It's summer time and the weather is hot. And so, evidently, is this season's current reading list. "Mommy porn," in all its sticky glory, continues to appear week after week on no less than the New York Times Best Seller list, freaking out, we imagine, all those middle-aged editors in bow ties and grey trousers. But the big news isn't that — screw what their husbands think — women are buying these titles in droves. No, it's that all of these books (at least the ones featured in these pages) began life as indies.

To celebrate this throbbingly incredible achievement, IndieReader has created the first-ever Penis Poll to help readers sort out the levels of sex, B/D (bondage and discipline) and S/M (sadism and masochism) in today's hottest best sellers.

Each title is rated from 0-5 Penises (from "married sex" to "I think I just saw Jesus") and 0-5 Whips (from no B/D or S/M to bossed around to fuzzy handcuffs to "Could someone please call the cops)".

Fifty Shades of Grey— sometimes written off as just a roughed-up version of Twilight — brought erotica out of the bedroom and onto the A train.

If you haven't yet read the book, the story goes like this. Literature student Anastasia Steele interviews entrepreneur Christian Grey, a man who is handsome, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants him. Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too — but on his own terms. Turns out Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control.


What started as online FanFic quickly became a BDSM craze that is currently sweeping several sex-starved nations. The title's early popularity was attributed to the fact that women could read it anonymously on an ereader. But that reasoning seems kind of flaccid since, just four months after its publication in paper form, Fifty Shades is outselling — in the UK no less! — Harry Potter.The other two books in the trilogy, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed, have sold 3.6 million and 3.2 million copies, respectively. Talk about a frisky threesome!

SCORE: 5 Whips, 5 Penises

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves, hit the best seller lists as an indie. It was recently picked up by traditional publisher, Plume and optioned for a movie by MGM. More romance than sex, the book explores the love that develops between T.J. a sixteen year old boy at the start of the novel, and his thirty year old tutor, Anna.

As the story progresses, the two build a relationship on an island where they have been stranded after a plane crash. It turns out that there is nothing shady about their union, because it doesn't come to fruition until T.J. turns nineteen-a penis per annum we think, and well worth the wait. No discomfort and no BDSM, but plenty of romantic buildup and lots of love.

SCORE: 0 Whips, 3 Penises

Bared to You by Sylvia Day is will keep you hot long after the temperature has dropped. Self pubbed in April and nabbed by Berkeley Books in May, the first book in the Crossfire Series is steamier than anything else out there at the moment. Yes, it may even be hotter than 50 Shades. Gideon Cross wastes no time with Eva Tramell. He declares his desire the first moment they are alone, "I want to fuck you, Eva." This book earns its whips — not literally with whips — but for the degree of control these two exert over each other. It's chilling. Come to think of it, sweaty may be a better word.

SCORE: 4 Whips, 5 Penises

Training Tessa by Lyla Sinclair introduces Tessa Greer and Mason Maddox. Mason is the boss about to interview her; Tessa is the nervous younger woman who desperately wants the "Receptionist Plus" position. Brothers Mason and Dixon (yes those really are their names) give her more than she bargained for. Reviewers can't seem to decide if the book is sexy with all its shocking punishments, degrading to women because Tessa services clients, or uncomfortable due to the use of office supplies in sex play. Whatever the reason, the New York Times best seller is seeing almost as much action as Tessa and we'd venture to guess this is the first book with a school girl being spanked to appear on the list.

SCORE: 5 Whips, 5 Penises

Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson is silly and sexy. Does that combo work? Sure, when it's as well written as this one is. Mathewson introduces neighbors Haley and Jason. Jason is the rude boy next door and Haley is the shy quiet girl with a nice garden (no, that's not a euphemism). Jason frustrates Haley with his disregard for her property but she doesn't do well confronting men. That is until Jason pulls up her tulips (no, real tulips!) and she tackles him. He doesn't expect this type of reaction, but those were Haley's grandmother's tulip bulbs; how dare he stoop so low! When they are forced to seek refuge together from angry bees indoors, they begin to see that they really don't hate each other. In fact — they could be friends…or more than friends, why not? A cute neighbor story turned sexy, this one is not quite as unrealistic as most of the other sex stunners on the market. In other words — this could actually happen to you and your neighbor, with some humor thrown in for good measure.

SCORE: 0 Whips, 2 Penises

Perfection by R.L. Mathewson has Trevor Bradford (cousin of Jason in Playing for Keeps) living next door to Zoe, who he considers frumpy. He has an image in mind of what he wants in a woman and it's no less than perfection. Self-sufficient Zoe has lost her job and expects nothing but the worst. She sees Travis as the "jerk next door" and is skeptical even when he offers to help her out.

Zoe's insecurities make her lovable while Travis's brash jerkiness makes him hard to like. Despite their doubts they decide to go with the flow but neither anticipates that they may actually be a good match. More sex in Perfection than Playing for Keeps. Excited? Good, number three in the Neighbor from Hell Series is coming soon!

SCORE: 0 Whips, 3 Penises

Bedding the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello is book three of her Legacy Collection and showcases the wedding planning of Abigail Dartley and billionaire Dominic Corisi.

Abby's sister Lil is in charge of the proceedings but years of middle class rebellion have not prepared her for handling billionaires or paparazzi. Lil teams up with Jake Walton, the groom's best friend but gets more than she bargained for and the couple ends up in steamier situations than the soon-to-be-married couple. The sex in this one includes actual love, but hey, that's another poll!

SCORE: 0 Whips, 3 Penises

This post originally appeared on Indie Reader. Republished with permission.

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