14 Books That Will Spice Up Your Sex Life

Because reading can certainly be sexy.

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Going through a dry spell? Maybe sometimes you feel like you’d be fine never having sex again because you’re so exhausted. Or the exact opposite: perhaps you wish your special someone would be more interested and would just try something new already! I’ve been thinking more analytically about sex and relationships now that I co-host a sex advice podcast. And I’ve seen the wide range of secret issues that we’re all going through — and don’t talk about. If you’re not feeling frisky between the sheets these days, and would like to change that, take up another beloved bedtime activity: Reading! These books about sex and erotic novels with perhaps unexpected steamy scenes could completely transform your sex life.

Great Sex Starts at 50: Age-Proof Your Libido & Transform Your Sex Life by Tracey Cox

You can actually have better sex as you age. International sex expert and co-host of my award-winning podcast SexTok with Zibby and Tracey, Tracey Cox debunks the myth that hot sex is wasted on the youth with case studies, research, personal stories, and more designed to show you — with techniques you can really implement! — that you’re just getting started. This one isn’t up your alley? Don’t worry — she’s written 17 books on the topic. And her website is chock-full of useful information. (Just “clear history” on your browser before handing the iPad back to the kids.)

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

This bestselling Reese’s Book Club pick (which I “picked” even before, just sayin’) captures mid-life lust as a mother of three takes up with her lifetime love despite her life of content co-existence with her charming, British husband. Passion. Infidelity. The heart versus the head. Cape Cod. This book has it all. 

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

An homage to dating apps everywhere, this international bestseller by Brit Dolly Alderton, who is currently on set filming the screen adaptation of her memoir Everything I Know About Love, covers the best of a new relationship and how moments like that first touch of skin are sometimes the absolute pinnacle of what’s to come. But then there’s more. You’ll laugh out loud and won’t want to put this one down.

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

A mom takes her daughter to a teen boy band concert and somehow ends up with one of the members of the band. And speaking of members, dig in to see what happens next. Robbing the cradle, anyone?

Widowish by Melissa Gould

This may seem like an unlikely candidate for a hot sex memoir. However, read to the end to see how one L.A. mom copes with her bottomless grief and everlasting love for her late husband by (perhaps?) taking up with her daughter’s guitar teacher. 

Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick

When an event designer has his crush on a real-life prince realized, this same-sex flirtation (and consummation?! You’ll have to read to find out) has all the feels of that insanely intoxicating beginning stage.

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

A romance at a yoga retreat? Om…yes, please! While this relationship may not have had legs back home, the flirtation and connection between two strangers at the beginning of this book is riveting. Warrior pose, anyone? The Party Crasher is her latest book after the Shopaholic series.

Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen by Alyssa Shelasky

When this likable, relatable city girl takes up with a chef, it has all the ingredients (haha) for a very juicy story. Napkins not included. Alyssa Shelasky is the Sex Diaries columnist for The Cut — which you should also read. Her next book, This Might Be Too Personal, comes out in May 2022.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory’s books always blend societal commentary with, well, sex masterfully. In this one, two people meet anonymously at a bar and make a night of it. She’s a lawyer and he’s a politician, which makes for an head-butting combo. Will this lustful interracial relationship make it? Also check out her latest book, While We Were Dating.

A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

Spouse swapping the suburbs? Intriguing, right? This book explores what some couples might just wonder about in a way that will have you wondering, if you weren’t already. Her latest novel is Friends Like These, and all of her books are on their way to the screen.

What is Missing by Michael Frank

A son and his father vie for the attention of the same luscious woman on an Italian vacation. If you think that’s creepily compelling, just wait until she moves in with them both while dealing with her midlife fertility issues back in New York.

Twisted Family Values by VC Chickering

In my opinion, VC Chickering is the most underrated sex writer there is. The author of Nookietown examines a relationship between cousins in addition to all the other craziness going on in the family when a secret bubbles to the surface and they have to decide how far they’ll go to keep that secret. Family drama might not sound sexy, but Chickering will change your thoughts on that.

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

This one is pretty raw. Lisa Taddeo, the brilliant author of Three Women (which is also a sexy read), holds nothing back in this California adventure following a rageful woman unraveling in response to all the male savagery she’s witnessed and experienced in her life. You might need a shower afterward.

No Words by Meg Cabot

Sometimes hate is the most erotic form of attraction. When two authors and enemies are forced together at a literary conference, things get heated, in good and bad ways.

Zibby Owens is an author, publisher, mother of four, and the podcast host of Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.