No matter how you feel about Fifty Shades of Grey as a book or film, its meteoric rise in popularity has put the spotlight on a frequently misunderstood and underappreciated genre of pop culture that deserves the attention: erotic fiction. The common misconception about the genre is assuming the word "erotic" immediately translates to smut or filth or straight-up pornography. People seem to forget that erotic is a blanket term for anything that turns us on sexually, and the beauty of turn-ons is that they're different for everyone. Same goes for the world of erotic fiction. Not every erotic novel revolves around BDSM, billionaires, and mousy brunettes, but the most popular titles do have one thing in common: a great love story.
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My grandma used to read tons of erotic novels. She would buy them at the checkout line at the grocery store. When I was little, I thought it was the weirdest and grossest thing ever. My year-old grandmother? A sexual being?
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In the five years to in Britain alone, romance and erotic fiction sold The sector has also been among the most innovative, with a strong tradition of independent and self-publishing. It was one of the first to capitalise on the anonymity offered by e-books and, according to Jellybooks, a British company that analyses e-book data, romance readers are twice as likely to read on smartphones than literary novel or non-fiction readers. But the stigma attached to the romance and erotica genres remains.
If Fifty Shades of Grey has proven anything, it's that flipping through several hundred pages of NSFW prose is fun and nothing to be embarrassed about. So, please come no pun intended with us into a whole new world of books with stunning sex. Erotica often gets labeled a "guilty pleasure," and while yes—there are many campy books to read, some of which are on this list—plenty of erotica overlaps with genre and literary fiction. In other words, it's fun, it's sexy, and it can be prestigious.