I attended a book expo and there were professionals talking about their field. Three self-proclaimed romance writers chaired the panel and shared their opinions on what ‘where is the line of romance and erotica’.
One author on the panel said ‘romance is love – erotica is where you take party drugs and have sex’.
Not sure what erotica she’s been reading but I know I haven’t read any book like that … EVER. And we all know how much I read. A male panelist said ‘romance is with the heart, erotica is with the genitals’.
To me, the only clear line between romance and erotica is ignorance. It comes down to a level of expectation and I do think it’s grossly unfair that they had no one from the erotica realm there to, not defend the honour, but to dispel some of the myths that people still have about this category. Each genre has its platform and the ‘shame’ that gets slung from either side is not necessary.
Most of the ‘erotica’ that I have read has started off as an unconventional love story and more often than not, ends up a romance. It is actually quite nice to read a book or story that is purely erotica. I love that there are SO many differing opinions when it comes to personal preference but there are times when we want to pick up a book and know the familiar.
To cut a long story short, I ended up walking out of the talk when she started to say that there was a scene from a Tim Winton book that ‘if you like that – you have something wrong with you’. (The scene was after the hero ejaculated into the female, she put her fingers in and then brought the liquids to her mouth – personally, I wanted to ask maybe that was the heroines attempt at contraception).
To me, there’s no reason to shame. There’s pocket within both the romance and erotica realms that just don’t appeal to me. I don’t shame or diss those areas. There’s room for everyone. The only thing I learned from that panel talk is that ignorance is still alive and well while both genres go from strength to strength.