Rub while you read (or listen to!) these steamy, free erotic stories.
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Think about your fave sex scene from any movie or TV show (cough, Bridgerton). Instant heat, right?

No doubt, video porn and movie sex scenes are arousal aids. But what if you feel like ditching the screen for more analog options, and swap video for words? The beauty of reading instead of watching sexy scenes — via erotic literature, for example — is that you're able to fully imagine the scene according to your preferences since there aren't any visual cues of what actors look like, the vibe of the setting, and so.much.more.

"Erotica is all about you: What you want, how you want it, where you want it, who you want to do it with (if anyone)," explains Jayne Renault, head of erotica at Bellesa, an online hotspot for all things sexy. The page is your smutty oyster.

You might have a very specific idea of what erotica is, but the erotica for women category is actually quite broad. Erotica is any literary or artistic works that have an erotic theme or quality, according to Merriam-Webster, and can range from subtly sexy to straight-up hardcore.

"Erotica can also be a place to explore, discover, and push the boundaries of your fantasies, at a pace you choose, in the safest way possible," says Renault. For instance, you may learn that reading about choking sex, sex swings, or the Dominant/submissive dynamic really gets you going. Of course, there's a difference between being turned on by an idea versus wanting to do it. But erotic fiction can be your first point of sexual exploration with a particular fantasy, kink, or fetish, she says. (Keep in mind, if you actually want to try the salacious acts you read on the page, know that it's not a replacement for sex education — and it's always important to talk to your partner before experimenting with something new.)

Beyond the sexy perks, enjoying erotic literature and free erotic stories offers you the same stress-relieving benefits of reading a book (Earth-shattering orgasm or not). "Generally speaking, reading is a meditative way to escape the stress cycle of life," says Renault. Consider erotica's unofficial motto: "Why be stressed when you could get wet?"

Luckily, you don't need to hit up a bookstore or load up your Amazon Prime account to get in on the goods. (Praise be to the internet!) Erotica has even more online hubs than it does nicknames — and much of the best online erotica is totally free. We've saved you the Googling. Scroll down for a well-researched, carefully curated list of the best free erotic stories for women, men, and nonbinary folks alike.

Best free erotica for... queer content, kink, and gender play.

Sugar Butch Chronicles

Want to salivate over stone-femmes and/or butches? Do you jerk it to scenes of (consensual) beatings, whippings, and floggings? Or do you prefer strap-on sex and gender play? Sugar Butch Chronicles, an award-winning sex blog from Sinclair Sexsmith, a queer butch Dominant, writer, and editor of Best Lesbian Erotica, is IT. Hands down (heh), it's the best destination for kinky, queer erotic stories on the internet. (Related: 4 ProDomme's Share Exactly What It's Like to Be a Dominatrix IRL)

Best free erotica for... kink and fantasy.

Remittance Girl

If you saw erotic potential in Twilight (Vampires! Necking! Blood! Hickeys!) or think public sex is hot (either in theory or practice), Remittance Girl's work is for you. All of her erotica explores kinky themes like bondage, age play, dominance and submission, caning, and more. Unlike most free erotica archives online, all the work on Remittance Girl is written by the same whip-smart (pun very much intended), provocative, intentional sex-word master. And consistency, as you may well know, is the key to a good climax. (Related: Explore the World of Shibari, Japanese Rope Bondage)

Best free erotica for... audio, written, how-tos, real stories, and sexy rants.

Girl On the Net

Like Remittance Girl, Girl On the Net is entirely written and run by one person. Though Girl on the Net became popular during the spike in interest and availability of audio porn a few years ago, it originally began as a mecca for all things sex. Think: Quirky sex rants, how-to posts, real-life erotic stories, and dirty fantasies. Don't stress; all of that content is still there! If it's strictly erotica that you're after, check out the "Girls I've Had" and "Boys I've Had" tabs.

Best free erotica for... kink, short stories, novels, and BDSM advice.

BDSM Cafe

The oldest BDSM fiction site, BDSM Cafe is an oldie and a goodie. Over the last 20 years, the free erotica website has garnered quite an archive of kinky content including erotic stories about group sex, anal, female dominance, paddling, and (a lot of) submission. Admittedly, this site is less user-friendly than some. But (!!) the good content is really good. Scroll through the short stories tab for plots that'll have you climaxing in ten minutes or less. Peruse the novels tab for (free!) book-length erotic stories with tons of build-up and multiple sex scenes. Then, after all is read and cum (if you don't have sex-brain), check out their resource tab for awesome intel on how to break into the BDSM scene IRL. (Related: The Beginners Guide to BDSM)

Best free erotica for... a massive selection.

Literotica

Literotica is a classic and oh-so expansive. You could stop sleeping, eating, and exercising (please don't!) and spend the rest of your life reading Literotica and you'd never work your way through all of the stories they offer. For a sense of scale, there are over 5,000 stories about anal, 16,000 stories about different fetishes, and 11,000 stories about gender-play and cross-dressing. So. Much. Erotica.

That said, because finding a well-written story can be like finding a guy who's not a douche on Tinder (nearly impossible) I recommend sticking to the stories on their "Top" list, where you'll find the most popular erotic stories on the site. Another option: Follow the one-minute rule. If after 60 seconds you're not into the story, search for another. (P.S. You may want to consider starting a sex journal as a way to explore your sexuality as well.)

Best free erotica for... vanilla, kink, and a bit of sex ed.

Aurore

With the tagline "erotica, updated," Aurore is serving up steamy erotic stories that tease, educate, and help you get turned the eff on. The site divides its content into two types: vanilla, queer, and kink. As of now, there are still only about 20 or so stories in each category — but, trust, what's there is hot. Feeling vanilla? Check out "CEO Good" about a divorcée who gets courted by a much younger man on her business trip or "Paradise Found" about a transgender man reminiscing on his first time. Or, if you're feeling a little kinkier, check out "The Quiet Ones" about sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.

Oh, and do your Instagram feed a freaky favor by giving Aurore a follow. The posts are as empowering and aesthetically pleasing as the stories are. Plus (aspiring authors take note!) Aurore sometimes hosts workshops about how to write erotica, which they post about on the grid. (Related: How to Watch Porn with Your S.O.)

Best free erotica for... inclusive and feminist pictures, stories, and video porn.

Bellesa

Big on picture porn? You may have already found yourself on Bellesa — they've also got a pretty robust library of "woman-friendly" video porn (and also some cam girl/guy/person offerings). Regardless, if you're into erotica, you need to know about Bellesa's feminist erotica offerings. For starters, their website is super easy to navigate so you can find exactly what you want. Seeking some girl-on-girl action? Or is tonight more of an exploratory kinda night? Scroll through the categories on the homepage and decide between a plethora of feminist erotica. With additional sections like "non-binary" and "bisexual," Bellesa is one of the most inclusive erotica offerings out there. (You didn't ask, but my fave stories so far are "Gym Daddy" and "A Second First Time." You're welcome.)

Best free erotica for... erotic books and downloads.

Bookrix

If you're a nut about character development — in addition to sexy adventures — hit up Bookrix (a free, self-publishing platform) to access a wealth of free erotic books online. Here's how it works: Type "erotica" into the search bar and scroll down to get to their selection of free online erotic books. Use the keywords and descriptions to find a story that best fits your ~proclivities~, download it, and rub (er, read) away!

Best erotica for... audio erotica, app lovers, and people willing to pay a little $$$.

Dipsea

The love-child of porn and Audible, Dipsea (available now on iOS) is an audio erotica app that houses the same sexy scenes as written porn — but it allows you to enjoy the storyline hands-free so you can score some two-handed solo fun. And, unlike erotica novellas that stop the second you close your eyes, audio erotica keeps on going and going…

Sign up for a one-week free trial, plug in your earbuds, and play with yourself every night (or morning, do you!) for a week. Hooked? Subscribe for $9/month or $48/year. If audio porn isn't your thing, no harm, no foul. (Related: The Best Sex Apps for Spicing Up Your Intimacy)

Best free erotica for... a variety of audio erotica.

Aural Honey

Tell me a better name for an audio erotica site than Aural Honey. You can't. Another salacious audio erotica option, Aural Honey cuts straight to the point (read: sex). And unlike Dipsea, which you'll have to pay for after the first-month trial, Aural Honey's audio erotica is always free. (Bless!) Here's how it works: Go to the site (either on your computer or smartphone), click to the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner, pick one of the (admittedly ambiguous) categories, and then feast your ears on other people having sex or talking about having sex in very breathy voices. Fun! (Speaking of breathy voices, here's how to have non-awkward phone sex).

Best erotica for… real sex stories, group sex, and sex party content.

BOYSLUT

Imagine what Carrie Bradshaw would be like if she was a polyamorous bisexual man who attended (and hosted!) sex parties and then wrote about them. Well, he exists and his name is Zachary Zane. A Brooklyn-based columnist, speaker, activist, and sex educator whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, lifestyle, and culture, Zane is the mastermind behind BOYSLUT, a weekly substacks newsletter where real sex-havers share the dirty, dank, dark, wet, and wild details about the sex they're having.

While any horny hottie with Wi-Fi can get access to some of these sex stories, only paying subscribers get to consume (er, cum to) it all. Trust, the $50/year rate is totally worth the rush you'll get reading real sex stories with titles like I Fucked 10 Hooded Bottoms at Church. It Was the Best Sex Party of My Life and I Accidentally Threw an Orgy and Fucked My Two Biggest Crushes.

Best free erotica for… believable sapphic sex for lesbians by lesbians.

Lesbian Pulp Zine

If you're a queer person sick of consuming queer sex scenes written by straight men (*cough* Blue Is The Warmest Color *cough*), it's time you got your hands on some lesbian erotica by a real life lesbian. Behold: Lesbian Pulp. Both an Instagram page and Patreon, Lesbian Pump is a platform run by a multi-racial lesbian who writes and memes for a lesbian audience.

On the Instagram page, you'll find plenty of (free!) laugh-your-ass off memes. But on the Patreon (for just $1/month) you'll find creative, believable, sexy AF erotica stories featuring more lesbian longing and cunnilingus than you even imagine.

Best free erotica for… feeling like you're gossiping with your besties.

&Jane

If your fave part of boozy brunch is hearing your besties recount their sexcapades from the night before, you'll love &Jane. Another audio erotica platform, &Jane is committed to telling authentic sex stories. When you subscribe, you get access to tons of real, compelling first-person sex stories told by women of all different races, sexualities, and kink preferences. (You can even submit your own stories if you want!) Added bonus: Every subscription to the platforms includes a donation to the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, non-profit workings towards access to sex education (which for the record, we really need).