The Steamiest, Most Scandalous Books to Heat Up the Big Screen

 Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James



One. Two. Three times E.L. James created best-selling erotic romance novels that proved a large portion of the world wants (or wants to fantasize about) sex involving subs, doms, and a red room. The first in her trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, was turned into a 2015 film starring Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a naïve college student who gets tied up (literally) in a sexually charged affair with seductively damaged CEO Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Fifty Shades Darker, which explores how Christian's past infiltrates their relationship … their bed … and an elevator … is in theaters now.


Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence



Once banned in the U.K. for its overtly sexual content, Lawrence's novel remains a classic because it poetically presents the question: Can love exist without its physical expression? Not for Lady Chatterley. Married to a well-to-do paralyzed man, she discovers love and a new sense of self in the arms of the gamekeeper. The sensational 1928 novel has made several appearances on the big and small screens since 1955, including a 1993 BBC Television serial starring Joely Richardson and Sean Bean, and a 2015 TV movie starring Game of Thrones's Richard Madden as the gamekeeper.


Damage by Josephine Hart



There are few affairs as illicit as this one. Dr. Stephen Fleming is an older, married politician. Anna Barton is younger — and Fleming's son's fiancée. Their sexual attraction leads to obsession and a series of steamy trysts until their secret is ultimately exposed. Both the book and the 1992 film starring Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche reveal that sometimes passion can burn so hot it decimates everything it touches.


Nine and a Half Weeks by Elizabeth McNeill



A book that's so much sexier (and scarier) than Fifty Shades could ever be. Why? It's real. This highly erotic memoir recounts the author's affair with a man who eventually controls her body and mind completely. Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke added even more heat when they starred in the notorious 1986 adaption, which reportedly almost received an X rating for the sexual games that played out on screen — including one that involved a blindfold and a fridge full of food.


Bad Behavior: Stories by Mary Gaitskill



This is a series of tales about people at their baddest: drug addicts, the sex-obsessed, and prostitutes. But when Gaitskill wrote Bad Behavior: Stories, she did so with a level of insight that proves there can be beauty in obsession ... and wit in even the most perverse of places. The collection inspired the 2000 film Secretary, featuring the less-than-qualified secretary Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who begins a hot and twisted affair with her boss, E. Edward Grey (James Spader). Who wouldn't get turned on watching Gyllenhaal crawl on the floor with stationery in her mouth?


20th Century Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler



This 1926 novella follows Doctor Fridolin over the course of two days after his wife tells him she's fantasized about someone else. The darkly seductive story, which delves into Fridolin's thoughts, dreams, and desire for sexual revenge, was modernized and brought to life in 1999 as Eyes Wide Shut, a psychological thriller starring then-husband and wife Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as the troubled couple. The film included a much-buzzed-about orgy scene that had to be altered in order to earn an R rating.

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