When I tell folks what genres I like to write (erotica and steampunk and horror) I always get the same questions. What makes you want to write horror? What the hell is steampunk anyways? But my favorite question is: What’s the difference between pornography and erotica?
My answer to this age old question will surprise some of you, will anger some of you and the rest of you will just scratch your head and wonder what the hell I meant by it.
So, what’s the difference between pornography and erotica?
Thanks for reading my entry today, and next week I shall…
You want a detailed explanation? Okay then, but hold onto your hats, cause like I said, some of you aren’t going to like it. Remember that the following is just my opinion. The rest of the erotica community might disagree. *shrugs*
Lots of folks say the difference is simply gender based. That men like the hardcore nature of porn while women enjoy the subtlety of erotica. That may be true for most folks, but not all. I know men who dote on erotica, but don’t like the movies a bit. And I know women who turn their noses up at the written word but will pop a good, old-fashioned porn in the DVD player just about every day. And I of course know both men and women who like neither, preferring their arousal to be real world based thank you very much. (More porn for the rest of us, I say!)
So gender based? No, I don’t think so. Sure more women read erotica than men, but the difference between the two isn’t as simple as just being a male or female thing.
Pornography and erotica are essentially, at heart, the same beast. They are both meant to titillate, to arouse, to get one in the mood for bedroom activities. Yet while porn is visually based, erotica is emotionally based. Yes, I said emotionally based. Think of the pair as one being a quickie and the other a slow night of passionate lovemaking.
Pornography is a swift slap and tickle with your libido, a fast track to get the juices flowing in all the right directions, which in the end leaves you with the passion to fuck just about anything that will stand still long enough for you to molester it.
On the other hand, erotica is a slow burning feast for the senses, an engaging playground for your mind as well as your body, teasing your mental and physical libido into an a mutually aroused state that leaves you breathless for more.
Erotica allows the reader an emotional investment that you can’t get from pornography. You don’t care about the characters in porn, but you rejoice in the coupling of erotica. Who gives two shits if come busty blond we have no connection with fucks a mailman we’ve never met? Sure it’s hot, sure the bouncing tits and rock hard abs are nice to watch, but once we are done with our… ahem… business… we press stop and forget about it until we want a little help getting off again.
But if we learn all about the busy blond's wretched divorce and how the mailman is afraid of intimacy due to his late wife’s untimely demise… THEN we are fighting for them to get it on. When they do we are so glad for them, and only too glad to peep upon them doing it. And of course when they are finished we are just getting started, so we carry that same emotionally charged erotic sensation to our own lover, who reaps the benefit of our impassioned state.
And that’s where porn and erotica share the same sheets. Once the characters get it on we stick around to watch, and get off in the process. Written words of "heaving bosoms" and "thrusting manhoods" are no less pornographic than a full on visual X rated material. Just because it’s written down, doesn’t make it any less naughty. In fact, to me it’s more naughty. I find reading about a daisy chain far hotter then watching one.
But, then again, that’s just me.
There you have it, my simple opinion, like it or lump it.
Now… ask me another one…