8 Sex Scenes In Books To Read Before A First Date

How do you prepare for a first date? Well, obviously you've got to pick out your outfit, text pictures of the outfit to all your friends, try a few "hair hacks" you found online, pick out a new outfit after realizing that the first outfit has a wine stain on it, give yourself a lengthy pep talk in the mirror, and read some of the steamiest sex scenes in books. OK, so reading literary sex scenes may not be part of your traditional first date preparation, but I think that we, as a society, should try to change that. I mean, what gets you in the mood for a new romance like reading about fictional characters going at it?

Whether this is your third Tinder date this week, or the beginning of a romance with a longtime friend, or your first date in what seems like forever, a well-penned love scene will give you an extra dose of confidence. There are slow and sweet scenes for those afternoon coffee dates, wild and passionate scenes for drinks and dancing, and a whole slew of other scenes for everything in between. So if you want to trade in your first date jitters for some hot, literary excitement, check out these scenes of seduction:

1. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

She slid further down, introducing herself to the rest of him. His neck. His nipples. His chocolate brown stomach. She sipped the last of the river from the hollow of his navel. She pressed the heat of his erection against her eyelids. She tasted him, salty, in her mouth. He sat up and drew her back to him. She felt his belly tighten under her, hard as a board. She felt her wetness slipping on his skin. He took her nipple in his mouth and cradled her other breast in his calloused palm. Velvet gloved in sandpaper.

Arundhati Roy writes about the forbidden love of two people from different castes, but the forbidden aspect isn't the main attraction. It's more about the tenderness and joy of love between two individuals, outside the bounds of society's rules. And it's one of the most tingle-inducing sex scenes in any book.

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2. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

They seized each other by the shoulders, hugged mightily, squeezing the breath out of each other, saying, son of a bitch, son of a bitch, then, and easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths came together, and hard, Jack’s big teeth bringing blood, his hat falling to the floor, stubble rasping, wet saliva welling, and the door opening and Alma looking out for a few seconds at Ennis’s straining shoulders and shutting the door again and still they clinched, pressing chest and groin and thigh and leg together, treading on each other’s toes until they pulled apart to breathe and Ennis, not big on endearments, said what he said to his horses and his daughters, little darlin.

Brokeback Mountain is either a long short story or a short novella, but whatever it is, it's beautifully written. If you only know the cinematic version, it's time to treat yourself to some prose about cowboy-on-cowboy love. No matter what genders you find yourself attracted to, this story about two men finding each other is universal. Perfect for first dates with rugged or outdoorsy types.

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3. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.In spirit she walks the city, traces its labyrinths, its dingy mazes: each assignation, each rendezvous, each door and stair and bed. What he said, what she said, what they did, what they did then. Even the times they argued, fought, parted, agonized, rejoined. How they’d loved to cut themselves on each other, taste their own blood. We were ruinous together, she thinks. But how else can we live, these days, except in the midst of ruin?

This one is for your first date with that strong-and-silent stranger. The Blind Assassin is a wonderfully romantic and moody piece of literature, involving several nested love stories and several dizzying plot twists. It also has quite a few choice scenes for new lovers who like to preserve a little mystery about each other.

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4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

"I’m glad it found its way here," he said, and reached over and touched his finger very delicately to the edge of one of its straps, near my collarbone, but instead of pushing it down and off my shoulder as I thought he would, he ran his finger slowly along then upper edge of my bra in front and then traced it all the way down around the bottom. I watched his face while he did this. It seemed more intimate than kissing him had. By the time he’d finished outlining the whole thing, he’d barely touched me and yet I was so wet I could hardly stand up.

Cheryl Strayed writes very candidly about female sexuality. Sometimes the sex she describes is self-destructive, yes, but at other times it's entirely healing. This is a scene to indulge in if you're about to embark on a first date, but you already know that you want to take things slow. Wild understands that sometimes taking things slow can be a huge turn on for everyone involved.

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5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Her little shoulders drove me mad; I hugged her and hugged her. And she loved it."I love love," she said, closing her eyes. I promised her beautiful love. I gloated over her. Our stories were told; we subsided into silence and sweet anticipatory thoughts. It was as simple as that. You could have all your Peaches and Bettys and Marylous and Ritas and Camilles and Inezes in this world; this was my girl and my kind of girlsoul, and I told her that.

Let's be real here: Jack Kerouac would have probably made a terrible boyfriend. He's a hippie, mansplaining dude who sleeps around and almost never showers. But if you're hoping for a nice, casual first date, On the Road is great for getting you in a freewheeling mood. Kerouac's writing is erratic and inspiring, and his novel is full of fun, casual sex (just don't expect him to stick around the next morning).

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6. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.

Americanah is a novel about identity threaded through with a love story. It's the ideal book to read if you're nervous about a first date with an old friend or childhood sweetheart. The sex scenes vary from awkward to awful to adequate to truly wonderful. Adichie's writing is often painfully honest, but sometimes that honesty is exactly what you need to dive into unknown romantic territory.

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7. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

“Do you know how careful my love will make me? See here, look at my hands. Say there’s a cobweb spun between them. It’s my ambition. And at its centre there’s a spider, a color of a jewel. The spider is you. This is how I shall bear you — so gently, so carefully and without jar, you shall not know you are being taken.”

Fingersmith is the Dickensian novel about Victorian lesbians that you never knew you needed. If your ideal first date involves tea, lace, and repressed desires, then this is the book for you. The sex scenes are not overly graphic, but rather delicate and seductive. And very focused on fingers.

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8. A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle

…And he was kissing me again, and slipping the shorty nightgown over my head. His strong and gentle hands began to stroke me, his hands, his lips, his tongue.Gentle. Not frightening. Knowing what he was doing. I felt my nipples rise, and it startled me.‘Shhh,’ Renny whispered. ‘Shhh, it’s all right, don’t worry, just relax and listen to your body.’He was slow, rhythmic, gentle, moving down my body, down …and I was nothing but my bodythere was a sharp brief painbriefand then a sweet spasm went through meand I seemed to rise into the airno more painjust the sweetnessthe incredibleoh, theand then Renny, pantingI pressed him hard against me.

Yeah, this is the same Madeleine L'Engle who wrote A Wrinkle in Time, and yeah, this is a sex scene. It's the protagonist's first time having sex (so really, this scene should be so much more awkward), but it's still a sweet and sensual read for a first experience with anyone. The rest of the book may not quite live up to L'Engle's other work, but this one scene is just lovely.

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