Photo by Peter Mabbutt

Recently this sign was spotted on the Fifty Shades Of Grey display in a bookstore—it reads, in part: "This is an awful book. Do not read this book. There is better smut on the internet. Smut that is well written. Smut that portrays the BDSM lifestyle accurately. Smut that doesn't romanticize abusive relationships... Go forth and find good smut." There's plenty of said smut online, but if you have a thing for holding a bound book in your hand, it's time to revisit some classics (that you'll be even less embarrassed to read on the subway). Claire Cavanah, Babeland's Co-founder, gave us these suggestions:

  • House of Holes, Vox and The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
  • Wifey, Judy Blume
  • Querelle by Genet
  • Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  • Delta of Venus, Anais Nin
  • Justine, Marquis de Sade

And let's not forget about Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series—the classic hardcore fantasy erotica trilogy is getting a re-release in the wake of E.L. James's success with Fifty.