Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is It Romance or Erotica?

Either I'm getting really old or Romance is changing. I don't consider myself a prude, but I must admit I have a hard time these days telling the difference between romance and erotic romance.

Both need plots, right? Both need characterization. Both need sex, but it's there that my problem begins.

I like romances that go into the bedroom. Physical loving is part of a relationship. What I don't like is a graphic, almost pornographic portrayal of the sex. I don't need a 500 word description of the hero's penis. For that matter, I don't need every male to be hung like a horse, therefore entering the female with the utmost difficulty whether she's a virgin or not.

I don't need sex scenes in every chapter. Okay, not every chapter but sometimes it seems that way. I like a couple to, like, you know, talk. Have dialogue. Do things other than fuck.

Perhaps that's why the MC books appeal to me so much, especially Kristen Ashley. Her characters DO things and have sex but not for pages and pages and pages.

It seems to me that many romances, even some by well known authors, can  be mistaken for erotic romance. With a good writer it can be a turn on. Mostly it's boring.

Can anyone tell me the difference between the two?


  1. I can't, and I won't pretend I can. I've read books where the main characters are bumping uglies within the first five pages (having just met) and then it's like that for the rest of the book.

    I'm not a prude either but for me, the end result is ok so long as the journey to get there was worthy of my time. Nothing worse than reading a lot of dribble disguised as 'plot' just so the author can get to the sex.

    I've heard other people say the same but sometimes the lead up and then the hint of what happened is sexier than being led in to the room, given front seats and being told every sordid and sweaty detail. Less is more and as a visual reader, I like to let my imagination have a workout, not have it given to me like I'm in a biology class.

    Not sure I answered your question (no, I know I didn't lol) but I agree with what you say and age has nothing to do with it. Maybe we're just too romantical for the new age where sex seems to be the key and romance takes a secondary place, rather than the other way around.

  2. Many writers of contemporary feel they are competing with erotic romances for sales, so they get more graphic and more profane themselves--I don't think we can quite blame 50Shades because I had noticed the tendency even before that clusterfuck happened, but it does seem even more prevalent now.

    1. On a lighter note, you may enjoy Elyse's post over at the SmartBitches: 10 things I have about sex (scenes).

      Be ready to laugh like a loon, though, both at the actual post and the comments. Too much truth.

    2. I've read it and you're right, lol.

      I did a post along those lines back when we first opened the doors here, about why I'd never make a romance heroine. Included morning breath and bathroom habits, as best I can remember. ;-)

  3. I can't tell the difference either babycakes. And I agree that writers are adding more sex in now because it seems to be necessary to sales. *sigh*

    I like some good raunchy bedroom fun but not all the time. I want to have a little time between the pages before the H/h are between the sheets again.