The Strix

The Strix
“Dark, sexy, vampire lore that takes you on a wild ride.”

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blog Hop "Erotic Vs. Porn"


I recently blogged about the difference between erotic romance and pornography and I’m posting the question again with a few additions because it’s an interesting question.

As a writer of erotic romance I often see knowing looks on the faces of others when I tell them what I enjoy writing. I notice a lot of heading nodding and smirking. I’ve often watched in slight discomfort as the “Wow, I thought she was such a nice lady…” expression melted right off their face and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it except explain myself.

Men can be especially bad about jumping to the wrong conclusions. A few immediately assume erotic-romance must fall into one of two categories “silly women’s romance” or “porn for women” and they say so. “Oh you write porn, I never would have guessed.” Or “Oh, that silly woman’s stuff? Maybe I can pose for your next book cover?” (Then they actually pose)

 I often feel honor bound to explain that the vast majority of well-crafted erotic romantic fiction deserves its own category and it’s not silly or pornographic.

Porn is lonely. It doesn’t foster tender feelings or look for common ground between partners. It’s a purely physical focus. It’s about bodies meeting—not souls.

If souls don’t meet in a story, it’s not a satisfying romance.

Erotic romantic fiction focuses on the sexual side of emotional bonding. Souls meet and bond through the physical act of love. Erotic romance has a heart and the partners involved care about each other and grow to love each other.

In my opinion emotional intention is the big difference between porn and erotic romance. Erotic romance incorporates strong feelings for the other. The other partner’s thoughts and welfare matter before, during and after any sort of sexual activity, even something as innocent as a kiss.

Pornography doesn’t care about those involved in the act or ask about their feelings afterward and to my eyes, is not the least bit romantic.
Erotic romantic fiction is about exploring love through the physical sensations and emotions associated with sex.

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 the story simply doesn’t work as romantic fiction.
The erotic 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 of erotic romance 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.
The boundaries get pushed to the limits with erotic romantic ménage. The balancing act gets far more complicated. Multiple fictional partners equals multiple emotional entanglements and everyone needs to be included in the heart circle or else it’s not a romance, it’s just erotic. If the partners are simply enjoying sex and don’t really care about each other (gasp!)—it’s porn…

Many authors handle the mixed emotions of ménage beautifully and have written some stunning love stories that can leave us all wondering “what if that could work?”

Where do you draw the line between the erotic and pornographic?

Happy holiday Hobbit, end of the Mayan world, extravaganza to you and your loved ones!

XXOO Kat

34 comments:

  1. For me, it's the element of ridiculousness that makes porn--the red stilettos on the nude, to coin a phrase...

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. What? You don't believe housewives lurk behind every front door wearing corsets and red stilettos ready to make the pizza delivery man's every fantasy come true? lol

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  2. Erotic romance has depth and emotion and story while porn is only sex.


    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

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  3. I agree with you porn is the actions and erotica has more connection and feeling.
    Thanks for the great giveaway hop! I like spending my winter nights curling up on the couch with my favorite read and some hot chocolate!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. That's a great way to spend a cold winter night!

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  4. I love Christmas! And I'd rather snuggle up with a good book than go out in the cold.

    www.lynnhubbard.com
    authorlynnhubbard@gmail.com

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    1. I love reading and looking at the Christmas lights. I hope that can happen a little more often this season.

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  5. I think that the shock value of the act itself is a basis for most porn while the erotic is to get you thinking about it and enjoying it.

    cmucha319@yahoo.com

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    1. Women are erotic creatures we need to think and feel. Porn is about the action and the visuals. It can get old fast.

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  6. Really enjoyed reading your post, my husband and I had a discussion about this topic the other day, I should have him read your post!
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

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  7. If he does read the post... man oh man would I enjoy hearing the opinion of a man! Please ask him to comment.

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  8. I'm not even sure how to describe where I draw the line. It's kind of one of those I know it when I see it situations. As a rule, I consider a book straight up porn if there is no plot at all. Usually the "story" is one long sex scene and that's it. Stories that have a plot and an emotional impact I tend to categorize as erotica.

    JYL22075 at gmail dot com

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    1. That's about my measure as well. Plot and a character's emotional growth are essential parts of romance, extra spice just makes it more fun.

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  9. The line is fine. It's determined for me by the tone and sensuality of the moment.

    steinbachtracey@yahoo.com

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    1. I think tone and sensuality level is very important to women. It makes all the difference.

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  10. IMHO, erotic romance is porn for women. It's porn because it is intended to arouse people sexually. If it wasn't, why leave the bedroom door open? But women crave the love story that goes along with it. And that's what sets it apart from "regular" pornography, where there is little, if any, story. Someone has actually taken the time to ensure that the story can hold together on its own without the sex.

    michelle dot graham dot author at gmail dot com

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    1. Erotic romance can be viewed as porn for women but I'd like to expand on that a little. The erotic impulse in woman is a strong one and sadly often strongly repressed in western culture. I think it's healthy to explore those impulses in a safe way through fiction. Many women don't need to be aroused so much as they need to understand what they're feeling, craving etc.. Erotic romance and characters a woman can identify with is a terrific outlet for that.

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  11. Loved your post! Hmm...obviously there are some poorly written books out there & I've come across a few of them. They just don't do it for me. Almost seem phoney & fake. Now, I have read a large number of very well written erotic romance books that have contained either M/F, M/F/M or BDSM. And I have loved every one of them. They send me on an emotional roller coaster ride. The emotions & heart pounding or stopping that I experience really add to my reading. Thanks for being part of this hop & the giveaway!

    JessieL62 (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Don't you love riding that roller coaster? I am so grateful to every good author who gave me a thrill and took me for a wild ride!

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  12. Excellent Post! I agree Porn is lonely and is strictly based on just the physical act. In Erotic books at least you have a sweet romance connection between the two and the reader gets a look into the characters souls before they actually do the deed. The sad thing is that society doesn't look at it that way, just mention sex and everyone acts like its a sin and they don't do it. So stupid! Anyway, great post.

    Ronda Tutt
    mrsqueentutt@gmail.com

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    1. One of the greatest boons sex can offer, aside from the obvious gift of more little humans, is it is bonding! At it's best sex can help bond people together on a heart level in a very special way.

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  13. my thought on erotica and romance is generaly would it still be a good book without the sex then is it a better book with the sex. when i think of porn i think of those things that men write into playboy and such about how they meet some watres at a truck stop and hooked up with her and her friend. theres no content in porn just sex.

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    1. That's the acid test: If you can remove the sex scenes from an erotic romance and still have a well developed romance, you're good to go.
      Does anyone remember those over-boiled letters to Penthouse supposedly written by women but totally skewed to male fantasy? Those were fun reading for dirty young minds! lol

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  14. Excellent post! I agree that the story and true emotional connection between the characters is essential to distinguish an erotic romance from porn and not every author is capable of achieving that, which is why some stories seem so awkward and contrived.

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    1. Hi Elf! I dare say you're an authority on erotic romance at this point. Maybe we should call you Professor Elf?

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  15. I think that a if there is a good story, developed characters, and emotions and a relationship between the characters, I would call it erotic romance. If it is just sex, no emotions/relationships or story line, with flat characters, I would call it porn.
    June
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Yep, I'm with you. Good romance thrills the heart. Porn gets old fast...

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  16. Great post!! Great giveaway!
    Merry Christmas
    swkimbell@yahoo.com

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  17. Katalina,

    Thank you so for the article on Erotica vs Porn. I was very pleased to have my thoughts and feelings about the subject confirmed. I love erotic romances in pretty much any sub-genre but it has to have the connection of feelings and love on the road to the HEA. Without that connection I feel cheated with just a sex scence just because. When an author doesn't have the skill to blend the two they lose me as a fan.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share, meet new authors and perhaps snag new books to read. I will be following you in the future.

    Belinda G
    belgreATcomcastDOTnet


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    1. Wow, Belinda I think you summed it beautifully! Thank you.

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  18. I remember asking my pastor friend why churches don't offer classes on the benefits of masturbation. I thought he was going to pass out. I truly believe that if people were more accepting of their sexuality that our world would have a few less problems. You don't see people who lead healthy sex lives out trying to hurt others. Sex as the anti-war/fighting, I think it could catch on.
    planterofhope(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Good point Carla! Healthy, consensual, respectful sex lives are good for the community. It's the hidden problems and repressed frustrations that get out of hand.

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