Home > Reading, Writing > Erotica vs Porn: What’s the difference?

Erotica vs Porn: What’s the difference?

So, there’s a bit of a problem that has come to my attention. I see this mostly on Smashwords, but I’m sure it exists elsewhere too. Many people take advantage of free self publishing platforms to put out what they classify as erotica, but it’s not. Now some people may ask, isn’t erotica porn in written form? The answer to that is no, it is definitely not.  While I have not written erotica, some scenes border on it and I certainly enjoy reading it. Let’s hit on a few points to show the difference.

 

Language: Some erotica authors get a little crude with their language. They may use the more common terms to identify parts of the anatamy, i.e. dick, pussy, cock, cunt etc. That in itself does not make it a porn. Erotica still tells a story. It’s not always love, sometimes it’s lust, but there is a story behind it.

 

Title: Erotica titles often sound like romance titles. Or they sound like fiction titles. They’re appropriate. Most erotica authors don’t title their books like a porn script. If the title has anal sluts, daddy milking, breeding, or anything like that, I got news for you, that’s porn.

 

Story: Erotica has a story. I cannot stress this enough. Yes, it will have a lot of sex but it will have an actual story as well. If there’s no backstory, or the backstory has anything to do with a stepfather banging his stepdaughter while his wife is gone, gang bang, or rape turning consensual, that’s a frigging porn.

 

The amount of porn in written form I see popping up is getting alarming, and it gives the true erotica authors a bad name. Just to test my theory, I actually read over some of these titles (or the first few pages at least) and I have confirmed that these stories are porn. I understand there’s a desire to be able to tell people you’re a published author. However, there is a rampant amount of these porn stories that are never above 5000 words, normally less, and there is nothing to tell really. I read one that I swear was really the script to a porn movie. Chick walks in with too short skirt on her stepdad’s weekly card game. The guys talk about how much they want to tap that and eventually, that’s what happens. All six of them. That is not erotica. If people want porn, there’s plenty of free porn on the internet and every city everywhere (at least in the US) has an adult store somewhere in or near it. I find it remarkable that these books stay on smashwords when they’re actually a violation of their terms. But I guess they don’t check their erotica very thoroughly. As both a reader and an author, it bothers me to see these titles pop up every other day. And they actually charge for this. I have to wonder who pays for them (i didn’t, i only ever read over the sample to prove my point). With the constant debut of a new one with horridly obvious porn titles, I honestly fear for the erotica genre.

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Categories: Reading, Writing
  1. dragodrachedragao
    July 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I actually read some of that shit and I spend minutes upon minutes trying to compose myself after laughing so hard.

    • July 8, 2013 at 1:39 am

      I can’t really even find it funny at this point. I’m just irritated to see it.

  2. lillianmackenzierhine
    May 18, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Reblogged this on Lilly Mac's Blog.

  3. lillianmackenzierhine
    May 18, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I got one of these “porn” books for review purposes and I couldn’t get past the first few pages. I told another author about it and my description was so bad that she BOUGHT the book just to see. Terrible.

  4. May 18, 2014 at 3:44 am

    I really learnt something here. I recently also to the knowledge the knowledge that there is also a big difference between erotic romance and erotic. I nearly gave an author a hernia when I called their books erotica. LOL. Could you give me a definition for these two Lilly?

  5. CiaraBallintyne
    May 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    This was interesting – I am hard against ‘gratuitous’ sex scenes in any genre of fiction, and I include erotica. I’ve copped some backlash against that, but I maintain that even an erotica story benefits if the sex scenes are critical to advancing the plot, rather than just thrown in gratuitously. This kind of ties back to what you say – if the sex is gratuitous (no story), it’s porn, not erotica. In that sense, it would seem to behoove erotica authors to ensure that their sex scenes do advance the plot so they can differentiate themselves from the porn.

  6. Monique DeVere
    May 21, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Fab post!

    You’ve certainly cleared this up for me. I guess a lot of romances which contains hot sex will fall under the erotica umbrella without realising it … including my own… 🙂

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