That’s right. I went there.
Now that your eyes are sufficiently bugged out, let me continue on.
My first experiences with colorful reading were a couple of Judy Blume novels. Forever and Wifey. I believe I was in my teens when those hit the bookstore shelves. Now, they weren’t listed as x-rated, per se, but if you’ve ever read them, you’ll know they skirted a thin line. I wasn’t supremely impressed by either of them, to be perfectly honest.
Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz came next. And that one I would definitely put into the x-rated category. There was a decent plot (princess loses her family through a series of circumstances and becomes a high fashion supermodel), but it was so hidden by the pages upon pages of explicit, and needless, sex it was difficult to see the forest through the trees (if you’ll pardon the cliche).
I even read Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, but come on… who hasn’t?
There is a way to write sex without being x-rated. It’s done via innuendo and subtle language, by leaving nearly everything to the reader’s imagination ~ after all, the idea is to stimulate your reader’s senses…and everyone has a different idea of what’s sexy.