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Isn’t it erotic… don’t you think?

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No, it’s not like rain on your wedding day, it’s more like having hot, intense sex in the middle of a rain storm in front of your wedding guests…

After enjoying romance books (paranormal) for over a year, I learned about “erotic romance” books. Why it took me so long to discover this sub-genre, I don’t know, but I didn’t realize it existed.  And I wondered What is erotic romance? Do they make paranormal erotic romance?  
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines “erotic” as:
Main Entry: erot·ic
Pronunciation: \i-ˈrä-tik\
Etymology: Greek erōtikos, from erōt-, erōs
Date: 1651
1 : of, devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire
2 : strongly marked or affected by sexual desire
Now, call me crazy, but I thought the “regular” romance books I have been reading for the past year are “erotic” so I was curious… what would be the difference in “erotic” romance stories?
Since I wanted to stick with the paranormal romance genre, my choices and reading experiences may be different that those of you that read contemporary romance.  I read the following three stories, each are considered “erotic.”
“Taken” a novella by Anya Bast 
Mortal Temptations by Allyson James
Of Crimson and Collars by Stella & Audra Price
After my brief research I have come to the following conclusions about the term erotic as used in romance stories: 
  1. The sexual acts within the story involve more than 2 partners. Typically it is 2 males with 1 female, but it also can include larger groups.
  2. There are same-sex couplings, whether it be a couple or a group.
  3. The acts themselves do not necessarily involve the primary couple or are not done because of “love.”
  4. Sex is used as visual pleasure for another’s enjoyment.
  5. Other items (toys, animals, BDSM) are used in sexual play.
Okay, so in other words, the “erotic” romance books are a bit more “hard core” than the “regular” romance books. I get it. But when I look back at the definition and I think about it, these stories did not impact or increase my sexual desire. They were not effectively erotic to me.  I have read several “regular” romance books that have “heated my oven,” much more effectively than these stories.
I have also recently read the ACRO series by Sydney Croft. These books also fall in the “erotic” sub-genre, but I’m going to discuss them separately.  For those that are new to my blog, you may not know that I LOVE this series. I recently read and reviewed all four of the published novels.  These books have some of the “erotic” sex acts I listed above – primarily the multiple partner (group), same-sex, and “toys” categories. The biggest difference… All of the sexual play is done with intense passion and love (or destined love).  The scenes involve emotion with sex and it makes them so much more HOT! These books earned the title “erotic” by my standards.
So what I learned is that for something to be erotic in my eyes, the sexual play needs to involve emotion and passion. It needs to be part of the overall story-arc(s) and advance the primary couple to their happily-ever-after.  What about you? What do you find erotic in a book? What is a turn on/off for you when you read?

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  • I think i land in both camps, the ‘regular paranormal all passionate and loving sex’ i can find erotic as well as the ‘hardcore no emotional attachment sex’ for me it’s all in the writing, but the sexiest toe curling erotica IS when there’s love present too, call me old fashioned but i like to see the love too, even if the couple are taking part in an orgy they still have that connection to one another, he can paddle her ass raw but i wanna see the love blazing from his eyes too! lol!

    I only recently began reading erotic romance too, but its fast becoming one of my favourite sub genres =) A fave example of books is Maya Banks “sweet” series, hot diggity DAYUM!

  • I am with you Bearsy… That is why I enjoy the ARCO series so much. The lovin’ is really smokin’ hot – but there is passion. That’s what makes the reading so enjoyable! I’ll have to check out Maya Banks series.

  • I think the ‘erotic’ component is basically that they don’t close the door when it comes to sex.

    I like to read what I write–romance (whether erotic or not) between a couple, either in a committed relationship or working towards one.

    Sex just for the sake of sex doesn’t float my boat.

    I need to check out the books you’ve mentioned, I’m always looking for new authors to read!

    Cassidy McKay

  • Thanks to your preface, I am thinking of a whole new way to renew my wedding vows. 😉

    You rock for blogging this information. I really want to read the ARCO series next.

  • From what I’ve gathered, “erotic romances” are simply books that aren’t afraid to get a little more wild with their smex. And more graphic in their descriptions (they’re not afraid to say the “naughty words” or describe just what went where and what noise it made while doing so).

    I’m gonna agree with sparklybearsy and say that I land in both camps as well. I like the passionate & loving sex, but I also like the hardcore no strings sex. I prefer when the hardcore leads to love later, but honestly sometimes the character just needs laid. I get that.

    I totally LOL’d at sparklybearsy’s comment: “even if the couple are taking part in an orgy they still have that connection to one another, he can paddle her ass raw but i wanna see the love blazing from his eyes too!” Seriously. I almost snorted coffee, I laughed so hard!

    I’ve been reading romance since… I was entirely too young. I think I might’ve started when I was about 9? Ish? My grandmother had a fantastic collection of books, but most of them were the 80s books where the smex was implied, but not written out. Well that just left me unsatisfied (literature-wise, you pervs!), so I started writing my own in the form of FanFic. Somehow I stumbled onto “erotic” romance about… uh… 4 years ago? 5 years ago? Longer? And I haven’t stopped reading it since. I’m still a fan of contemporary romance, but I prefer the erotic romance. Why? Well isn’t it obvious? 😉

    MamaKitty

  • Great topic, Jen! I love the erotic parts very much as long as the romance part of the book is fulfilling as well. Like you, I’m not to big a fan of sex for the sake of sex alone 🙂 I need the love and emotions that comes with it!

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