Books have incredible power to transform us. They can take us around the world to other places and times. They offer an escape from the daily grind and a window into the stories and lives of others. They teach, educate, and help us build skills in every conceivable discipline. If there’s one thing we’re passionate about, it’s sex. Which is why we’ve rounded up our favourite books that will get you in the mood, inspire your sensual side, and teach you a thing or two about relationships, sex, and pleasure. Get ready to load your Amazon cart and prepare for an erotic adventure! (Lube not included.)
Sexy Novels, Literature, Poems & Essays
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Why you should read it: You may have seen the stunningly sensual movie version of Call Me by Your Name with Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, but you know what they say: the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. You’ll want to dive into the pages of this one.
Learn more: Andre Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Why you should read it: This story is packed with women embracing their sexuality, unconventional lifestyles in very conventional times, and fantastic clothes. If you like these themes, you will love this book.
Learn more: From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person. Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Why you should read it: Fantastic characters, fascinating historical detail, breathtaking romance, and passionate sex. You’ll devour these books.
Learn more: Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.
Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James
Why you should read it: What was it that compelled over 100 million people to purchase British author E. L. James’s 2011 erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey? In a word – escape. Yet the book, its two sequels, and the film adaptations have caused an uproar within the BDSM community, as many feel the story incorrectly portrays the world of bondage. What’s the number one bone of contention? Namely, consent (or rather, lack thereof) between the dominant Christian Grey and his curious sub, Anastasia. We’ll let the expert critics explain what they feel the books got wrong about the true world of bondage.
Learn more: When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian’s secrets and explores her own desires.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Why you should read it: This book is a fun, witty take on royal romance with characters that you will absolutely adore. It’s the perfect pick-me-up read.
Learn more: What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Trilogy) by Anne Rice
Why you should read it: Sleeping Beauty but make it BDSM.
Learn more: In the traditional folktale of “Sleeping Beauty,” the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind’s unconscious. In the first book of the trilogy, Anne Rice (author of Beauty’s Kingdom), writing as A.N. Roquelaure, retells the Beauty story and probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him . . . as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.
Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
Why you should read it: Romantic and erotic, this little book makes a beautiful gift.
Learn more: Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda’s love poems caused a scandal when published anonymously in 1952. In later editions, these verses became the most celebrated of the Noble Prize winner’s oeuvre, captivating readers with earthbound images that reveal in gentle lingering lines an erotic re-imagining of the world through the prism of a lover’s body: “today our bodies became vast, they grew to the edge of the world / and rolled melting / into a single drop / of wax or meteor….” Written on the paradisal island of Capri, where Neruda “took refuge” in the arms of his lover Matilde Urrutia, Love Poems embraces the seascapes around them, saturating the images of endless shores and waves with a new, yearning eroticism. This wonderful book collects Neruda’s most passionate verses.
The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet
Why you should read it: Disturbing. Arousing. Funny. Thought-provoking. It’s raw and sexual and very human.
Learn more: A window into a life of insatiable desire and uninhibited sex – this is Parisian art critic Catherine M.’s account of her sexual awakening and her unrestrained pursuit of pleasure. From al fresco encounters in Italy to a gang bang on the edge of the Bois du Boulogne to a high-class orgy at a chichi Parisian restaurant. A graphic account of sex stripped of sentiment, of a life of physical gratification and a relentlessly honest look at the consequences — both liberating and otherwise — have created this candid, powerful, and deeply intelligent depiction of unfettered sexuality. A phenomenal bestseller throughout Europe, The Sexual Life of Catherine M. breaks with accepted ideas of sex and examines many alternative manifestations of desire. Told in spare, elegant prose, her story will shock, enlighten and liberate you.
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Why you should read it: This is a classic young adult love story and when it was published in 1982, Annie on My Mind was a beacon for LGBT youth.
Learn more: This groundbreaking book, first published in 1982, is the story of two teenage girls whose friendship blossoms into love and who, despite pressures from family and school that threaten their relationship, promise to be true to each other and their feelings.
From the moment Liza Winthrop meets Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there is something special between them. But Liza never knew falling in love could be so wonderful . . . or so confusing.
Of the author and the book, the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee said, “Nancy Garden has the distinction of being the first author for young adults to create a lesbian love story with a positive ending. Using a fluid, readable style, Garden opens a window through which readers can find courage to be true to themselves.”
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
Why you should read it: The Wedding Party is sweet, charming, sexy, and smart. It’s the perfect beach read…along with all of Jasmine Guillory’s other novels.
Learn more: Maddie and Theo have two things in common: 1. Alexa is their best friend. 2. They hate each other.
After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?
But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.
Books About Sex, Sexuality & Relationships
The Ultimate Guide to Seduction & Foreplay: Techniques and Strategies for Mind-Blowing Sex by Jessica O’Reilly, PhD & Marla Renee Stewart, MA
Why you should read it:. Jess is ASTROGLIDE’s resident sexologist and she has taught us more than a thing or two about mind-blowing sex. Get this book now.
Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Seduction & Foreplay teaches readers how to tune into their own desires, become better communicators, and ultimately be more confident, passionate, and attentive lovers. Inspired by fantasies of seduction, Marla and Jess take you on a journey of sexual exploration and help you understand the many factors that add to or inhibit arousal and pleasure on psychological, sociological, and sexological levels. Readers gain a deeper understanding of their own sexual needs and the foundations for greater compatibility and connection. As you explore your own learning and seduction styles (and your lover’s), you’ll discover and experiment with new and exciting ways to stimulate arousal and deepen intimacy: verbal, emotional, and digital seduction, foreplay, eroticizing daily actions, games, fantasy play, mindfulness, and more. Packed with practical exercises, techniques, and creative ideas — especially for busy couples — this inclusive guide is a surefire way for folks of all genders to master the art of seduction.
Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life by Justin J. Lehmiller, PhD
Why you should read it: Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. In short, he is one of the most trusted and sought-after experts on sex. If he is telling us how to improve our sex lives through science, we are all ears.
Learn more: An award-winning human sexuality expert and author of the blog Sex and Psychology offers an unprecedented look at sexual fantasy based on the most comprehensive study ever conducted.
What do Americans really want when it comes to sex? And is it possible for us to get what we want? Justin J. Lehmiller, one of the country’s leading experts on human sexuality and author of the popular blog Sex and Psychology, has made it his career’s ambition to answer these questions. He recently concluded the largest and most comprehensive scientific survey of Americans’ sexual fantasies ever undertaken, a monumental two-year study involving more than 4,000 Americans from all walks of life, answering questions of unusual scope.
Based on this study, Tell Me What You Want offers an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. It will help you better understand your own sexual desires and how to attain them within your relationships, but also to appreciate why the desires of partners may be so incredibly different.
If we only better understood the incredible diversity of human sexual desire and why this diversity exists in the first place, we would experience less distress, anxiety, and shame about our own sexual fantasies and better understand why our partners often have sexual proclivities that are so different from our own. Ultimately, this book will you enhance your sex life and enjoy more satisfying relationships and marriages by breaking down barriers and making sexual fantasies a reality.
She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner, PhD
Why you should read it: If you want to be a better lover to a woman, we’ll just leave this book right here.
Learn more: As women everywhere will attest when it comes to understanding female sexuality, most guys know more about what’s under the hood of a car than under the hood of a clitoris. And while it seems that men have struggled valiantly since the dawn of time to find ways to reliably elicit the female orgasm, rare is the guy who has the modesty to ask: “What do I do?” Ironically, the answer has always been right there on the tip of his tongue.
Welcome to the world of She Comes First, where the mystery of female satisfaction is solved and the tongue is proven mightier than the sword. According to Ian Kerner, clinical sexologist and evangelist of the female orgasm, oral sex has long been deemed an optional aspect of foreplay, but, in fact, it’s coreplay: simply the best way for leading a woman through the entire process of sexual response.
Fun, informative, and easy to read, She Comes First is a virtual encyclopedia of female pleasure, detailing dozens of tried-and-true techniques for consistently satisfying a woman and step-by-step instructions to ensure success. These simple methods represent a new era in sexual intimacy, one in which the exchange of pleasure occurs on a level playing field and fulfillment is mutual.
She Comes First exuberantly offers a fresh new sexual philosophy that inspires every man to make a mantra of Rhett Butler’s infamous line to Scarlett O’Hara, “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.”
101 Nights of Great Sex (2020 Edition): Secret Sealed Seductions For Fun-Loving Couples by Laura Corn
Why you should read it: 101 Nights of Great Sex is the perfect gift for your partner. Your date nights will never be the same. Pair with any ASTROGLIDE lube!
Learn more: This totally transformed 2020 edition of the New York Times bestseller is the only book on hot sex you’ll ever need. Updated and revised with 30+ brand-new, never-seen-before Seductions, and 101 eTeases to titillate, this ultimate guide will transform your sex life and elevate your relationship to levels you never thought possible. Instead of ordinary pages, you get 101 sealed envelopes — 50 for her eyes only, 50 for his eyes only, plus one special seduction you can complete together. Each envelope, accompanied by its own eTease, holds the key to a heart-pounding adventure for you and your partner to enjoy, and as you rip each one open, the anticipation mounts — and so does your pleasure.