If you’re reading some of the more popular Romances these days, you may have noticed the sex has gotten a whole lot spicier. Odd to think at one time various works of such classic writers as Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov and D.H. Lawrence were banned in this country because of a sexual content which would now barely raise a eyebrow. This is, of course, not to say more lurid works weren’t out there. Ask your grammy if she ever heard of a Tijuana Bible, and if she doesn’t slap your face, she just might surprise the heck out of you. But if books you can now buy from the drugstore spinner are jalapeno enough to singe your fingers, how can you tell the difference between what’s hot, hotter and goodness! gracious! hose-me-down!? Well, here’s a handy little thumbnail to help you sort it all out.
Romance is the story of the journey lovers take to their happily ever after.
Erotic Romance is the story of the sexual journey lovers take to their happily ever after.
Erotica is the story of a lovers’ sexual journey. Period.
So as you can see, it’s not really the sex per se as much as how the sex is used as a plot technique. In Erotic Romance, as opposed to more “traditional” romance, the sex is more defined, ie, a spade is a spade is a spade. Nix the hammer of love, darling, and call it what it is. In Erotica, this concept is stripped (oh, dear – forgive me) of all pretense, and goes straight to the good parts (no flipping necessary).Yet, as in all writing, just because its temperature has gone well beyond the hard crack stage, it doesn’t mean its quality should be compromised. Bad writing is still bad writing. Just because we’re looking to be bad, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get it good.