In celebration of the lustier side of the recent holiday, this trio of books will keep your blood pumping while our pitifully short winter gives way to an early spring. The birds and the bees are back at it, so why not you? Lady Chatterley's Lover and Story of O are tried and true, but if you're looking for something a little racier, these three books deliver the goods with masterful prose. Try them out at these three romantic locations.
Henry and June by Anaïs Nin.
Vesuvio, San Francisco, CA
Covering a single momentous year in Paris (and her triangular affair with Henry Miller and his wife June), Anaïs Nin remains an insatiable force in this, the most realistically sexy of books.
Sample lines: "It is like a forest fire, to be with him. New places of my body are aroused and burnt. He is incendiary. I leave him in an unquenchable fever."
Where: Pick one of the romantic small tables on the second floor of this legendary bar where Jack Kerouac missed a meeting with Henry Miller after getting too drunk to make the date. Celebrate this missed connection by forging your own. Available by MUNI and BART, Vesuvio is located at 255 Columbus Ave.
Poems of a Penisist by Mutsuo Takahashi.
Read at Alchemist Bar and Lounge, San Francisco, CA
Keen on celebrating the male body, Poems of a Penisist is most known for its one-thousand-line erotic fantasy poem, "Ode." Pick up this radiant, stunning collection -- you won't regret it.
Sample line: "Quo vadis?/Where?/Where on earth are you going?/Please do not go/Please stay/For that I would kneel, I would kiss/The skin of your soles, turned moist, white, flaccid in the shoes [...] Do accept/ The wet admiration of my tongue and lips that climb leisurely"
Where: Alchemist Bar and Lounge has a swanky spread, complete with plush leather sofas and spiffy orbed light decor. This is is a great place to curl up with a book, but it definitely will be crowded come nighttime. Located at 79 3rd Street, the bar is accessible by BART, MUNI, and even Caltrain, so don't worry if you are coming from out of town.
Whip Smart by Melissa Febos
Read at Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco, CA
This candid, provocative memoir is hard to put down, but not for the faint of heart. Febos spills on four years working as a dominatrix at a midtown Manhattan dungeon in this meditation on submission, subjugation, and the power of sex.
Sample line: "Steve knew to be kneeling when I walked into the Red Room, his torso bent over his knees, forehead resting on the rug."
Where: There's no better way to land an adventurous date than to show up at a coffee shop with an erotic book. My choice would be Sightglass. It is so clean and severe, practically brimming with sexual tension. Sightglass is at 270 7th St and is accessible by MUNI and BART.