)
Far from the version you would read your kids, this hardcore trilogy -- which includes The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty's Release and Beauty's Punishment -- was actually written by Ann Rice under the nom de plume, A. N. Roquelaure (first published almost 30 years ago). Out to prove that anything men could pen, women could write better, Rice ended up popping out this masterful sexually raunchy series. If you thought her The Vampire LeStat stuff was dark, you're in for a shock with what she does with her Sleeping Beauty (hint, it was not a sweet kiss that awakened her from her deep slumber). This is definitely more Grimm than Disney, and about as close to classic, dark erotica as you'll find.
For other ideas on how to sexy up your bedside reading list, check out the raunchy books recommended by our community and join the conversation.
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