16 Erotic Poems That’ll Leave You Swooning
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Hot, sun-kissed, and making everyone want to take their clothes off.
Maybe that wasn’t the vibe Shakespeare was going for, but all poetry can be erotic poetry if you put some oomph into it.
Whether it’s a breakup song or your favorite gay movie, great art expresses the feelings that captivate all our hearts. Erotic poems, in particular, have a way of distilling unspoken desires, lingering glances, or a lover’s touch into words so steamy they just might wrinkle the page. Plus, they give you something sexy to whisper into your man’s ear.
When it comes to waxing poetics, reciting every line from your favorite Taylor Swift songs is a great place to start. And once you’ve burned through the repertoire of the greatest poet of our time, we’ve got you covered with our favorite 15 sexy poems.
16 erotic love poems to take your breath away
Finding the right erotic poetry is like dating: There’s something out there for everyone. Short stanzas or long sonnets? Ancient Greece or queer punk? There’s no shortage of eroticism to pass around.
Choosing a love poem to seduce your lover (or turn yourself on) is about finding the right mood. If you need your partner to know you crave a role-playing rendezvous, you might evoke some Lil Nas X: I want that jet lag from fuckin’ and flyin’ / Shoot a child in your mouth while I’m ridin’. If you’re feeling a little possessive, you might channel your inner Emily Dickinson, give some Victorian realness, and say: I envy seas whereon he rides.
If you aren’t a natural E.E. Cummings but want to engage in some poetic tongue tying, we can help. Here are our 15 favorite erotic, sexual poems to master the art of seduction:
1. The Flea by John Donne
Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
With a title like The Flea, Donne’s seminal stanzas may not strike you as the definition of sexy. But his poem justifying shameless premarital sex — and lots of sucking — scandalized 16th-century readers. His work is all about forbidden yearnings, embracing a bit of sin, and taking your lover’s fluids — poetically, of course.
2. Morning: Love Sonnet XXVII by Pablo Neruda
Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba;
You've vines and stars in your hair.
Naked you are spacious and yellow
As summer in a golden church.
Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote a book of 100 love sonnets dedicated to his mistress — we stan. Morning makes you want to curl up in bed, basking in your lover’s glow. Plus, if you want to up your Spanish sexting game, you could quote the original español.
3. Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand by Walt Whitman
Here to put your lips upon mine I permit you,
With the comrade's long-dwelling kiss or the new husband's kiss,
For I am the new husband and I am the comrade.
Or if you will, thrusting me beneath your clothing,
Where I may feel the throbs of your heart or rest upon your hip,
Way back in the 1800s, Walt Whitman was writing about man-on-man love in a way that still gets us worked up. His sensual, meandering style frequently lingers on descriptions of men’s bodies, sprinkled with references to romantic love, sensual pleasure, and artistic appreciation.
4. The Platonic Blow by W.H. Auden
It was a spring day, a day for a lay, when the air
Smelled like a locker-room, a day to blow or get blown;
Returning from lunch I turned my corner and there
On a near-by stoop I saw him standing alone.
Who says poetry has to be eloquent? Auden’s poem about giving a stranger a BJ on a gorgeous spring day is fierce and hilarious — just like the best hookups. “‘Shall I rim you?’ I whispered. He shifted his limbs in assent.” We’re petitioning to put Auden in the LGBTQ Quote Hall of Fame.
5. Sonnet IV by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
Sex for the sake of sex? Gasp! Millay’s work predates the sexual revolution, yet much of her writing discusses sex and desire with refreshing bluntness. Werk.
6. I Like My Body When It Is With Your by E.E. Cummings
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
How can you not fall in love with E.E. Cummings? His erotically charged love poetry celebrates self-love and the excitement of a love affair.
7. Please Master by Allen Ginsberg
please master press my mouth to your prick-heart,
please master press my face into your belly, pull me slowly strong thumbed
till your dumb hardness fills my throat to the base,
till I swallow and taste your delicate flesh-hot prick barrel veined Please
Before Cardi B and Meg gobbled and swallowed, Ginsberg took that king cobra down to the base. Where do we sign up for an entire anthology of blow job poetry, master?
8. Little Beast by Richard Siken
I wanted to take him home
and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his
like a crash test car.
Little Beast sounds like a spooky Halloween anthem, but its contents deliver a different kind of thrill. You spot a beautiful man on the subway, meet eyes at the club, or touch as you pass one another on the street; Siken captures that moment of lust that hopefully becomes more than just a fantasy.
9. Ode by Mutsuo Takahashi
In the name of
And the holy fluid,
The poetic can also be holy and hilarious. Takahashi’s little prayer is the perfect mantra for every gay man to worship the holy member.
10. Power Bottom by Darrel Alejandro Holnes
scream my name. Tighter,
my reach pulls the rope.
Please, don’t stop. Bodies
ring in harmony with
the rope’s singing chord. I avoid
Seeing hosts by rolling my eyes
What do you call the opposite of performance anxiety? Panamanian author and playwright Darrel Alejandro Holnes’ work celebrates Black, queer, and immigrant power. Plus, we love a man who puts a good power bottom on an altar.
11. Beautiful Signor by Cyrus Cassells
in my body,
the turning heaven
you cover me with pollen
Never has a cumshot sounded so sensual. And you have to love the kiln-blaze imagery of a sculptor’s strong hands lighting your body on fire.
12. He is more than a hero by Sappho
who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing
laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can't
speak — my tongue is broken.
Guys weren't the only ones getting it on in Ancient Greece. Sappho’s woman-loving poetry echoes across time. Whether drooling over Aphrodite or Anne Hathaway, thirst is everlasting. And we’ve all been there. Send this to someone who leaves you speechless.
13. The Encounter by Louise Glück
You came to the side of the bed
and sat staring at me.
Then you kissed me—I felt
hot wax on my forehead.
This poem has a different vibe from many others on the list, but it’s a perfect fit for anyone who’s ready to fall in love.
14. Recreation by Audre Lorde
Touching you I catch midnight
as moon fires set in my throat
I love you flesh into blossom
I made you
and take you made
Recreation is about two women making love to one another, a beautiful poem about two bodies becoming one.
15. Spring Rush by Aaron Smith
…even a shift between them
could change everything: a hand more than
smacking an ass, someone pressed too long
against a humid chest. Crash of skin,
body pushing body into perfect crush.
Don’t ask us about the color of the football. Smith’s Spring Rush perfectly captures the thrill of fantasizing about jocks from a distance — respectfully and poetically.
16. Upon Julia’s Clothes by Robert Herrick
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see,
That brave vibration each way free,
O how that glittering taketh me
Who doesn't want to be like Julia? Radiant, literally vibrating, and the apple of her man's eye.
Find your Cassanova on Grindr
Now that you have an anthology set of erotic poems to rev some engines, you just need some studs to whisper your sweet nothings to. That’s where Grindr comes in handy.