The other day I picked up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey to flip through because I've apparently read every other book in existence and am now reduced to either this or Sarah Palin's memoirs. As I expected, it was pretty much crap, and not even good smut. Still, I can recognize when America is going through one of its Behind the Green Door, we're-all-talking-about-mainstream-porn phases, and as usual I'm here to help. You want some steamy sex in your literature? Try these.
Okay, reading House of Leaves for the sex scenes is like watching Requiem for a Dream to see Jennifer Connelly go ass to ass; it's just wrong. But amid the mindbending horror are at least two sex encounters that will start your hand traveling south. One has the narrator, out of nowhere, asked to ejaculate on the augmented breasts of an interview subject, but the real dirty gem can actually be heard in collaboration with Danielewski's sister Poe on a remix of "Hey Pretty."
In possibly the greatest superhero novel of all time, Grossman follows a cyborg named Fatale as she becomes the rookie member of an Avengers-like supergroup. At one point she spars with basically that universe's Batman, a physical contest that evolves into a hardcore make-out session. While it doesn't end up with a full-on sex scene, the way Fatale describes being touched after being so radically altered by machinery is both sweet and extremely hot.
Do me a favor. If you like Game of Thrones, please go pick up Rohan's Winter of the Worlds. It's equal if not better. Following a magesmith named Elof as he wages war against an oncoming eternal winter and the evil gods that want it, he eventually travels to an ancient and corrupt kingdom. Despite being crippled while there, he still manages to get into the pants of one of the ice goddesses, and even the daughter of the king that maimed him. The latter is a sexual triumph over physical adversity that is as empowering as it is erotic.
Much of Voiez's brilliant gothic novel is a brutal exploration of the nature of rape, but among the criminal sexualities that dominate are some scenes that are cruelty-free and hot as hell. When Satori and his ex-girlfriend's best friend Raven decide to hook up, the result is a smoking-hot scene with just a hint of master and slave thrown in for good measure.
The Earth's Children books about Ice Age man are just filled to the top with engorged manhoods and slick passages. They're all wonderfully written smut scenes, but the greatest of the series all happen in the fourth book, arguably the last good one. In that book, our heroine, Ayla, has overcome a lot of the servile tendencies instilled in her from her Neanderthal upbringing and become more fully a sexual equal. Gun to my head, her and Jondalar getting it on in a hot spring is tops.
Something for the furries out there...Shadow spends the night under the roof of a funeral home run by down-and-out Egyptian gods. That night, the cat-headed goddess Bast takes him through a marathon hump session that leaves his back covered in cat scratches but erases all his bruises from a beating he'd received by government spooks earlier. That is some good pussy that can spontaneously heal a fella.
Even though it sets up a long and unnecessary plotline about Lucy's enormous vagina that will be fixed later by plastic surgery, her and Sonny Corleone's initial tryst at his sister's wedding is, as my wife calls it, a real panty-moistener. No talking, no foreplay, just up against a wall with pure, animal abandon.
The Sookie Stackhouse books are short on XXX material, but there are still scenes that are remarkably steamy. Dead to the World has the best one, a tender but erotic encounter between Sookie and the amnesiac Eric in her shower that was thankfully reproduced almost perfectly in True Blood. It's a shaky-knee scene, I promise you.
I'll quote a friend of mine here. "If there was an appliance manual written by Henry Miller, I think it would still make me melt into a sticky puddle." Tropic of Cancer was out and out banned for its explicit sex content, and anything illegal is always entertaining. I can't pick a single scene for you, but trust me, they're all good.
If you wanted to point to Rice's best book, it would definitely by the first in her Mayfair Witches series. There's plenty of sex in the book, though if consensual incest is hard for you to read about, it might be a bit of a gagger. Anyone should be able to get behind Rowan Mayfair's erotic introduction to the family familiar Lasher, though. The specter goes to work on her with a thousand ectoplasmic tongues while she sleeps on an airplane, resulting in a dizzying orgasm.