1. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    50,000 words and no sex scene--is it erotica?

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by ddavidv, Mar 15, 2014.

    The title sort of says it all...I'm at 50k in my novel and, while there has been talk about sex and a brief scene of some porn on a computer, the two MC's haven't shagged yet. It's mostly a suspense story that will have maybe 3 sex scenes in it when finished, but I'm worried that it won't be marketable as 'erotica'. It's more like a suspense novel with a few graphically described boinkings.

    The MC will hopefully return in subsequent stories and have more sex, but the entire series won't be much different than this book. My concern is that erotica readers won't like the lack of constant action, and the mainstream readers will be turned off by the explicit descriptions.

    I'm going to write the first draft the way I feel it should be done (Screw the readers! Full speed ahead!) but the concerns I'm having are a bit distracting. Note: I've never written anything remotely like this before, but the MC is telling me she needs to be a wild little slut. :)
     
  2. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suspect that most people would view it as a thriller with explicit sex and not erotica. Much like Spartacus or Rome on TV. Unless, that is, there is a lot of erotic byplay all through the 50,000 words - but from your description that doesn't sound to be the case.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with Bryan. It may ride that hazy middle ground that makes it hard to shelve for bookstore owners, but my personal take is that it would not be erotica, but instead a thriller written by an author not afraid to include sex.
     
  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can tell you that my books are way heavier in sex content, as in every few pages, and some people still question whether they are erotica, or thrillers etc with a lot of sex integrated into them.
     
  5. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Sounds like my instincts are correct. I wonder if I should clean up the sex scenes and make it more PG-13.
     
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's my understanding that erotica doesn't mean sex is included in a story—however graphic its depiction. It means the entire purpose of the story is to arouse sexual feelings.

    Erotica is just more arty and probably more sophisticated than what we call 'porn.' In terms of writing, it will likely be written well, with good characters, plot, etc. But the whole purpose of the story will not be to solve a mystery. It will be to get the reader to identify with these characters and get sexually turned-on as a result.

    The online Webster's definition is: works of art or literature that deal with sex and are meant to cause sexual feelings : erotic works

    As you've described your story, @ddavidv , I'd agree with @Wreybies - it's a story that contains sex, but it's not erotica.
     
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  7. Mangyhyena
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    Mangyhyena Member

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    From your description, I'd say no because in erotica, sex drives the story. From what you described, sex isn't the driving force of your plot.

    Can an erotic thriller exist. Sure. In The Cut was an example of an erotic thriller. Had graphic sex that drove characterization, but the plot was not driven by sex.

    Can an erotica thriller exist? More difficult, but maybe, if sex is the driving force. If your investigative MC had to seduce and boff every suspect in order to determine who committed the crime for some logical reason I can't think of right now, then perhaps you would have an erotica thriller.

    Great. Thank you so much. I'm sitting here needlessly racking my brain trying to figure out why an investigator would have to have sex with all the suspects in order to figure out who committed some crime. How in the world could he determine innocence or guilt from the way suspects have sex? Ugggg!
     
  8. TaylorWP
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    TaylorWP New Member

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    Okay, if there are no actual sex scenes, but the the only thing that keeps the reader reading is the anticipation of a "real sex scene" then it's still erotica. I suppose that if you can get to the end of the story (novel?) without actually putting in a sex scene, the reader might demand his/her money back from a sense of being defrauded, but you'll have written an erotic story. Don't depend on your own reading of your story to tell, you'll have to get others to read it and give you feedback. If you can achieve that, you probably don't need our advice.
     
  9. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    If you can write 50,000 words and make a book sexy without any sex...now THAT'S erotica. I strive to make things erotic when there is no sex involved, because I feel many writers just put graphic sex into their work and call it erotic. No. I think being erotic has nothing to do with sex, and if you can write a whole novel without sex and still make it erotic, I think that's a huge achievement.
     
  10. Skaruts
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    Skaruts Member

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    I don't know if anyone else would agree with me, but I'd say forget that and just go with the flow of it. When you finish you'll know under which useless-prude-rating it may fall under. Until then, make the story be what it's meant to be (what unfolds in your mind as you write it). If it ends up with no sex, then so be it.

    If you're concerned about making sure it's erotica and not romance, then I don't know. I would say you don't need sex scenes to make erotica, but then again I'm no authority in the subject. Maybe turn something or other more explicit just to nail it? As long as it's doesn't seem pretentious (like most sex scenes in romances...). If it ends up not having a sex scene, perhaps you could still find something that could be spiced up enough?
     
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  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    A horror doesn't need a death. It needs to be scary. Erotica doesn't need sex. It needs to be exciting/arousing.
     
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  12. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I see my thread is back from the dead. :)

    The book in question has been published as an e-book with some graphic sex scenes included. The kind of sex the MC has is important to depict who she is and what drives her behavior. The book is listed with cautionary notes about the content and thus far no one has been horribly offended by it. My mother-in-law chose to just overlook those passages, LOL.

    The scenes evolved as I wrote. I did not set out to intentionally write graphic sex but the book just needed to be a certain level of raw sexuality and I left it become what it wanted. The result is my MC is more complex than I ever envisioned and has opened up some interesting twists in the next 2 books about her.

    I originally listed the book as 'erotica' but have since changed the category to 'suspense' with the added caution on content.
     

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