Men of McKenna Downs Serial

Men of McKenna Downs Serial

Monday, December 10, 2012

Note About My Books - Erotic Romance vs Erotica

The terms erotic romance and erotica are often used interchangeably when in fact they are two different genres. Similar they are, but different enough to make note of.
Erotic romance is more graphic than mainstream romance. The sex scenes often have more explicit language, but romance is still the key point to the story. The love scenes, while they can be kinky and include things like threesomes, BDSM, etc., are about the romantic feelings between the characters, and erotic romance books generally have either a HEA (Happily ever after) or HFN (Happy for now) ending.
Erotica, on the other hand, is more about the main character's sexual journey than a romance. That doesn't mean there can't be a love story in there. Sometimes there is, but the main point of those books is sexual exploration and self discovery through sex, kink, fetish,etc. It's more about sexual fantasies that people have rather than a gooshy romance that makes you feel cozy. Erotica also doesn't have to necessarily have a HEA or HFN ending, though it can. The sex in these books is far more graphic and can include certain taboos that are not permitted in erotic romance.
I write both erotic romance and erotica, but the reason I'm writing this post is to alert you of the difference if you're not already aware. Some people read both like I do, but there are those who are strictly one or the other and that's why I point this out.
If you have read my erotic romance books and liked them, but have never read dark erotica, you may cringe if you pick up one of my erotica titles. On the other end, if you've enjoyed my erotica and happen to peek at one of my erotic romance books, you may find them too sappy.
My erotic romance books all have a HEA ending, except for the Winchester, Arizona trilogy, because those are a continuing series where all three books are connected. The first two are HFN and the third one is HEA.
The BDSM and sex in my romance books is consensual, though sometimes there might be dubious consent or forced seduction. The heroes, even the flawed antiheroes, are still basically good.
In my erotica books, sometimes there is a HEA ending, but in some books it's more of an open or mixed feelings ending. Some of the sex is consensual, but in some there is forced seduction or elements of nonconsent. Also the content is more graphic than my erotic romance titles. The dark erotica books may include hardcore S&M, watersports, etc. The heroes are usually either antiheroes, or in the case of the Fallen Angels trilogy, villains. They are still love stories, just far more graphic and psychological.
To be clear, I write fiction and sexual fantasies. In real life, sex, S&M, or any such act should always be consensual. However, in fiction, different people have different fantasies. I personally love to read/write forced seduction and on occasion nonconsent if it's done right. Some love it, other don't and that's okay.
Some people love to read about incest. Personally it squicks me out, but I feel that if those people want to read it, they should be allowed to, just as I should be allowed to read what I want. We're all entitled to our fantasies, and even if it doesn't match someone else's, it does't matter.
In real life incest is gross and non-con is wrong. But in fantasy there is nothing wrong with enjoying taboo fiction. We're adults. We know how to separate fiction from reality. As long as one remembers that, then it's healthy to indulge in fiction we find hot and entertaining.


  1. Perfectly resumed :)

    I also think that some readers do mix also with romantica (used by one publisher).

    As an erotic menage reader and reviewer, I can tell by reading their reviews/comments that they do mix erotic romance and erotic and they also mix menage a trois and orgies/gangbangs.

    I am 49. I used to read tons of mainstreams before erotic romances. The line is not always clear between them. The main reason is that we have a lot of mainstream authors that decided to write erotic and erotica because it pays the bills better. However, their style, sometimes is not that different even if they add some naughty words here and there.

    We do have a huge spectrum of different styles within erotic romance and erotica. It goes from very soft and romantic with vanilla sex scenes up to BDSM (which looks like very fashionable since 50 shades went out this year) and goes to no string attached swinging partners etc

    From one author to the next writing the same genre, it can be very different.

    and that is a good thing! Difference makes life more colorful and interesting.

    Zoey, no matter what you write, thank you for sharing your talent with us all :0


  2. Thank you, Mary! That's so sweet. :)
    You're right. There is a lot of variety in all the genres. I can see why sometimes people get confused or lines blend. I love to read almost everything. :) Thanks for commenting!