I've always written two heat levels. Hot and Hotter. This wasn't necessarily my intent, it's just the way I write. Personally I like the idea of there being "ratings" on books. Lots of readers want to know what they're getting and some just plain don't like steamier stuff. That's okay with me. Whatever floats your boat. There are tons of choices out there including inspirational which is an very popular genre. Want your sex behind closed doors? No problem.
People read erotic romance to be taken to another place. They want the fantasy of heroes and heroines who do whatever they want, try whatever they want. It's kind of like the kick a voyeur might get out of "watching". A vicarious thrill. You can live the fantasy without any of the risk. Want to be tied-up? You can read about it. Want to experiment with menage? Hmm. Why not? It's safe in the realm of books. You can be an adventurer, a thief, whatever, in books. Why not a free-wheeling sexual animal?
Thing is, what was considered "steamy" twenty, heck, ten years ago is NOTHING. Our audience has become jaded with the more explicit nature of our society. These days it seems nothing is taboo in the movies or just in everyday conversation. Why would anything be different in regards to our reading material? It's all a matter of selection, choices. Even our movies are more explicit. No subject is taboo and no topic of conversation is forbidden.
Last week we talked about menage. Menage? Twenty years ago many people didn't have a clue what that WAS. Thanks to our small , small world and twenty-four/seven news and easy access to everything, things that once seemed super strange are commonplace so what IS erotic? Is it the physical acts performed in the bedroom or the kitchen or the patio or on the roof or is it a look, a touch, a particular phrase? Are their REALLY any more things left to discuss? I image that in another ten years, what we now consider erotic will be pretty vanilla. Just my take on things. We live in an unshockable society these days. That's just the way it is.
Fortunately we still have freedom of choice. Want just a little sex in your reading material? Good, it's readily avalailable. Want lots of sex? We've got that too.