When I was a kid, I watched Bewitched and practiced wiggling my nose, hoping that something magical would happen when I did, and then Elizabeth Montgomery would have something snappy to say in support. One Saturday, my grandmother asked, “What are you watching?” and when she saw it was Bewitched, she said, “I thought I recognized her voice.” She asked my mother, “Isn’t she the one that did those erotic books-on-tape?”
I was seven, so I didn’t know that erotic audiobooks were a thing, and my mother had to explain it to me. In case you didn’t know, erotic audiobooks are a thing: they are narratives about a sexual relationship that ends, more or less, with everyone happy…pun intended. Below is the shortlist of erotica audio stories from classics to new, for the readers who are done with Grey, but who aren’t done with their interest in erotic audio stories.
HENRY & JUNE BY Anaïs NIN
This book is about the nonfictional affair between Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin, two literary authors, during the 1930s. It reads like literature, but the book itself—which is part of her unexpurgated journal of the time—is definitely erotic in nature. In the book, Nin explores the nature of her physical and mental attraction to Henry and his wife, June, as well as her relationship with her own husband. Nin is often quoted as one of the sexiest writers of all time, both in style and content. Her books of erotic audio stories, Little Birds and Delta of Venus, are also worth visiting. Many recommend Henry Miller’s writing as erotica as well, although the definition of the genre has to bend somewhat to include them.
the claiming of sleeping beauty by anne rice
This erotic audiobook is the first in the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and Audible.com gives it a “sizzling” on the “How Steamy is It?” scale. As the title suggests, it retells the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty so that “the prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation.” He then makes of her a sexual slave. She must do everything he tells her, even when he delegates that responsibility.
(The second book in the trilogy, Beauty’s Punishment, is narrated by Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched, my gateway narrator to erotica audiobooks!)
The Best of The Marquis de Sade by Marquis de Sade
These erotic audio stories are all by the Marquis de Sade. It might sound dry, and you might be skeptical because these literary stories were written in 19th century France, but the term “sadism” is literally named after this guy. I’m not saying he invented the concept, but there’s a reason he’s its namesake. This compilation includes “Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue,” “Philosophy in the Bedroom,” and “120 Days of Sodom.” On the “How Steamy is It?” scale, Audible gives De Sade a “o-o-omg.” (That’s its highest rating.)
Flesh by Kylie Scott
Flesh is set post-zombie apocalypse, and it investigates the intricacies of the personalities of three plague survivors, Ali, Daniel, and Finn. Their personal needs override the necessary survivalist mindset. Like all truly interesting post-apocalyptic novels—and all erotica—this listen focuses on the interpersonal interactions of the survivors more than that of the devastated earth setting. This novel, too, was given a “o-o-omg” on Audible’s scale.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
This one is my personal favorite. It’s equal parts spooky and sexy. The first story, “The Husband Stitch” fits our definition of erotica best in that it retells the urban legend of the girl with the velvet ribbon around her neck. (In case you missed that story from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when you were a child, Jenny wears a green, velvet ribbon her whole life. A boy falls in love with her. He marries her. His whole life, he wants to take off the ribbon, but Jenny won’t let him.) In the erotica audiobook version by Machado, touching the ribbon is the only thing Jenny won’t let her husband do…until she lets him. In this telling, the narrative is a love story that focuses on the development of a horrific tall tale into one of erotic fulfillment.
Zane’s Sex Chronicles by zane
This anthology has been recorded as erotic audio stories due to the phenomenal popularity of the Cinemax series that Zane’s stories have inspired—the first urban erotic television series! Other erotic audiobooks by Zane have been given a “hot damn” on the “How steamy is it?” scale. Some of the most popular are Nervous and Vengeance. One of this anthology’s original sub-titles was “Shattering the Myth,” that is, shattering the myth that women of color are inhibited in comparison to their male or white counterparts. As you may have noticed from its rating, this erotic audiobook does successfully shatter said myth, and comes highly recommended.
That’s the short list, ladies and gentlemen, but we are all, always looking for more recommendations. What are your favorite erotic audiobooks?