Why I chose erotica and thoughts on the future of the genre
Thanks for having me here today. I’ve really been looking forward to this. And thanks for asking me about why I write erotica and where I see the future of the genre.
I’ve always written traditional romance, and over the years, my love scenes have gotten a bit steamier. A few readers asked if I’d ever written erotica so I thought I’d give it a try. Only problem is that no matter how hard I try to write sex, the story always gets in the way! So after a few failed attempts at erotica, I gave in and compromised. I’m still writing great love stories. They just have a lot more sex in them.
That doesn’t mean the story is all about the sex. In the case of Awakening, there’s a big story here. The plot is set against a true historical setting, and my characters, Bedwyr and Ysbail, must get over emotional and physical obstacles in order to earn the trust of the other in order to live in harmony. The sexual part of their relationship is just as important as the romance. And it must be every bit as poignant.
I’m a firm believer that, no matter what the story is about, if it has sex in it, the sex has to be an integral part of the plot and not just fluff or page filler. If characters are going to have sex, it has to mean something. Gratuitous sex, even in erotica, is just titillation. In my opinion, straight titillation is just porn. Sex starts in the brain and moves south as stimulation (first emotional then physical) increases, so it’s no wonder the majority of erotica readers are women. Woman are emotional creatures.
I wrote an article last year about the changing lines between romance and erotica, and porn. In the article I said: “One can always tell erotica written by women and that written by men. Women's erotica is 80% emotion and 20% graphic detail, as with men, it's 80% graphic detail and 20% emotion. Women want to know how it feels emotionally and men want to know how it feels physically. I know I’ll get slaughtered for saying this, but this is why women are generally better at writing romance and erotica, and why men are so much better writing thrillers.” http://hearticles.blogspot.com/2010/06/blowing-curtains.html
This is why erotica is mostly ‘written by women, for women.’ Men buy erotica too, but they usually just flip to the ‘good parts’ and leave the story behind. Another reason why men buy nudie mags—it’s all there in graphic detail, nothing left to the imagination. Instant arousal. For women, we want the emotional build up to the bedroom scenes. While we can enjoy a great quickie, we know it’s still part of an emotional bond we already share with our partner.
As long as erotica is written by women and for women, I can see the erotica industry thriving for a long time to come. Especially as sex and erotica are more widely accepted and talked about in the general public.
What I mean by that is twenty years ago, women were still hiding the covers of their romance novels. Today, it’s quite common to see women with romance novels with the cover quite visible. And maybe it’s just a fashion trend, but it’s also become more common seeing women with erotica novels, too. And we all know those covers can be quite racy!
I’m still dedicated to traditional romance, where sex as the final frontier in relationship bonding, but I’m really enjoying the steamier erotic romance. And I hope my readers enjoy my stories, too.
“What’s a little bondage between friends?”
Available now – Awakening, book one of The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series