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This headline and subsequent article annoyed me. I wasn’t the only one.

Good point, Alysha. I would like to know what differentiates a “literary” sex novel and a “genre” sex novel. Basically, what’s the difference between lit-sex and erotica? It seems that if a woman writes about sex, it’s categorized as “erotica” but if a man writes about sex, then that’s “literature.”

I have a problem with the erotic/sex-lit books listed in the article that have been written by women. I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, but it sounds like it’s a book that generally is not thought of as a piece of well-written literature. I read Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum and while it had its literary moments, I was disappointed by its ultimate message. And for the sake of research, I started listening to Tampa by Alissa Nutting. If I finish it, that will be a miracle. The main female character is a 26-year-old middle school teacher who cannot stop fantasizing about a 14-year-old boy in her classroom and eventually acts on those fantasies. She’s a true predator.

If these are the lauded examples of “literary” sex novels written by women, I’d say there’s a ton of room for improvement. Women writers of the world, are you up to the challenge of delivering some quality lit-sex to readers?

What female authors of literary sex would you put on this list? I vote for Anais Nin and Pauline Reage. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a woman writing in the spirit of Nin and Reage today? Where’s the novel about female desire in which it makes the woman confident, sexy and powerful? Without breaking the law or being punished for her actions?