The answer we regularly hear is that erotic romance is a tale of love where the door to the bedroom remains wide open. Readers often pick up a book claiming to be erotic romance only to find that it is indeed more erotica and not what they had in mind upon purchasing the novel. This could turn a reader off the genre or at least the author’s work for good.
To understand the meaning of erotic romance we first have to understand what it erotic romance is not.
• Erotic romance is not porn – where the purpose of the story is to sexually stimulate the reader to the point of orgasm without regard to plot, story, romance or character development.
• Erotic romance is not erotica where the purpose of the story is to depict the character’s sexual journey. Romance is not the main focus of the plot and a happy ever after ending is not a requirement neither is it guaranteed.
• Erotic romance is not the same as a sexy/spicy romance. In sexy/spicy romances the main focus is on the developing romance between the characters and the sex does not play an intricate part in that development. The sexual relationship develops as a result of the growing romance between the characters.
So what is erotic romance?
Best-selling author Sylvia Day gives a detailed explanation on her website of the difference between porn, sexy romance, erotic romance and erotica. According to Sylvia erotic romance is:
“stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.”
According to Wikipedia erotic romance is:
“Erotic romance novels are stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline.”
From these definitions the main ingredients of an erotic romance is:-
• The development of a romantic interest between characters
• Because the sexual relationship between them
• Develops their character
• And leads to emotional growth
In short, without the sexual relationship there is no romantic development.
The best way to understand the differences is to read the different genres. Luckily there are millions of free books available online and one doesn’t have to search very far to find an example of each type. Just go to Amazon, Smashwords.com or any online retailer of e-books and you’ll find plenty to read.
People have diverse tastes in novels and that is one of the reasons I firmly believe that any genre has a place in society and that no genre is superior. Romance novels may constitute the lion’s share of the book and ebook market in respect of sales, but that does not mean that science fiction, mysteries, thrillers, horrors and literary fiction are any less important. To the right reader even the most obscure and ignored story could have a life-altering effect.