If 50 Shades of Grey has done anything (besides light up thousands of Kindles and iPads), it has opened up a discussion about the fact that — gasp — women enjoy badly written sexy stories as much as men enjoy badly written porn. And that discussion has included many female-oriented publications giving us lists of “erotica that’s better than 50 Shades.” Here, the best of the “better than” lists:
The Vine goes mostly classic: John Cleland’s Fanny Hill, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus, Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain.” One of our faves, Cleis Press’ annual Best Women’s Erotica, also gets a mention.
BiblioBitch likes: Curvy Girls: Erotica for Women, Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, and Pauline Reage’s The Story of O.
The Guardian is into: Shirley Conran’s Lace, Judith Krantz’s Scruples, Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden (a feminist classic!), and Sappho (a lesbian classic!).
The Huffington Post focuses on “groundbreaking erotic reads”: James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime, Josephine Hart’s Damage, Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, and Grace Metalious’ Peyton Place.
Make It Better prefers the instructional: The Kama Sutra, along with Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and Judy Blume’s Wifey (yes!). They also mention Rachel Kramer Bussel, our personal favorite.