Porn or erotic writing?

The choice is easy for me because I don’t write porn. The difference (at least for me; you may see things differently and that’s your right) is that porn describes sex that people do to each other and erotic writing is about sex that people do with each other. They may be doing it with the most important person in their life or it may turn out to be a one night stand, but while it’s happening it involves two adult human beings (different sex or same sex) who, at the very least, like each other. The people in a pornographic story may like each other, too, but what one is doing is essentially separate from what the other is doing.
And as soon as I’ve written my definition, I see the things I should have made clear and didn’t.
The word “adult” is important, for a start. Erotic writing does not and cannot involve children, and by children I mean people who are too young to make a genuine emotional commitment to someone else – it’s not just about having reached the age of sixteen or eighteen or wherever you want to pitch your flag. I’ve known people in their thirties who I would not describe as fully adult.
I also distinguish between erotic writing and that vogue word, erotica. Too much erotica is simply graphic descriptions of sex (of one kind or another) with no understanding of who the people are and why they’re in the position we see them in. There are lots of suspender belts and basques and panties that get ripped off in moments of frenzy. Let me tell you, any man who tears my panties (or any other garment; sorry, I don’t do suspender belts or basques) is going to be presented with the bill for a new pair – and, no, he won’t be invited to watch while I try them on.
The reason erotica so rarely gives us much of the characters’ back story is that it doesn’t deal with real people. Every girl is shapely, willowy, blonde or raven-haired and beautiful. Every man is tall and powerfully built with a flat six pack. How many people like that do you know in real life?
I don’t write about “normal” people because I’ve never met a “normal” person and I’m not convinced any such exist. The people I write about are real people – people like you and me – who sometimes do extraordinary things. When I’m asked to describe one of my books, so often I find myself saying, ‘Well, underneath everything it’s a sensual romance. And the sensuality is wrapped in eroticism. And the eroticism is explicit and it matters.’
Does that describe something you would like to read? Does my manifesto (because I guess that’s what this is) resonate with you? Or is it all a big turn-off? There’s a space for comments below this. Tell me what you think.

6 responses

  1. Pingback: Just lift your bottom for me, darling. | jlynchblogdotcom

  2. Pingback: Anal Intercourse « kccarlton

  3. Hi SF, thanks for visiting my blog. I can’t wait to see your books. What you describe is my favorite form of literature. I love Delta of Venus and Little Birds by Anais Nin and can read them over and over. I’m sure I will love your books.

    • Hi, Dennis. I’ve been a subscriber to your blog for quite a while now and one of the things I like is the way you describe real people–ordinary people–in sometimes extraordinary situations. When you live in a culture completely different from the one you grew up in, as I do, you develop the habit of watching people: how they behave; what their drivers are; what they’re hoping life will give them. I detect the same observer’s eye (which I suppose also means writer’s eye) in your blog. Thanks for saying those nice things x Suzie

  4. Hi Suzie
    I promote Indie authors books, the way you describe the difference between porn and erotic writing is something many do not have a clear understanding of, you certainly made it clear in this article, well done.
    If you are willing consider placing it on our blog page at beezeebooks.com. my e-mail is mike@beezeebooks.com Came here by way of Dennis Cardiff.
    Dennis Cardiff book be viewed on our site at http://beezeebooks.com/gotta-find-home-conversations-street-people/non-fiction/
    all the very best
    Mike Smith

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