Thursday, January 12, 2012

They said WHAT???? Erotic Romance is PORN???

    

Originally, I set this event up with it's own page, but doing so just didn't give the idea a chance to be upfront and center, allowing it to garner the attention it so rightly deserves.

Therefore, once a week or so, we'll have a little get together and.... give 'em somethin' to talk about....
Today's topic? 
What's with people referring to erotic romance novels as porn?
Is it just me, or as a reader or writer of romance, do you feel as if you're constantly on the defensive when it comes to what you read or write? 

Do you feel the need to hide the latest copy of your favorite author's novel behind a magazine while in public, or did you buy a Kindle or Nook for Christmas just so no one would know what you're reading?
If you're a writer, do you feel the need to explain yourself when people ask about your books? Do you feel misunderstood or prejudged just because of the genre you write?
I do, and let me tell you why. 
The characters in my books have SEX. **insert gasp here** 
Allow me to clarify this statement. 
My characters are ADULTS, over the age of 18, are in RELATIONSHIPS, whether it be complicated or perfect (like that exists) and EVERY instance is CONSENSUAL!!
Yes, they get naked, which is sometimes the best part and makes things flow a little bit smoother. 
Yes, they French kiss... 
(yeah, with tongues... but don't worry... they use their own), caress, fondle, lick, taste and sometimes even bite! (Most of my characters are of the vampire persuasion so it comes with the territory) 

They also argue, fight, cuss, misinterpret intentions, jump to conclusions (often the wrong conclusions), make rash decisions without thinking of the consequences, lie, hide things from one another and pretty much mess everything up along the way, much like we do in... oh my gosh, wait for it.... REAL LIFE!!! 
Imagine that.
Life isn't always easy, but it is natural and that includes people having sex, making love, snogging, shagging, making whoopie, doing the horizontal tango and whatever other label you want to give it. 
If you've read my books though, you may have been disappointed if you expected porn!! 
Although, I do my best to make sure the love scenes are sensual, hot and sometimes a little dirty, I do try to be tasteful and I rarely use crude terms, unless the situation calls for it.
Do I have a problem with the extra naughty terms? Hell no, in fact, anyone who knows me, knows that in the real world, I sometimes cuss like a sailor. *insert another gasp here*

When I write though, I'm all about the romance and though I think it can be hot, most of my encounters are more about the "love" behind the act rather than the act itself. 
I do read "those" kinds of books and some of my dearest friends are authors of "those" kinds of novels. (And I LOVE them for it)
I'm a firm believer of "to each his/her own" and I'm not one to look down my nose at anyone. 


I know, I know...I just defended myself again, but for the record, this was more of a sincere statement of my opinion and an invitation for you to do the same.
That being said, what DO YOU think about it??? Let's talk....

22 comments:

  1. I agree that people wrongly concluded that erotic romance equals porn. These are people who probably have not bothered to read the books they are putting down. In my opinion, "Porn" is just sex, there is no story, no character development. On the other hand, erotic romance have developed characters and a story line, there are emotions and especially love. Yes these books have smoking hot sex, but even if you took that out (please don't, lol), you would still have a great story.

    I do think ereaders are great for being able to read books without others knowing what you are reading. It also works great because my Kindle has a lock feature to make sure that my young nieces and nephews do not accidentally read something they are not old enough for. I do keep my print books that are of the erotic genre hidden because I do not want them discovered by my nieces & nephews.

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  2. Thank you for your input, June. My own children who are all teenagers don't try to read my books, in fact, they could probably care less.
    My 16 yr old daughter has heard the "edited" version because I often read to her while I'm writing. Of course when I get to the "sex", I just say, "...and such and such happened, la di da di da." Then I pick up where the sex stops.
    She usually rolls her eyes and says, "Yeah, Mom, I get it, they have sex." LOL!
    I agree that the critics who label erotic romance as porn have probably never read any of the books they are putting down and that's a shame.
    Thank you again for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!

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  3. The definition of porn in my mind has always implied a visual aid. If it's written out, it's just erotica. My biggest issue is when people lump books that are 90% story, 10% sex as "smut" novels. With that assumption, about 60% of the books available in the world are smut. My favorite new genre to read is Amazon Reviews. It's more of humor sub-genre, really.

    As for you using the terms snogging and shagging, I did not know you enjoyed afternoon tea and crumpets as well. We will have to get together some time and end every statement with "It's well brilliant!"

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  4. I don't view romance as porn, obviously, because I write erotic romance. There are a few times when I read a line I wrote and the publisher wants it more erotic and I wonder what my mom will think when she reads it. But I write books I want to read which means they have sex in them. For me, porn doesn't have a story - it's about "let's have sex just for the sake of it." Not that it's bad, but I like my characters to have it all - love, fighting, tension, misunderstanding, dark moments and SEX!
    I have used crude terms at the time if I think my characters would think or say it. That doesn't mean I walk around all day talking like that! People need to get a grip, LOL

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  5. Ahh, Jon, my dear sweet man, you have yet to scratch the surface of my knowledge of all things "British". We shall have tea very soon, my little poppet. I look forward to discussing snogging, shagging and all things cheeky!! It is indeed, bloody brilliant!!!!
    To everyone else....No, you have not tuned into the BBC, but after an afternoon hobnobbing with the Royals (namely, us) you may want to. LOL!

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  6. I agree, Kellie!! People should make informed comments instead of a implementing "blanket" labels. There is a difference and it would be nice if everyone understood that.
    Hugs and as always, thank you for supporting my blog!! Your input is always welcome and appreciated!!

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  7. Robin, I want to thank you for this post. I have been involved in discussions of this topic. And the general consensus is that erotica requires & includes a story, characters, plot, etc. and porn does not. While I might include a rockin' porn scene in any of my stories, the work, as a whole, will always be erotica.

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  8. I've become obsessed with Brits over the past year. I watch a lot of their tv, mainly Big Brother. We'll have to grab a Chinese and discuss how hot they are.

    Also, I keep coming back to listen to Salt-N-Pepa. Just in case you were wondering why your blog view count was spiking into the millions.

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  9. Robin your books are not porn! Porn is nasty disgusting and totally tasteless! Yours are exciting mysterious unpredictable sexy and u cant put them down once u start reading them! Everyone I knOw that reads them thinks they are also! Please don't change a thing because before you started writing I had a vary hard te finding books that were not totally predictable! And since this is an open discussion site I really wonder if the people knocking your books have ever really been 100 percent totally in love with someone! Because they are trail life! Maybe the ones knocking them are just PRUDES!!!! Love your writing !! Keep it coming!!!!!

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  10. Thanks, Annabelle!! This topic has been really big as of late. People love controversy as much as they like labels. Sad, but true! There is a difference and it's good to know more people understand that and aren't afraid to speak up and say so.

    @Jonafun....a little Salt-n-Peppa never hurt anyone!! LOL!

    @Anonymous... A.K.A. Denise W. LOL! Thank you for the wonderful things you said and thank you for contacting me personally to let me know that you had posting problems. Darn iPhones!!!
    I think the censorship police have it in for both of us today!! So glad to know you are a fan and even more pleased to have you on my side!! :-)

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  11. Oh, we Puritanical Americans. Romance isn't porn. Just because two people (or in some cases, more people) get naked then hot and sweaty, doesn't make it porn. Just getting naked where others can see is usually enough to scandalize us.

    I know this is off topic, just a bit, but when I first arrived at this NATO post (think many different countries) my room was in the same building as a number of NATO troops, including Scandinavians. It wasn't unusual to see a guy wearing nothing but a thong and shower shoes headed to or from the shower.

    I'm going "ooookay", but shrugged my shoulders and kept on trucking.

    But it seems someone was SCANDALIZED by this normal act and new rules came out that said all residents must be covered neck to knees.

    Silliness.

    Romance isn't porn. If that were the case, then every romance movie from THE GRADUATE to TITANIC would have to be rated X.

    To all the writers here, don't worry about the prune faced prudes and do-godders. Go forth, write what you like and ignore the nattering nabobs of negativity.

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  12. Thanks for the well written post.

    Erotic romance equaling porn is a hot topic as of late. Especially since, it seems to me, that everybody has a different definition of porn. Ask a room full of people to define porn and you'll get a different answer from everybody in the room. Now, I'm a reader of all kinds of erotic romance and I enjoy reading it very much. I enjoy reading about the relationship that is build between our hero and heroine: communication, mis-communication, the building of trust and the hot sex. Sex is part of a healthy relationship. I don't think that any of the erotic romance books I read as porn. Never have - never will.

    Now, my husband, believes any book with explicit sex scenes is porn. Obviously, I don't. We debate this issue frequently. I have yet to change his mind. We end up agreeing to disagree.

    Robin, I have yet to read any of you books, but I'm definitely adding your books to my TBR list.

    Lori.

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  13. @Starfox...Thank you for your insight and sharing your experiences of how differently people from other countries view sex compared to those of us in the US. I wonder if we will ever meet in the middle. Doubtful, considering why you were on a base working alongside members of NATO countries. I'm just sayin'...
    Perhaps if we "made love" and not "war".... uhhh, not you and me make love, per se.....LOL, but for goodness sake, could SOMEBODY just do it already??? Hehehe!

    @Lori Z, thank you for your comment. I sincerely hope you and your husband only argue about things this trivial and I hope the "make up" period is full of lots and lots of .... non-pornographic pornography... eh, never mind, just read a good book instead! LOL!

    :-)

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  14. Starfox, I want to be in a room full of Scandinavian guys! Robin, thanks for the post. I don't feel alone now!

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  15. Robin, I loved your post and your argument. Someone once told me "Erotica is just porn with a story wrapped around it." I have had to defend my choice of genre (contemporary erotic romance) more than once but I never apologized for it. When I switched from thrillers to erotic romance I had a sibling who stopped speaking to me. No big loss because we never got along anyway.

    Here's an interesting statistic - the adult entertainment industry is a billion dollar a year business, yet...NOBODY WATCHES IT! You can probably say the same for erotic romance.

    Since your link has been blocked by Facebook I feel safe in saying this - If they can't take a joke, f*** 'em!

    Keep up the good fight,

    Tim (the other male author) Smith

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  16. Great topic to discuss, Robin! :)

    When I first started writing and publishing "romantic fiction" it was of the PG-13 variety... Nothing too explicit or shocking and certainly no "dirty language", but the hero/heroine were adults and did have a sexual relationship.

    Someone asked me what I wrote and published and I said, "I have a contemporary romance novel published." She said, "Oh, more of that trashy porn stuff."

    Sigh! Well, if PG-13 romantic fiction is "porn" you might as well "go all the way" I figured. I now write the gambit from PG to Hard R/X rated, but under different pen names, of course. I figured it's "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

    But why the hell would anyone call something that families can take their children to (a PG rated movie for instance) "pornographic" I haven't a clue. Closed minded people don't seem to care to elaborate. I think they're just covering up how ignorant they are. ;)

    Freedom of speech--you can read my stuff and like it or not, just as long as you let me write and sell it! :)

    Celine Chatillon (Naughty Erotic-Romance Author)/
    Cynthianna (Nice Romantic-Fiction Author)
    http://www.celinechatillon.com
    http://www.cynthianna.com

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  17. Actually, Robin - I recently wrote on a similar topic in my blog "A Writer's Naughty Thoughts," and in that article I came to the conclusion that these "categorizing definitions" reside primarily in the eye of the beholder.

    According to my Webster's, pornography is "a work that is designed to promote sexual excitement." So, in that respect, I think most erotic literature is porn, and as erotic authors we are no doubt writing for just that effect. But those of us who also like a dash of romance in our "naughtier" fiction tend to temper the sexual excitement with true affection and emotion. And that's where I think the difference lies.

    Below are the Dictionary definitions I put in my blog article.

    Erotica - a literary or artistic work that possesses a theme or quality designed to arouse sexual love or desire. (With that definition, I would think most, if not all, romances fall under that category.)
    Pornography - a work that is designed to promote sexual excitement.
    Obscenity - a work promoting lust or depravity.
    Lust - is an intense or unbridled sexual desire.
    Love - is the attraction, affection and tenderness shown between lovers.
    Profane - treating with irreverence or contempt.
    Profanity - vulgar language.
    Vulgar - something lacking in cultivation, perception or taste as well as being morally crude, undeveloped or unregenerate--(i.e., crude, coarse and crass).

    I don't think I can come out and say that I'm proud to write porn, yet, but based on that definition, I really hope sexual excitement is exactly what my readers achieve when reading one of my books.

    Just one writer's opinion.

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  18. What's wrong with porn? ;) I feel that porn is entertainment (not that there's anything wrong with that) and erotica/erotic romance is entertainment that's empowering--to men, women, characters and readers. At least that's how I try to write it.

    My mother would strongly disagree, but that's why I haven't told her about my books. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it's uninformed opinions that cause the problem.

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  19. I understand if people's tastes run towards something more... chaste? But as with everything else, enjoy what you will, and don't vilify others for enjoying theirs.

    Erotica and erotic romance aren't harming anyone, and we as writers aren't forcing our product down anyone's throats. Ahem.

    Thanks for addressing this so eloquently.

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  20. Okay, maybe I am in the minority here, but I happen to enjoy porn and have a pretty decent collection of it. To me it's entertaining and exciting. Are all porn movies that way? No way, but there are a lot of really well done productions that even have...wait for it...a plot! LOL I write explicit sex scenes and use explicit language in my novels. It's the way I talk and how my characters talk in my head. Yes they are all adults and in some sort of relationship with each other, but will some of my characters have one night stands? Yep. That is life. Why not depict it as such.

    I have had to defend my choice of genre repeatedly, even with my family and friends. Some have never read a word I have written and yet they continue to judge it. Funny thing is that many of them do read and watch erotica/porn or whatever you wish to call it. They just don't want anyone to know they do. It's a shame really. They are missing out on some beautifully written love stories and some hot, sensual sex scenes simply because they choose to lump us all in with the so called "trash."

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  21. Like most things in life, it all comes down to personal taste. If someone wants to read or not read it surely that's down to the individual? This modern world we live in makes it so easy to criticize others....what we need to do is to first look at ourselves....do not judge lest you yourself be judged too.

    People's bodies are their own and I guess they should look after it as best as can be...but what they want with to do with it is their own responsiblity and choice...their own karma.

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  22. My two cents.. Read what you like. If it offends you, don't read it. If you try to tell me what to read and what to like I will hurt your feelings and make you cry. Just saying.

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