Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brita Addams - Porn vs Erotic Romance


Porn vs. Erotic Romance

I've written this post, in different variations before, on my own blog, but thought it bore additional exposure. Since Noble Romance publishes erotic romance, I determined the Noble Author's blog to be just the right place for a reprise of this discussion.

Recently, I received a review, by a reader who felt Serenity's Dream was porn, followed by a gazillion XXX-rated designation. I was amazed that my reaction was so, shall we say, gobsmacked, to say the least.

As most adults of a certain age, I am aware of what constitutes porn and though I did wrote some rather hot sex scenes and granted the book has its share BDSM scenes (okay, more than its share, but that's what the Sapphire Club is all about), PORN it is not.

I've read my share of historical erotic romance, which is my particular reading of choice. I love plot, characters and an interesting story, along with tremendously hot sex. I wouldn't read books that just detailed a jumble of body parts finding their counterparts and humping, sucking or well, you get the idea. Nor would I write them, especially under a banner that clearly states, Erotic Romance.

After reading the review, which was positive, by the way, I feared that possibly, just possibly, I'd had the wrong idea when I wrote the Sapphire Club series or that Jill Noble, senior editor at Noble Romance, had in some way mislead me into believing I had indeed written a set of erotic romances. With those fears in mind, I did some research, again and decided to share my findings.

Porn is thoughtless screwing - the shortest path to the sofa, bed, floor or nearest wall. Now, certainly that can be hot, but when page after page is nothing but, with no story to tie the continual scenes together, you have - my friends – drum roll, please - PORN.

Never having read porn, I have only what my research has shown me by way of visual porn. There is no story, no plot, no characters, save the handsome, well-hung, long-haired, tattooed guy and the eager-to-please, not the least bit surprised when he's climbs through her kitchen window - chippy, who seems to understand the look in his eyes the moment she sees him.

She opens her mouth, the scene dissolves and the next thing you know, they're hanging from the foyer chandelier, banging away for a time well past human endurance. Fast forward, because frankly all that banging away begins to look the same after awhile, and low and behold, the next vignette is exactly the same, save for a different well-hung, long-haired tattooed guy and yet another eager-to-please, not the least bit surprised that he's climbed through her kitchen window, chippy.

Therefore, logically, I must conclude that when a book is billed as porn, they are much the same.
I'm here to say, that the erotic romances I've read and written, are far different. There is a story and plot, with characters you wish to see through to the end and ROMANCE. No doubt that is why publishers call it EROTIC ROMANCE, but I'm just guessing.

In erotic romance, you have sympathetic, endearing, plot driven main characters, that have emotions and aren't afraid to use them. Their lives are based on feelings that drive them to do the things they do, be it to please the one they love, place themselves in sexual situations with the one person who can fulfill their wildest fantasies or express themselves through sexual acts that might place them well out of their comfort zone.

Emotion and - wait for it - ROMANCE, drive an erotic romance.  Yes, there's a lot of sex, more than the usual romance, but not all romances with sex are erotic and because a book has a lot of sex, doesn't make it porn.

Body parts all a jumble drive porn - nothing more. The reason porn exists is sex, pure and simple. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with sex and in copious amounts. But any dummy can have sex. Caring, emotional, considerate people (characters) make an erotic romance and never the twain shall meet.

I am relieved to know, after further research, that I do indeed write character-driven, plot-driven stories that encompass the sexual beings my characters happen to be. My mother, God rest her soul, will continue to rest easy. Erotic romance is what I set out to write, and thankfully, I haven't lost my way.

Until next time,





Visit me at my Website/Blog, to learn more about the Sapphire Club series
The three books in the Sapphire Club series area available at Noble Romance Publishing.
Look for more Sapphire Club books later in 2011.

Chocolate, Tea and the Duchess is a menage, m/m/f. Serenity's Dream and Lord Decadent's Obsession are m/f. All books contain consensual BDSM, spanking, anal and oral sex.

10 comments:

Margie Church said...

I've read Serenity's Dream and there is a lot of sex in the book, however if someone says they can't find the romantic plot, they need to take off their steamed up glasses and read again. It's clearly there. I think what people also confuse is their personal preferences in sex for what is in the book. So, IMO, it would be more fair to say I don't care for the book, but to call it porn is wrong.

Have a great day, Brita.

Brita Addams said...

Thank you Margie!

Ursula Grey said...

I think you've expressed the difference between the two beautifully, Brita. The romantic elements are there, along with the story and plot, but we are simply privy to the intimacies of the relationship. These elements are absent in porn. I read erotic romance, and aspire to write it in accordance with your definition. Love the historical works, too ~ you're on my TBR list:-). Great covers, btw...

Brita Addams said...

Hi Ursula,
Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you stopping by. Much luck with your writing and thank you so much for the comments on the covers. Fiona Jayde, our cover artist at Noble, does a fantastic job, doesn't she?

Sarah Ballance said...

EXCELLENT post! This bears repeating ... many times. Thank you for sharing - I'll bookmark this and let you do the explaining for me next time this comes up! ;c)

H.C. Brown said...

I get quite insulted when people say I write porn. A tender love story is wasted on some people. Most of them make comments and have never read the books.
I don't worry about negative comments but in truth, I feed of the praise.

Your stories are wonderful.
HC

Tamara Gill said...

Great post Brita!

I've recently had a friend say 'how's your porn book'? Sigh. Perhaps I should get him to read this post.

Tam :)

Brita Addams said...

I think it's bad when there are authors who say they write porn or smut and proudly so. It rather taints the gene pool for me.

I don't feel I write porn, hence the blog.

A distant family member asked me what I wrote, and I told them erotic romance. His answer was, "Oh, you write THOSE kinds of books." UGH!

Yes, I do, but with a story, thank you very much!

H.C., for you to say my stories are wonderful, means a lot. So are yours, my dear, so are yours.

Brita

C. Margery Kempe said...

I don't much mind when people say I write porn unless they're using that word to dismiss what I do. Unfortunately, most of the time they are.

Sorry if I'm "tainting the gene pool" but I'm not bothered by porn. I watch it, I sometimes write it. In the States, it mostly seems to be a "moral" designation. What one person doesn't like, they call "porn" and what they do, they call "erotic."

I think the genre distinctions are clear enough, but as long as there are people who have to get out their smelling salts any time someone dares write explicitly about sex, there will be people who mistakenly call erotic romance "porn" and that's their problem. I pity them and their doubtless disappointing sex lives.

AllureVanSanz said...

What a great post! I can't believe I almost missed it. I don't remember you linking to it. Dang it, Allure! I swear I'm so flighty sometimes.

I love when people try to bring me down by calling my work porn. I don't find it at all insulting, even when that's what they're going for.

I just give them that pitying smile or a virtual pat on the head like they're a little simple minded.