Top 5 Best “Sex” In Literature

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

As promised last week, today I reveal my top 5 sex scenes (well books really) in literature. I’ve been fantasizing a lot about sex recently. It’s about time that I ring up one of the Slixa girls for a night of good fun. I realized, however, as I was compiling the list that that there’s only a couple of mysteries on there – what can I say, I obviously haven’t read widely enough! I leave it to you to guide me to some of the more juicy sex ridden mysteries to round out my ‘education’ with your comments. Oh and I also couldn’t resist having a photograph of Sean Bean – even though Lady Chatterley’s Lover isn’t on my list – what’s sex and literature without Sean Bean thrown in for good measure?!

Number 1; The White Hotel by DM Thomas. If anyone has read this book you will know just how surreal, macabre, disturbing and sexual the whole book is – but the scene in the hotel stairwell…well you just have to read it… Be warned. This WILL turn you on. Don’t fret though as you can always check out some piper perri videos after reading in order to finish the job.

Number 2: As Francesa by Martha Baer…I bought this at an airport bookshop and had no idea…One of the few times I’ve been sitting on a plane thinking (and going bright red as I did so) “I hope nobody is reading this over my shoulder…” There is one moment (and I won’t give away what it is) when I thought – good grief – online sex doesn’t get much weirder than this! I’d be lying if I said this book didn’t turn me well and truly on. I had little choice but to ring up one of the women at satisfy my desires.
Number 3: Fanny Hill by John Cleland, Lusty, bawdy, nonstop 18th century erotica….banned and reviled, it has little else but sex scenes but hey – not bad if you like bodice ripping! Though it’s a bit sad when you just know a man has written this…yes, the fantasy is that obvious.

Number 4: The Rainbow by DH Lawrence. No, not Lady Chatterley’s lover (I find the dialect too distracting!). The scene in the lake with her female teacher….not bad…And let’s face it no one does ‘meaningful’ all consuming sex quite like DH Lawrence! It was tough deciding just which book of his to pick .
Number 5: Busman’s Honeymoon – not that there is any actual sex scene but there is a morning after and after adoring Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane for so long I was just relieved that they actually got to have (I assume) great sex!

And I have one extra for my list – one book where I would have really liked to have been told all the lurid details – Wuthering Heights – and you just know they had to have done it – Oh to have been a fly on the wall…

That’s it for my very idiosyncratic list. So go ahead, broaden my education and tell me your top sexiest books in literature or at least the top sex scene in a mystery – I need my reading horizon’s ‘broadened’ 🙂


13 thoughts on “Top 5 Best “Sex” In Literature

  1. I can tell you the one that first made me blush (and I don’t blush. E-V-E-R!). The problem I had was, as gritty as the book was, the first sex scene just threw me completely. Most of that was because I’d never read it written quite so explicitly. You might call it inexperience as far as reading. I’m sure you may read it and yawn with a been-there, done-that kind of feeling. But yeah, Brian Freeman’s IMMORAL has a pretty graphic, matter-of-fact scene about a third of the way in or so.

  2. Heh, I was going to suggest that one too! I love Brian’s writing.

    For girl/girl action, in Nicola Griffith’s “Always”, there’s a scene with a sex worker that is seriously steamy — and it goes unfulfilled. Ramps things up and then, interruption.

    But later on, when the romantic relationship is consummated, you’re primed from before, and since none of *that* scene is depicted, it’s amazing how imagination fills in the silence.

    Loved “The White Hotel”, by the way. My oh my. . .

  3. Clare, thanks for sharing your list with us. One of our colleagues noted for his sexy settings is Barry Eisler. You might want to add his books to your TBR list.

  4. Will do Joe and Fran, you must be one of the few people I know who have read The White Hotel. I recommended it for my book group and boy were they shocked after they’d read it!

  5. OhmyGod Wuthering Heights! When I was thirteen, I celebrated the fact that I shared the heroine’s name (Did that mean I would grow up to get a hot, brooding guy like that?). No matter she spelled it with a stupid C. Cathy.

  6. Mr. Moore,
    Have to agree on Eisler. All of them are great, but one particularly steamy scene was in KILLING RAIN, between John Rain and Delilah. Yipes!

  7. Hi there, just stumbled on this site. Some interesting titles and recommendations. I wanted to throw in a title you might be interested in reading, which fits well under the header ‘crime and sex in literature’. It’s called Sisi and Sonia and you can find it – plus 5 star reviews – on amazon dot com and dot co dot uk. A noirish thriller of love and obsession turning to tears and crime for a London dentist and his family. A couple of distinguished names in the uk publishing industry said the ‘sex was particularly well written’. You can find extracts on my blog

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