The 10 Sexiest Books That Are Also Really Well Written

It's lit

Collage photos via Getty Images and book image via Harcourt

Most sex writing is notoriously terrible. For the most part, the reason we blush when reading a sex scene is not because we’re getting all hot and bothered, but rather because we’re embarrassed—for the author, for ourselves, for, like, literature.

And yet, when sex writing is good, there is nothing quite like it. We’re visual people, for sure, but there's also something specifically hot about textual turn-ons. It's a more comprehensive kind of sexiness; this level of heat has a certain kind of intelligence, and gestures toward the fact that arousal is a full-body—and that certainly includes the brain—experience.

This is the case, anyway, with the following books. All of them are worth reading for elements that have nothing to do with how sexy they are; the narratives are compelling, the writing is lucid. They also just happen to include the kind of words that make you blush in recognition of the fact that some of the best kind of reading is like the best kind of sex—a full mind and body meld.