It’s Not Pornography, It’s Erotica. There is a Difference, You Know, and Women Are Leading the Way

by |September 23, 2011

Apparently, some women like sex. They like the idea of it. They like having it. They even do ‘it’ as often as they can.

I know! Imagine that?

Did you know that some women think about sex all the time? It’s true. You just don’t see them having sex everywhere because, well, some people frown upon such exhibitionism. They have even enacted laws preventing such things.

But that’s okay, women have other things to do besides the hot new postman on his little red bike.

Women have to work, they have to save the world, they have to make dinner, run the country, put the kids to bed, send off an angry email to head of the ‘tuck shop’, cure cancer, be on stage in ten minutes… Women can’t be fulfilling their every erotic whim when they’re that busy. And besides, what if the object of their desire is their best friend’s husband? What then?

Reality has a way of inhibiting the full expression of female desire. Fantasy, however, has no such limitations.

So, having dragged their weary bodies into bed at the end of the day,  many women can and do sit up late reading really, really rude books. This is not pornography, mind.* The books women read to excite themselves bear the discreet description, erotica. (Roll over onto your side, Reginald, you’re snoring again.)

Triptych: An Erotic Adventure

by Krissy Kneen

A solitary young woman called Lilly pursues online adventure among the anonymous torsos of Chatroulette, and finds a soul mate.

Leda’s first love brings tenderness, heartbreak and a powerful sexual awakening at the behest of Rachel and Paul—two very different best friends.

In some families, husband and wife start to become like brother and sister. In others it is the other way around. For Aaron, it’s a bit more complicated.

The people in these stories don’t know each other yet. By the end of Triptych, they will know each other very well indeed.

Transgressive, sardonic, lyrical, comic; irresistibly erotic yet also romantic, Krissy Kneen’s writing has been acclaimed for its fearless honesty. In this suite of linked stories, she addresses taboos of all kinds with a subtle wit and an insistence on sexual pleasure that will delight readers.

About The Author

Krissy Kneen is a bookseller and writer. She is the author of a short collection of erotica, Swallow the Sound, and a memoir, Affection. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and no pets.

Order your copy of Triptych here

With My Body

by Nikki Gemmell

The long-awaited follow-up to the international bestselling phenomenon The Bride Stripped Bare, With My Body is an intensely personal tale of sexual awakening as well as one wife′s story about every woman′s marriage.

Locked into an unending cycle of school runs, laundry and meal times, a wife despairs of ever finding a way through her family to her own identity. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never reached the core of her. In desperation, she flees her comfortable life to revisit an old love affair — an extremely passionate, transforming one. The consequences will be devastating, liberating and entirely unexpected …

Told in Nikki Gemmell′s distinctively lyrical style, this is beautiful, literary writing at its best. Exquisitely raw, emotional and bold, it is deeply resonant of the classic French erotic writings of Colette, Anaïs Nin and Marguerite Duras, but with a modern and provocative twist.

About the Author

Nikki Gemmell′s critically acclaimed fiction has been translated into many languages. Her novels include the international bestseller THE BRIDE STRIPPED BARE, SHIVER and THE BOOK OF RAPTURE. She has written two non-fiction books, WHY YOU ARE AUSTRALIAN and PLEASURE: AN ALMANAC FOR THE HEART. Wollongong-born, she was based in London for many years and has now returned to Australia with her family.

Order your copy of With This Body here



by Tobsha Learner

A collection of nine sensual, witty and mystical stories marking Tobsha Learner′s return to the short story format after the international success of both QUIVER and TREMBLE, and exploring the universal experiences of obsession, romantic encounters and secret regrets.

A movie star longs for anonymity; a Sydney sculptor wonders whether a lover can be summoned by the act of artistic creation; a California call-centre worker seeks an online release in Second Life; a London weatherman inspires both obsessive lust and devastating storms; and an eighteenth-century biographer discovers a magic, erotic ritual which will change his life forever …

In YEARN, the line between reality and imagination is blurred by the power of fantasy and desire.

About the Author

Tobsha Learner was born and raised in England and has lived in both Australia and the USA. She is well-known in Australia as a playwright and her first collection of short stories, Quiver, has sold over 150,000 copies internationally. Her second book, Madonna Mars, was a thriller set in Los Angeles and Washington. Her third book – the bestselling The Witch of Cologne – was her first work of historical fiction and was followed by another collection of short stories, Tremble: Sensual Fables of the Mystical and Sinister and her fifth book, Soul. Tobsha divides her time between London, Sydney and California.

Order your copy of Yearn here

Tobsha Learner, author of Yearn, Tremble and Quiver, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

A Book Too Far…

Best Women’s Erotica 2011

edited by Violet Blue

“Suddenly this year, every single story is layered top to toe with explicit sex—hard and wet and mean and sweet, flowing with love and fused with characters who finally feel like us, with no apologies…” —from the Introduction

In Best Women’s Erotica 2011, women are ready to stake their sexual claims like never before—with characters created by some of the most famous names in the erotica genre. Alison Tyler’s naughty roommate threesome get more than they bargained for in the dangerous and delicious “Want”; an athlete in Sommer Marsden’s “Laps” finds herself doing anything to please her trainer; and a mistress in Rachel Kramer Bussel’s “Espionage” commands her lover for herself, if only for a searing moment, during a dinner party where she meets his wife.

With stories contributed by Alison Tyler, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Sommer Marsden, Jacqueline Applebee, Donna George Storey, Cecilia Tan, Louisa Harte, Louise Lagris, Chrissie Bentley, Alyssa Turner, Lana Fox, Amelia Thornton, Giselle Renarde, Valerie Alexander, Velvet Moore, Lola Olson, Kirsty Logan, Cynthia Hamilton, and Janine Ashbless.

Order your copy of Best Women’s Erotica 2011 here

*Yes, I am aware that women read and write pornography, too. This is not a PhD, I have not tabled this in Parliament, it is just a little bit of fluff written to introduce four recent and upcoming titles.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

Follow John: Twitter Website


  • September 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    It’s been too long between drinks. Women write far better sex than men because they understand it in ways that men never can. I love this rebirth of female sexuality. It is a rebirth of the Goddess Lilith – original partner to Adam, woman born of earth, not man. Maybe words like slut and whore will finally be relegated to the dustbin where they belong and something new can emerge. A new femme power. May it grow fast and live long!

  • September 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I was in our local newsagency yesterday, our only “bookstore” in town (god bless Booktopia). There are two shelves of books: self-help/non-fiction and erotica/Mills&Boon. Erotica is a huge market that no-one has ever really wanted to acknowledge properly.

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