Erotica Does Not Equal Porn

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I’m reposting this blog I did last week for Four Strong Women for two reasons. One, I like what I wrote. Two, I think it’s worth repeating.

Livia

I received an email from someone who downloaded Memoirs of a Gigolo during the promotional give away on Amazon. I think is best addressed right here. Three of my choice favorite quotes, not taken out of context, and preserving all anonymity: “If you want to write porn then write porn – don’t try to pretend anyone would read the story and not just skip to the good parts… There’s a big difference between a romance novel and one that people want just for the dirty bits… Real writers would never write porn…” For the last one, does anyone have Anne Rice’s number for me?

Erotica is to ballet what Porn is to pole-dancing. Erotica is the sultry dark eyed international man of mystery (maybe it is a cliche, but there’s a reason he’s a popular guy) who gives a smart savvy woman exactly what she wants and in abundance. Porn is gopher-like Ron Jeremy huffing and puffing his way to an aneurysm on the back of some probably not so bright girl young enough to be his granddaughter. Eeeewwwww. Erotica is sexy. Porn is just sex.

I’ve read my fair share of erotica by choice and as a means to help a couple of my writer friends who write erotica. Well written erotica, like any well written work, has a story that people want to read. Yes, there is sex and hopefully in abundance, but it’s part of the story. It’s woven into a tapestry that conveys a whole experience. Porn is just screwing. Granted I’ve seen some porn where, bless him, the director has gone back to his film school roots and is trying to create something more meaningful than just people boning. But it’s still porn. The “story” is secondary to the humping and moaning. Actually without the humping and the moaning there would be no story. Remove the sexual element from a work of erotica and you still have a well crafted story.

Crafting an erotic story, is as time consuming and detail driven a task as writing any other work. The end product has more to do with the ability of the writer rather than the subject. It’s like saying the painting was lousy not because the painter doesn’t know how to blend color or interpret a shadow on the canvas, but that the model was chubby or the fruit was rotten. To imply or even out right state that the writer who chooses to focus her time and effort in one genre rather than another is somehow less able than other writers is insulting.

I imagine I can sum it up as would any good pole dancer who spent years training as a classical ballerina: it’s not as easy as it looks. You think writing good quality erotica is all about the in-out? The gauntlet has been thrown down. Show me what you got!

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