What makes erotic erotic?
Yeah, that does look funny. No, it's not a typo. This is a genuine question. Erotic, as defined by Webster's New World College Dictionary, is from the Greek, erotikos, an adjective meaning 'of or arousing sexual feelings of desires; having to do with sexual love'.
I read and write erotic romance, romance that centers around a sexual relationship between two (or more) people. There are varying degrees of erotic levels that you might find in a book. There's the 'in your face' sex sex sex. The building tension, a passing glance, a brush of a hand, the slight whisper of skin on skin contact, and then a culmination of the big bang and some sighs. There's also the placid but lovely romance between protagonists, one wham bam 'Oh My' moment, and the end.
I like version two, where two characters snipe at each other yet are still drawn, fighting their attraction. Or a crush between hero and heroine that blossoms into sexual and emotional love. I simply cannot get into a book where the heroine and her heroes go at it from page one and don't stop for another hundred pages.
There are writers who write extremely well, yet their characters don't seem real to me. We all suspend disbelief when even picking up a romance. How many men can go at it without a break in between? And how many women have multiple orgasms from their first time with a new partner? I'm willing to believe in the fantasy. But when Sally rides Billy all day long without a break and without any emotional connection, the story loses me. No matter how engaging the physical act is drawn, I can't buy into it. That lack of emotion turns me off.
Now I'm all for a hot and heavy sex scene. But there has to be something more behind it. Even if the main characters are strangers, there's something motivating them. Something more than just a burning need to f*ck. I don't mind dirty talk, multiple partners, same sex partners, or kink. But if they're eventually not feeling the 'love', neither am I.
And THAT, in a nutshell, is what differentiates erotic romance from porn. That deeper connection between people having sex. LOVE.
Look for Lurin's Surrender, coming to TEB in July