There’s been a recent influx of erotica novels and stories to the mainstream in recent years. You could say the rise to infamy of a certain trilogy of novels has played a large part in this newfound popularity. Whether or not that’s a good thing, or that the certain trilogy of novels is a good barometer of what’s good quality out there, is in question. However, you can’t deny the way the new demand has opened up opportunities all over for writers of the genre.
It has also raised a lot of discussion about what’s right or wrong for erotica, about whether it’s just straight pornography, and whether or not it’s a good thing that so much content is considered a good thing. I also wonder how publishers or book sellers – I’m not sure who makes the decision – classify some novels as erotica and others as mainstream romance.
I’ve been reading romance for a long time. I was also reading some erotica before it became popular in recent years. I still couldn’t tell you what the main differences are. Maybe romance is more story-driven and less sensual but that’s not entirely accurate. I don’t think I could consider that certain trilogy of novels as erotica. As I said, I’ve been reading romance and erotica for a long time and that set of books isn’t more erotic than a lot of mainstream romance that I’ve read.
Like I mentioned above, there does seem to be a lot of debate over whether these kinds of novels are considered just straight-up pornography. Uh, no. They’re not porn. Porn is all sex, no story to speak of, no character development, nothing but graphic depictions of sex in all it’s forms. Yes, I realize this is my opinion only and I’m sure there are more than a few people who would consider what I write to be porn. (It’s not!!)
I think some of the appeal for people reading and enjoying those three novels, as well as any of the other offerings out there currently, is that they don’t know or recognize all the different levels of eroticism or romance. To them, this is the height of titillation and they think they’re reading something that’s the first of it’s kind. It’s not. However, it is the first of it’s kind for those people reading.
I do find it interesting that people who might not read a lot, are reading these stories all of a sudden. I had lunch with a friend of mine this week and she’s never been a big reader. I’ve known her for ten years and don’t ever recall her talking about books with me but this week, she said she’d read that trilogy of novels.
So because all these people are reading these novels, and the myriad of books like them, they’re also discovering that it’s OK to explore their sensuality. I had a friend tell me that, while she’s not into the whole domination/submission phenomenon, she’s so happy that since reading these books, she’s been able to open up to her husband of almost eleven years. Not that she never shared with him before but she did tell me that reading those stories let her know that it was OK to say that she wanted something outside the norm with him. Since then, it’s opened up a whole new world for them. That’s a good thing. On the flip side, it’s a little worrying that people are trying things they read in these novels, assuming that the author was the authority on sub-dom situations. Before exploring certain aspects of the sex life, do your research!!
Moving on, while I’ve already admitted before that I didn’t enjoy that particular book myself, I’m enjoying the conversations and debates that it has brought up. I love the fact that more attention is being given to the entire romance genre – whether you view it as erotica or not – and I love how it’s opening up the market for so many talented authors who otherwise might have been dismissed because of the content of their novels. I have yet to be ‘discovered’ but then again, my writing isn’t as graphic or overtly sensual as a lot of the books that are considered hot right now. That’s OK. I like what I write and I am going to keep writing what I like. That’s just how I roll.
As always, take care and happy reading.