These Fairy Tales Are Not For Children

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Patricia Elzie-Tuttle

Contributing Editor

Patricia Elzie-Tuttle is a writer, podcaster, librarian, and information fanatic who appreciates potatoes in every single one of their beautiful iterations. Patricia earned a B.A. in Creative Writing and Musical Theatre from the University of Southern California and an MLIS from San Jose State University. Her weekly newsletter, Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice offers self-improvement and mental health advice, essays, and resources that pull from her experience as a queer, Black, & Filipina person existing in the world. She is also doing the same on the Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice Podcast. More of her written work can also be found in Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy edited by Kelly Jensen, and, if you’re feeling spicy, in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Patricia has been a Book Riot contributor since 2016 and is currently co-host of the All the Books! podcast and one of the weekly writers of the Read This Book newsletter. She lives in Oakland, CA on unceded Ohlone land with her wife and a positively alarming amount of books. Find her on her Instagram, Bluesky, and LinkTree.

I love fairy tales. Any and all of them. The Grimm versions. The Disney versions. I love sitting back and thinking, “Okay. Disbelief is suspended starting now” before diving into a tale that is hundreds of years old and originated in Russia about a house on a chicken’s legs or the tale of Cinderella which has similar stories from multiple countries. If you’ve ever read the Grimm versions, you will know that the stories can often be morbid, dark, and just plain weird. I happen to be a big fan of morbid, dark, and just plain weird and I know I’m not the only one. Fairy tales are often thought of as stories for children, but that’s not always true. Sometimes the subtext is not at all for minors. I’ve already written about the place that A.N. Roquelaure’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty holds in my heart. Here are three more books that bring the subtext to the forefront and twist these fantastic tales into stories that are sure to increase your heart rate, tickle your imagination, and offer something pretty fun to read in bed either alone or aloud to your partner.

Erotic Fairy Tales A Romp Through the Classics by Mitzi Szereto

Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp through the Classics by Mitzi Szereto has a lovely and short introduction on the history of fairy tales, their tellings and retellings, and their places in different societies. On top of that, each story begins with its own introduction that shows us Szereto put in a lot of time researching the histories of each individual story and its versions in many cultures. Her own takes on the fairy tales are equal parts erotic and cheeky. These stories will make you blush and giggle simultaneously. This book is no longer in print but used copies and Kindle edition are available online.

Of Princes and Beauties edited by Cecilia Tan


Of Princes and Beauties: Adult Erotic Faerie Tales Edited by Cecilia Tan is a collection of five tales and one poem by various authors. These stories tend to be more graphic while being elegantly told. The stories are still full of familiar fairy tale characters such as royalty, wizards, and the requisite talking frog. Unfortunately, this book is no longer in print but used copies are easy to come by online.



Naughty Fairy Tales From A to Z Edited by Alison Tyler

Naughty Fairy Tales from A to Z Edited by Alison Tyler is a collection of twenty-six stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) by various authors plus one bonus story at the end. These stories are contemporary erotic takes on the classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes that we know. Tyler includes a helpful list of what original tale each of these stories is based on including Goldilocks, Humpty-Dumpty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. These stories are delightfully dirty and not for the faint of heart.