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A slapdash selection of filthy books (and good reasons to read them)

Dedicated to erotica-enthusiast Lana Harper, with many a filthy but loving thought.

 

It was Valentine’s Day this week!

It seemed apt at this time of year, when everyone’s thinking about chocolates and roses and the continued success of the commercial erotica genre (it’s not like a wasp! It won’t go away even if you ignore it!), to give you my view on properly good erotic books.

(Except, because I am lazy, I got some help from a couple of my friends.)

Here we go.

FANNY HILL, John Cleland (1748)

What it’s about:

Young Fanny (teehee) writes letters to a lady friend, and deigns to fill these letters with total filth. As a prostitute Fanny sees many a sexy adventure, which feature orgies, pretty men and massive penises. There is a lot of sex.

Why you should read it:

Well, for a start, it’s free, available online. It was the first English-language porn novel, too! Also, it’s way sexier than most of the crap on the mass-erotica market because it’s written in a very teasing way, with real loving detail lavished on the description of genitalia and sexual encounters.

Best quote:

“Curious then, and eager to unfold so alarming a mystery, playing, as it were, with his buttons, which were bursting ripe from the active force within, those of his waistband and fore-flap flew open at a touch, when out IT started; and now, dis-engag’d from the shirt, I saw, with wonder and surprise, what? not the play-thing of a boy, not the weapon of a man, but a maypole of so enormous a standard, that had proportions been observ’d, it must have belong’d to a young giant.”

HAND-REARED BOY, Brian Aldiss (1970)

What it’s about:

Aldiss describes it best: “Young Horatio Stubbs suffers the pangs of adolescence, but is weaned from the pleasures of masturbation by the delights offered by his school’s nursing sister, who is not all she seems. The novel became a great scandal in England, where it was rejected by thirteen publishers, and caused a lawsuit – as a result of which it became a bestseller.”

Why you should read it:

I’m going to go right ahead and say I really disliked the book the first time I read it. There’s young sibling mutual masturbation to get past before the school part, and it’s pretty odd to read about, to say the least. But the charming tone and constant exclamations of delight are actually very entertaining. It’s twee, it’s rude, and it’s caused a scandal, like all books worth their salt do.

Best quote:

“Kneeling beside me, she stroked my prick as though it was one of her guinea pigs.”

Lana recommended VENUS IN FURS, Leopold Sacher-Masoch, 1870

What it’s about:

Sexual slavery! (But not the shitty E L James type. It’s a story with a moral, donchaknow.)

Why you should read it:

It’s another free one! It’s lusciously, crisply written; the whole thing reads like a joyful celebration of eating with the eyes, sexual possession and obsession.

Best quote:

Check out the spectacular pubic hair metaphor: “Watch out, I have a large, very large fur, with which I could cover you up entirely, and I have a mind to catch you in it as in a net.”

THE STORY OF O, Pauline Reage, 1973

What’s it’s about:

Another sexual slavery novel, but this time more hardcore. Genital piercing, being whipped and servicing many men at once are all part of O’s role as a sexual captive.

Why you should read it:

It’s a staple of the erotica genre; it’s very hot (in my opinion… and the opinions of loads of other people, I presume); it glorifies female body hair (fuck yeah).

Best quote:

“Jacqueline had gone upstairs and joined O in her alcove. The sea and sun had already made her more golden than before: her hair, her eyebrows, her eyelashes, her nether fleece, her armpits, all seemed to be powdered with silver, and since she was not wearing any make-up, her mouth was the same color pink as the pink flesh between her thighs.”

Kim recommended THE EDUCATION OF VICTORIA, Angela Meadows, 2009.
I haven’t actually read this one yet, but the Amazon page for it promises great things, like: finishing school! Art of sexual pleasure! The sharing of carnal knowledge! Going to get on this one ASAP.

Best posts I’ve read all week (a lazy list)

Yes, it’s one of those posts where I feel I should say something but I haven’t quite finished the books I’m reviewing and my hands are sticky with the thrilling exploits of apple-eating, and I don’t want to clog up the keyboard.

I also like doing lists.

Please buy this for me. From CultureLabel.com (click to go-go-go)

 

“Graduates: you’re doing it wrong.” – Stef Hall has written a fantastic post over at Atwood Tate; An Open Letter to Graduates is essential reading for anyone who feels like they’re butting their head against the publishing door.

Ellen at witnesstoexperience made me laugh and think with her post London centricity – especially with the line “I found my passion for theatre in Birmingham (I think that’s actually the only thing I’ve ever found in Birmingham).” Ellen is also blogging every day for a year, so she’s braver than I am.

And awesome news from Myriad Editions! Their Quick Fictions app (which I reviewed last year!) has been ranked in the Top 5 Apps by the Sunday Times. Read more of their exciting developments at Myriad’s homepage.

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