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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Erotic Romance or Porn?

As a writer of erotic romance I often see knowing looks on the faces of others when I tell them what I write. Men can be especially bad about jumping to the wrong conclusions. They immediately have two categories in their minds “silly women’s romance” or “porn for women”. At that point I always feel honor bound to explain that well crafted erotic romance is either.
Porn does not foster tender feelings or look for common ground between partners. It’s a purely physical focus. Erotic romance focuses on the sexual side of emotional bonding. In my opinion emotional intention is the big difference between porn and erotic romance. They are not the same thing at all.
Pornography doesn’t care about those involved in the act or ask about their feelings and to my eyes, is not the least bit romantic.
Erotic romantic fiction is about exploring love through the feelings and emotions associated with sexual expression. In erotic romantic fiction (if not always in real life!) sexual exploration must lead to a caring mutually beneficial relationship. Love and respect must exist between the fictional partners or else it simply doesn’t work as a romance. The sexuality part of the story has to be honest, emotionally engaging and trigger a physical reaction in the reader or else it doesn’t work as erotic fiction.
An author has to seek a delicate balance between love and lust that oscillates between the panting, crazed, call of the wild and the highest, selfless expression of sacred love. When it all comes together the result can be some very memorable, soul-thrilling erotic romance and it is not silly women’s stuff or porn…
Where do you draw the line between erotic and pornographic?
XXOO Kat

11 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

Excellent post, Kat. Considering men's minds are porn-oriented, you'd think they'd be celebrating what they consider the 'porn' we write.

But then, because erotic romance is so difficult to pull off and to do well, perhaps men are a teeny bit jealous that we can do something they clearly can not. :)

Linda Kage said...

Bravo! Kat, you and Tina said it perfectly. I wish I could remember all this and be able to quote it the next time one my DH's friends goes off into the 'porn' spiel on me.

Miranda Stowe said...

I think you're totally right, Kat. The line between porn and erotic romance is the emotions and characters. ER has plot too.

The one time my DH talked me into watching a porn with him, I was appalled, mostly because of the plot. Or actually a lack of plot.

In the video, this lady went to check out a house for sale. She starts asking the realor questions, to which he doesn't answer. Finally, he just attacks her, and they have sex. Then she goes home and has sex with her husband.

I was like, "Seriously, that's the plot? Sorry, baby, but this isn't turning me on." I get a bigger thrill out of watching Dirty Dancing or Romancing the Stone (which, like you said, THEY have emotions!!).

Katalina Leon said...

My goodness, I hope he offered her a lower interest rate?
XXOO Kat

Miranda Stowe said...

Now that you mention it, I have no idea if the lady in the video even bought the house. Not sure if they ever told us!

Katalina Leon said...

Those Looky-loos! lol
XXOO Kat

jean hart stewart said...

To me if the book is just one body part meeting another body part it's gone over the line. It's not only porn, it's uninteresting. Well written erotica is engaging!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, well-written erotica is all about the characters, their feelings and emotions all wrapped up in a good plot that keeps me turning those pages.

Valerie
in Germany

Amber Skyze said...

Love this post Kat! And Tina makes another great point about men's minds.

Paris said...

I think Jean made a great point. Well-written erotica is engaging. You make an emotional investment in the story because you care about the characters.

Brita Addams said...

What a great post! I found your site through Keta Diablo and I'm so glad I did.

My book, Serenity's Dream, just got a reader review on Goodreads. It was described as porn, which it isn't. I suppose I should have thanked her for reading it, but I couldn't bring myself to say anything but, "Wow, I'm gobsmacked."

I am going to blog on the difference between porn and erotica, maybe she'll see it!

Great Post, Kat. Thanks for reassuring me that I do write erotic romance. She had me scared there for a minute. :))))

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