Friday, July 12, 2013

Why I read Erotica

I’m an extremely eclectic reader.  I love Chicks that kick ass and self-deprecating wizards.  Young kids discovering love or the strength inside themselves.  I love zombies and science thrillers.  Heart stopping adventures.  Achingly sweet love stories.  Every genre has something for me to love. 

But there’s one genre that doesn’t get enough love from the writing community.  Erotica.

I love reading erotica.  I’m not ashamed to say it.  I don’t hide my books from friends and family.  My sex life isn’t lacking.  I read erotica because it’s good fiction.  It’s one of the best genres to showcase true writing talent. 

Bullshit you say?  Most erotica is thinly veiled porn.   

Alas, you are right dear reader.  The genre, so often maligned, is filled with authors with little skill that rush to the sex and leave behind the foreplay.  Erotica, true erotica is NOT PORN.  It really gets my panties in a bunch that it’s acceptable for women to read grocery store romance novels with virginal teenage girls, but the minute you toss in adults who like sex and get wild in the bed it's somehow distasteful.  

It’s not just about the sex; I’ve read hotter sex scenes in Urban Fantasy (thank you Butcher and Harrison for that).  Good erotica is about characters and growth.  It's self discovery and growth rolled up into a hot sexy burrito of passion. (Wow that sounded less pervy in my head…)   Erotica is good reads!

What is good you ask… Well that’s not easy to quantify.  Like any genre, everyone has an opinion.

To start with let’s define what I mean by erotica:

Erotica is any artistic work that deals substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing subject matter. All forms of art may depict erotic content, including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music or literature. Erotica has high-art aspirations, differentiating it from commercial pornography.  (Wikipedia Entry for Erotica)

 For me, like other books it read, there has to be compelling characters, an intriguing plot and most importantly perfect pacing.  Don’t get me wrong… hot sex is a must, but if the writing is off then the whole thing doesn’t work.  One wrong sentence and the illusion is broken.  The scene fails.

This is why I believe any writer can benefit from reading a well written erotic novel. The author not only has to spin a character centric tale about two people falling in love (or lust… depending on the story), but they also have to choreograph sex scenes that are complicated and fraught with tension.    Pacing, stage direction, character building… it’s all there.  Don’t get me wrong, erotica isn’t literary fiction and will never win the Nobel prize for literature… but I don’t care.   I read fiction for fun and erotica is one of my go to genres.

Here are a few I've enjoyed:


If you have any suggestions, I’m always looking for new books to add to my reading list :)

Gina Drayer

photo credit: Chris Blakeley via photopin cc

1 comment:

  1. You bring up some good points! I am also a geek, though it's something that I've developed recently, rather than as a child. I also like the way that you've tied in the female image in fantasy and geekdom. I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that those kinds of shows are targeted toward teenage boys. We can only hope that as girls embrace and 'storm the castle', we might be able to have an influence on how we're portrayed.