Romance, Erotic Romance, Erotica or Porn? (And what really is the difference?)

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Once upon a time, Romance, Erotica and Porn were easy to tell apart. Romance, sold in your local Target store by well-known publishing houses, featured happily ever after stories and never mentioned a body part, except in euphemism. Erotica, romance’s dark twin, lived in the basement, where everyone was having a steamy, sexy romp. The general public often called erotica, porn.

The times are a-changing, and the lines between romance, erotic romance, erotica and porn have never been more blurred. Now, you will find romance books full of graphic depictions of steamy acts, as well as finding erotica (thanks to the likes of E L James) prominently displayed in Target.

But what really is the difference between the genres, and IS there a difference?

There’s been a lot written about the difference between the categories of romance, erotica and porn.

You can read a couple of great articles below:

This one, from Sorcha Grace at Huffington Post, has a nice little comparative table, and concludes that the only real difference between erotic romance and erotica is the over-arching love story.

This one, from RT Book Reviews, argues that ultimately it is the sex that separates romantic categories; A love story with graphic descriptions of sexual encounters is erotic romance; a story centred on a character’s sexual acts, even if they fall in love is erotica.

Most contentious of all, seems to be where the line is between erotica and porn. For some, like J Lea Lopez at From the Write Angle, erotic material is best described as porn when it has no purpose and depth other than sexual arousal.

Hazel Mills at SLS Paradigm Shift, quoting Rozanne Rhodes’ article, goes further, stating that erotica has a depth porn can never achieve. Porn is visual, geared towards men. Erotica has real characters. ‘It can be emotional, complicated, frivolous, fantasy-filled, funny, sexy or serious. Erotica can be very diverse…’

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Whatever you believe the difference between romance, erotic romance, erotica and porn to be, one thing all the authors agree upon is that there is plenty of appetite in the market for sex, sexy stories and love stories.

We hope you’ll stop by, and have a read of a few of ours.

Verity Vixxen

xxx

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