Wednesday, April 13, 2005

porn for women

On another blog a reader wails to her hubby that she's reading Romance, for God's sake, not porn for women. Hubby chuckles and rolls his eyes. Yeah sure. What's the difference?
What's in a name? A rose is a rose...as the saying goes. So romance, especially the hot and sticky kind I write, is woman's porn. Well, I will be the first to admit it's a Hell of a lot closer to porn than literature, if you're thinking in classic terms. Also: (and this has been hashed and rehashed until it's stale) in the dictionary porn is not a derogatory word. It's become synonymous with magazines you wouldn't want anyone in your family hiding under the bed, or dark, smelly cinemas full of men wearing raincoats and fedoras.
I write my erotica books to entertain, to titillate, and for a good, fun read. But I have no illusions that my books will end up somewhere on a 'must read' list of classics. And how would you describe this 'must read' classic: 'The Story of O'? Porn for women is the first thing to come to mind. Admit it.
So let's not be hypocrites. Romance books are fun fluff - and what is wrong with that?

11 comments:

Jaynie R said...

I don't think I agree lol. I guess I'm pretentious enough to think that there is a difference between erotic romance and porn. Porn usually doesn't have a story line, or 3-dimentional characters. Erotica or Romantica is a great story with sex in it. Porn is sex.

Sam said...

Hi Jaynie -
I'm sure most people would agree with you - but porn can have a plot (thinking of 'Misty Blue Beethoven' here, or 'Fanny Hill'. Pure porn, but a lot of fun. And the Story of O is definitely classed porn.
I think that when you say that erotica has 3 dimensional characters and a story line you're stretching it a bit thin, lol. (but it's awfully nice of you to think so!)

Kris said...

I’m gonna have to go with Jaynie on this one. John Grisham’s latest thriller probably isn't Great Literature either. At the same time, there’s an attention to plot, realistic dialogue, characters, etc. that makes it fun reading and that most porn lacks.

I think it’s a question of craftsmanship, and there’s a middle road between high art and churning ‘em out as fast as you can.

Sam said...

Hi Kris,
Thanks for popping in. Grisham's books are miles away from most romance books even. (have you ever read a romance book? Just for fun, trot into a bookstore and grab the first Brava or Blaze you see and buy it - say it's for your big sister)
Then come back and tell me if it's closer to literature or porn, using Grisham for a standard, if you want.
Hugs,
Sam

Wynn Bexton said...

"Porn" to me is disgusting, crude stuff.
"Erotica" is delicious, sensuous, and titallating. Isn't that what you write?

Sam said...

There is a problem with definitions. If, by porn, you can only imagine triple X's and hardcore images verging on the illegal, then no, I don't write porn.
But the word has been corrupted by prudes everywhere. Pornography is simply that which is meant to sexually stimulate.
Pretending otherwise is a sort of literary snobbery.

Sam said...

Also -
If you want to divide porn into different sections starting with soft erotica and going all the way to incest and bdsm - where does erotica blend into what you imagine as porn? What you have to admit is that the boundries will vary wildly between different people - one person's soft erotic romance is another person's hard core porn.
So - be is soft or hard, legal or verging on the illegal - it's still porn.
Why deny it??

Anonymous said...

At last, a WOMAN who gets it! Thanks for being honest enough and classy enough to tell it like it is, Sam. While there are different layers, most romance fiction ranks on the lower end of the totem pole. Of course, to be fair, the "Thousand Nights and One Night," in its original form, could be considered pure porn. It's still good reading. I'd hope your own work falls closer to the "Nights" and farther away from Brava and Blaze. (I don't even know who these people are, but if you say they suck, that's good enough for me.)

--NOT Wayne

Sam said...

Well, Not Wayne, I didn't say porn sucked. I just said it wasn't literature. I'm glad you agree that it's fun to read though. I think reading SHOULD be fun, which is why I encourage people to go out and buy Brava books. (Even though I don't write for them.) I do read them, and I do read fluff, and I have a great time (even though I forget the book two minutes after I finish it.)
Is that the difference between fluff and a classic book? Classics stay with you...fluff is fun and forgetable.

Kris said...

I’ll admit that I’ve never actually read a romance novel cover to cover and should probably take you up on your challenge before shooting my mouth off. I have, however, written porn for several scuzzy “letters” magazines. Usually, I spent more time revising blog entries than I ever have porn stories --Hey, the blog entries have my real name attached to them-- but as long as I got the right body parts smacking together it didn’t seemed to matter. Surely the average romance novel is better than that.

Also, I’d like to point out that “Reading is Fun” was the theme of my local library’s summer reading program back when I was a kid. You got a sticker for every book you read, and if you had ten stickers at the end of the summer you got a pizza party. You attaching that beloved, warmly-remembered phrase to porn has kind of creeped me out a little.

Sam said...

Oh no! Sorry 'bout that.
Seriously, to see what I mean, go to Ellora's Cave www.ellorascave.com - and grab a copy of 'My Fair Pixie' - (an e-book, you can download it in any format) you can read it in half an hour. Then tell me if it's fun, porn, romance, or anything else.