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The Best Sex Scenes In Books. Period.

There is something undeniably sensual and erotic about reading a book. The way I lick my finger before turning a page. The way I connect to certain characters that feels both intimate and exciting. The anticipation of what’s coming next…

Erotic fiction is meant to arouse sexual desire, and it can give you some innovative ideas for the bedroom — or just be fun reading when the mood is right.

So what is the difference between erotica and sex in literary novels?

In erotica, the sex is never bad. It’s always some version of a vagina-blowing, cock-swelling multiple orgasm extravaganza. 

In the excerpts below, sometimes the sex scenes don’t go as anticipated, or one of the partners desires something they are not getting. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. In short, it’s more like the complexity of life, both hot and cold, but never lukewarm.

Without further ado, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite sex scenes for you to enjoy. You’re welcome.

Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

“And again, as before, she unzipped my fly, took out my penis, and put it in her mouth. The one thing different from before was that she did not take off her own clothing. She wore Kumiko’s dress the whole time. I tried to move, but it felt as if my body were tied down by invisible threads. I felt myself growing big and hard inside her mouth.

I saw her fake eyelashes and curled hair tips moving. Her bracelets made a dry sound against each other. Her tongue was long and soft and seemed to wrap itself around me. Just as I was about to come, she suddenly moved away and began slowly to undress me. She took off my jacket, my tie, my pants, my shirt, my underwear, and made me lie down on the bed. Her own clothes she kept on, though. She sat on the bed, took my hand, and brought it under her dress. She was not wearing panties. My hand felt the warmth of her vagina. It was deep, warm, and very wet. My fingers were all but sucked inside. …

Then Creta Kano mounted me and used her hand to slip me inside her. Once she had me deep inside, she began a slow rotation of her hips. As she moved, the edges of the pale-blue dress caressed my naked stomach and thighs. With the skirts of the dress spread out around her, Creta Kano, riding atop me, looking like a soft, gigantic mushroom that had silently poked its face up through the dead leaves on the ground and opened under the sheltering wings of night. Her vagina felt warm and at the same time cold. It tried to envelop me, to draw me in, and at the same time to press me out. My erection grew larger and harder. I felt I was about to burst wide open. It was the strangest sensation, something that went beyond simple sexual pleasure. It felt as if something inside her, something special inside her, were slowly working its way through my organ into me.”

Less Than Zero by Brett Eason Ellis

“And one of them calls out to me, “Hey, punk faggot,” and the girl and I get into her car and drive off into the hills and we go to her room and I take off my clothes and lie on her bed and she goes into the bathroom and I wait a couple of minutes and then she finally comes out, a towel wrapped around her, and sits on the bed and I put my hands on her shoulders, and she says stop it and, after I let go, she tells me to lean against the headboard and I do and then she takes off the towel and she’s naked and she reaches into the drawer by her bed and brings out a tube of Bain De Soleil and she hands it to me and then she reaches into the drawer and brings out a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses and she tells me to put them on and I do.

And she takes the tube of suntan lotion from me and squeezes some onto her fingers and then touches herself and motions for me to do the same, and I do. After a while I stop and reach over to her and she stops me and says no, and then places my hand back on myself and her hand begins again and after this goes on for a while I tell her that I’m going to come and she tells me to hold on a minute and that she’s almost there and she begins to move her hand faster, spreading her legs wider, leaning back against the pillows, and I take the sunglasses off and she tells me to put them back on and I put them back on and it stings when I come and then I guess she comes too. Bowie’s on the stereo and she gets up, flushed, and turns the stereo off and turns on MTV. I lie there, naked, sunglasses still on, and she hands me a box of Kleenex. I wipe myself off and then look through a Vogue that’s lying by the side of the bed. She puts a robe on and stares at me. I can hear thunder in the distance and it begins to rain harder. She lights a cigarette and I start to dress. And then I call a cab and finally take the Wayfarers off and she tells me to be quiet walking down the stairs so I won’t wake her parents.”

Secretary/Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill

“The last time I made a typing error and the lawyer summoned me to his office, two unusual things occurred. The first was that after he finished spanking me he told me to pull up my skirt. Fear hooked my stomach and pulled it toward my chest. I turned my head and tried to look at him.

“You’re not worried that I’m going to rape you, are you?” he said. “Don’t. I’m not interested in that, not in the least. Pull up your skirt.”

I turned my head away from him. I thought, I don’t have to do this. I can stop right now. I can straighten up and walk out. But I didn’t. I pulled up my skirt.

“Pull down your panty hose and underwear.”

A finger of nausea poked my stomach.

“I told you I’m not going to fuck you. Do what I say.”

The skin on my face and throat was hot, but my fingertips were cold on my legs as I pulled down my underwear and panty hose. The letter before me became distorted beyond recognition. I thought I might faint or vomit, but I didn’t. I was held up by a feeling of dizzying suspension, like the one I have in dreams where I can fly, but only if I get into some weird position.

At first he didn’t seem to be doing anything. Then I became aware of a small frenzy of expended energy behind me. I had an impression of a vicious little animal frantically burrowing dirt with its tiny claws and teeth. My hips were sprayed with hot sticky muck.

“Go clean yourself off,” he said. “And do that letter again.”

I stood slowly and felt my skirt fall over the sticky gunk. He briskly swung open the door and I left the room, not even pulling up my panty hose and underwear, since I was going to use the bathroom anyway. He closed the door behind me, and the second unusual thing occurred. Susan, the paralegal, was standing the waiting room with a funny look on her face. She was a blonde who wore short, fuzzy sweaters and fake gold jewelry around he neck. At her friendliest, she had a whining, abrasive quality that clung to her voice. Now, she could barely say hello. Her stupidly full lips were parted speculatively.

“Hi,” I said. “Just a minute.” She noted the awkwardness of my walk, because of the lowered panty hose.

I got to the bathroom and wiped myself off. I didn’t feel embarrassed. I felt mechanical. I wanted to get that dumb paralegal out of the office so I could come back to the bathroom and masturbate.

Susan completed her errand and left. I masturbated. I retyped the letter. The lawyer sat in his office all day.”

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle

“I couldn’t get enough of him. I was tired and sore but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted the ache. I wanted him in me, all the time. His weight on top of me. I wanted to squeeze him in further and further. I wanted to watch his face. I wanted his sweat to drop onto me. I wanted to drop mine on him. I got on top of him. I’d never done it before. I couldn’t really believe it; I was doing this. I was inventing something. I held him and put him in. He felt deeper in me. I’ll never forget it. I was in charge and he liked it. I held his hands down. He pretended he was trying to break free. I let my tits touch his face. He went mad; he bucked. He split me in two. I pushed down. I couldn’t believe it. One of his fingers flicked over my bum. I did it to him. He lifted and heaved. I couldn’t believe it. There was no end to it, no end to the new things. He did something. I copied him. I did something. He did it back. He took me from behind. I pushed back, forced more of him into me. I sucked him. He licked me. I made him come on my stomach. He sucked my toes. The whole room rocked and Mrs. Doyle smiled at us every morning.”

Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

The camera served Tereza as both a mechanical eye through which to observe Tomas’s mistress and a veil by which to conceal her face from her.

It took Sabina some time before she could bring herself to slip out of the robe entirely. The situation she found herself in was proving a bit more difficult han she had expected. After several minutes of posing, she went up to Tereza and said, “Now it’s my turn to take your picture. Strip!”

Sabina had heard the command “Strip!” so many times from Tomas that it was engraved in her memory. Thus, Tomas’s mistress had just given Tomas’s command to Tomas’s wife. The two women were joined by the same magic word. That was Tomas’s way of unexpectedly turning an innocent conversation with a woman into an erotic situation. Instead of stroking, flattering, pleading, he would issue a command, issue it abruptly, unexpectedly, softly yet firmly and authoritatively, and at a distance: at such moments he never touched the woman he was addressing. He often used it on Tereza as well, and even though he said it softly, even though he whispered it, it was a command, and obeying never failed to arouse her. Hearing the word now made her desire to obey even stronger, because doing a stranger’s bidding is a special madness, a madness all the more heady in this case because the command came not from a man but from a woman.

Sabina took the camera from her, and Tereza took off her clothes. There she stood before Sabina naked and disarmed. Literally disarmed: deprived of the apparatus she had been using to cover her face and aim at Sabina like a weapon. She was completely at the mercy of Tomas’s mistress. This beautiful submission intoxicated Tereza. She wished that the moments she stood naked opposite Sabina would never end.

I think that Sabina, too, felt the strange enchantment of the situation: her lover’s wife standing oddly compliant and timorous before her. But after clicking the shutter two or three times, almost frightened by the enchantment and eager to dispel it, she burst into loud laughter.

Tereza followed suit, and the two of them got dressed.

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

They were sitting on the floor leaning into the corner of the room, her mouth on his nipple, her hand moving his dick slowly. An intricate science, his whole body imprisoned there, a ship in a bottle. I’m going to come. Come in my mouth. Moving forward, his fingers pulling back her hair like torn silk, he ejaculated, disappearing into her. She crooked her finger, motioning, and he bent down and put his mouth on hers. He took it, the white character, and they passed it back and forth between them till it no longer existed, till they didn’t know who had him like a lost planet somewhere in the body.

Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name

I washed her with slow, careful gestures, first letting her squat in the tub, then asking her to stand up: I still have in my ears the sound of the dripping water, and the impression that the copper of the tub had a consistency not different from Lila’s flesh, which was smooth, solid, calm. I had a confusion of feelings and thoughts: embrace her, weep with her, kiss her, pull her hair, laugh, pretend to sexual experience and instruct her in a learned voice, distancing her with words just at the moment of greatest closeness.

But in the end there was only the hostile thought that I was washing her, from her hair to the soles of her feet, early in the morning, just so that Stefano could sully her in the course of the night. I imagined her naked as she was at that moment, entwined with her husband, in the bed in the new house, while the train clattered under their windows and his violent flesh entered her with a sharp blow, like the cork pushed by the palm into the neck of a wine bottle. And it suddenly seemed to me that the only remedy against the pain I was feeling, that I would feel, was to find a corner secluded enough so that Antonio could do to me, at the same time, the exact same thing.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

Her mouth moved down, then farther. He touched the top of her head, her fragile skull under wet hair, pulled her up gently. He wanted slowness, warmth, kissing. But she wouldn’t. She grasped him, though he wasn’t quite ready; she wasn’t either, she was dry, still cold. But she moved just slightly, sitting there above him, and after a few minutes he took the bones of her hips and pulled himself in until he’d fully stirred. She pressed down again, her body against his chest, and at last her mouth found his. He imagined the quiet street outside shining in the lights, the millions of souls warm and listening to the rain in their beds. He couldn’t stop looking at the side of her face, her eyes closed, the small shell of her ear, the scar in her nostril where the stud had been, her thin pale lower lip in her teeth. He was close but held off, until at last she whispered, Go. I can’t come.

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

She arches her body like a cat on a stretch. She nuzzles her cunt into my face like a filly at the gate. She smells of the sea. She smells of rockpools when I was a child. She keeps a starfish in there. I crouch down to taste the salt, to run my fingers around the rim. She opens and shuts like a sea anemone. She’s refilled each day with fresh tides of longing.

Music for Torching by A.M. Homes

The kiss, unbearably fragile, a spike of sensation, shoulders the frame. Everything Elaine thinks about who she is, what she is, is irrelevant. There are no words, only sensation, smooth sensation. Tender, like the tickling lick of a kitten. Elaine feels powerless, suddenly stoned. Pat is kissing her. She is kissing Pat. They are standing in the middle of the kitchen, giving and getting every kiss they’ve ever gotten or given; kissing from memory. Kissing: fast, hard, deep, frantic, long and slow. They are tasting the lips, the mouth, the tongue. Elaine puts her hands to Pat’s face, the softness of Pat’s skin; the absence of the roughscruff and scratch of a stale shave is so unfamiliar as to seem impossible. Pat rubs her face against Elaine’s — sweeping the cheek, the high, light bones, muzzling the ear, the narrow line of the eyebrow, finishing with a butterfly flick of the lashes.

Pat is at her breast. A noise escapes Elaine, an embarrassingly deep sigh — like air rushing out of something. Elaine can’t believe that she’s letting this happen; she’s not stopping it, she’s not screaming,

She’s enjoying it. Pat is kissing Elaine’s belly, tonguing the cesarean scar that no one ever touches. Elaine reaches for Pat — there’s an incredible strangeness when they touch simultaneously. Elaine can’t tell who is who, what is what — Marcel Marceau, a mirror game, each miming the other. Phenomenal confusion.

Elaine touches Pat’s breast, pressing. Her knees buckle, she collapses to the floor. Pat goes with her.

Luscious. Delicious. Pat is smooth and buttery, not like Paul, not a mass of fur, a jumble of abrasion from beard to prick. Pat is soft, enveloping.

Elaine is thinking that it’ll stop in a minute, it won’t really happen, it won’t go too far. It’s just two women exploring. She remembers reading about consciousness-raising groups, women sitting in circles on living-room floors, looking at their cervixes like little boys in circle jerks, women taking possession of their bodies. Only this is far more personal — Pat is taking possession of Elaine.

Pat is pulling Elaine’s pants off. Elaine is lifting her hip, her khakis are tossed off under the kitchen table. Pat is still in her robe. Elaine reaches for the belt, half thinking she will use it to pull herself up, she will lift herself up and out of this. The robe opens, exposing Pat.

Pat spreads herself out over Elaine, skin to skin, breast to breast. Pat against her, not ripe, repulsive. She almost screams — it’s like a living thing — tongue and teeth.

And Pat is on top, grinding against Elaine, humping her in a strangely prickless pose. Fucking that’s all friction.

She reaches her hand under Elaine’s ass to get a better grip. Crumbs. There are crumbs stuck to Elaine’s ass. Horrified, Pat twists around and begins licking them off, sucking the crumbs from Elaine, from the floor, and swallowing them like a human vacuum cleaner. “I sweep,” she says, wiping dust off her mouth. “I sweep every day. I’m sweeping all the time.”

“It’s all right,” Elaine says. “It’s fine.”

Fine if it’s only on the outside, fine if it’s just a hand. Fine if it’s fingers and not a tongue, and then fine if it is a tongue. Fine if it’s just that, and then it’s fine. It’s all fine.

They are two full-grown women, mothers, going at each other on the kitchen floor. A thick, musky scent rises, a sexual stew.

Pat’s fingers curl between Elaine’s legs, slipping in.

“Aooww,” Elaine says, combining “Ah” and “Ow,” pain and pleasure. It takes a minute to figure out what hurts. “Your ring,” Elaine pants.

The high diamond mount of Pat’s engagement ring is scraping her. Pat pulls off the ring, it skitters across the floor, and she slips her hand back into Elaine, finding the spot. She slips in and out more quickly, more vigorously.

Elaine comes in cacophonous convulsions, great guttural exaltations. She’s filled with a flooding sensation, as though a seal has broken; her womb, in seizures, squeezes as though expelling Elaine herself.

And just as she thinks it’s over, as she starts to relax, Pat’s mouth slides south, and Elaine is flash-frozen at the summit of sensation, her body stun-gunned by the flick of Pat’s tongue. She lies splayed out on the linoleum, comparing Pat to Paul: Paul goes down on her because he saw it in a porno movie, because he thinks it’s the cool thing to do. Paul goes down on her like he’s really eating her, like she’s a Big Mac and he’s got to get his mouth around the whole burger in one big bite.

Elaine is concentrating, trying to figure out exactly what Pat is doing. Every lick, every flick
causes an electric surge, a tiny sharp shock, to flash through her body.

She is seeing flashes of light, fleeting images. It’s as though she’s losing consciousness, losing her mind, dying. She can’t bear any more — it’s too much. She pushes Pat away.

Plan B for the Middle Class by Ron Carlsen

The length of her body is the simple answer to what I am missing. It’s an odd sensation to have something in your arms and to still be yearning for it and you lie there and feel the yearning subside slowly as the actual woman rises along your neck, chest, legs. We are drifting against each other now. Sex is the raft, but sleep is the ocean and the waves are coming up.… I run my hands along her bare back and down across her ribs and feel the two dimples in her hip, and my only thought is the same thought I’ve had a thousand times: I don’t remember this— I don’t remember this at all. Katie sits up and places her warm legs on each side of me, her breasts falling forward in the motion, and as she lifts herself ever so slightly in a way that is the exact synonym for losing my breath, we see something.

Spring in Fialta by Vladimir Nabokov

And another year or two later, I was in Paris on business; and one morning on the landing of a hotel, where I had been looking up a film actor fellow, there she was again, clad in a gray tailored suit, waiting for the elevator to take her down, a key dangling from her fingers. ‘Ferdinand has gone fencing,’ she said conversationally; her eyes rested on the lower part of my face as if she were lip reading, and after a moment of reflection (her amatory comprehension was matchless), she turned and rapidly swaying on slender ankles led me along the sea-blue carpeted passage. A chair at the door of her room supported a tray with the remains of breakfast—a honey-stained knife, crumbs on the gray porcelain; but the room had already been done, and because of our sudden draft a wave of muslin embroidered with white dahlias got sucked in, with a shudder and a knock, between the responsive halves of the French window, and only when the door had been locked did they let go of that curtain with something like a blissful sigh; and a little later I stepped out on the diminutive cast-iron balcony beyond to inhale a combined smell of dry maple leaves and gasoline…

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