Probably one of the biggest discussions in one of the writer forums I belong to is whether erotic romance is really porn in disguise. I mentioned this in an earlier posting but the topic keeps resurfacing like a fish-farm salmon leaping onto the dock and flip-flopping back into the water only to repeat the action again and again.

It’s quite a hot topic…really. A lot of heat flows in and around this discussion. What romance writer wants her (or his) work to be considered pornographic? Not me…I mean, I don’t even like to call my work erotic romance. What makes something erotic, as opposed to romantic? What makes something pornographic? We each have our own definitions, right? But clearly, the word porno is a buzz word.

Erotic vs PornOne of my fellow authors, @Teresa_Morgan10, wrote: “Clearly, legitimate authors of romance do not want their work to be called pornographic. Porn has a lack of emotional content, whereas romance is all about emotional content. The women in porn are often degraded, treated as objects, and subjected to scenarios where their willingness to do something is on the edge of consent. They rarely care who they are having sex with. So, really, the exact opposite of romance.” Ms. Morgan also sent along a couple of interesting links on the topic, which she cited as her resources and are well worth a read: http://h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/A2163070 and http://tech.mit.edu/V116/N65/erotica.65l.html. Another author chimed in with “For me, the crucial element which defines pornography is that it is preoccupied with, and places emphasis on, sex organs for the purpose of sexual stimulation. In other words, it’s used as a masturbation aid and the characters/actors/participants are merely sexual props. For me, porn is “no plot, just sex.”

Another author ( the one who originated the topic) states, “I’m just saying that they (meaning writers of erotica) should be classified as what they are and stop running from the word ‘porn.'”

Well, quite honestly, I’ve been running from the word “porn” for years. Why should I stop now? Frankly,  that word conjures up all sorts of vivid nasty for all sorts of people, not just me. I picture empty sex, cum shots, boobs and big cocks, not the meaty and rich stuff of romance, love and relationship exploration. The articles above confirm that opinion. Now don’t get me wrong here….I love – big love, here folks – sex as much as the next soul. I love writing about it, sharing it with my beloved partner, reading about it, thinking about it and watching juicy, evocative scenes on TV or at the movies. What I don’t love is being classified as someone smutty or empty because of the language I chose to describe an act of consummation in as vivid detail as I can get away with.

Let’s put this topic to rest, please? Romance writers, whether they are writing insipration romance, butt-kicking romance, slutty-romance, erotic romance or anything in between, are NOT writing pornography. An acquaintance of mine read some of my work and stated, “Fantastic…It’s like porn you don’t have to be ashamed about about.” No, no shame in reading my non-porn, sexy romances. No rain coat required, no top hat, no slinking into the store, shoving the book into your raincoat and hustling back to you car. It’s not porn. It’s romance…just the way I meant it to be.

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