Rosalie Stanton

Romance With Pitchforks

EROTIC ROMANCE AUTHOR.

PRODUCT MAY CONTAIN SACRILEGIOUS HUMOR, IRREVERENT BELIEFS, AND TOO-HOT-FOR-PRIME-TIME SEX SCENES.

VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.

Porn v. plot

I will admit; at times, I'm not in the mood for substance. I've had a long day and as a result, am tired, cranky, and in the mood for something fast and raunchy. I don't want to waste time being intellectually stimulated by the characterization, intricate plot, or the dynamics between the hero and heroine. I want clothes flying, bodies thrusting, and explicit detail of what is sticking what. I want the sort of literature that gives our industry the shitty reputation it has among mainstream presses.

But this is hardly the norm. If I wanted porn, there are plenty of outlets I could use. And if I wrote straight porn, I'd likely be a whole lot wealthier. Have you seen the stats titles like "Doing It For Daddy" have on Amazon? It's downright depressing, though not at all surprising. Why? Sex sells, and it sells a lot.

That's not to say the romance industry alone isn't a good one for which to write. The transition from brick and mortar stores to an e-store environment is definitely in motion, but people are resistant to change. With as many fans as the Kindle or Nook might currently boast, small-press authors aren't as likely to feel the monetary success.

Then there's a fine line between mainstream romance and erotic romance. Erotic romance, as stated earlier, has a shitty reputation. Hell, mainstream romance -- successful as it is -- is arguably one of the most belittled genres. Throw in naughty words like "cock" and "pussy," and the reputation sinks even lower.

What is the justification for this, if any? Love is one of the most universal themes in existence, and sex is a basic human function, and while it has been commercialized, that doesn't make it something of which to be ashamed. The writers and readers of erotic romance focus just as much on the love story as they do the naughty bits -- god knows, I do. If I don't feel chemistry between the characters, I take zero pleasure in reading or writing a love scene. And my favorite part of writing a romance is the interaction between the characters -- the discussions, debates, and dramas that surface. Sure, the hot smexing is a lot of fun, but it isn't the reason I'm an enthusiast of the genre. As I said, if it were, I'd be a much wealthier woman.

There is nothing wrong with reading for heat, or writing a story that has more sex than substance. But some erotic romance authors have more to say in their works than just boy meets girl. Some of us have more story than sex. There is no reason larger themes can't be explored, or why we can't make an effort to breakdown the stereotype. And while I don't think the erotic romance authors or readers should dismiss sex as something of which to be ashamed, I know a damn many author whose erotic romances are involved, well-developed tales that just happen to have hot sex in them.

I wonder what it would take to get that image out there. To break the stigma of "dirty women writing for horny women." It's sexist and insulting, and it's time we took the genre back.

Thoughts?

© Rosalie Stanton 2016