Hello my lovely ragged writers! Now I know it has been a while since I introduced my mini series, “What Is Love ~ Romance In Literature,” but I had a motive, I swear!
Now, instead of treading carefully into the topic, I think we need to dive right into things and get hot and heavy. This past Valentine’s Day marked an occasion that many romance readers have been waiting a very long time for. What might that be you ask? The movie debut of one of the most popular erotic romance novels probably ever written: Fifty Shades Of Grey. Since it’s release this past weekend, it’s no big surprise that I would pick erotic romance as my first category in the romance genre.
So what is erotic romance? According to the masses, erotic romance writing is pornography only with words instead of visuals. For many, erotic romance is often confused with terms such as erotica and porn. There have been many posts on this topic, but one I’ve returned to again and again was written by author Sylvia Day. In her post “What is Erotic Romance?” Syliva provides a beautiful definition of erotic romance, along with a few other terms that tend to get mushed together when one thinks of erotic romance. The following definitions are not my own, but I think they are very important when talking about the romance genre.
Porn: Stories written for the express purpose of sexual gratification. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to incite the reader to orgasm and nothing else.
Erotica: Stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals. Emotion and character growth are important facets of a true erotic story. However, erotica is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship, although it’s not prohibited if the author chooses to explore romance. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica, though they can be included. If they are included, they weren’t the focus. The focus remained on the individual characters’ journeys, not the progression of the romance.
Erotic Romance: Stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.
Sexy Romance: Stories written about the development of a romantic relationship that just happen to have more explicit sex. The sex is not an inherent part of the story, character growth, or relationship development, and could easily be removed or “toned down” without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT as this is basically a standard romance with hotter sex.
So why am I so determined to give readers a definition of these terms? Because as a romance reader, I’m saddened by the fact that so many readers fear and even mock the erotic romance genre simply because they don’t understand it and simply classify it as pornography in written form.
I’m not afraid to admit that I love the erotic romance genre, and I know there are others who do as well. Now I want to hear from you, the readers. What is erotic romance to you? Are you a fan? If so, then share a few titles so we can expand our personal libraries! If you aren’t a fan, then share your thoughts on the topic as well!