Monday, 23 February 2015

13 + 1 Sex-Positive Books to Help You Explore Your 50 Shades

Image by Doris Kloster

The response to our 10 Films to Watch Instead of 50 Shades  was huge, with many people asking for a book list. I said yes, as long as they were willing to help! What follows is a tiny list of what's available, from a small sample of curators. Adnittedly, it's a bit more of a mish-mash than a survey, but once you get started, you can branch out easily thanks to Amazon recommends... There is erotica, BDSM, manuals and how-tos, memoir/non-fiction, and visual art. These books all have lots of stars on Amazon and great recommendations, so you can feel pretty safe!


1. The Mistress Manual

Flip the script with Mistress Lorelei's informative book on how to be a female dominant. Role play in your mind while you read!

2. The Dominant's Handbook: An Intimate Guide to BDSM

This book is excellent for beginners who are ready to explore BDSM safely and responsibly. Lots of how-to, tips, and instruction.

3. Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism

A book from the male dominant/female submissive perspective, Screw the Roses offers instruction and information in a fun and approachable way.

4. Different Loving: A Complete Exploration of the World of Sexual Dominance and Submission

Different Loving is an exploration of the worlds of alternative sex. It is responsible, compassionate and non-judgmental. A fantastic book.

5. Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry

Want to know what it's really like to be a sex worker? Why not ask a sex worker? Who is also a writer? This book is women speaking in their own words about their professions, choices and encounters.

6. Doris Kloster: Photographs

Doris Kloster's work is a partnership between fine art photography and fetish documentation. This book as well as her more recent Forms of Desire are explorations in beauty.

7. The Complete Claudine: Claudine at School; Claudine in Paris; Claudine Married; Claudine and Annie

Where would we be without Colette's daring, her unwillingness to acknowledge judgment or failure and her insistence on giving voice to her stories? If you are looking to start exploring sensuality, this is a great place to start, both in terms of literature and literary history.

8. Delta of Venus. Erotica By Anais Nin

Perhaps the mother of modern erotica, Nin's voice is the one inside. Would you believe me if I told you this book was given to me by a grandmother?

9. Daddy: A Memoir

A memoir by Madison Young (with Annie Sprinkle) of a bi high femme discovering her strength and desire bound in love. Great for those interested in better understanding feminist porn and BDSM.

10. The Leather Daddy and the Femme: an erotic novel in several scenes and a few conversations

Annie Sprinkle calls Carol Queen "the thinking person's sex queen." This story of a girl wiht a penchant for gay leather daddies should not disappoint!

11. Best Women's Erotica 2015

Edited  by Violet Blue, this anthology focuses on women and desire -- what could be bad?

This series by Tiffany Reisz comes highly recommended and has been called, "dazzling, devastating and sinfully erotic," by author Miranda Baker.   If you like binging on book series, this may be for you!

Seriously - was I going to compile a list without poets on it? Maybe you've caught The Punany Poets on HBO or live - if yes, or no, here they are in print exploring sex in all its forms.

14. Giovanni's Room

This absorbing novel of intimate relationships is one of James Baldwin's greatest - and that's saying a whole lot. It may not feel dangerous now, but it shattered convention when it came out.

(Compiled by E. Amato from various contributions)

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