Today I'm going to give you my take on the difference between erotica and erotic romance. Is there a difference? Heck, yeah! I've been writing (and publishing) hot, steamy romances since 2004, so consider me informed. Please feel free to agree or disagree! Do you think there's a difference?
Erotica vs. erotic romance:
I really think the difference between erotica vs. erotic romance needs to be explained. To me, romance in the name defines the story as a love story...be it between male and female; male and male; female, male and male; werewolf, vampire and stripper or what have you. Erotica is a sex story in which sex is the goal and motivation and there need be no conflict unless they disagree on positions.
Confusion is what keeps us from being recognized as a romance genre. This is what conservative judges "see" when they read graphic language even though some national bestsellers, use it. And you should know that "pure" erotica (pardon the oxymoron) venues, like the stores with blacked-out windows, want nothing to do with us and would probably appreciate our making the difference known too.
I once ventured into one of these stores with my paperback, promo matchbooks, and a press release for the manager. I was practically thrown out. “Our readers don’t want those books,” he said. “They want ranchy porn. Your books aren’t.” So, there you go, right from the erotica experts. Our genre isn’t pornography no matter what some people will tell you.
And just to be sure, I read one of these badly written books. A man on a motorcycle comes up beside a beautiful blonde in a convertible at a stoplight. She looks him over and cocks her head, inviting him to follow her. Of course, he follows her to her penthouse and they do it all over the sofa about half a dozen times. This is described in what would be graphic detail except the writer needed an anatomy lesson.
The only secondary character was the maid who walked in and walked out, disgusted. The woman mentioned her husband would be home at 5 o’clock so they carry on until about a quarter to five and the biker leaves. End of story. Would you call that guy a “hero?” I wouldn’t. Is the woman a “heroine?” Hardly. Would I rather read a story with a plot? A conflict to overcome? Some three dimensional characters? Absolutely! Give me a good erotic romance any day.