Erotica or Pornography: You Decide
You may have noticed that there has been a massive upsurge in the popularity of erotica; steamy hot stories designed for women or cliterature as I like to call it. Since I have been published, I’ve spent a lot of time discussing erotica.
When people ask me what I do, here is how the conversation usually goes.
Them: What do you do?
Me: I am a writer.
Them: Have I read any of your books? (*How the hell would I know that?*)
Me: Probably not, I don’t write mainstream stories.
Them: What do you write?
Me: Mostly porn.
Them: Really? (all bug eyed and creeped out)
Me: Yes. I write erotica. Porn. Naughty stories, with lots of sex, that are fun to read.
Often, this is the end of the discussion, but frequently it leads to chatting about the difference between erotica and porn. Some days, I think that the difference is mostly just semantics, or opinion. For example, some people think steamy romances are porn. I think they are just hot reading … semantics. Other days, I think that the major difference is that porn is just sex with no signs of emotion or personality. There is more depth to erotica. (I’m not claiming that it is intellectual literature here, so don’t go getting all up in arms.)
My work is naughty, my stories are loaded with sex, but there is also love, kindness, generosity, and realistic characters that experience a range of emotions as well as smokin hot sex. I like to think that my characters have some personality beyond just being sexual people. This makes my stories erotica, not porn. Still, I understand that the predominance of sex in my work will cause many people to classify it as porn, while I think of it as cliterature.
My recently published short story Corralling the Cowboy is almost borderline porn. It is the story of two people who meet and share a quick fling. What keeps it on the erotica side is that they are genuinely attracted to each other as people, not just bodies; and that they show emotion. In the end they seem to have found someone worth keeping in their lives. Alex may not have found her handsome prince, her Mr. Right, but she has definitely found Mr. Right-Now, and she fully intends to spend time getting to know him.
See, it’s just semantics. The distinction doesn’t really concern me, I write what moves me, what I enjoy reading. While my next story is erotica, I am also working on a couple of more conventional romantic tales. There will still be sex, but it won’t be the focus…these stories are designed to stir your heart, not your loins. 😉