You Know It When You See It: Romance, Erotica, and Porn

The Escapades

In a post 50-Shades world (and, indeed, in a pre-50 Shades world, but let’s not quibble), one thing in romance publishing is for sure: things are getting hot in here. But not all sizzle is created the same, so when it comes down to getting down, what is the difference between romance, erotic romance, erotica, and porn?

Romance: For all its bad reputation, romance is not synonymous with sex. There are whole subcategories of romance where the characters don’t have sex. There are also whole subcategories where the characters have sex, but it doesn’t get written about. There’s also romance where the characters go at it like rabbits and all the gory minutia are shared in deep, graphic detail. This is because romance isn’t defined by sex. A genre romance novel is defined by two things: a strong emphasis on a romantic relationship, and a happy, emotionally uplifting ending. If…

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