10 Borderline NSFW Books To Sneakily Read On Your Morning Commute

HBO
Share

We all know how to recognize true erotica when we see it (usually, someone is some kind of shirtless on the cover). And most of us are pretty good at judging when a book is just going to be full of wholesome, non-erotic themes, like puppies and milk. But then there are those books that are technically OK to read in public, but that also make you feel extremely uncomfortable in public, especially if there are any families around (and especially if that family is your own). Here are a few books that are borderline NSFW...so bring them to the office, but check over your shoulder before you start reading.

Now, to be clear, you should read all of the not so safe for work books (you just might want to wait until any kids or parents you might have are sound asleep). They just have quite a bit of content that's going to make you blush. Or gross you out. Or get you revved up, because everyone has different taste. So if you get a thrill out of being slightly naughty out in broad daylight, sneak one onto your morning commute. Or if you're ashamed to be a physical being with a human body, read them in secret in the comfort of your home. However you want to do it, you should check out these great, sort of NSFW reads:

'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman

If the TV show hasn't clued you in by now, you should know that this book has some wild sex scenes. Like, "man having sex with a cat goddess" wild. There's also a steamy love scene between a taxi driving djinn and a business man, and, of course, that famous scene in which a man is devoured whole by a woman's vagina. So definitely a great read if you like myth and madness, but maybe don't leave it within the reach of small, literate children.

Click here to buy.

'Forever . . .' by Judy Blume

Don't think of Judy Blume as a sexy writer? Pick up Forever. It's aimed at an "older age group" than the bulk of her novels, meaning that two teens have sex, they both enjoy it, and nothing bad happens to them as a direct consequence of having sex. Sadly, that's almost revolutionary when it comes to novels about teen sexuality. Forever is lovely, awkward, sexually charged, and refreshingly realistic about first love.

Click here to buy.

'The Motion of Light in Water' by Samuel R. Delany

Die-hard sci-fi fans will need no convincing when it comes to picking up Samuel R. Delany's memoir of being a young, sexy science fiction writer in the East Village. But even if you haven't read Delany's novels, you should check out his beautifully written autobiography. The Motion of Light in Water captures the gay cruising culture of the early 60's in lower Manhattan, and Delany's youth was full of wild escapades both in and outside of his open marriage.

Click here to buy.

'Tipping the Velvet' by Sarah Waters

OK, so some parts of Tipping the Velvet might tip over into the definitively NSFW category, but it's still well worth reading under your desk. Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the phenomenal male impersonator Kitty Butler. As Nan tries to get closer to Kitty, she finds herself thrust into a new world of music hall stars and passionate love affairs, and the result is a sensual, literary romance for the ages.

Click here to buy.

'Saga' by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples

People are already a bit weird about reading comic books at work, but this is one you should definitely save for your off hours. Saga gets weird. Sexually active robots, a whole planet of "pleasure" slaves, dragon semen, lots of candid discussion of how babies are made, but with aliens...it's a terrific, gorgeously illustrated space adventure, but some of those illustrations get a tad explicit.

Click here to buy.

'The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty' by A.N. Roquelaure

Don't think that Sleeping Beauty can be truly erotic? Then you don't know Anne Rice. Writing under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure, Rice brings us a retelling of the folktale that has a lot more darkness...and a lot more BDSM. If you're interested in exploring themes of sexuality and consent with your favorite Disney princesses, then this is the book for you (just don't try to make out with any sleeping people in real life).

Click here to buy.

'Blankets' by Craig Thompson

If you prefer your sex scenes to be a little gentler and surrounded by fields of snow, then Blankets is the love story for you. It's the simple tale of first love between two teens, each struggling with religion and identity, against the backdrop of a deep, beautifully inked winter.

Click here to buy.

'The God of the Small Things' by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things is not exactly a romance novel—unless you consider the death of a child and a love affair between two twins to be in any way romantic. But The God of Small Things is also an inventive, all-consuming novel about people who break the unwritten laws of society, and the climactic love scene just might be one of the hottest in literature.

Click here to buy.

'Selected Letters of James Joyce' edited by Richard Ellmann

James Joyce's love letters are not sexy in a fun way. They're more sexy in a "oh good god...that's what you're into??" kind of way. Joyce, author of Ulysses, was apparently a total freak in the sack, and if you're morbidly curious you should crack open his book of selected letter (when no one else is around to see).

Click here to buy.

'Dead Until Dark' by Charlaine Harris

It wouldn't be a NSFW list without a hearty dose of vampire sex. Dead Until Dark is the first of the delightfully creepy Sookie Stackhouse series. Vampire Bill and telepathic waitress Sookie seem to be having a lot more fun than your typical vampiric lovers, and Dead Until Dark is a great read if you're looking for something on the lighter, funnier end of the monster romance spectrum.

Click here to buy.