BDSM erotica, sex, and kink have a long history. Before E.L. James's 50 Shades of Grey, there was no shortage of tales of depravity to horrify or titillate the masses. Have a look at our list of hot reads and see if you've been missing out.

 

Juliette, by the Marquis de Sade

Originally this piece of BDSM erotica was published anonymously in 1797. Juliette is such an intense book that Napoleon demanded that the author was immediately arrested. No one knew that the author was actually the Marquis de Sade.

This wasn’t his only published work, but it comes up again and again in lists of kinky works because of the sexual depravity depicted within its pages. Juliette is an amoral nymphomaniac introduced to sex at the tender age of 13. Think of every hard limit you may have, and it’s probably somewhere in the pages.

 

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence

Published in 1928, you might be inclined to think Lady Chatterley’s Lover would be tame in comparison to what we read these days. In some ways, I’m sure it is, but I know authors in 2016 who can’t bear to write the word “cunt” and Mr Lawrence had zero problems with that word.

Unlike the quick words-treated- like-porn reads you might get from Amazon, Lawrence had an opinion on class and the issues of the day running in between the sex scenes. The basic story is of Lady Chatterley, an upper-class woman in a dissatisfying marriage with an impotent man, and her affair with her gamekeeper.

 

The Story of O, by Pauline Reage

O is a sexual slave “gifted” by her former master to a new one, Sir Stephen. Her story is a full series. I preferred the first book most of all, but it’s definitely worth the read. Oh, and if you think you can’t tell anyone what you download to your Kindle, the writer whose real name is Anne Desclos, didn’t admit she was the author until 40 years after it was published.
 

Although not always classified as BDSM erotica: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

First published in 1955, Lolita has taken on mythic proportions with an entire part of the kinky community identifying either as their own Lolita, a 12-year- old girl, or the much older male protagonist, Humbert Humbert.

The way the characters and some of the qualities of the story have been used to build a subset of kink reminds me of John Norman and his Gor series. While this book isn’t always classified as BDSM erotica, what it leads to beyond the pages of the book, makes it worth a mention.

 

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Lolita is not always considered pure BDSM erotica but still worth a mention.

 

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin - a BDSM erotica classic

No list of BDSM erotica can be without the work of Anais Nin. Published in 1977, Delta of Venus is a collection of short erotic writing, some sensual, others kinky, and all with an intellectual element to the sensual pleasure she evokes. There’s a reason people tend to quote Nin when it comes to sex, eroticism, and even kink.
 

The Sleeping Beauty Series, by A.N. Roquelaure

Don’t even think about the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty. The first book in the series, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, was published in 1983 and written by A.N. Roquelaure, a pseudonym used by Anne Rice. The books that followed were Beauty’s Punishment (1984), Beauty’s Release (1985), and Beauty’s Kingdom (2015).

I’ve read the first three books in the series, and it’s kinky to an extreme. Consent isn’t discussed. There’s plenty of pony play. For anyone completely new to the idea of kink, it’s overwhelming. Knowing it’s written by Anne Rice, don’t go into it expecting a kinky Vampire Lestat or something. This series stands on its own as something completely unique in the world of BDSM erotica.

 

Exit to Eden, by Anne Rampling

Show of hands - who thought Exit to Eden was only a wacky movie starring Rosie O’Donnell? Me too. I know they change things when they adapt a book into a film, but if you’ve heard of this particular story, published in 1985 and written by Anne Rice under the name Anne Rampling, you’ll be shocked. The movie is nothing like the book. The movie was cute but a little ridiculous. The book is excellent, and it’s a kinky love story set on an exotic island.


Kayla Lords is a freelance writer, sex blogger, and a masochistic babygirl living the 24/7 D/s life. 


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