I guess we have another hurdle to get over as authors. First we had to deal with the stigma of writing romance and how it was considered less than other genres. Then we had to deal with the stigma of self-publishing—for those of us who have gone that route. Now we have a new stigma to deal with: writing erotica or erotic romance and having it shunned because people think it’s nothing more than written pornography.
I know we still have the first two stigmas, but I think they have been getting better lately. And I believe they will keep getting better. With the third, who knows, maybe the whole 50 Shades explosion will help lift erotic romance and erotica up out of the gutter some would like to shove them in.
To me, comparing erotica—with plots just like any other story—and erotic romance to pornography is like comparing a wonderful sex scene in a movie to a porno. Pornography is fine—I like pornography. It has its place and time. Although, I would like to see more geared toward women, but I think our day is coming.
But erotica and erotic romance is far from pornography. Pornography usually doesn’t have a well-thought-out plot and is—as expected—completely about the sex act. Good erotica does have that plot and the sex is there to help enhance the plot. It is the same for erotic romance. None of those stories are merely about sex.
I wouldn’t want to push anything erotic on someone who didn’t want it, but when I try looking for places to post my free book or to get reviews and they tell me, “Sorry, no erotica,” it kind of pisses me off. They’ll take anything else, any other genre, but oh my, if there’s an explicit sex scene or two the world must be coming to an end.
Those same places that refuse erotica or erotic romance have no problem hosting horror with all kinds of killing and violence. It’s just like media in general. We can show all the violence imaginable, but the minute sex is involved the censors come out screaming. Blow someone’s brains out, but you better not give them a blow job first. (I also love horror and don’t want an end to that genre; I’m just trying to make a point.)
Ooh, speaking of BJs, did anyone watch CNN’s New Year’s Eve show? I loved it when Kathy Griffin kept threatening to give Anderson Cooper a blow job. Now that was some good TV.
Okay, I could rant about this forever, but I’d like to know what you guys think about the subject. Please leave a comment and weigh in.
I say it’s time we shout loudly from the top of a mountain, “I write erotic romance (and/or erotica) and I am not ashamed. My books should be right there beside all the others.”