Erotica is Not Porn!


What is erotica and it is even taboo anymore?  Thanks to the ever-growing love-affair with hot, steamy sex scenes and dirty words growled between thrust and kisses; erotica is not the taboo it was and defining the genre proves to be as difficult as finding an interesting way to describe a woman's orgasm.

In my early 20's, I loved reading sexually explicit stories, but I found myself cringing when I read books where the plot was driven by sex and the characters and conflicts were underdeveloped.  It felt like watching bad 70's porn... πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰!

I asked one of my writing professors for a suggestion of good erotica and she shared one of her favorite books with me, Erotique Noire/ Black Erotica. This compilation of erotic writings written by powerful Black writers changed my perspective of what erotica was.  Reading this book was a call to action for me. The way in which eroticism is described in the writings in this anthology mesh with my budding understanding of sex and spiritualism.  Erotique Noire, provides a foundation upon which I base my approach to writing erotica.

Yes, sex is a part of erotica; however, it is not the whole of eroticism, at least not when I write it. One definition of erotic writing says that sex needs to be the source of the conflict. I say that sex needs to be the fertilizer that makes every aspects of the story grow. When I try to explain this to other people, I get these side-eye glances and twisted lips that say without saying; You're full of shiitake-mushrooms!  In an attempt to make my take on eroticism clearer, allow me give an example.

Character A has trust issues and is afraid to give in to his darker needs. He has never had sex because he knows his sexual taste run along the underbelly of sexuality. He works as a sex trafficking investigator/rehabilitation counselor as a way to be close to his desires, but not take part in them.  Saving the victims also allows him to pay penance for his unrealized desires. In the end, he is given the task to rehabilitate a sex-traffic victim who was trained to be a slave.  Will he do his job or finally succumb to the dark desires he's never acted upon? I think I'm going to write this as a short story😏!

If I were to write this as an erotic story or book, I would use his sexuality and the act of sex itself to highlight and explore my characters as they grow and change throughout the plot. The darker aspects of sexuality is what allows the characters to move through the conflicts in the plot to resolution.  The story isn't about sex, as much as it use sex as a conduit for the characters to find a way to bridge the gab between their base humanity and higher spirituality and then learn to use their new higher-self to create something greater than they thought possible.

This is why I love writing erotica and why I loathe when people dump this genre into the same bucket as pornography.  I don't write porn... I wouldn't even know where to start if tasked with writing something so basic.  Porn is the rutting of animals with little concern for why, how, or what.  Porn is sex for the sake of sex... the act doesn't move the plot along.  It doesn't push the character to face themselves and their shortcomings. Sex in porn does not make readers question their own sexuality and sexual biases. No, porn-sex is designed to do one thing and one thing only... sexually stimulate the viewer, reader, listener. Obviously there is a place for that and an audience, too; however, erotica is not that place.

Until later... stay Enchanted πŸ’–


EllaShawn



 

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