Thursday, June 28, 2012

Romance or Porn? Why not both???

Is porn romantic?  Well, most porn is not romantic.  Most porn is a representation of purely physical sexual acts.  Which is not a problem at all, although I find most visual porn relatively boring unless there is a bit more to it.

But can it be?  The best porn that I have watched has demonstrated a real (and perhaps merely coincidental) connection between the players and a genuine excitement at being together as people, and not just as sexual objects.  Just because a movie or a book contains depictions of graphic sex, should not preclude the possibility of romance and intimate connection in a non-physical way.


When a good friend of mine began helping me set up a website, he coined the term 'Modern Erotic Romance' for my writing.  He had read one of my stories, which included M/F, F/F, and M/M sex occurring among close friends, with a definite romantic angle between the M/F characters plus a long term committed relationship between two of the men.  Initially, I balked at the term 'Romance'.  I'd always associated it with silly Harlequin novels about women with 'heaving bosoms' and men with 'rippling pectorals'.  The stories I enjoyed writing contained lots of sexual encounters between the characters, used non-euphemistic language such as 'cock' 'fuck' and 'anus' among other things, and portrayed the use of various implements and toys used to enhance the sex act in a realistic way.  I preferred the term Erotic Fiction to Erotic Romance.


However, I took a closer look at the stories I felt compelled to write and realized that even though they consisted basically of porn on paper (a term I have no objection to in itself), my main characters inevitably ended up falling in love, or renewing an existing romantic connection.

So what exactly am I writing here?  Porn or romance?


Well, I guess I'm writing both.  I like my depictions of sex to be naughty and rough and exciting.  But I also like my characters to feel something for each other, without which the whole thing becomes a listing of various sexual maneuvers with no emotional underlay.  Romantically connected partners can and do have hot, edgy sex, using toys and powerplay.  These are the characters I enjoy creating.  The sexual interplay always brings something new to them, whether it's a realization of their strong feelings for each other, of how vulnerable or dominant they can be with this other person without risking offence or injury, or simply a new sensation or idea that they can share together.


Although my stories have received mostly positive feedback, some readers have criticized them for containing too much sex and not enough romance.  I contend that when two people meet who recognize a mutual attraction and even a possibility for a deep commitment, there is generally lots of sex going on.  Why shy away from that when it is exciting to depict how our knowledge of another person becomes enriched and expanded from engaging in physical intimacy?  I contend that great sex between two people who care for each other and have a vested interest in improving their relationship is intrinsically romantic.  But that's just me.  I understand if people are somewhat misguided by the 'romance' label and think my book is going to be a happy-go-lucky, euphemistically enhanced, tiptoe through the proverbial tulips.  I'm sorry if they are shocked or even perhaps bored by the many descriptions of fun/edgy/exciting/creative sexual encounters.  I write what I like to read, what turns me on, and what alot of other people find enjoyable.



But I would like to coin a new phrase:

Romantic Porn.

This is an accurate description of what I write and I'm proud to offer it to readers who enjoy depictions of graphic sex with a bit of romance thrown in to make it more meaningful, exciting and revelatory.


~ Liz

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