Is Erotic Romance just a polite way to say dirty books?
I am often asked the question, “Why do you choose to write porn, or dirty books? My answer is quite simple, I don’t. The only real difference between the average contemporary romance and my erotic novels is euphemism. In my books a penis is a penis, cock or dick. It is not a shaft, member, rod, or my personal favorite equipment. Your gym has equipment, your body has a penis. Are the words cock, dick, dong vulgar? Yes, they are. But think about this, what does your son, brother, lover or husband call his equipment when talking to you in bed, or when talking to their partners? My equipment wants to be inside of you, Baby?
Now let us take up that all around action verb, fuck. Does your brother say, intercourse you, when he’s angry? Or does your lover say, My equipment wants to have intercourse with your open petals? Ridiculous, isn’t it? You would laugh him out of bed. Yet, if he says, I want to fuck you in the heat of the moment, you are suddenly hot to get the job done. Why does what is sexy and hot in real life turn vulgar on paper? Do I dare say, I smell a jot of hypocrisy here?
Does everyone you know claim to have had a perfect childhood? Does everyone marry the billionaire next door? Perhaps there is a little exaggeration on my part here, but most romance novels avoid real, as in true to life controversy. I watched a special on one of the news channels about girls sold into slavery. In the beginning it spoke about foreign women, but by the end of the piece it touched the third rail of sexual taboo, teenage prostitutes sold into slavery in a foreign county who weren’t runaways. Kids who were kidnapped or disappeared sometimes wind up in foreign brothels as working sex slaves, o0ps, that’s not supposed to happen in America. Yet, erotic romance novels portray people caught in that situation trying to escape. We shine the light in the dark corner and say—Look at this, it happens.
How many of us have turned our backs and looked the other way when a parent disowns a gay teen. Where do you think that young boy or girl with no discernable skill or education is going to wind up, in Harvard? No, not quite, more likely you’ll ignore them five years from now when they are trying to sell their body, their only currency, on a cold street corner in January. Is that the just desserts of a child who has spent their life in the bosom of family and friends with food to eat and a roof over their head, just because they announce they are biologically wired different from the other ninety percent of the population. Do their parents expect that after years of grappling with their sexual orientation and finding the courage to “come out” that their biology is going to suddenly reverse itself because the parent is peeved their kid isn’t normal. Erotic romance talks about this boy, what happens to him; good or bad, we put it in print.
Why about that wonderful dad down the street who coaches Little League, or is a Scout Master and is a secret pedophile, or dishes physical abuse out regularly to his children and wife? Do you report it if you suspect it? It can be reported anonymously. Or do you ignore what you see because you aren’t sure and don’t want to cause trouble. Erotic romance writers point out what not causing trouble can cost. Yes, we do it in a story that is romantic in nature and usually has either a Happily Ever After or at least a Happy For Now ending. The point is, erotic romance writers do not hide from life’s dirty linen.
Whenever a writer writes on one of these themes, they hope for that Oh Shit moment when a parent, sibling, neighbor or friend realizes something bad is happening and decide to do something about it.
Another difference in the erotic romance genre is our heroes can just as easily own a tattoo parlor as a corporation. They can be struggling artists, cowboys, mechanics or ditch diggers. They can work for the hamburger clown, or the local convenience store. We don’t discriminate. Some of our greatest books are about overcoming hardship. We give hardship a romantic twist. We write about everyday people in extraordinary circumstances. Not everyone is beautiful, wealthy, or comfortable. Our heroes have tempers and our heroines can be bitches. The town bad boy doesn’t always make good, sometimes he just makes happy. And sometimes, happy is enough.