Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I DO it!!!!! No Apologies

I'll be the first to admit that I've always written HOT. I love getting into detail. So what?

When I moved over to the "dark side" and started writing erotic stuff, I was really worried about it. Using certain "words" and phrases bothered me a bit but I quickly realized it was more about being raised by a proper southern baptist family than how I really viewed things. Now I'm a grown up and I view things differently, write pretty much what I please. I think what I want and my values are my own.

I find the whole idea of pitting erotica versus porn intriguing. Bottom line: I write about love, relationships and SEX. No apologies! I aim to tittilate and I don't care who knows it. I tell a love story with a highly erotic element. Don't like that stuff? Don't buy it! I've had plenty of people in my highly religious hometown say with a smirk...I don't read trash. No kidding. I actually had someone SAY that. At a kids' party, no less. Inititally I was embarrassed to be singled out in such a manner but later several women came up to confess they LOVED to read that stuff.

This isn't about me but about a whole troup of people who write what they love to read. I think that's worthy, worthwhile and righteous. We can read what we want, worship where we want and love whom we please in this world and don't let anyone tell you differently.

A recent RWR (Romance Writers Report) article spoke of the difference between erotic romance and romance. It was pretty simple really. Erotic romance just takes it a little further. The language is a little bit MORE explicit but love is involved. Pornography eliminates love and caring from the equation. And that's the bottom line folks!

There are plenty of erotic references in the bible. Consider the Song of Solomon which is biblical erotica. Beautiful. That being said, I'll continue to write what pleases me. I don't apologize about it and readers can read what they like. Yeah, it might be considered PORN by some but I really don't give a fig what they think.


  1. This whole erotica vs porn is fascinating - and illuminating. So many pressures put upon us by the mainstream religions and their various off-shoots. I could say a lot more about that, but I won't because it'll turn into an anti-organised religion rant that will do no one any good, least of all me and my blood-pressure.

    I'm all for *hot* explicit sex scenes, though I prefer them to be integral parts of the plot and the development of the characters and their relationship. Sex between lovers is beautiful, erotic - and hot.

    As so many have said in the posts this week, sex as a means to orgasm without any care or consideration is pornography.

    But sex does have its darker side. It can be manipulative, a powerplay if not in an agreed, consenting scenario, and a weapon.

    While we as writers celebrate and glorify sexual love, there will always be the underbelly who abuse it.

  2. Right on, Regina.

    And how about those people who throw around the word "trash" without ever having read even a sweet romance novel, let alone a hot one? I remind myself that such people are just parroting what they've heard and they probably do the same on other topics, too.

  3. You are absolutely right, Chris. There are abuses in just about everything to the point it's just an accepted reality. I try not to judge others and expect the same courtesy. Oh and religion??? Don't get me started. I really prefer doing my stuff in private in my beautiful backyard. Maybe I'm anti social...but I don't think so.

  4. Great post, Regina. All you can do is write what pleases you. There will always be someone who doesn't approve or that steps in with a one size fits all label, but in the end, I'd like to think there are enough open minded people in the world that the others will slowly fade from sight...

  5. Oh yeah, Teri. It just blows me away to talk with "literary snobs" who will ONLY read the current star of the day and never try anything new and then have the gall to be all superior about it. I suspect some sneak around to read the fun stuff like it's their naughty little secret.


  6. Oh yes James you are sooo RIGHT and wouldn't life without LABELS be great??? It took me awhile to figure it out but supressing what you love is just depressing.


  7. The funny thing about the sex in romance issue is that I was writing this stuff thirty years ago and quit writing when I discovered that no one would publish it.

    I've ALWAYS written what I write now. The publishing guidelines finally caught up and surpassed me so that now I'm in the "middle" of the pack. I always just thought I was writing reality.

  8. Yep. Same thing happened to me, Anny. 15 yrs. ago every pub I sent to said...great writing but too hot.Now my stuff is just the norm so looks like you and I were on the cutting edge, huh? I like to think so anyway.


  9. Great job, Rita. I have to follow that? Yikes.

  10. And yet your writing was still relagated to "stuff" by those who loved it, "trash" by the uptight who didn't. It's interesting to me that even the fans don't know, or cannot admit, to qualifying it as either romance, fiction, or erotica. Is that because of social stigma too, or because you were at a children's party where some little ears might have heard? I don't know.

    I do know that I have heard the same thing and I write mainstream sensual. I have descriptive scenes though sex doesn't permeate the book, tension for sex, does. That is neither here nor there in this discussion except that even mainstream meets with the "I don't/do read that 'stuff'". What is stuff? What is dirty about this fictional genre which causes people to whisper 'romance' instead of pronouncing it proudly?

    You don't hear whispered "horror" or "inspirational" or "mystery". Romance is a dignified genre like any other. What is it about love, commitment, tender emotion rolled into great plot which makes people uncomfortable?

    If my spouse were not in the vocation he was, I would have no issue telling it proud and loud. But that stigma that Chris mentioned earlier? Well, it's definitely unavoidable for me despite what I wish. I agree with her and longingly wish my situation were not tied to organized religious interpretation, but it is.

    As to Song of Solomon? He was married. Most romances don't require it in the plot to have sex. Is that what makes it pornographic? A vow? Because Solomon definitely describes his wife's body parts in loving detail yet that's acceptable. So where is the barrier? What is the line? Is there one or are we humans making it up to feel worthy and who dictated that foregoing sexuality was necessary to "feel worthy"? God created sex. At least I believe there God did as a basis of my faith. So if God created it and it's a beautiful thing, why are we being such stick-in-the-muds about expressing it? Why have we as a culture made it taboo?

  11. First to the time this comment was made, I wasn't writing erotica but mainstream stuff that just happened to be HOT. Know how moms will cluster together while kids are doing their thing? That was the situation here when a mom asked if I was still writing. I just said yes. None of them had ever read my work. None. But still one pipes up and says...Oh, I don't read trash. For what it's worth, she made herself look foolish to the other women there. I remained silent.

    God's plan, I think, was that sex be something to be enjoyed. Otherwise, no one would do it and we wouldn't have kids.

  12. One other thing regarding discussing romance with WHISPERS. Isn't that the dumbest thing??? Who is ashamed of watching a romantic comedy or something like Atonement. These are love stories. Someone had to WRITE them for crying out loud!!!! Gone With the Wind and Doctor Zhivago are classics. The list is endless. Ridiculous.

  13. Absolutely. And not only are they written and well loved, the industry of book writing sees the highest percentage of sales in mass market romantic media. So someone isn't being honest about their reading habits. Tsk tsk tsk. If there weren't a market for our "stuff", our "trash" then we wouldn't be writing it would we? :)

    Sorry for the long winded blowout there. I got very introspective of a sudden.

  14. Rant on, Kelly!!! That's what this blog is all about after all. I think maybe it speaks to a hypocritical societal thing, you know? EVERYTIME someone asks what I write I say ROMANCE and each time the reaction is the same. Exactly...this sly smile appears. I'm left thinking HUH??!!!??? What's the big deal. Romance IS literature, is it not?

  15. Amen, sistahs! I write it. I read it. I love it. And I don't apologize for it either!

    I am and always have been a staunch defender of choice. If I don't like something, I simply don't spend my money or time on it, but I don't get up in arms about the people who do like it. As long as they aren't putting anyone else in danger.

    I write erotic romance, and I have my own comfort zone within that genre. I've learned to write within the limits of what I personally enjoy. I've written one story that was outside my personal boundaries, and Rita, you remember the first draft. Boy, did I have a stick up my butt (and no, I'm not comfortable with that either :D ). Several rewrites and a few cocktails later, and I now have a suitable story. But I'm not pushing my limits like that again. I'll write what I enjoy and aim for the readers who have similar tastes.

    And you're right Rita, that Southern Baptist shame takes a while to get over. But I don't understand how anything as natural, NECESSARY, and beautiful as lovemaking should be considered shameful. Without it, none of us would be here.

    Wendi Darlin

  16. Regina....I mean Regina, not Rita...smacking my head... Sorry, Regina. Not enough caffeine, yet.

  17. I second that AMEN, Wendi. Mainly we each need to be true to ourselves.

  18. Ahhhh quit smacking your dang head, honey. I answer to BOTH names. LOL


  19. You all said it so well. Sensual love is what makes the story so attractive. For me a love scene should be part of the plot.

  20. In 1999, I sent my 3rd book to an agent in order to discover if I had any writing talent. He loved it; it made him blush; he called it Erotic Romance.

    Since that time, I've discovered what I was considering HOT in my writing is actually quite tame! But I'm getting there...

    I'm with you, Anny. Sometimes the genre just has to catch up with us:) I also write 'reality'.

  21. Actually, the question I get a LOT when I mention that I write ROMANCE is..."Is it hot?" Uh-hmmm. And then the next question is "Does it have SEX????" Uh-hmmm. And THEN they ask "Where can I buy your books?"

    So who isn't reading "trash"?


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