Pornography vs. Romance?
Picture the setting: Ninety five degrees, just starting to cool down with the sun setting, four couples (friends for many, many years) sitting around eating pizza and salad, all our kids, ranging in age from 18 to 8, in the pool.
There are about 3 different coversations going on at any one time, conversations that shift direction like the wind, drawing in different participants and tossing out others.
Something along the lines of..."That's great book material. Joan, you could write a story around...blah, blah, blah". Of course what always happens in this situation is that others piggyback onto the idea. "Oh, yeah, and then blah, blah, can blah, blah." Etc., etc.
Somewhere in the merry-go-round of ridiculous ideas my friend says, "blah, blah, like that porno scene in your first book, blah, blah...etc."
Whoa! I say, "Porno? I don't write porno. There is no porno in any of my books."
She laughs it off and says, "Well, pretty close."
And then the wind blows and the conversation shifts in a completely different direction.
Now, more than 24 hrs later, I'm still smarting from that completely unintentionally offensive comment. I know her, and I know it was just something that came out in relation to whatever bizzare, unimportant conversation we were having at the time in which nothing really mean anything. (Although I often wonder if "slips" like that mean more than not.)
And it got me thinking...I am rather descriptive in my love scenes. (I'm feeling the need for a little justification here -- is my insecurity showing?) Not more descriptive, mind you, than some of my peers. Definitely not more descriptive than some published RS authors I've read.
And that thought quickly digressed into, am I writing porno? When my friends read my books (when my books get published, of course) will they think it's porno? Will I be known around town as the woman who writes those porno suspense books? (That's going to be a new genre by the time I get published.)
I guess I never considered this topic because I don't write erotica -- and erotica novelists are typically the ones fighting the battle over perception of erotica vs. porn.
There's that typical argument among writers that "if the characters grow and change during a love scene, it has a purpose and is therefore not gatuitous sex (i.e. porn)". But what about a reader's perspective? They aren't pulling scenes apart and analyzing them for the character's emotional growth. They're seeing sex. They might think it's "meaningful" sex, but still...
I don't know. I'm a little confused on the topic.
What's your view? Have you ever had to justify the level of sexual content in your novels so you didn't look like some sex addict using writing as a hobby to fulfill your strange fantasies? Or is that something you've never even considered?
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