Pillow Talk

Erotic Tales

#2 What erotic books are in your library?

What a great question! There are too many to be honest. So I will limit myself to a short list of my top 10 books I would recommend. I may add to this list as time passes. 

1. Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, aka Fanny Hill by John Cleland
One of the best-known erotic classics. Naive little country-girl, Fanny, comes up to London, is corrupted into prostitution within hours, and loves it, of course. This was my first erotic novel. Read it in comic format first. My first and still my favorite.

2. Story of O by Pauline Reage
Love it still. This little gem was Anon for a long time, until it turned out to have been written by a highly educated, sophisticated French lady in a bid to keep her husband. Fairytale, sado-masochistic, beautifully written – not one for feminists I fear, though it’s just as much about female pleasure and desire as male – if not more so. Graham Greene said it was the only erotic novel worth reading.

3. Merlin by Robert Nye
In fact, all of Nye’s historical novels are to be highly recommended, for their bawdy verve and lascivious relish as well as their readability and colour. In Merlin, a creature is created who is supposed to be the anti-Christ: half-man, half-beast, and all-satyr. He sets about merrily corrupting cold, Christian Camelot into a pagan wonderland of sexual excess.

4. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Any Angela Carter, in fact, but this is one of my favourites. Lustful wolves, mysterious specks of blood, glass slippers and ice-maidens . . . Grimm’s Fairy Tales reshaped by a unique erotic imagination, so strange, beautiful and disturbing that they are neither dreams nor nightmares, but something in-between. Carter left an aching gap in the literary ranks. No one else can fill it.

5. Ars Amatoria by Ovid
Sexy, cynical little book that pissed off the Emperor Augustus so much that he had Ovid exiled for life to Tomis on the distant, desolate shores of the Black Sea. He was never allowed back. The Art of Love, is a handbook of seduction, a guide to female psychology and seductibility – metropolitan, knowing, street-smart, very funny, and unrelieved by any notion of romantic love. That came much later. Ovid is most himself when grumbling about the poet’s lot. “Girls praise a poem, but go for expensive presents. Any illiterate can catch their eye, provided he’s rich.”

6. London Journal by Boswell
Like Casanova’s Journals, a great social portrait of the period. There’s something breezily erotic in its bawdy energy, the rapidity with which our plump little diarist bustles around London looking for a likely lass to sate his lechery upon. “At the bottom of the Haymarket I picked up a strong, jolly young damsel, and taking her under the arm I conducted her to Westminster Bridge, and then in armour complete” (ie wearing a re-usable kid-skin condom) “did I engage her upon this noble edifice. The whim of doing it there with the Thames rolling below us amused me much.”

7. The Amorous Exploits of a Young Rakehell by Guillaume Apollinaire
French filth. Roger, a precocious schoolboy staying at his family’s chateau one long hot summer, serially seduces the bailiff’s wife, his aunt, his younger sister, his older sister, Kate the maid . . . When Kate catches Roger and his sister hard at it, she scolds them mildly – “Really, young people nowadays!” – and then joins in. It’s that kind of book.

8. The She-Devils by Pierre Louys
More French filth, involving a mother, her three insatiable daughters, and a very fortunate young man who has just moved into the next-door apartment. Susan Sontag has written that this is one of the handful of erotic works that achieve true literary status. Of course, the ridiculous Sontag is wrong about almost everything, but in this case she might just be right.

9. The Magus by John Fowles
I read this when I was 13. I loved it so much I’ve never dared to read it again. It’s all hot sunshine and blue seas and the scent of stone pines and shameless seduction.

10. Song of Solomon
Solomon was not only famously wise, wealthy, and adored by the Queen of Sheba. He was also Judah’s greatest love-machine, had a thousand wives and concubines, and wrote some of the best love poetry of all time (or, if you must be pedantic, at least had it collected in a book of his name.) If you can’t read it in the ancient Hebrew, then you have to read it in the King James version.

(Review descriptors credit to Christopher Hart of the Erotic Review )



  1. Oh I have a huge Erotica Library, my favorite is anything by author Eden Bradley

    A few of my favorite books

    ~Darker Side of Pleasure~ by Eden Bradley

    ~Gothic Tales of the Marquis De Sade~ by Margaret Crosland

    ~Market Place Services~ by Laura Antoniou

    ~Barbarian’s World~ Sharon Green (Sci-fi)

    ~Flesh Tones~ M.J. Rose

    ~Unmasked~ Phantom of the Opera Erotica by Colette Gale (Fairy Tale Erotica)

    ~Female Submission, The Journal of Madeline~ by Claudia Varrin

    There is a banging site called Shelfari, where you can add your books and join groups of readers who read anything from erotica to bdsm–just FYI

    Great blog~!

    Comment by Lori | July 14, 2010 | Reply

    • All good choices – although some are more romantica than pure erotica – but all well written. Thanks for the link I will take a look! and look into one or two I did not know.

      I am currently workign on a Erotica through the ages list – starting with the very first and so on. I am certain I will miss some – so fousing on those that are “changed erotica forever” such as Anais Nin … it’s been amazingly educational.

      Comment by Fantasia Lillith | July 16, 2010 | Reply

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