Great Sex Scenes in Good Books
December 17, 2016 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend books that have explicit and hot sex scenes? The book has to be good enough writing and plot-wise, but it's the good sex that I'm really in the mood for! I'm not looking for romance genre or erotica.

I just finished reading Uprooted by Naomi Novik and the sex scene was sooooo good! I want more. (Another novel that springs to mind is The Diviners by Margaret Lawrence.) I'm looking for fairly modern works-- no DH Lawrence, etc. I'd like the descriptions of sex to be explicit. BDSM-y and power play are fine, although not necessary, but no rape, please. Thanks in advance!
posted by jeszac to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 76 users marked this as a favorite

I found the sex scenes in Salt On Our Skin by BenoƮte Groult very well written, and yes, hot.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:16 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's a sex scene in Ian McEwan's book "The Child in Time" that has always been the gold standard for me. But might be too soft for some people.
posted by mmiddle at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

If man on man is your speed, I remember Call Me By Your Name as totally hot and reasonably explicit. It's also a wonderful novel that will stomp on your heart, if you're in the mood for that.
posted by Smearcase at 11:20 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've already started my book order! This is great. To clarify- m/m m/f and f/f are all fine by me. :)
posted by jeszac at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2016

Have you read Margaret Laurence's other Manawaka books?
posted by brujita at 11:37 AM on December 17, 2016

The book A sport and a pastime by James Salter is famous for both the writing and its sex scenes. Published in 1967 so not really modern, but still one of my favorite books.
posted by rpn at 12:26 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm going to say this as someone who reads about 50% published books and 50% fanfic, and reads a lot: you need to read fanfic then. Novic comes from a fandom background famously (memail me if you want her fandom name and link, she's very very good) which is why the sex was so good. There are professional writers and people of the same calibre writing in fandom who write about sex in multiple ways that are extremely diverse and brilliant. I think a big part of it is the length: fandom is where short stories and novellas flourish.

You do not need to know much of the story universe to read a story. There are often primers to explain a setting and many are set in popular well known media that you're familiar with.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:37 PM on December 17, 2016 [15 favorites]

Abigail Hilton's Guild of the Cowry Catchers takes a while to get to the sex scenes, and part of what makes them work so solidly is that they're both part of the plot, and the characters build to them. MM and arguably furry, but dayumn. Also, the full-cast audio book read is pretty freakin' amazing.
posted by straw at 3:54 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Pretty much anything by French author Michel Houellebecq
posted by sconbie at 4:53 PM on December 17, 2016

There are some great, and at times very funny, sex scenes in Eat Me by Linda Jaivin. The (very NSFW) first chapter is a good example.
posted by mewsic at 6:14 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Delta of Venus, by Anais Nin. A collection of her erotic short stories.
posted by qurlyjoe at 8:36 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you love delicious food and you love delicious sex scenes...then La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture is for you.

posted by Toddles at 8:57 PM on December 17, 2016

As meat loves salt, by Maria McCann. M/m.
posted by Ziggy500 at 10:08 PM on December 17, 2016

A lot has been said about Bret Easton Ellis, and I'm not his biggest fan. But his novel Glamorama is decent enough, and there's a m/m/f scene around pages 383-385 that is really something. It's worth the price of a used paperback, that's for sure.
posted by witchen at 12:38 AM on December 18, 2016

You definitely need some Sarah Waters, but The Paying Guest wouldn't be my pick (there are a couple of good scenes early on, but the book overall wasn't my favorite). I'd say Tipping the Velvet. F/f, with Victorian power play. Very, very hot, and also a good twisty story.
posted by snorkmaiden at 11:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

My 11th grade English teacher dropped an obscure reference during one class to a particular page number in Lie Down With Lions by Ken Follett, somehow implying that there was something exciting and exotic to be found there. As luck would have it, my parents had the paperback. Great sex scene involving lactating, which hasn't really been a turn on for me then or since, but totally hot.
posted by mabelstreet at 9:49 AM on December 19, 2016

Judith Krantz! Her books are awesome soapy epics about super interesting women, and the sex is H-O-T.
Literary it is not, but sexy hell yes.
posted by exceptinsects at 8:23 PM on December 20, 2016

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