Part 5 (More on Love/Sex/Relationships) of Jess’s series of blog posts on erotic books (from her “erotic stash”).
QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)
[PART 5: More on Love/Sex/Relationships…]
We are reaching the end of this short series of “erotic books.”
The books listed here helped introduce/expose me to the depths of passion, and romantic/sexual love.
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23. The Portable Poe (Anthology) | Amazon.com
“The best of Poe is certainly here, as fresh as ever, and better for entertainment than many a modern bestseller.” — San Francisco Chronicle
In pressing my last letter between your dear hands, there passed into your spirit a sense of the love that glowed within those pages: you say this, and I feel that indeed it must have been so: — but, in receiving the paper upon which your eyes now rest, did no shadow steal over you from the Sorrow within me? Oh, God! how I curse the impotence of the pen — the inexorable distance between us! I am pining to speak to you — Helen — to you in person — to be near you while I speak — gently to press your hand in mine to look into your soul through your eyes and thus to be sure that my voice passes into your heart. . . “You do not love me” — in this brief sentence lies all I can conceive of despair. I have no resource — no hope; Pride itself fails me now. You do not love me; or you could not have imposed upon me the torture of eight days silence — of eight days terrible suspense. . .
(Poe’s Letter to Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman, 18 October 1848, Page 35)
The whole thing (9 pages in total) showed me what a passionate love letter could be made of 0_0.
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24. Complete Works of Oscar Wilde | Amazon.com
A single-volume collection of Oscar Wilde’s texts. It contains his only novel, “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” as well as his plays, stories, poems, essays and letters. Illustrated with many photographs. A comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Oscar Wilde together with a chronological table of his life and work are also included.
If Hate blinded you, then Vanity sewed your eyelids together with iron threads.
[De Profundis (Oscar Wilde’s 80-page love letter to Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, written while Wilde was in prison)]
Too many awesome-tastic things to quote here — that’s one of several that I remember off the top of my head. Very dramatic, very passionate. Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow all the way. OMG, seriously.
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25. Love (Running Press) | Amazon.com
The Love Cyclopedia is not a self-help book, but rather a delightful, wide-ranging cultural exploration of passion and desire. From Shakespeare’s sonnets to a list of the all-time best slow-dance songs, from romantic film trivia to courtship rituals around the world, this is a charming book with something for everyone.
Excerpt (read it with jealousy):
“You are to me an object intensely desirable — the air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy. I am not the same to you — no — you can wait — you have a thousand activities — you can be happy without me. Any party, anything to fill up the day has been enough.
How have you pass’d this month? Who have you smil’d with? All this may seem savage in me. You do not feel as I do — you do not know what it is to love — one day you may — your time is not come. . .”
(John Keats to Fanny Brawne, 1820)
Between Poe, Wilde, and John Keats, I am not sure who wrote the most dramatic love letters…
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26. Flashpoint (Gay Male Sexual Writing) | Amazon.com
A collection of the most compelling, provocative testaments to gay eros. Longtime cultural critic Michael Bronski (Culture Clash: The Making of Gay Sensibility) presents over twenty of the genre’s best writers, exploring areas such as Enlightenment, Violence, True Life Adventures and more.
But neither the King nor the boy paid as much attention to the royal guests as they did to each other. The King couldn’t help studying his virgin boy’s roving, curious eyes as they surveyed the feast and his soft, full lips as they engulfed the fruits of the village; and because the highest man in the land kept casting his gaze on he boy, the boy found himself perpetually glancing at the solemn-faced King in the distance, mesmerized and mystified every time their stares locked. But stare was all either could do, at dinnertime or any other time, as legend dictated: For now, the King did not speak to the boy and the boy was not allowed to speak to the King.
(“The King and His Virgin Boy”, by Randy Boyd / Page 88)
Bought this while on a visit to Canada. Very insightful and readable. Powerful and exploratory too. I’ve gotten rid of several books that were more “porno-ish” than “erotic”, but I kept this one because it definitely beyond all shadow of a doubt falls into the latter category.
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27. The Rules of Attraction, by Bret Easton Ellis | Amazon.com
Set at a small, affluent liberal-arts college in New England at the height of the Reagan 80s, The Rules of Attraction is a startlingly funny, kaleidoscopic novel about three students with no plans for the future — or even the present — who become entangled in a curious romantic triangle. Bret Easton Ellis trains his incisive gaze on the kids at self-consciously bohemian Camden College and treats their sexual posturings and agonies with a mixture of acrid hilarity and compassion while exposing the moral vacuum at the center of their lives.
Lauren changes boyfriends every time she changes majors and still pines for Victor who split for Europe months ago and she might or might not be writing anonymous love letter to ambivalent, hard-drinking Sean, a hopeless romantic who only has eyes for Lauren, even if he ends up in bed with half the campus, and Paul, Lauren’s ex, forthrightly bisexual and whose passion masks a shrewd pragmatism. They waste time getting wasted, race from Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours to Dressed To Get Screwed parties to drinks at The Edge of the World or The Graveyard. The Rules of Attraction is a poignant, hilarious take on the death of romance.
And she was thinking that this wouldn’t have happened with Daniel Miller, that he would have taken her gently in his big strong Drama major arms and undressed her quietly, expertly, taken the bra off with grace and ease, kissed her deeply, tenderly, and it probably wouldn’t have hurt, but she wasn’t with Daniel Miller. She was there with some guy from New York whose name she didn’t even know and God only knows who else, and the two bodies above her continued moving and then she was on top and even though she was too drunk to stay on top. . .
(The Rules of Attraction, Page 5)
Totally realistic, original, unforgettable. Read it when I was 18 going on 19 (great age to first read this!). Really loved the stream-of-consciousness writing style and how each character was handled (the writing style was intense featuring multiple POV without getting too confusing — that was my reading experience, at least).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick walkthrough of what sort of ended up as my “sexual education” (from 16 to 25 years old, and counting).
People have recommended Marquis de Sade and Story of O to me — gotta get going on those sometime.
Drop me an email or leave a comment here anytime, if you’d like to share any high-quality books on sexual art or literature you’ve enjoyed :)
— Jess C Scott / www.jessINK.com
QUALITY EROTICA (aka “Jess’s Erotic Stash”)