Porn. Erotica. Erotic Romance. Yes, there is a difference.

Every business has a challenge, that’s life. In the literary romance world, especially when you step into the erotic side of things we all seemed to get pained with the same brush and that’s a big challenge. Often erotic romance books are waved off as “porn” or the newest one “mommy porn” (ugh) when in fact there is a distinct difference between them. What the industry needs to do is help educate the readers so they know exactly what they are looking for before they go looking and for the distributors to categorize the books appropriately.

XXX neon sign illuminated over dark backgroundPorn: A book that is focused on incredibly descriptive sex scene after sex scene after sex scene, without any plot, character development or really anything else. It’s whole reason for existence is titillation. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not romance. And as many a meme has stated: It gives an unrealistic belief in how fast a plumber will arrive at your door.Erotica neon sign illuminated over dark backgroundErotica:Hot and descriptive sex in this category. No closed doors, not hold barred. But the massive difference between Erotica and Porn is story (there is one), plot and character development. The sex is front, center and the focus of the book and the story rotates around it. Rule of thumb, when in doubt, put another sex scene in. There are lots of amazing books in this category and something for every kink out there. Romantic neon love sign at nightErotic Romance: The sex is hot and descriptive in this category as well BUT the sex is only part of what drives the story; it works together with the plot and story arcs. Intimacy between the characters always pushes the plot or character development forward. If there isn’t a valid reason why your characters are having sex then they shouldn’t be.

IMOHO, it doesn’t matter what sub-genre of your book or the sexual orientation of your characters, it’s the story (or lack of) that dictates which of these three categories it belongs in.

 

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