The Romance of Lust is a prime example of Victorian erotic fiction which depicts a variety of sexual acts and taboos.
Written anonymously and banned for almost a century, this novel was eventually published uncensored and complete in 1968. The tale depicts all manner of sexual acts between Charlie Roberts - a very well-endowed male with a sculpted physique - and his many partners of either gender. The book charts the sexual awakening of Charlie, and follows him through the years of his youth and maturity.
The book circulated underground and carried some notoriety for many decades. Its author remains unknown to this day, however those with expertise in Victorian erotic literature have proposed either William Simpson Potter or Edward Sellon - both erotic novelists - as candidates for authorship.
The plot received little praise from critics, and was commonly seen as simply facilitating further sex scenes between the various characters. The literary academic Steven Marcus examined The Romance of Lust, identifying consistently unrealistic descriptions of both sexes and their capabilities during intercourse, together with a barrenness of genuine emotional communication or connection.
However, in spite of its shortcomings, this novel retains some popularity for its unabashed and relentless descriptions of illicit acts; itself a common hallmark for banned Victorian literature.