Why We Read Erotic Romance

Now that I've gotten your attention with the hot, sexy, half-nekkid bod, tell me what you REALLY like about erotic romance. Although I think most women enjoy a good visual, they prefer the words, imaginings, and emotions beneath the skin. That's why erotic romance is enjoying a huge surge in popularity. Women have discovered their own Playboy magazine, but instead of looking at hot men, we're reading about them. It's not just the hot sex, it's the story, stupid.
I think that's one of the reasons why Deep Throat was such a popular X-rated movie. Although I saw the movie many years ago (on the UCLA campus to be exact), I remember it as having an actual story and lots of humor. Otherwise, I have no interest in watching explicit sex scenes in a film. Ahhh, but give me a sensual read.
The best of erotic romance should be able to stand on its own without the sex. The sex scenes are heightened and hotter when we have insights into the traits, strengths, and insecurities that drive the characters.
What are some of the reasons you read (or write) erotic romance? What needs and desires does it fulfill or exorcise for you?


Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin said...

Great topic!
I write erotic romance because I think when you get into people's (or character's) sex lives, the most complex aspects of their personalities come out. Where else are we so primal, so vulnerable? The way people feel about sex and love are influenced by so many bits and pieces of their lives, and it's even more interesting when you get some insight into both. That's when you can really dig deep inside a person and find out who they truly are.
The best erotic fiction, IMO, is when the character grows through interaction with their partner, through both the relationship arc and the sex. Sex can be a journey of self-discovery on its own. Throw in a developing relationship, and you've got something pretty powerful.

Natasha Moore said...

I wrote straight romance for a long time before I read an erotic romance. I loved the heartwarming stories and those happy endings. But erotic romance adds another whole layer to the story that I really enjoy - both reading and writing. And honestly, reading erotic romance loosened me up (is that TMI?) and my husband is thrilled I discovered erotic romance. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,
I used to always skip over the love scenes because I thought they were boring, but that's not so in erotic romance.


Jenny Gardiner said...

Carol I love this post and couldn't resist popping over to reply--although I'm going to answer this for my protagonist, Claire Doolittle in my novel SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. See, Claire is married to Mr. Right. Well, he used to be Mr. Right, when they first got married, but now he's Mr. Always Right, and he's morphed into a painful facsimile of Ward Cleaver: boring, bossy and oh-so-unsexy.

So why would Claire Doolittle read erotica and love it? Because it reminds her of what she used to have. It reminds her of what she wants. And it helps her get through her mandatory Sunday night "Chore" with her husband...when push comes to shove (LOL) she can at least fantasize about that sexy guy on the cover and all the fun things she could do with him...Someone said recently Oprah had a marriage expert on talking about how so many of her female clients read romance novels/erotica to help "get in the mood" and I think Claire can tell you there's a good reason for that! So clearly, you as a writer of erotic fiction, are providing a huge public service ;-)

Donna Marie Rogers said...

I don't know if there's any real reason other than I love to read and write hot love scenes. LOL But I agree, there's something so much more sexy about a written love scene than a movie love scene. And I've read plenty of great books that didn't have any sex scenes. But most of the time I can't help thinking, "Great book, but some hot sex would have made it even better..." LOL


Amber Leigh Williams said...

I like to read erotic romance because it's so different from what I write...and sometimes I need a quick vacation!

Carol Ericson said...

Eden, great insight! Yes, the sex can be an arena of growth for the character.

Natsha, LOL, I think I have the opposite experience. I'm at the computer and my husband's in bed waiting for me - not now, honey, I'm writing a hot scene!

Sandy, no boredom allowed in erotic romance sex scenes! It's a lot more than just naming body parts.

Jenny, Claire has the right idea, and I can't wait to read Sleeping With Ward Cleaver.

Donna, with "older" romances I always used to look for the sex scenes and then get a little disappointed when they didn't deliver. I guess that's one of the reasons I started writing "hot" as Mia Varano.

Amber, and what a vacation!

Nicole North said...

Don't know for sure. I just have always loved hot, spicy romance novels with tons of sexual tension, even before there were so many sexy novels on the market. For me, nothing is better than an emotional and erotic read. This sort of story has more intensity. Yummy! Writing them is a natural fit for me.

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Carol!

Great topic :) I've always enjoyed reading erotic romances. In order for a romantic union to remain successful and last, a couple must be able to relate to each other on a deep physical and emotional level. The fact erotic romances explore the sensual and sexual relationship in greater depth makes them part of my library. I prefer the bedroom door being kept open where fictional couples are involved :)


Anonymous said...

Women are a lot more diverse than what you have indicated. Moreover, the attachment to words are more towards prose rather than grammer, and thus poetry is ranked higher. While men, we are more attracted to full color photos.

Nonetheless, I have posted your view on the The Love Report as it adds to the diverse opinions I am looking for.

Well designed blog too!


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