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What do you think about erotica writing? Options · View
max
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:44:32 PM

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With the recent success of "Fifty Shades of Gray" and Waterstone's booksellers in London adding a complete erotica section - should serious writers be looking at erotica writing? I did notice that my small Waterstone's branch sells "Fifty Shades of Gray" - but they do not display any copies. The Gray series is the top three sellers and on the display stand with the top ten there is a notice to see the clerk. The clerk told me in her opinion mostly women are buying. Let's put prejudice about porn aside. It is my understanding that well written porn with a good story that adheres to good grammar and other aspects that set literature aside from just writing - is now making in roads. I know erotica has been around since the written word. Women seem to be going through a sexual renaissance - at least in literature. I read recently that "Jane Eyre" is being re-written as an erotica piece. I went into a porn bookshop recently and the material seemed to be mostly about bondage - the place was not female friendly. So if this genre of literature is on the rise among women it must be on line. I know that Amazon Kindle sells an enormous amount. What do you think?
fifafan
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:24:44 PM

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It depends what you classify as a serious writer? What is the definition of such a writer?

I don't think that writing erotica is for everyone. Some very good authors would probably never consider it. I would say that it is purely an individual choice. Some will, some won't. Some can, some can't. But all could be serious writers.

It really comes down to choice, in my humble opinion.

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max
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:42:54 AM

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Who is or who is not a serious writer and how do you define serious - is a minefield. I have been an artist for many years. Whenever I have called myself a fine artist (I paint realist subjects and portraits in oil on canvas), people come out of the woodwork to criticise. Many try to cloud the issue by discussing definitions. I think writers may be the same (no offense to fifafan meant). The only gauge of who is or who is not an artist is primarily decided by society - and sadly their only criterion is sales. I wonder if writers are judged the same - have they or have they not been published. I also wonder if this criterion is still applicable to writers because of the self-publishing phenomena that is Kindle. Again we may head into a debate about definitions - as some may equate electronic self-publishing to vanity publishing. A friend mentioned recently at a book launch, "Yes he may have five books published, but you know they are all vanity published, so don't be impressed - anybody can vanity publish." I asked another friend about publishing on Kindle and she gave a similar response. "Oh Kindle - well anybody can publish on Kindle - doesn't make them a writer does it?" I think writers are at a crossroads in regards to publishing. The appetite for electronic work seems insatiable. I am on the kindle discussion board and I understand there is a chap who writes erotica and has published over 50 works (albeit they are short 5 to 7K short stories and they sell for .99cents - he has sold almost a million at a 70% royalty. There are several kindle published authors that have sold over a million - maybe this is a topic for debate. I hope I have made my point clear.

I didn’t expect a large debate on erotica as it is still a taboo subject – just thought I’d ask the question. Sorry if anyone has been offended.
Sherzahd
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 4:37:07 AM

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It's a very good question. I think that there is a huge market for erotica, but because of the stigma attached it doesn't sell very well in print. If you were to check any of the major online sites (Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, etc), you will find that the market is flooded. Problem is that people often confuse erotica with porn (there is a difference). There are some brilliant erotica writers out there, but sadly, when it comes to that genre, mosly e-books sell.

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”


scooter
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 5:41:45 AM

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I choose the sexual fantasy genre because I have several fantasies that drive me wild and I figured; if they are driving me wild, hopefully
even a poorly written fantasy would drive all the sex crazed people out there wild as well. As long as I used clever cuss words and picked some sexy
characters names.
I thought; If my audience is half the pervert (pardon my choice of words) that I am, they would over look my poor grammar and just get caught up in my little sex crazed mind.
Boy did I learn a fast lesson.
I never even thought of describing my work as erotica, it was pure porn. I love writing on occasions, and in the erotica field, there is always something to talk about.

I think erotica is a great starting point for many writers, but only a select few have the talent needed to survive.
In most cases; in order to obtain that ever elusive "serious writer" status. Most must move on to the things we really wanted to write about in the first place.
All just my opinion.

scooter..
DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:29:06 AM

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max wrote:


I didn’t expect a large debate on erotica as it is still a taboo subject – just thought I’d ask the question. Sorry if anyone has been offended.


I agree about the point of erotica still considered somewhat a taboo subject...but, the "Grey" series seems to be helping alleviate that issue and making erotica acceptable for mainstream, and that's a good thing...

As far as what Yas said about erotica and eBooks, there have been a lot of articles on that...one of the main reasons why erotica sells so well in eBooks, is that nobody can see what you're reading...

E-Readers Stimulating the Sales of Erotica eBooks
http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/e-readers-stimulating-the-sales-of-erotica-ebooks/

And that's something that's been happening for a while, well before the "Grey" phenomena...

I started writing on an erotic story site...I personally don't think genre has anything to do with whether one is a "serious" writer or not, and I think mainstream acceptance of erotica is a great thing for a lot of writers I know...I know some very talented writers who write erotica...some of whom may actually be on this site...happy8

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Dreamcatcher
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:15:39 AM

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Erotica and porn (yes there is a difference but it is merely a social standard) is a multi-billion dollar industry.. it is more mainstream then we are allowed to believe.. Playboy is now a coffee table/doctor's office/reception area magazine... open nudity and sex is all over our TV's and movie screens.. so my own answer to the original question is.. I think it is a genre.. that's all..

suziquaif
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012 4:56:43 PM

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I'm new on the site so I've come to this thread a bit late, but in the interests of never saying no, Erotica is a subject I'm interested in. Alternatively, people are my muse, so avoiding sex is nigh on impossible.
Did you know 70% of recognised Erotica authors are men writing for a female dominated market ?
The general concensus amongst those in the know seems to be that the majority of current Erotica offers nothing new for women and is not in the least empowering, but literature is the form of pornography women respond to best.
The dictionary definition of pornography is: obscene writing with no artistic merit. Time for a change in thinking perhaps before anything good about the genre is damned for perpetuity. It is, after all, important to women or they wouldn't read it in such vast numbers.
Shirley Conrans 'Lace' was written from the standpoint of explaining sex from a female viewpoint within a story and was seen as 'surreptitious sex-ed at its most entertaining' (Stylist.co.uk - Do women need erotica).
The difference between 'Lace' and current male dominated Erotica writing would seem to be that men associate Erotica with porn and something that is the story and women associate Erotica with education and something that enhances a story.
I do write Erotica and I have co written Erotica with a guy to view a given scenario from both viewpoints. It was educational, immense fun and surprisingly romantic in feel. But importantly the co written Erotica was only a necessary element of a plot and the guy I was writing with was equally interested in providing valuable input to the rest of the story. Men are remarkably romantic - so why they insist on dwelling on porn is a mystery. Perhaps they are misled into so closely associated Erotica with porn because perceived market forces tell them thats how it should be.
My view (and apparently those in the know) is that Erotica needs more female influence, it needs more female authors to become a more credible genre with something worthwhile to say.
While I'm here I should add that I was invited to write for bodice buster fiction publisher but I turned it down. The thought of writing to such a strict set of formualic rules put me off - I was sure I would soon get bored.
Bodice buster fiction is one thing, porn another, but Erotica is something completely different.
Guest
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013 11:59:53 PM

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Erotica, to further differentiate it from pornography, is primarily a woman's market, and unlike romance, there's a bigger percentage of men writing and reading erotica, and male writers can write under their own names.
Drawbacks to writing erotica

1. You may not want to show your mother.

Pseudonyms blossom in this industry like flowers in June. Despite their pride, many authors hesitate to share their success with friends and relatives who may not understand.

When I was boasting about my first erotic novel, a male friend commented: "it's erection material, right?" I could have explained how erotica is so much more than erection material, but his knowing expression told me I'd be wasting my breath. So I simply agreed and encouraged him to buy a copy -- which is both the perfect revenge (sure, I'll take his money) and the perfect education tool. Once you've read an erotic novel, you get it.

2. Sex, sex and more sex

One erotic publisher has a vocal readership who constantly cry "moresexmoresexmoresex!"

You can get sick of describing sex, even when enhanced and made new by the characters and situations. Depending on whom you're writing for, you may be asked to add more sex scenes or sensuality or both. If the market you're aiming for isn't a perfect fit with your own comfort levels, you may find yourself describing sex acts that make you uneasy.

Although I haven't heard of a publisher who forces their authors out of their comfort zone, most will coax you to meet their readers' expectations. Do match the market with your own tastes, otherwise your story will emerge flat and the sex insincere.
Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:44:33 AM

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Welcome to, Stories Space, Suzi and Escort. Thanks for your thoughtful and knowledgeable comments. Hope there not one-and-done examples of your writing.

FWIW, to me genres are a marketing device, not an element of writing. Tell your story in the most effective way possible and then worry about the classification.

glasses8

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AvrgBlkGrl
Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014 10:32:28 PM

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I personally feel that there is a big difference between erotica and porn. Everyone that throws explicit descriptions of sex into a story is not writing erotica. To write a story that is highlighted and actually improved by the presence of detailed sex within it is an art form unto itself. Not everyone can do it well. When the story is just sex, it's not a story at all. It is a scene.

For example:
The guy with a utility belt knocks at the door. A scantly clothed woman answers. Bad music starts playing in the background and they just go at it full speed. Then, when the cum shot is over with, so is the story.

That's porn.

Erotica introduces you to Steve, who happens to do repairs and is a single parent of three precocious little girls. He is frustrated, overworked and under paid. He loves being a father, but he misses the feel of being in a woman's arms desperately. And Susan, she can't just call the plumber because she can't afford one. Her husband left her because she was barren, after five years of marriage. She bought a book at Barnes and Nobles. The book was supposed to make minor plumbing repairs easy. Well, she made it worse. She found Steve's advertisement in the Penny Pincher community paper. He's handsome and muscular, but not in that weight lifter kind of weird way. But, Susan immediately releases that thought. No man would want a woman that can never give him a child.

Steve thinks that Susan looks like a woman that should have a husband, one that should be protected. She's exasperated and flustered. He finds it amusing. After three or four visits, he appreciates the way she loves to wear summer dresses, how they cling to the curve of her thighs sometimes. How when she bends over he gets a hint of the fullness of her breasts. He has her come close so he can explain what he's doing. He loves the smell of her. She loves the feeling of him near and misses their conversations when he is gone. He reads books. Susan loves books.

Soon, Susan is finding things for Steve to do, knowing that she can hardly afford it. He does just a little bit more than he has to because he sincerely likes her. One day he actually touches her and the feel of skin meeting skin sends signals through their bodies that cannot be denied. The request for a date is awkward and borderline ridiculous. Still she says yes.

After dinner at a family owned restaurant, he kisses her at the door. She turns to unlock the door and it is stuck--again. He comes close behind her, his body pressing into the back of hers. She feels him, still excited from the kiss, against her. Steve turns the key just right and nudges the door in a way that pushes her forward just a little. He places his hand around her waist to steady her. She feels him smell her hair and then smooth it off her shoulder. He gently lowers the thin strap of her dress to kiss the spot that it once occupied. She moves herself into the firmness of his body, and releases herself. With her head back, Steve has even more access to her neck. Neither wants this to end.

With his other hand he pushes the door open and as one they move together. When he turns her around in his arms, he asks, "Are you ready for this?" She can only manage to shake her head yes like a child. But, she is no child. She is a woman. And him, he is a man. Tonight they need each other. He follows her up to her bedroom, a room he has never entered before. They...(explicit, exhausting, sex is detailed here from years of pent up sexual frustration). There is no need for corny music to put you in the mood for the action.

That's the difference between erotica and porn. Which would you like to read?

And, taboo? Come on. That's just a small portion of erotica. Sex is not taboo. Getting it in the butt? Maybe. Getting it in the butt by a tranny? Now we are talking about entering the "taboo" market. I stress the word entering because it can get a lot kinkier than that. And, even then it takes a skilled writer to bring it together with taste and style.

I mostly write IR and it is generally erotic.


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Guest
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2014 1:00:49 AM

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I have dabbled in the pure porn side of erotica, primarily because it was a hell of a lot easier to write! Dancing around the subject of sex I found incredibly difficult to make 'sexy' or erotic. To my eyes it read as pretentious and, being utterly frank, rather tiresome and boring.

I used to contribute my compositions to a popular porn site that had a very active stories section. To this day I'll never forget a comment left on one of my stories to the effect that all they (the particular reader) wanted was the 'sex bits' and all the other stuff was bollocks!! I was really offended: it may 'only' be porn, but I put as much effort into developing a strong storyline and credible characters as I do with all my other writing. That one comment actually put me off writing in that genre and I have barely bothered since.

The other difficulty I found was trying to find new and interesting ways to describe the physical act of sexual intercourse. It's a simple and basic act: once part a is inserted into part b there's not a great deal else one can say! Sure, you can find new and interesting places and positions to put a and b together but the fact remains that it's still a dull act to write about over and over again.



AvrgBlkGrl
Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 10:40:15 AM

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authorised1960 wrote:

The other difficulty I found was trying to find new and interesting ways to describe the physical act of sexual intercourse. It's a simple and basic act: once part a is inserted into part b there's not a great deal else one can say! Sure, you can find new and interesting places and positions to put a and b together but the fact remains that it's still a dull act to write about over and over again.



This is where the erotica writers and the porn writers (or we like to call them stroke story writers) separate. A strong story line and interesting well defined characters are going to eliminate that problem. Then of course you have to have the imagination (or I like to say nature) for those types of details. Everyone that simply knows what the acts consists of isn't necessarily going to be able to make it erotic--as in real life. Experience is a major enhancement, admittedly not always necessary. If it is a really good story highlighted by the sex, the characters can be doing the most simple of things and your reader is hot an rooting for them regardless. There own imagination can fill in the whatever spaces do it for them. The entire genre is underestimated. However, it's a major thing right now. With online publishing and such, readers are flocking to it. In most book stores, it isn't even separated. It's all fiction or romance.

Strokers can care less and neither do those type of writers.

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rolandlytle
Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 5:46:23 PM

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AvrgBlkGrl wrote:
authorised1960 wrote:

The other difficulty I found was trying to find new and interesting ways to describe the physical act of sexual intercourse. It's a simple and basic act: once part a is inserted into part b there's not a great deal else one can say! Sure, you can find new and interesting places and positions to put a and b together but the fact remains that it's still a dull act to write about over and over again.



This is where the erotica writers and the porn writers (or we like to call them stroke story writers) separate. A strong story line and interesting well defined characters are going to eliminate that problem. Then of course you have to have the imagination (or I like to say nature) for those types of details. Everyone that simply knows what the acts consists of isn't necessarily going to be able to make it erotic--as in real life. Experience is a major enhancement, admittedly not always necessary. If it is a really good story highlighted by the sex, the characters can be doing the most simple of things and your reader is hot an rooting for them regardless. There own imagination can fill in the whatever spaces do it for them. The entire genre is underestimated. However, it's a major thing right now. With online publishing and such, readers are flocking to it. In most book stores, it isn't even separated. It's all fiction or romance.

Strokers can care less and neither do those type of writers.



You are so correct. I think the biggest difference is just as you said, the story.
Erotica can be an excellent read, just as genre can, If the characters come first (no pun intended), the plot / storyline second, and the sex third.
I like to think of erotica as a story which happens to have some sex in it. Porn (or stoke stories) are either just sex, or the sex is the main character.
If at the end of a story that has sex in it, you can not recall the main characters' names, then that is porn. If at the end of the story you first thoughts are about the characters or the plot, then that is erotica.
I believe sales of erotica are presently greater than sales of all other genres put together.

You can't get there from here, because when you get there you're still here and here is now there.
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