10 Steamy Summer Reads
Do you have any good recs for books on sex?
Oh, do I ever! It’s literally part of my job to read about sex. I’m also a huge romance novel fan, and have been since middle school when my best friend and I would huddle together at lunch to giggle about the latest sexy scene in whatever fantasy novel we were reading.
Reading about sex, either how to do it better or about other people getting it on, benefits your sex life in so many ways. It puts sex on your brain, inspires new ideas, and normalizes your experiences. Plus it can be hot AF.
Whether you want to learn more about sex or are just ready to get turned on, we’ve got you covered! Here are 11 sexy summer reads.
If you want to up your sexual prowess:
Solo Sex: A Workbook for Your Erotic Self by Afrosexology. This digital workbook from some of my favorite sex educators “contains 50+ pages of information, worksheets, and practices to allow you to explore, affirm, and deepen your connection to your erotic self, erotic voice, and erotic power.”
Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment by August McLaughlin. August is a dear friend, sister in many things (eating disorder recovery, being #heelfree, and so much more) and I devoured her latest book, which shares the name of her equally amazing podcast. “An unfiltered blend of personal narrative and practical tips on relationships, solo play, journaling, gender issues, and more, Girl B*ner will “empower you to own your sexual self and enjoy … your whole life a great deal more.”
Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski. If you could only buy one book about sex ever, this is the book I’d recommend. It transformed my approach to teaching about sex and has transformed my clients’ sex lives and relationships. Here’s the official description: “An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.”
(Book images via Simon & Schuster, Afrosexology, and Amazon)
Kinky Sex Tips for Curious Girls by Mona Darling. Remember the pre-internet era when we amused ourselves with activity books? Know how coloring is making a comeback in a big way? Ever thought about combining that with sex education? Mona did! “Kinky Sex Tips For Curious Girls provides a fun, shame-free introduction to kink and BDSM, modeled after the activity books you loved as a kid. It mixes solid advice about kink and BDSM with puzzles, games, and coloring pages.” It’s endlessly fun and I love Mona’s easygoing approach to kink, whether you’re looking to mix things up or want to go deep into the world of BDSM.
The Consent Guidebook by Erin Tillman, The Dating Advice Girl .Whether you’re single, dating, or in a LTR, this easy-to-follow illustrated guide offers “practical advice for establishing boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others.” It’ll help you step into your power in all areas of your life including sex and relationships, so you can be a more bad ass and sensitive person and partner.
(Book images via Amazon)
Books that will turn you on:
Above All by Rebecca Brooks. For a long time I proclaimed, “I don’t do modern romances.” Then I met Rebecca at an event where we talked about consent and how so many romance novels perpetuate harmful sex myths and I figured I’d give her books a read. Now…I have a rule where my vibrator must be within reach while reading because I’ve had too many slightly embarrassing moments in public! She writes about “outdoorsy guys with both muscle and heart and independent women ready to try something new.” This one features a chef. I guarantee her books will leave you with a case of wanderlust—and a raging (girl) boner. If nothing else, do yourself a favor and go check out the cover because *swoon* Can’t wait for the book? Read literally any of her other ones.
Take the Lead and Dance with Me by Alexis Daria. Hot sex, dancing, and some of the best female friendships I’ve ever seen written in romance. Need I say anything else? OK I will! Both heroines are strong AF, making their way in a world that keeps trying to knock them down. They have each other first and foremost, their friends, and then their love interests. It takes a village to make a relationship work, and these books poignantly highlight that. Oh, and did I mention the amazing sex scenes?
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I haven’t read this one yet but it’s at the top of my TBR (that’s to-be-read) list given the number of people I trust who’ve recommended it and, well, everything about it. The plot is a reverse Pretty Woman and the protagonist, like the author, is on the autism spectrum. YES to more representation and happily-ever-afters for all.
(Images via Amazon and Goodreads)
Stripped by Zoey Castille. The first in a Magic Mike-inspired trilogy about the men of adult entertainment and the women who fall in love with them. Book one features, you guessed it, a male stripper and the school teacher who falls for him after their laundry gets swapped at the dry cleaners. The struggle is real. I love that the heroine is in the midst of a quarter life crisis—who hasn’t been there? I love that Zoey addresses concerns someone might have dating a male stripper, without shaming sex work and even highlighting its benefits. I love that they pull back in the middle of one of the early sex scenes because guess what? Men can help themselves! You have to wait til July for this one but do yourself a favor and pre-order it stat so it’ll be waiting for you. Just make sure to give yourself a day off to devour it.
Day of the Duchess by Sarah Maclean. Sarah famously rewrote this entire book from scratch after the 2016 election when she realized her original hero definitely would have voted for Trump. The result? An incredibly sexy and oh-so-cathartic love story that opens with a duchess storming parliament to demand a divorce. By the end of the book, you’ll have laughed, sobbed, screamed, and cheered, and be left feeling powerful and affirmed. Oh and, no, you don’t need to read books one and two to enjoy it. I’m making my way through Sarah’s entire backlist right now and I love how her heroines always save themselves (its’ very Ever After). She also has a new book coming out this summer that will undoubtedly be amazing.
The Wicked Quills of London series by Eva Leigh. I lost my mind reading these books (seriously—my Twitter feed was nothing but “Eva I love you!” for a week straight) in which each heroine is a writer of some sort, none of them are virgins, and they’re all in their 30s. I didn’t realize how much I longed to read books about women my age, where virginity wasn’t the crux of the conflict, where they worked for a living and refused to sacrifice their careers for love. These are heavy on the sex and the sass and so damn affirming.
(Images via Goodreads and Amazon)
These recommendations should get you started! Looking for something more specific or want to get ongoing recommendations? Follow me on Goodreads.
Featured image by Kyle Loftus
Author Bio Kait Scalisi, MPH, is an advocate for the revolutionary power of pleasure inside the bedroom and out. Through her public workshops, private counselling, and online platform Passion By Kait, she harnesses her science education, social justice insight, and radical empathy to empower folx to get more in tune with their bodies, discover what brings them pleasure, and integrate it into their lives and relationships in ways that are both practical and powerful. Learn more and find #freedominpleasure at PassionbyKait.com, Instagram and Twitter @PassionbyKait, and Facebook www.facebook.com/PassionbyKait.