15 Steamy Erotic Stories Written By Women — & Why They’re Important

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When I first started writing erotica in 1999, I would often get the question, “What, exactly, is erotica?” Nowadays, in our post-Fifty Shades of Grey world, I rarely get that kind of confusion. Instead, there remains a bit of a misconception that all of modern erotica is somehow similar to Fifty Shades, with female submissives being the name of the game.
The truth: There’s a lot to discover about the genre beyond E.L. James’ massive bestseller. I should know; I’ve edited more than 60 erotica anthologies and have read hundreds of stories for the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series I curate. Writing erotica has irrevocably changed my life, and has given me new perspectives on my own sexuality as well as those of my fellow human beings.
The past decade has seen a boom in women turning to the page to detail sexy stories that would very likely make even Christian Grey blush. And for anyone who knocks erotica as anything less than an art form, it’s interesting to note that of the 130 erotic authors recently surveyed by writer Emmanuelle de Maupassant, roughly 30% of respondents said they have formally studied literature.
Women writers come to the world of erotica for different reasons: some as a business opportunity, some to safely explore sexual fantasies they can’t share in their real lives, and some simply to create hot stories that will arouse readers. While I’m firmly of the mindset that fiction is just that, fiction, and can’t be used to divine real-life trends in sexuality, I do think it’s a positive for women that erotic fiction has become more mainstream. Not having erotica tucked away into some dark corner sends the message that it’s okay to think about sex, to think about what turns you on. Erotica gives us permission, in case we didn’t have it already, to acknowledge ourselves as sexual, and sexy, beings, whose desires may be far more complicated than we’re often led to believe.
The fact that erotica, along with erotic romance — from blockbuster print bestsellers to upstart indie ebook publishers to websites and magazines like Congress — is now so widely available means that we are becoming more comfortable talking about sex, including some deeply kinky sex. Take a stroll through any given bookstore romance section and you’re just as likely to see handcuffs as you are Fabio-esque images. Female authors are writing about straight women, lesbian women, bisexual women, male-male erotica, and beyond, and in the process, giving their fellow readers access to all sorts of models of sexual fulfillment that don’t fit any kind of mold.
When Refinery29 asked me to curate a selection of what’s hot in erotica written by women, I wanted to bring you a sampling of that kind of variety. Ahead, you’ll find excerpts from some of today’s top erotic writers, with stories ranging from sweet to filthy, with just about everything in between. These authors have brought forth the heart of what makes sex such a delight by capturing the lusty, down-and- dirty moments right alongside the emotional nuances that make these stories worth reading — and re-reading. Prepare to be delighted, and surprised, because these writers don’t shy away from BDSM, erotic risk-taking, sex with strangers, male/male lust, historical erotic scenes, or anything else.
This time, we’re starting with a handful of steamy stories, but we’ll be featuring a new story every month. Even if you think erotica is not your cup of tea, I hope you’ll check the excerpts out in case something strikes your fancy. And if you have suggestions for authors our readers should know about, please leave a comment sharing your favorites!
From A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

His hand came down on her ass, not hard enough to hurt, but enough to warm. She gave a yelp that was abruptly cut off when his hand lingered, stroking the red mark he had left behind. “You like that?”

She wanted to smile but controlled it, fearful he would see it and think she was laughing at him. There was a hint of pleading in his question. He was hoping beyond hope that she liked his palm smacking her, because he clearly liked it very much.

She stretched her hands down over his back and scraped her fingernails over his ass, which clenched in reaction. “I adore it,” she purred.

The room spun around her as he tossed her on the bed, and then he was there, a couple hundred pounds of aroused male bending over her, bracketing her smaller body. “Really?”

“Really.” She drew her leg up, sliding it over his muscular thigh. “Would you like to do it again?”
Small white lines formed around his mouth. “Yes.”

She craned up, touching her nose to his. “How many times have you jerked off, thinking of spanking my ass?”

A shudder ran through him. “Too many.”

“Was I a bad little slut in these fantasies?”

He closed his eyes and inhaled, deep and slow. “I don’t like that word.”
“What word?”

He licked his lips, his shoulders tensing. “Slut.”

“You seem to. In this context.”

His hand came down on her ass, not hard enough to hurt, but enough to warm. She gave a yelp that was abruptly cut off when his hand lingered, stroking the red mark he had left behind. “You like that?”
She wanted to smile but controlled it, fearful he would see it and think she was laughing at him. There was a hint of pleading in his question. He was hoping beyond hope that she liked his palm smacking her, because he clearly liked it very much.
She stretched her hands down over his back and scraped her fingernails over his ass, which clenched in reaction. “I adore it,” she purred.
The room spun around her as he tossed her on the bed, and then he was there, a couple hundred pounds of aroused male bending over her, bracketing her smaller body. “Really?”
“Really.” She drew her leg up, sliding it over his muscular thigh. “Would you like to do it again?”
Small white lines formed around his mouth. “Yes.”
She craned up, touching her nose to his. “How many times have you jerked off, thinking of spanking my ass?”
A shudder ran through him. “Too many.”
“Was I a bad little slut in these fantasies?”
He closed his eyes and inhaled, deep and slow. “I don’t like that word.”
“What word?”
He licked his lips, his shoulders tensing. “Slut.”
“You seem to. In this context.”
He opened his eyes, confusion darkening them. “I do.”
She could tease him, but there wasn’t a single bone in her body eager to send him into a shame spiral. “Doesn’t make you a hypocrite. You like it because it makes me horny.” She rubbed her nose against his. “There’s no shame in being turned on by what turns your partner on.”
He didn’t respond for a long moment, during which she wondered if she’d made a critical misstep. Finally, his muscles relaxed, enough for her to feel safe about slipping back into the eroticism of the moment. “You didn’t answer me. Was I a bad little slut in those fantasies?”

His smile was tight, but genuine. “You’re always a bad little slut in my fantasies.”

A dark thrill shot through her. She wanted those lips to form every dirty word in every language. Can he do that in a night? She shook off the depressing reminder of their fleeting engagement. “Engage in reality?”
“In reality…” He ran his hand down her side, tucked it under her back, and easily flipped her over, onto her stomach. “You’re more than I could have ever imagined.”
She arched her bottom so it was high in the air and stretched her arms out like a lazy cat. His hands coasted down her spine and over the curve of her buttocks. He hesitated there, his palms weighing her flesh. She pressed back against him, eager. “You’ve already fucked my ass. Don’t be shy about spanking it.”
“Not shy,” he murmured, his full attention on her bottom. “Savoring.”
The first blow made her rock forward and cry out, her head swimming with the heat of his touch. She glanced over her shoulder and found him staring at his hand, as if he didn’t know whose it was.
“Again,” she said, low.
His gaze met hers, and it was filled with such fierce exultation, she wanted to cry. Yes. This. This was what had hummed below his quiet facade all those years. He landed another, harder blow, and her head jerked forward and dipped, her breath catching in her throat.
Again and again, he slapped her, until her bottom was surely cherry red, and then his hand smoothed over her ass, easing below to find her pussy wet and inviting. He growled at the feel of her, grasped her legs, and pushed her onto her back.
His cock drove inside her, and she gasped. He paused, droplets of sweat making their way down his tense face. “Does it hurt?”
“Yeah.” He started to ease out, but stopped when she continued speaking. “I like it when it hurts a little.”
Dark excitement flared in his eyes as he slipped into their fluid give and take of power, his tone turning his next words into a tease of concern. “Is your ass sore?”
She arched her hips, eager for him to continue thrusting. He complied, albeit slowly. Far too slowly. “Inside and out. Thanks to you.”
His lips opened, a rush of air escaping. His cock grew harder, the muscles in his arms flexing as his hips picked up speed. She spread her legs wider so she could take him deeper. He angled his body so he could see more of her face and body, alternating between her eyes, her lips, the jiggle of her breasts as he fucked her, the place where they were joined.
“You love to observe everything, don’t you,” she purred.
“I want to make sure none of this ever leaves my memory.”
She ignored the shot of exultation those words brought and palmed his ass. He pulled back farther, made his thrusts slower, more explicit, allowing her to savor the sight of his thick cock, the condom wet from her juices, the tangle of his pubic hair scraping her shaved mound when he went balls-deep.
His hand slipped between them, his fingers unerringly finding her clit. “That first time, in your office,” he spoke, his words almost soundless. “Do you remember when my mouth was between your legs?”
Like she could ever forget. But she wouldn’t lose a prime opportunity for pushing him. “Where between my legs? Be specific.”
His cock hit a spot that made her whole body clench. Ridiculously attuned to her reactions, he dragged his hips back and forth in short strokes. “When I was eating this sweet pussy, licking every inch. Tongue fucking it. Sucking on your clit.”
Oh. Yes. He had the makings of an excellent dirty talker.
His strokes shortened even more, so he was barely moving, simply agitating that bundle of nerves deep inside her. “Do you remember?”
She bit her lip and whimpered. “Yeah.”
“I thought there couldn’t be anything better than tasting you right here.” He punctuated every word with a thrust.
“And now?”
He gave her a fierce, half-crazed smile. “There’s nothing better than fucking you.”
“Am I the best you’ve ever had?”
His thrusts grew faster, less coordinated. “You know you are.”
“Have I ruined you for all women?” Her greatest fear. Her greatest desire.
His eyes were unfocused as he slammed into her, his slippery fingers rubbing her clit so hard she couldn’t make sense of anything. She was concentrating so intensely on her rushing orgasm she barely made out his response, hissed through set teeth as he fucked her.
“Yes.”
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