Sex Advice From Literary Women: 10 Steamy Secrets From Classic Novels

01/09/2012 12:02 pm ET
  • Emma Gray Executive Women's Editor, The Huffington Post

While classic literature may not be the most obvious go-to source for sex advice, according to Jack Murnighan there's nothing hotter than a good book.

Along with Maura Kelly, Murnighan is the author of "Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals." Their book inventories the love and sex tips we can find in other books -- in other words, a welcome alternative to some of the sex advice you find in ladymags.

"Not to disparage women's magazines, but there's obviously so much more you can do in a novel than you can do in a short essay," Murnighan said in an interview. "The fundamental difference is dramatization."

"The great thing about novels," he continued, "is that they can show instead of simply telling and we, in turn, can not only learn, but feel."

And as is clear to anyone who has ever enjoyed a bodice-ripper -- or just that famous scene in "Lady Chatterley's Lover" -- few things can be sexier than reading something sexy. In fact, Murnighan admitted that he's begun first dates with two long-term girlfriends by reading them Milton. "I don't, however, advise this as standard dating practice," he said. Instead, he recommends Lydia Davis' short story "This Condition," racier poems by E.E. Cummings, Maya Angelou and Pablo Neruda, and "Basia" ("The Kisses") by Johannes Secundus for women looking to get in the mood.

We asked Murnighan to share 10 pieces of love advice for women he gleaned from the pages of our favorite novels. His answers probably don't resemble anything you heard in an intro literature class.

SLIDESHOW: 10 Love And Sex Tips From Classic Literature

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