Answering Questions About Erotica (Sort Of)

Friday, November 4th, 2011 • No Comments on Answering Questions About Erotica (Sort Of)

I’m chugging along on my NaNoWriMo novel, but I’m working on some other stuff, too. This week’s Oh Get A Grip! theme is a question—“But is it erotica?”  I have contemplated this question in various forms since I first started writing erotica back in, oh hell, over 10 years ago. I’m afraid I don’t really have any answers, but I do offer up some of my observations:

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in literary fiction, both in novels and short fiction. Stories that are published by highbrow literary publishers often contain some extremely raunchy sex. I can’t be the only reader who finds some of those sex scenes arousing, yet the stories and books aren’t labeled erotica. Why not? Publishers choose labels and market the books accordingly—but what role do the authors play in keeping that erotica label off their stories?

Two writers can write essentially the same story and it will be labeled differently. Two writers can write a similar stories about, say, a woman who enjoys rough sex and seeks out sex partners on a kinky adult website. Both writers can describe the sex in graphic detail, along with how much she enjoys it physically and emotionally. The stories can be identical right down to the concluding scene—and that one scene will make the difference between whether the story is considered “erotica” or “literary fiction.”

What would the difference be? Do you know?

You can read the answer (according to me) and the rest of my column here: Legitimizing Erotica

P.S. My NaNoWriMo count is up to 7287 in 3 days. I’m not breaking any records, but I’m pleased with my progress so far. If you’re participating in the “thirty days and nights of literary abandon” please add me as your writer buddy! (Even if you’re one of those amazing writers who makes me feel like a slacker because you’ve already hit the 10,000 word mark!)

Posted by Kristina in Writing

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.