Sunday, July 7, 2013

Story Sunday - what's erotic?

I read a review of The Virginity Mission (do you need the cover again, Lily? Here it is.) where the reviewer said she considered it a "normal" story and not erotic.

What is erotic (in the context of erotic romance as a subgenre of books)?

I don't really know! I thought it was explicit sex scenes where you don't use euphemisms but names of body parts, where sex is described fully, and where sex is a vital part of the story line. But maybe I'm wrong.

In my trusty dictionary, erotic is defined as: of or pertaining to sexual love; arousing or satisfying sexual desire.

The Virginity Mission is fairly tame with the sex - but she is a virgin. I don't know about you but I didn't take to sex like a duck to water. It took me a while to get the hang of being wild. There's so much to learn first up.

Maybe in the post-50 Shades world, we've moved the goalposts for erotic and it needs to be kinky sex, which I still call BDSM which is a subgenre of erotic.

In my mind there are a lot of different subgenres in the erotic category - BDSM, fetishes, oral sex, anal sex, menages or more, multiple partners, bestiality, golden showers, scat play - and those are just off the top of my head. 

In a way, I'd like normal sex to be accepted in every novel, but I think people would be too shocked. For that reason, I believe it still needs a label as a warning. Too many of my family/friends struggle to read my sex scenes because they can't handle that I wrote them (or wrote about sex).

I don't know that many people are ready for normal sex to be fully described, let alone for kinky sex to become normalised as erotic!

I think we're still in a world where sex is strange, something behind closed doors, never to be talked about - and I'm talking missionary sex here!

What do you think? How do you define "erotic" in literature?


  1. I can always use another gawp at that cover!
    Here's a Sunday story that sounds like a Phallic Friday - which day are you on Cate?
    My two cents - when I read The Virginity Mission - I didn't think of it as erotica. I don't think I write 'erotica', I write contemporary romance... and I felt that your sex scenes weren't much different in terms of description & explicitness than mine. The only thing really was use of the 'c' word describing lady parts (lord even on your blog I can't type c***. Don't ask me why, but in my little mind, that feels like one of the boundary lines between contemporary & erotica? I'm probably so far off base!
    Maybe it's more of a boundary in the contemporary heat levels, like from 'hot' to 'sizzling'... rather than a change in genre?
    Ouch. Too much thinking for a Sunday morning!

    Lily M

    1. Heee here. Sorry to make you think hard on a Sunday morning and with a Friday topic. I'll have you all thought out!

      I hate that there isn't a good word to use instead of c@&t. Sometimes I'd like to write historical so I could use quim. It's a nice word. But without anything else, I decided I had to use the c- word and make it so it wasn't harsh and swearing or derogatory but 'normal'.

      Maybe we need to bring back quim :)

      Cate xo

    2. I like quim too! The heroine in my current battling/struggling book is called Quin and I have ideas of a line in there about her name and how she used to get teased on the whole Quin/Quim thing...
      Maybe we need a FB banner and a slogan! You know:

      "What do we want? Quim"
      "When do we want it. Now."

      Or we could come up with something more original of course!

    3. Quin is an unusual first name. You'll have Quin's quim!!

      Something more original... Hmmm... Nothing coming to me...

      Cate xo