Look, we’re all adults—and if you’re not, there are plenty of other io9 articles to read (although let’s be honest, they’re all sexy). Social distancing is tough for a lot of reasons, one of them being how it affects our sex lives. It’s important to find creative ways to keep yourself satisfied and we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
Some of us are stuck at home by ourselves, which makes it hard to utilize dating apps. And for those of us who are living with a partner, let’s be honest: This whole “coronavirus baby boom” thing is kind of a myth. Being stuck inside with one person for weeks on end can be the opposite of sexy. As we inch closer to the first month of social distancing, we have to start figuring out new, enticing, and healthy ways to express ourselves.
Below is a list of eight erotica novels in the sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian genres that are worth checking out—most of them are part of larger series, which means there are more books to be found if you like what you read.
Note: Some Amazon and Whole Foods workers have been staging protests, walkouts, and sickouts over the company’s reported lack of protective equipment, sick leave policies, and notification to staff of infected employees during the covid-19 pandemic. Response from the company has been lackluster or worse. New York City’s human-rights watchdog group is currently investigating the company over the firing of a Staten Island warehouse employee who helped organize a walkout over work conditions (he was fired for “violating social distancing guidelines,” ironic to say the least).
Many of the books mentioned in this list are primarily available on Amazon Kindle, but to show solidarity with Amazon’s employees we will instead be sharing links to the authors’ websites. If you’d prefer to purchase the books through other means, like through the author directly, I’d suggest reaching out to them for options.
With 22 books, 10 novellas, and more surely on the way, Evangelina Anderson’s Brides of the Kindred series is a solid choice for those looking for a long-term erotica commitment. The series focuses on an alien race of male genetic traders who saved the planet and have been given the right to “claim” brides as a reward. That might sound skeevy, and well—that’s because in some ways, it is. Alien conquest is a popular topic in sci-fi erotica, but it’s not for everyone. Brides of the Kindred does deal in areas of dubious consent—for example, the aliens have natural pheromones designed to seduce women—but the female characters get the final say in whether they go through with the marriages.
The series is meant to be read in order, as there are a lot of crossover characters and storylines, so I’d start with the first book, Claimed, where a woman named Olivia has been drafted but has no interest in being a Kindred bride, so she seeks to terminate the contract by refusing his advances. However, the more she gets to know her alien partner Baird, the more she finds herself tempted by his world. Best part: You can get a copy of the book for free by signing up for the author’s newsletter.
The Magicians just ended after five seasons, leaving a sexy magical void just begging to be filled [Editor’s Note: I’ll allow it. Jill P.]. Enter Cecilia Tan’s Magic University series, which takes Harry Potter and The Magicians and adds a heavy dose of sexual explicitness. The first book, The Siren and the Sword, focuses on new college student Kyle Wadsworth who suddenly finds himself attending Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. Kyle learns the power of sex magic while trying to solve the mystery of a siren attacking students in the library. What’s great about Magic University is it’s a very sexually fluid series, with a little bit of something sexy for everyone.
Kinky author Kora Knight has ventured into science fiction with The Nira Chronicles, a two-part series (with a third on the way) centered around a race of male aliens that look suspiciously like Avatar’s Na’vi. After Captain Alec Hamlin and his crew make first contact on the newly explored planet of Nira, they’re taken captive by the Kríe and subjected to numerous sexual exploits. Like Brides of the Kindred, this means some scenes of dubious consent, something to be mindful of if that’s a subject you’re not comfortable with. The second book in the series, Zercy, is considered to be the superior novel, but it might be best to start with Kríe Captivity to be familiar with the story and characters first. This series does deal in BDSM and areas of dubious consent, so that’s something to keep in mind when reading.
R.G. Alexander is a personal favorite erotica author, and her Shifting Reality series is a lot of fun. Clearly taking inspiration from Being Human, Shifting Reality is about a trio of internet-famous roommates who happen to be a half-demon, a cat shifter, and (of course) a vampire. My Demon Saint is the second book in the series, about the half-demon Saint who’s made a living designing an MMORPG inspired by his time in hell. Ume is a huge fan of his game and, once Saint sets his eyes on her, she starts having a more “immersive” experience.
The Gunfighter & the Gear-Head by Cassandra Duffy just has a great premise. Think Fallout: New Vegas with way more lesbians. After an alien invasion nearly wiped out humanity, society has regressed and everyone is basically living in olden times—with a bunch of stranded aliens in tow. A spunky sky-captain pilot named Gieo finds herself stranded in the post-apocalyptic Old West town of Tombstone and becomes the guest of Fiona, an alien huntress and gunslinger who sees sparks in more ways than one. They end up discovering new passions together while rekindling the alien war that threatens to destroy everything left.
Sally Bend’s Futanari Moans series is about a gender-bent Indiana Jones-meets-Lara Croft archaeologist and tomb raider in search of a forbidden relic that will “unlock the key to her futanari transformation.” In Futanari Moans and the Mummy’s Hand (Job), she journeys across Egypt, jumping over traps and fighting enemies, the answer to her quest comes in the form of a Mummy Hand that gives her a power—and plenty of other things—she’s never known before. It’s a fun and pulpy entry to the list with plenty of sexy times to be found.
Another one from R.G. Alexander, Wicked Sexy is the first in a trio of erotica novels about magical threesomes. In this series, magic users called Magians are destined to be in m/m/f Triads, which enhance their abilities and make for kinky sexy times. In this first novel, a mortal police officer named Callie who’s obsessed with the magical world is disguised as a witch so she can solve the mystery of some brutal attacks, while also being tempted by a pair of brothers who think she might have some magic of her own.
Wasteland is a four-book series from several popular erotica novelists taking place in a post-apocalyptic world where most of the women have died out, leaving the few remaining to be both feared and worshipped. The Wanderer, written by Crystal Jordan, is one of the best and also sets the stage for the rest of the series. It’s about a woman named Kadira, a warrior for her clan who has vowed never to fall in love. Everything changes when she meets a scientist named Ezra, who offers the fuel technology her clan needs to survive in exchange for consensual relations. What results is a lot of fun times and LGBTQ-friendly group sex, as well as the chance of falling in love in a hostile, unforgiving world.
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