Fifty Shades of something
September 16, 2012 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Please don't hate me but I am one of those soccer Moms who really enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey. What would I like to read next?

I've seen a number of "If you liked Fifty Shades, you will like..." but the few titles on the lists that I know, are not what I am looking for. In particular, I see frequent references to the Beauty series or the Story of O - both of which I read and enjoyed but I'm put off by the emphasis on learning submission.

The part that I liked best in Fifty Shades was that Ana is NOT a true submissive - she just into fun, kinky sex where both partners are tyring to pleasing themselves and the other person. That is a liberating combination for me (kinky sex between equals) and I would like to read more. The recommendations should also have some reasonable level of plot and character development, although since I liked 50 shades, you can see my standards here are not very high.
posted by metahawk to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Hm. Less "Story of O" and more "we're having an awesome time", you might want to try out Carol Queen's book The Leather Daddy and the Femme.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:12 PM on September 16, 2012

Not being judgemental here at all, but if you Liked 50 Shades, you should like the Twilight books, becase 50 Shades was originally fanfic of that.

There is no sex in the first few Twilight books though, so if the erotica slant is what you are after then Twilight might not scratch that particular itch.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:14 PM on September 16, 2012

Best answer: Try Laid Bare by Lauren Dane (and if you like it, you can follow the other characters in subsequent books). Cara McKenna writes primarily about equals into kinky with a terrific voice (try the 'Curio' series, for example). Charlotte Stein is a UK writer who is also terrific at what you may be looking for--and such a good writer (she's especially good at developing tremendous tension). Megan Hart has some beautiful books, like Broken and Dirty--as well as some pitch perfect shorts. All of these authors focus on the story and character development, and the erotic element is used to complicated and move development of the characters forward. I'd also suggest that you check out Jane Litte's (academic critic) award-winning site Dear Author which reviews romance, including erotica in a smart way for readers (she's kind of the Nancy Pearl of the romance genre). That site has a 'looking for a recommendation page. It's also a comment-moderated site, so reader commentary quality is high. Feel free to memail for more recs, as well.
posted by rumposinc at 12:17 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

*posting with broken keyboard, please pardon typos!
posted by rumposinc at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2012

An author I like recommended Jeffe Kennedy's Sapphire instead of 50 Shades, but I can't say for sure it will scratch your specific itch.
posted by jeather at 12:20 PM on September 16, 2012

If you don't get good recommendations here, you should ask this over at Smart Bitches Love Trashy Books. ( They may even have already covered this topic.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2012 [6 favorites]

Nine and a Half Weeks, the book.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day is pretty much a parallel universe of 50 Shades except it's much better written. Instead of Ana and Christian, there is Eva and Gideon. So far there's only one book but it's planned to be a trilogy like 50 Shades.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:32 PM on September 16, 2012

Emma Holly
posted by brujita at 1:24 PM on September 16, 2012

Sweetmag, the Beauty books are VERY much about submission, which the OP here finds the least sexy aspect of 50 Shades of Grey, and something she is not interested in personally.

OP, I get what you are looking for here. You're interested in finding something fun and sexy, a little kinky exploration without all the judgmental, preachy stuff or heavy fetishes thrown into the mix.

You don't want Gorean slave/Master degradation. You're not into the whole, "Yes, Mistress/Yes, Master" aspects.

You just want fiction with fun, kinky sex play (that doesn't lead to dead body popsicles hanging out in some psycho's freezer, right next to the ice cube trays).

I wish there were more books like this, too!

My friends on GoodReads tell me that Backstage Pass is basically sex and more sex on top of all kinds of sex, and it's the first in a series (called Sinners on Tour). You might want to give it a try!
posted by misha at 1:57 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

If supernatural is okay, then check out Laurell K Hamilton. Her earlier books were quite good silly fun, and her later ones are certainly no worse than 50 Shades, and are generally less misogynistic.
posted by smirkette at 2:41 PM on September 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

Seconding Cara McKenna - I liked Willing Victim (ugh, horrible name, though) which is basically about two fairly interesting characters who are equals having kinky sex with each other and not much else.

Annabel Joseph writes (mostly) books with dominant/submissive themes, but in several of the books, that's pretty much strictly kept to the bedroom, and there's very little of the heavy handed "Beauty of Your True Submissive Nature" crap. And her sex scenes are very, very fun. You might like Cirque du Minuet or Deep in the Woods.

You'll want to check out the anthologies edited by Rachel Kramer Bussell. There are about a million of them, each exploring different themes

All of the books I mention manage to nicely sidestep the serious consent and misogyny issues of 50 Shades by having both characters be really, really into what they're doing with each other, which is always nice!
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 4:42 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Circlet Press in general publishes smart, well-written erotica.

Gael Greene's Blue Skies, No Candy is an excellent 1970s erotic novel.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:08 PM on September 16, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you everyone!! I marked rumposinc as best answer since he/she really got what I was asking and had so many good suggestions. Still, I appreciate all the responses (and so will the people who "favorited" the question) More suggestions are still welcome.
posted by metahawk at 11:13 PM on September 16, 2012

You might enjoy the Belle De Jour books - a true (supposedly) diary of a high-class escort, she also talks about her past and present kinky encounters with partners and clients. The tone is very sex-positive and she clearly is a woman who enjoys her sexuality - people initially thought the book was written by a man (it was originally published with the author's identity completely unknown) because they felt a woman would not be as frank. It's also better written (sorry).
posted by mippy at 5:37 AM on September 17, 2012

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