By Sasha White

Erotic Romance (ER) is the newest hot thing . . . and with its newfound popularity, it sometimes gets confused with Erotica. Everybody seems to have a different idea of what is what, and this is just my version of things. It’s easy to say that the difference between ER and Erotica is how they end. That ER ends with a “happily ever after” (HEA) and Erotica doesn’t. Or that ER is more story and more love, and erotica is more sex and less story.

But things just aren’t that simple.

Erotica is, and has been a complete genre on it own for decades. A genre full of literary stories, photography and art, as well. We all know there doesn’t have to be explicit sex involved to make something erotic. Yet, it seems easy for people to look at a photograph and say it’s erotic, even when there is not overt or explicit sex, but when a book or story is called erotica, it’s expected to be completely about sex.

Or worse even, it’s expected to be an Erotic Romance.

Now, this is not to say that erotica novels don’t have a lot of sex. But I believe Erotica is all about the main character’s journey. The sexual acts and scenes that take place in an erotica story propel the character on a journey. I’m sure there are many who will not agree with me, but to my way of thinking Erotica is closer to the chic-lit genre than to the romance genre.

Why? Because it’s all about the main character, and the obstacles that character faces. The obstacles could be a job, a boss, money! Or the fact that the character is realizing they like to be spanked, or that they enjoy sex with strangers, or that they crave being dominated and humiliated in the bedroom. The story is about one person’s journey to a satisfying end, not always a traditional HEA.

Erotic Romance is, first and foremost, a romance. However, it is a romance with a high level of erotic scenes in it. The bedroom door, or any other door, does not get shut in these stories. They are a full-bodied look at the relationship that develops throughout the story.

Erotic Romance is about the romantic relationship, and the struggles of the hero and heroine on the path to making their relationship work. It’s about their journey. The same as a traditional romance is, only in Erotic Romance, the author doesn’t hold back or close the door when it comes to the sexual part of the story.

These are the differences as I see them. It’s how I define them when I write them. But to me, the actual definition isn’t as important as the fact that readers realize they are two different genres, that they promise different things, and that they get what they’re looking for when they pick up one of my stories. What do you think?

Author Bio:
Romance with Heat, Erotica with heart.
Sassy women and sexy men are what Canadian author Sasha White’s stories are all about. Gifted with a salacious imagination, Sasha has over a dozen erotic stories published in print or electronically, with
publishers such as Black Lace Erotica . Liquid Silver Books, and Amber
Quill Press. She’s also got several new erotica stories to be released
in 2006 with Kensington APHRODISIA and Berkley HEAT.

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