Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is it Hot In Here?

So ... I had a conversation the other day with a friend about what makes an erotic story "erotic" and not just "hot" but mainstream.

I'm not entirely certain I have the answer. Of course, when you toss in stuff that clearly hits the "erotic" button like BDSM, menage (or more!), etc., that's pretty easy, but when does a story with vanilla sex cross the line from hot to erotic?

Or maybe it's not the type of sex that decides it, but the frequency or how soon it happens? Obviously in an erotic romance, there must be consummation and it should occur pretty early in the story.

I recently read a short story of about 50 pages that promised me a hot menage. Cool! I love a good menage. I started reading... and twenty-two pages in there still hadn't been ANY sex. Not really even foreplay. I think there may have been one kiss. I was completely bored (partly because the story consisted of the hero trying to convince the heroine that it was okay if she wanted a menage, that he was all for it).

So ... it is how early the sex happens?

Maybe it's the words the author uses to describe various body parts? No purple prose allowed in erotic romance... you call a spade a spade, and sometimes the cruder the word the better. Heroes don't have swords they sheath, women don't have rosebuds at the tips of their breasts.

Is that what makes a story cross the line from "hot" mainstream romance to erotic?

I'm still not entirely certain and would sure love your input!



Anonymous said...

Having only just started down the path of this genre of romance, I'd have to say that early definitely makes it erotica. I just read a Lauren Dane novel wherein the two leads were getting down to it with the first chapter! And for sure, the language makes the difference. For my taste, I like something between regular old romance language and something I myself may never say. But to each his own.

Mysti Holiday said...

allstarme -- I think we think much alike. I can absolutely get turned off by some of the really crude language and tend to lean toward really HAWT sex. I love a steamy menage, too.

Still, I've read some mainstream romance lately that has sex early, often and graphic, but it's very much considered mainstream.

:::scratches head:::

It's a conundrum. Thanks for your comment!