What is the difference you ask? Well, there is a fine line that can be drawn between the two. It’s not just about the sex and the way it is presented because both types of romances write it and write it well. The biggest difference I see is what drives the story line. Romance thrives on love and erotica thrives on sex. You take a romance minus love it’s no longer a romance. You take an erotic romance minus the sex it’s no longer an erotic romance. Let’s talk about what makes these two writing styles so different and the things that can cross over to make them similar.
The dictation between sensual romance and erotic romance are two very different types of words. Sensual romance in many cases uses the tame terminology romance has used since the beginning. Tame meaning euphemisms. Euphemisms-The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive. Here are a few examples of words used in romance to describe a sex scene. (cock, center, sheath, thrusting, pumping, bundle of nerves)
Now let’s talk about the erotic romance. Erotic romance takes the words people use today and waves them proudly for all to see. Modern/urban colloquial terms are the cornerstone of erotic romance. Colloquial- characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal. Here are a few examples of words used in erotic romance to describe a sex scene. (Cock, dick, cunt, pussy, twat, fucking)
There is a wide range between the two. Sensual romance tries to stay on the subtle side while erotic romance tends to go full force, no holds barred. Sensual romance is the equivalent of an R rating, while erotic romance is the equivalent of an X rating.
Let’s talk about what makes a good sensual romance novel. The pieces that must be there in order for a reader to walk away saddened that they reached the end. Plot and characterization are key, in a great sensual romance. You want the reader to believe in your characters and their situations. If they don’t the whole novel is a lost cause. The reader needs to believe these people could actually fall in love. You can’t have a romance without LOVE. Love is the backbone of every good romance. Without love it’s no longer a romance. You can have a romance novel with no sex but you can’t have one with no love. In romance the relationship drives the story. It’s all about the happily ever after when writing or reading romance.
Now let’s talk about what makes a good erotic romance. Even though sex is a key factor in erotic romance and you can’t have erotica without it. The sex isn’t just about adding as many hot, juicy, steamy scenes as you can. You have to think about the big picture. What about the characters? Is the sex true to the characters you created? Does it make sense for them to be having sex? You can’t take the sex lightly. In an erotic novel, you have to be serious about the sex. A good erotic novel should highlight the characters sexual journey. The idea of journey assumes character growth, movement, and the progress the characters make in the story. Ideally the sex will take the reader somewhere and move things along in the story. “Why the heck are they having sex again?” That isn’t good in an erotic novel.
Here are some publishers of romance and erotic romance:
Publishers of Sensual Romance
Publishers of Erotic Romance
Wild Rose-Scarlet Rose
Amber Quill-Amber Heat
Red Sage Publishing
I think both take a lot of effort to write. They should both be treated with respect because these stories come to life in an authors mind. Writing in any form is an art. I think it all come down to your comfort level and what you are willing to accept. I love reading a wide range of genres whether they are sweet or hot and steamy . They all have a place in the publishing industry. I hope you all enjoyed my take on sensual romance versus erotic romance. You never know, if you’ve never read one, try it you might like it. I will close with what some fellow authors had to say bout this topic.
I think the difference between erotic romance and traditional romance (aside from the obvious erotic like GBLT/BDSM) is that in an erotic romance the sex cannot be omitted. It is a major driving force between the main characters.
The purpose of romance is to touch the reader’s heart and stir emotions. The purpose of erotica is to create sexual feelings in the reader; to turn them on.