Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for X-Rated: Erotica and Erotic Romance

I did a whole blog post on this earlier, but it has more import now that Streetwalker is about to be released. My family will have a member who writes smut. In their eyes. I’m okay with that. For many people, X-Rated stuff just isn’t what they enjoy reading (though they may enjoy doing!).


To me, the range of sexual experiences that partners engage in is varied and incredibly powerful. When I write about those experiences, I write erotic romance. Hey, I’m a farm girl. Sex is normal, natural, wonderful. Why not try to describe its richness?


Some call what I write smut. Some call it porn (rather harsh, I believe, for my work).


Smut is “obscene or lascivious” writing (dictionary definition). Okay, maybe I write smut--of the lascivious sort (luscious sounding word, that!), but I take exception to obscene. By whose definition? It often comes down to those connotations and denotations of word meaning.


I write erotic romance because for me the relationship and the character arcs are the most important parts of the story. The sex is hot and frequent, but it is in service (so to speak!) to the relationship/character arcs. My books have either an HEA or HFN ending.


Others write erotica. I have no problem with erotica, though I don’t read as much of it. Because erotica is more about the sexual arc of a character or characters than about the relationship between them, I don’t find it as interesting. There is relationship stuff in the story, but it is subservient to the sex. I, myself, would call the 50 Shades books erotica. You may disagree. Okay.


The dictionary also distinguishes pornography for us. Porn is material “intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” That sounds right.


Porn? I find it boring. How many sexual contortions can the author get characters into while displaying a panoply of parts? Ho hum! Not that I find sex boring. Nope. I just love that sexuality is part of the healthy human psyche.


We farm girls make good sex partners! X-Rated??? Pretty much anything goes! Yee haw!


  1. 3 out of 4 of my books are classified as sensual, though not erotica, but they all have a strong story line and character development within. One reader who wrote a review claimed to love the story after the erotic beginning. I personally was surprised at the term used but pleased she read and reviewed at 4*. So, yes, as you say there is a difference. Nancy at Welcome to she said, he said

  2. Nancy, I enjoyed your blog on this hop thing (though I didn't comment much). I found so many to follow that I just kept reading and hardly ever stopped to comment. I am searching for reviewers for my two books coming out soon. Would you be willing to share the site that with me so I can contact her? (one is mild as milk--a culinary mystery sans sex). Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again, even after this is over.