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Notable Naughty Reads

Long before there was “50 Shades of Grey,” erotica writings had us turning 50 shades of red.

Historically, erotic writing on its own has never been a big seller for the publishing industry. It falls under romance and is one of the largest fiction categories with about a 3 percent share of spending — or about a billion dollars each year, according to Jim Milliot, co-editorial director of Publishers Weekly.

But that could change. After steaming up the suburbs, “50 Shades of Grey” is heating up the publishing world with lots of “wannabe Shades” coming out.

Kathleen Lubey, associate professor of English at St. John's University, says erotica takes us on a journey.

“It makes us think about what we want and what we don’t have,” Lubey said. “It’s always pushing the envelope with what is sexy, what is sexual and what is ‘unthinkable.’”

Erotica, she adds, “provokes a conversation in the reader’s head — it makes many people feel like they’re doing something a little wrong, when all they’re really doing is reading.”

So with all the hoopla over “50 Shades” you would think that E.L. James invented mommy and daddy porn. Not so. Click ahead to see other Notable Naughty Reads that shocked the world, forced nations to change laws and forever changed what we read.

By Gloria McDonaugh-Taub
Posted 28 Sept 2012

Photo: Moof | Cultura | Getty Images