Is it wrong to like erotic romance?

I just read an older post on Romance: B(u)y the Book about erotic romance and saw a comment about how reading/writing it seemed to be a way for abuse survivors to reclaim their sexuality. Whatever helps on that score is a wonderful thing.

What about the rest of us? There seems to be preconceptions floating around that erotic romance is bad or somehow dirty, and not in the good way. ;) Different strokes for different folks, of course, but this is a topic often on my mind because I really struggled to accept myself writing erotic romance. Sounds funny, doesn't it? But my reading tastes have mostly drifted toward the paranormal/UF side of things, with the occasional romantic comedy tossed in, and erotic romance usually wasn't part of the mix. I hadn't necessarily planned to write it...but my CPs said I was good at it, and before you get published is a great time to try other genres. So I tried writing sexier...and lo and behold, Full Disclosure is the first story I sold.

Which brings me back to my question. Do you like erotic romance? (And your definition of erotic romance is up to you...doesn't have to be hardcore.) And if it's not your thing, why? (That was me for a very long time, and I still have my anti-erotic moments.)


NancyD said...

I drifted into writing erotic romance the same way. I wrote regular romance but people always seemed to enjoy the heat in my love scenes so I thought it would be fun to check out the erotic markets and voila!

Love writing erotic romance and love reading it too!

Tara said...

Hiya CP.

We've had many a philosophical discussion on this topic. I gotta say, I'm enjoying the genre lately. Whether I get 'sick' of it--well, that remains to be seen.

Just never sick of yours.

Lynne Roberts said...

Wow, we really do have a lot in common.

I started out writing fantasy and children's books. But as I expanded my network on the internet, I met some truly wonderful people who wrote erotic romance. After reading a lot of it, I wanted to try my hand at it (no pun intended)

I wrote a short story, a friend said it was good, I submitted it and my first published book is erotic romance.

I do think there is a stigma involved but erotica takes just as much, and sometimes more, talent and technique than any other genre.

Blah, I hope that makes sense. It's late and I'm tired. : )

Shelley Munro said...

I never saw myself writing erotic romance either. I noticed a drift in my reading habits. I was picking up and enjoying books that were much hotter. Some of my online friends were writing erotic romance and I decided I'd try writing hotter. As it happens, it was a good decision.

Christina Phillips said...

LOL. I'm giggling here because I never could see myself writing erotic romance (far too hard) until my CPs said I should give it a go because my love scenes were so hot!! CPs are the best aren't they!!!

Helen Hardt said...

Honestly, when I began writing romance I didn't even know erotic romance existed, LOL. Though I enjoyed reading all heat levels, it became clear as I experimented with writing that I wrote to the steamier side. Once I discovered ER and found I enjoyed it, I thought I might be good at writing it. Like Shelley, I found it was a good decision. ER is very hot right now (no pun intended, LOL) and I've had my best success as a writer in that sub-genre.

Kaily Hart said...

This is such a BIG topic. I do think it makes it difficult because there are a lot of different ideas about what it entails and it starts with differeing definitions of erotic romance and erotica. I have read across the romance genre and have found myself drifting to the steamier side as a reader because it feels more 'real', more 'current' because it is the nuts and bolts of how a relationship would develop and I think as a reader you want to be right there. As a writer I've found the same. I'm currently writing contemporary romance and I think it needs to be hot to have that contemporary feel and to be able to showcase (at least with my style) current trends, language, scenarios, etc. My struggle still is the definition. To me 'erotic romance' means at the end of the day there is a HEA between a man and a woman. Now, how they get there could be sweet, hot, steamy or explicit (and even involves others along the way), but 'erotica' (to me at least) doesn't need a HEA or be between a man and a woman necessarily at all. There was a session on this at RWA this year and I still came away from it feeling like there really isn't a clear industry standard and for sure there are very different individual ideas about this area. I think some people look disparagingly on erotic romance because they think 'erotica' which to me is totally different!

Becca Simone said...

I obviously love it, because I write it. :) But there has to be romance in it. I'm not a straight erotica fan--but I don't think there's anything wrong with straight erotica. It's just not MY thing.

I got into writing this the same way some of you did. An agent who ultimately rejected one of my novels suggested I make my love scenes even hotter than they were, had I ever considered writing erotic romance?

My erotic story, MIDNIGHT TREAT, wasn't my first sale, but it's my first published piece. I still can't believe I write erotica (nor can some of my friends and family), but I love it.

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Cari! Congrats on your first sell! WTG!

Now about my take on erotic romance, or as I say, writing erotically. There is so much out there now to choose from in erotic romance. I perfer my reads and my own writing on the romantic side, but I love a good hot sex scene. And you are so right-- it doesn't have to be hardcore. I attempted my first erotic story for Red Sage (rejected) and I thought well, maybe I can't write this stuff. But like you, my cp's kept pushing, saying I did write hot. So here I am, in the middle of writing a novella that is, oh yeah, erotic! And I love writing it. Now I just need to work up the courage to submit it...

J.A. Saare said...

Hey Cari,

I started out writing YA, then horror, then urban fantasy. Erotic stuff didn't happen until later, when I stopped being a prude and grew a pair!

I've always read "romance", as well as other genre's, and enjoy it very much. I started out by reading The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Even then, when the "sex" was tame, it was considered taboo reading material.

I'll never forget my shock after I took a break from the genre and returned some 5-7 years later. Reading Kresley Cole is vastly different from reading Elizabeth Lowell, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Heather Graham, or Johanna Lindsey! But it was something new, something VERY erotic, and something I found I continued to enjoy.

Personally, I find Pro v/s Con on "erotica" is much the same as those that have tattoos v/s those that do not.

People that have tattoos don't really care if someone else has them or not. It's live and let live.

But a majority of those that have ink free skin find it distasteful and trashy to bear a "tramp stamp."

Just my two cents!

Lia Slater said...

Great question, Cari. I LOVE writing erotic romance. I love how the story changes when the characters get down and dirty. I love the emotions that come with it. I just love it all around. Even my alter ego writes pretty hot. It can't be stopped. lol

Amy Ruttan said...

I always liked spicier reads. Close the bedroom door and I was not a happy camper.

I really wanted to write historical romance, but the sex was also way too 'hot'.

Then I wrote a Quickie themed based on a Call for Submissions. I sold Masque of Desire for Ellora's Cave and I haven't looked back. LOL!

People not in the know tell me I write porn, and I correct them. I write smut with an HEA. Not porn which has no plot and no HEA.