I’ve been reading a lot of long erotic fiction this summer,* most of them coming-of-age stories. This is a haphazard list of some I’ve most enjoyed, or at least enjoyed enough to point to people, even with caveats and/or content warnings. Most have a teenage male** protagonist who is, or starts out as, a high-school or university student -- some extend through or beyond college, and a couple start with young adults. * Continuing tense deliberate, as it’s only this weekend that the weather has finally broken and we’re no longer looking at high temperatures pushing 100F and mountains hazed with wildfire smoke. IOW, we have been stuck in the longest-ass summer ever.
** I’ve not had much luck stumbling across female-centered equivalents that are well-written. I am probably looking in the wrong places. Any assist here welcome.
The final relationship configurations (FR) and content warnings (CW) often contain spoilers. Any story described as having a teenage protagonist can usually be assumed to include underage sex (never with anyone younger than 14), even though I don't tag that as a CW. I especially enjoyed the five marked > .
> Model Student
, aroslav/Devon Layne (6 volumes) -- Talented, depressive art student grows into an artist and into a group marriage. The sex is hot and never repetitive, and the core relationship is balanced with all parties involved with each other (the larger polycule isn't--some core members also have outside girlfriends).
FR: open FFFM/F quint
CW: dom/sub, with the sub recovering from abuse by her previous masters; depression; art school
> Opus One
, Ryan Sylander (1 volume) — Three first-year conservatory students grow into their musical talents and into their relationship. The inspired musical choices aren’t essential for appreciating the story, but it gains layers if you are familiar with them. I admire the author’s restraint when it comes to relationship choices.
FR: open MFF triad
> Bec: Life in the Maze
, BarBar (4 volumes) -- Preteen/teenage artist comes into her own while trying to sort out which of her problems are caused by an inherited neurological condition, other mental health issues, or having been body-checked into the back wall by sudden adolescence. Bec herself is strong and funny and vulnerable and could carry the story even if it wasn’t pulling its weight. No sex in this one, though there are sexual situations.
CW: violence; bullying; mental-health issues; creepy-ass hallucinations; descriptions of past abuse and attempted present abuse
> Runaway Train
, Jay Cantrell (1 volume) -- Former pro baseball player (who blew out his shoulder in the minors) reconnects with a woman he knew as a kid during an autograph session before her stadium concert, and sparks fly. The music industry threads seem to resolve a little easily, but the relationship ups and downs and sideways jukes of two adults with significant histories behind them is hot and sweet and entertaining.
FR: exclusive MF
CW: violence; past alcohol and drug abuse
, Redsilver (1 volume) -- Maritime architectural draftsman is rewarded for helping a faerie with three college-student girlfriends. I love how the characters methodically work through how the magic spell works, how to live with it, and how to break it -- I strongly suspect the author is influenced by Diana Wynne Jones.
FR: exclusive MFFF quad ("Team Girlfriend!")
CW: magical mind controlRewind
, Don Lockwood (1 volume incomplete, but it stops shortly after the end of a major episode, so it’s not a completely sudden-crash ending) -- A middle-aged New England burnout is reincarnated as his 14-year-old self for a do-over, and this time he actually asks girls out. Oh, and starts that band he used to dream about.
FR: serial monogamy
CW: noneHome for Horny Monsters
, Anabelle Hawthorne (4 volumes, still in progress) -- Sensitive, traumatized webmaster inherits a sanctuary for mythical beings that’s been targeted by a local coven. Sex and adventures and growings up ensue.
FR: harem of sexy monsters
CW: sex magic; demonic controlAn Ordinary Teenage Sex Life
, bluedragon (6 volumes plus many side-stories, am reading v1) -- California teenager has lots of sex while growing up.
FR: unknown because I haven’t finished, but plot flags suggest an eventual open MF as part of a polycule
CW: sibling incest; wretched opening chapter (which honestly you should just skip)An All-American Teenage Sex Life
, Max Geyser (2 volumes, still in progress) -- Midwestern teenage jock has lots of sex while growing up.
FR: sleeping around between between bouts of serial monogamy
CW: major character deathA Well-Lived Life
, Michael Louks (10 volumes plus sequel series, on pause mid-v4) -- Midwestern teenage nerd has lots of sex while growing up. This may have the most acute psychological insight of any on this list, aside from Bec. (On pause because the protagonist was making the same mistake yet again and I wanted something fluffier just then.)
FR: again, haven’t finished, but so far it’s been lots of sleeping around without formal polyamory
CW: sibling incest; major character deathStupid Boy
, G Younger (9 volumes, last volume in progress) -- Midwestern teenage jock/model/actor has lots of sex while growing up. The story and the protagonist are frankly ridiculous, as in total soap-operatic, but the writing itself is anything but histrionic and the result is wildly entertaining.
FR: a fuckton of sleeping around punctuated by attempts at serial monogamy and formal polyamory
CW: soap-operatic plot; dubcon incidents
Spitfire and Messerschmitt (ch1-42
), Gina Marie Wylie (1 volume) -- Texas teenage jock is set up with a spitfire jock girlfriend by his sister, and things expand from there. This was a reread of a deep influence (I find traces of it in most of my erotica) spurred by finding out that it had finally, after over a decade, been completed -- the new material has very wonky pacing, though. (Note that the second link above has all the chapters, but the early ones have been badly bowdlerized, as in passages snipped out without editing any transitions.)
FR: open MFF triad > exclusive MF
CW: sibling incest; violence; major character deathThe Outsider & A Flawed Diamond
, Jay Cantrell (2 volumes) -- California teenage/young-adult jock recovers, after being exonerated, from spending 18 months in maximum security, with the help of new friends and girlfriends. There’s a six-year time-skip between volumes. The first one and half volumes are excellent, but the second half of aFD
can be summed up with “too much baseball, not enough girlfriend.” I actually read all the baseball games, which puts this above just about any writer but Mitsuru Adachi, but they turned out to be mostly skippable.
FR: exclusive MF (characters attempt a few permutations of open clusters and triads that all fail due to character trauma and the protagonist’s preference for monogamy)
CW: attempted rape; prison life; professional baseball
---L. Subject quote from a review of The Village, Robert Ebert.
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