Friday, April 5, 2013

Erotica ~ Aphrodisiacs from A to Z

Readers, please note that my Adult Content warning was never yet so merited as it is today.
Forewarned (twice, now) is fairwarned.


Erotica is a term I've struggled to understand. As a once-very-frequent, then not-at-all-frequent, then once-again-regular reader of romance novels, I've read a lot of sexy sex-scenes. I latched onto romance novels when I was in about fifth or sixth grade, as the nuns in my grammar school supplemented the classroom's library with Harlequins and Silhouettes. (I know, it's weird the gals woulda put that stuff out there, but what they made accessible to us would now be termed "sweet" romances, with kissing and broody male posturing, but not much in the way of nookie.) From there, I graduated to other 80s romance fare and received an education, boy. Ahem.

III Polly Philips and the Young Italian
by Édouard-Henri Avril
Anyway, I've since read loads of romance novels and the ones I've read in the last, oh, 15 years, give or take, have lots of sexy-sex in them. So I'm not really sure what distinguishes them from erotica, except that some say romance novels are courtship tales which may/may not have sex in them, whereas erotica will always have sex at the core of the protagonists' relationship(s). Readers, if you can provide me with a better definition than this, I'd love to see it, please.

Y U SO SEXY?
I'd say, "Duh," but I like to think I'm a bit more elegant than that. You know, you read about what this dude's doin' to that gal and how homegirl reciprocates in ways which are illegal in some of the 48 contiguous, you might get a little turned on, right? (Moreover; duh.)

RECIPES*

*All links lead to extremely explicit sites. If you are under 18 or easily freaked out by frank discussions and fictional tales about sex, stay the hell away from those sites and don't give me a hard time 'cause you went and clicked on the link(s) anyway, jeeeeeeeez.

Click here to learn more about erotica (and see primary Source material for this post).

Blogging from A to Z April 2013

46 comments:

  1. I don't read it often, but I do indulge in sexy stories from time to time. It can be great fun. I even like to play around at writing them from time to time, though I never have the guts to let anyone read them.

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    1. I understand feeling about timid about showing folks your sexy stories, however, given what I know of your writing so far, I'm sure they're quite well written and engaging. If you'd like a reader who enjoys smut to give them along, I'm your man! So to speak. :-)

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  2. What an awesome topic. I am an erotica writer and I can tell you that erotica tales focus on the growth of characters through sex and end with happily for now or not so happy. Romances always have to have the HEA. At least that is how the Harlequin perception has altered traditional romance. Old school true romance was Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet. Now its sunshine, sparkling vampires and jewelry.

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    1. Ida - HEA = Happily Ever After. :-)

      Thanks, Melissa, I really appreciate you chiming in. You make a good point about the difference in endings from erotica to romance novels. I'm totally a HEA kinda gal, I have to say. Probably 'cause my reality's been anything but. :-)

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  3. To be honest I'm not sure on the definition of erotica either. It certain is fun to read though :)

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    1. It sure can be, though I find it difficult, sometimes, to find exactly the right kind of erotica for me. I've very particular demands. Ahem. :-)

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  4. Reading erotic is my guilty pleasure. Not sure I could give you a bare bones definition of it right off the cuff . . . ahem. But I like your definition.
    (:

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    1. Thanks. I think I got that definition off the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books Web site (a super fun site to visit, if you haven't already).

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  5. I'm not sure where you'd draw the line between a romance novel with erotic content and an erotic novel, but I do love reading them!

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    1. I think someone should teach a class in this. Online, maybe. Or maybe do an online book club, comparing the two?

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  6. I'm not a reader of the, ahem, sexy-sex novels but I do like a bit of sexy-sex. *blushes*.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

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    1. I hope that means you're getting sexy-sex, 'cause I seriously think the only reason *I* read this stuff is 'cause I *don't*. And, thinking further, I don't know that I've ever done any writing when I was in a relationship (at least, not when things were going well, 'cause I did start seriously writing when my marriage went to hell).

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  7. I enjoyed this post.....I find this fascinating.....I'm a Sag so I know that certain things attract me....will have to do a more intense research on my sign and birthdate - would be interesting to see what I find. :) I'm coming back to read more.... :)

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    1. Hey, I'm a Sag too! I think, though, to learn what's "supposed" to turn one on (in astrological terms) you need to see where Venus and Mars (and even the moon) are in your natal chart. I did a post recently on kewl (free) astrology sites; here's the link if you want to check it out: http://minalobo.blogspot.com/2013/03/sparks-some-groovy-astrology-sites.html

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  8. Haha
    Made an interesting need
    There's nothing vulgar in this post . M not much in to erotica but when I come across I enjoy them
    Geez gonna click links :)
    Fellow a to z er

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    1. Thanks, Afshan. While the text of my post isn't vulgar, the image in it is very explicit, as are the sites I've linked to. I don't like to upset anybody, so I put in the extra warning, just in case. :-)

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  9. I didn't know the official definition of erotica but my suspicion was among the lines you explained. I don't read it much but it is not because I don't like it. It's lack of time.

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    1. Well, you do have a dragon-dom to run and all, so I expect finding time for such things is tricky. ;-)

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  10. (yes, I clicked through because of your big, bold warning. Go figure ;-) I think your definition is pretty good when it comes to defining romance versus erotica. Romance is about the emotional relationship first - regardless of how hot the sex is, that's what the plot focuses on. Erotica is about the physical relationship first - whether or not love is involved, and that's what the plot focuses on.

    But it's definitely a fine line in some cases. I've even heard romance and erotica editors say "I just know it when I see it sometimes" and that's always subjective.

    Good provocation for the day ;-)
    ____
    Find me:
    Blog: http://allysonlindt.com
    email: Allyson.Lindt@gmail.com
    Twitter: @AllysonLindt

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    1. Thanks, Allyson, I dig the way you elaborated on the topic. Makes more sense to me after reading your comment.

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  11. The way I distinguish the continuum for my friends/neighbors/relatives (who are pretty shocked that I write this stuff--lol) is that erotic romance has the relationship at its core but with lots of sex to go along; erotica has sex at its core with some relationship stuff along the way (I consider the 50 Shades books erotica); and, porn has sex at its core, screw relationships. How's that?

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    1. LOL, yeah, I think you've nailed it! Pardon the expression. ;-)

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  12. I think that your definition sums it up nicely Mina. Lurrve the pic in today's post BTW. Erotic art from that era...tres va-va-voom, in my opinion anyway. I used to love romances when I was a barely teen, then graduated to smut before finding my way to more erotic stuff. Went on a break from all things sexy, as far as reading goes, in favor of mystery and horror for a long time. The past few years have found me enjoying the more racy things in life again. I totally agree with your assessment of why erotica gets our motors going...DUH!

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    1. Yeah, you and I've chatted about our swaying hormones of late, eh? ;-) I like to mix up my reading too, though sometimes I do go through phases of just wanting the romance for a good long while.

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  13. I haven't read much erotica but I do remember passing around Judy Blume's 'Forever' in 8th grade b/c of all the sex scenes in it. lol

    Tahoma Beadworks & Photography

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    1. I vaguely remember reading Blume, and, because I was so very sheltered as a girl, remember feeling rather stunned! :-) Hey, your link-back signature works, Woo-hoo! :-D

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  14. I had to zoom in on that picture to be able to figure it out. In its smallish form, I was all, wait...is he holding her by the wrist? What's wrong with her hand? Oh. Is that her foot? Where's the rest of her arm?

    Then I was all, oh. That's a *shoe*!

    I still don't know where the rest of her arm is, but that picture is hot. I like how "the young Italian" objectifies the dude and makes it clear that Polly Philips is the character who matters here.

    Nice post. It always surprises me how much a well done or (for my money) kinked out sex scene will work for me.

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    1. LOL, yeah, I dig this pic, too. And yeah, it's nice to see the fella objectified, for a change! :-)

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  15. I've blogged about this too and one of the things I came up with was that erotica can include things that are otherwise taboo or that people are not comfy. But that was before 50 Shades came out as a mainstream bestseller and before Lover at Last by JR Ward came out, which is a gay romance and also published by one the of the Big 6 Publishers. (Though it is still true to a degree, I think, but getting less important.)

    So now the only thing I can figure is the intensity and quantity of sex scenes. But intensity is a personal barometer and I don't really want to say romance must so many sex scenes and erotica needs this many more to be erotica.

    I do believe erotica probably shouldn't be sweet and sentimental. But that describes the bulk of romance I read.

    Story Treasury

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    1. Thanks for the link, I look forward to checking it out. You make a great point about the frequency of the sex scenes being greater in erotica.

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  16. Perhaps the first time I have ever checked out a link to 'recipes' on anyone's blog lol....

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    1. First time for everything. Well, having read some of those "recipes" myself, I think I'll amend that to "...everything that doesn't totally freak me out." :-)

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  17. I am on my way out and really don't have time to read it yet, but I am forwarding your posts to my friends fb page and she loves them too ... I'll check in again soon

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    1. I'm glad I came back - Reading sexy especially out loud to your partner - is so much more erotic then watching in out - in out - on a screen... I really am anti porn, but there is always room for erotica and exploring sensuality.

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    2. Thanks for passing my stuff along! And intriguing idea, reading erotica aloud to one's partner. Man, I haven't lived!!! :-)

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  18. Dictionary.com's definition: literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire. So I think your distinction is pretty accurate. The whole point of erotica is sexual desire. I have read some short erotica in the long, long ago, so I don't really remember it. I don't seek it out. It was interesting that at my evening stitching group this week, somehow we got around to erotica. One woman said, "I don't read smut. Erotica is smut." I couldn't sway her from that oversimplification. I forgot to ask her if she was one of the several in the group who had read the 50 Shades series (which I refuse to even touch, not because of its subject matter but because of the quality of its writing). Anyway, the distinction among romance, erotica, and porn is in my opinion a sliding scale from tame through erotic through disgusting. Hahahahaha. My opinion only.

    thishotoldbroad.blogspot.com

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    1. I think I can relate to your point of view re: romance/erotica/porn. Too bad some folks' minds are so closed...one wonders if they wouldn't be happier allowing a crack of outside light in.

      I've read snippets of 50 Shades and didn't find the prose to my liking. Also heard some of the sexy-sex centered around stuff I find uncomfortable to dwell on, so I'm not likely to read it in its entirety.

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  19. I had a marvelous education when I ended up on a site called literotica...My vanilla existence was ruined from that very moment. Thank God.

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    1. I just went to check out that site and went to the "Most Read Stories" section - call me provincial but, holy cats, there's a whole lotta incest all up in that hizzy! 0_0

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  20. I confess to liking a little dose of erotica. And maybe a young Italian of my own!

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  21. I must say I love reading erotica. Most of the free books for Kindle fall under the erotica category, or at least close to it, and it really does get me in the mood to see my husband!

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    1. LOL, I'll just bet! (And I'll bet that means he really loves it, too!) :-D

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