If you’re looking for some inspiration for life between the sheets, then look no further than between the pages of some classic erotic texts.

Here are eight ‘literary lovers’ from classic erotic and literary fiction, who can turn you on, and bring some zest into your love life.

1. Sir Stephen from The Story Of O by Pauline Reage

The Story of O is a French erotic novel about female submission. O, a fashion photographer is introduced to a secret society by her lover René, and is trained to serve its members by being constantly available for sex.

Sir Stephen is Rene’s half-brother, an older man with a detached attitude and "gray, unflinching gaze." When O first meets him she desperately wants him to feel passion for her, but Sir Stephen is the ultimate calm, and self-controlled lover, with "a will of ice and iron, which would not be swayed by desire."

If submission is your thing then slipping into the character of O, and being at the mercy of Sir Stephen is sure to make your heart beat faster.

Read: A Beginner's Guide to Submission

2. Teleny, from Teleny, an anonymous novel attributed to Oscar Wilde

Teleny is the story of a love affair between Frenchman Camille de Grieux and Hungarian Rene Teleny. Teleny is a magnetic pianist, who attracts men and women alike.

When Teleny plays the piano de Grieux observes that "in no music is the sensual element so powerful as in that of the Tsiganes." As de Grieux is shocked and enthralled by the unusual melodies he observes that "you cannot disconnect him from the music of his country."

Teleny is a lover that surprises and enthrals, like the most mystical music you have ever heard, he has an almost supernatural power to ignite desire.

Read: Sexy Sounds and Lurid Listens: The Top Audio-Only Porn Online

3. Maude in Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

More literary fiction than straight erotica, this book is like long drawn out foreplay in a slow build up to the climatic sex scenes. Maude is an upper-class heiress in the Victorian era, who lives a quiet life with her uncle. Sue arrives to be her maid as part of a plot devised by ‘Gentleman’ to commit Maude to a mental asylum, and steal her riches.

However, all is not what it seems, and beneath Maude’s innocent exterior hides an intense, and dark sexuality. In scenes where Maude goes to the ice house, just to feel the cold on her skin, or asks Sue to lick some egg yolk off her finger, her sensual nature is revealed to be more knowing than she first appears.

If you have the stamina for the slow build-up, then uncovering the truth about Maude is sure to satisfy.

4. Oliver Mellors from Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H Lawrence

Another novel where desire transcends class boundaries, Lady Chatterly’s Lover tells the story of Lady Chatterly’s (Connie) attraction to her gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. Oliver is a kind man, who is can be quick to anger, a quality that thrilled Connie, and "made her limbs go molten."

Despite being fiercely intelligent, Mellors is a man who works with his hands, taking care of chickens, building fires, all with a natural vitality that transfers naturally to the bedroom. Connie, who had only known more ‘intellectual attraction’ before Mellors is baptised into a world of sheer sexual pleasure.

Read: Beyond 'Fifty Shades': How Erotica Can Improve Your Sex Life

5. Mathilde in Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

Delta of Venus is a collection of short stories written in the 1940’s for a private collector, which was published posthumously in 1977.

Mathilde is a character from one of the stories. She’s a Parisian hat-maker, who turns her shop into a boudoir for Opium smoking, where men come for two or three days and become "lost to the world, and their families."

Mathilde is described as naturally having the shape of a woman wearing a corset without actually wearing one. She notices that when men see her they are "usually speechless, deprived of all inclination for romantic courtship." Their desire is so strong when they see her, that they just want to get to the point.

Step inside this story into a dreamy world of opium induced pleasure and a woman that every man can’t help but adore.

Read: My First Taste of Erotica - and the Joy of Sexual Discovery

6. Pan Jinlian in The Golden Lotus by Lanling Xiaoxiaosheng

The Golden Lotus is described by Pearl S. Buck as being "the greatest novel of physical love which China has produced." So steamy that when it was first published in English, translated by Clement Egerton, all the sexual passages were written in Latin.

The character Pan Jinlian is the the fifth wife of a politically connected merchant. She uses sex as her weapon to control her husband and his other wives. She’s the kind of woman who uses "every one of her hundred charms to give him pleasure," who will "grasp her husband’s penis, and suck it all night."

Open the pages of this book and fall into a world in which (spoiler alert!) characters can actually die from having too much sex.

Read: One-Handed Reading: 5 Reasons to Read Erotica

7. Mariko in Pink Pearl: An Erotic Novel of Modern Japan by Kenzaburo Abe

Mariko is feeling starved of physical affection because her husband Kenji doesn’t pay her much attention. She wants something more than their routine sex, which she describes as a "tasteless meal in an American-style fast food shop."

Mariko is the kind of woman who everyone thinks looks good in a bikini, who goes around the house without a bra to feel the swaying of her breasts. She is a voyeur who watches the neighbours getting it on, while desperate for some sexual adventures of her own.

8. Henry Miller in Tropic Of Cancer

In this semi-autobiographical novel, Henry Miller is a nihilist who can’t quite see the point of life, but has managed to grasp the point of sex. He’s a lover who boasts about his huge cock and the power of his lovemaking, ‘’I know how to inflame a cunt. I shoot hot bolts, into you, I make your ovaries incandescent."

Miller is a lover of sex, and freedom, who doesn’t want to be tied down by love.

The next time you fins yourself itching for a good piece of erotica, consider jumping in with one of these spicy, sensual literary erotic novels!

Can you really go wrong with a good read and even better self-love session? (Spoiler: you can't!)

Read: 5 Reasons Why Masturbation Is the Greatest