There was a time when reading dirty stories meant Penthouse Letters, historical erotic fiction, or a trip to the sticky-floored adult bookstore. Times have definitely changed, and the publishing industry (both print and online) hasnt wasted any time producing reams of work to suit practically any erotic taste.
If youre unfamiliar with whats out there in the world of erotic fiction, here are a few tips to help you think about where to start.
1. Where to Look for Erotica: online or in store.There is a virtually endless supply of erotic stories available online, and most of it is free to access. But finding erotic fiction online can be an affordable way to figure out what you like, but it tends to be very hit and miss. Starting with a reputable site (see below) can help. Buying a hard copy of a book of erotica gives you the benefit of some help from the store people, or recommendations from other readers. Plus there can be something erotic about the physical book itself.
2. Which Erotica Format: anthologies, short story collections, or novelsAnthologies are probably the best place to start, as they allow you to sample a little bit from everyone. If you dont like one story in a collection, youll probably like another. Plus, when you find an author you like you can go out and buy a collection of their stories or novel. For those who crave the slow build up or long term commitment that you cant find in short stories, starting with a classic novel may be the way to go.
3. Ask Yourself: How Hot is Too Hot?Consider the level of explicitness you are comfortable with. Wanting to start somewhere gentle doesnt make you a prude, and wanting to dive right in to smut central doesnt make you a slut (except in the good and empowering sense of the word!) There are erotica collections with almost no explicit sections, and there are other collections that are all raunch all the time.
4. Who do you want to Read About: sexual orientation and gender.Do you want to read about sex between women, between men, between men and women, or all of the above and more? Many collections are themed as straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or trans. One of the joys of erotica is that we can go places we may not want to go in reality. Regardless of the sex you have, consider checking out some other kinds of sex, you might be surprised by what turns you on
and what tips you can pick up to bring into your own sex life.
5. What Kinds of Sex do you want to Read About?Are you looking for a very straight offering of women and men getting down and dirty, or a collection of S/M fantasies focusing on power play? Do you want erotica that features a lot of group sex, or anal play, or bondage and domination? The good news is that whatever your tastes there are collections for you. A repeated suggestion is to start with general collections that offer a selection of all of the above, to get a sense of what works for you.
6. What Kind of Language Turns You On?Do you want the nitty-gritty of every sex act, or are you happy leaving the details to your own imagination? Do metaphors do it for you more than the full monty? Are you as interested in the characters emotional state as you are their state of undress?
7. Does Style Matter in Sex Writing?Are you partial to ornate, baroque descriptions of bed sheets and physical acrobatics, or something with Hemingway-esque simplicity? Does the tone of the narrative matter to you? There is a big difference between a sex scene told in earnest, and one told with irony and hindsight. There is also an enormous range in the quality of the writing with erotic fiction. Some people cant get passed bad grammar, while others are turned on by dangling participles.
8. Think about Genres and Themes You likeWhat kind of stories do you like to read? Sexy stories can be standard storytelling, or they can be written in sci-fi, futuristic, horror, mystery, crime, gothic, and romance or travel genres. Do you prefer a story that follows a well-trod, familiar path or one that takes you through a literary labyrinth? There are collections themed by ethnicity, gender, age, religion, a persons love of meat
you name it.