The Trick of Desire

Lustful Lines from Literature

Original Poster | Sierra Apaliski | March 4, 2016

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We hear it over and over againlove is a timeless tale. There’s no better way to get a reader’s attention than to tug at their heartstrings. Well, that and sex scenes. Pulling at the heartstrings is nothing without those moments of fireworks and indulgence, and let’s face it, they’re usually what readers remember best. Why? You know why. The desire of sex is natural to everyone. Everyone wants to do it… bees do it, birds do it, even educated fleas do it… you know how it goes.

And that’s why the sensory image of desire is as timeless a trick as love. From Shakespeare to Twilight, from Hemingway to 50 Shades, sex scenes in books have seized our minds in one way or another since the dawn of literature. Take a look at some of these timeless bone rattlers and new-age hanky panky quotes from books you love (plus a few to melt your heart):

“If you ever looked at me once with what I know is in you, I would be your slave.”

– Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights.

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”

– Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray

“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase.”

– John Green, Looking for Alaska.

“The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all round him. She had become a physical necessity.”

– George Orwell, 1984.

“Hamlet: Nay, but to live/ In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,/ Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love/ Over the nasty sty,—”

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

“Maybe…you’ll fall in love with me all over again.”

“Hell,” I said, “I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?”

“Yes. I want to ruin you.”

“Good,” I said. “That’s what I want too.”

– Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“It wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just him, it was what we were together that was the exception.”

– Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster.

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

And there we have it. A little something to make us literature geeks all hot and bothered and a little warm and fuzzy inside until we can pick up a book of our choosing. Nothing at all like reading the full book and experiencing the whole picture, but…sometimes the anticipation is part of the fun.