Sunday, March 2, 2008

What do you want or expect from an erotic romance?

Erotic romances—Why do you read them and what do you want or expect when you do?

I keep telling myself I should blog more. But I never do. Why am I blogging today? Because a question on a group on which I lurk put me in the blogging mood. The writer asked why most of the IR (interracial) romances mentioned were erotic ones. Then the writer wondered if all such readers were interested in was sex without character development. Mention was made of characters having sex in the first chapter of a book—as if that were a bad thing. :-)

I write erotic romances. But you knew that already. Didn’t you? :-) You didn’t? Hmm. Clearly you haven’t been visiting me at my Yahoo Group, Love Bytes or my own neglected blog. Why not? What? Because it is neglected? Hmm. Good point, but let’s get back to the subject of this blog—erotic romances.

The writer’s reference was to IR erotic romances in particular, nevertheless, it could be asked of readers of any genre of erotic romance. Are readers who read erotic romance only interested in sex at the expense of character development? When I asked the question on my Yahoo Group (You know the one you’re going to visit after reading this blog. Right?), those who responded made no apology for reading erotic romance, while clearly stating their insistence on character development. Not a single reader expressed a preference for sex for its own sake. They enjoyed not having the bedroom closed in their face, but they wanted the sexual relationship between the hero and heroine to enhance the plot—not replace it.

In my response to the writer, I indicated that I allowed my characters to decide when they will make love. I’ve written books where that happened very early in the book. I’ve also written books where the hero and heroine only make love after they’ve gotten to know each other. I also pointed out if sex was the sole consideration of the readers in question, they could very well read straight erotica. I think the very fact that they’re choosing erotic romance is indicative of a desire for a satisfying love story that is enhanced by the couple’s love making.

So those of you who read erotic romance and who (for some strange reason are not members of my Yahoo Group), what’s your opinion? What do you expect or want when you read an erotic romance? Do you read it strictly for the sex? Do you want a plot and character development with the sex? Are you bothered or turned off if the heroine and hero make love very early in the book?

Marilyn Lee


Jane said...

Like you, I read sweet romances sometimes. In those, I don't expect sex. On the other hand, when I read an erotic romance, I do expect sex.

It doesn't have to happen early in the book, but I want much more than just sexual tension. I want actual sex--along with a great plot and relationship between the couple falling in love.

maribellows2008 said...


You should blog more. Many of your fans love to have you share your thoughts and opinions with us.

As to why I read erotic romance. I read it because you write it. I enjoy your style and subject manner. Lots of authors write romance and even erotic romance. But you've been writing about subjects other authors didn't. I love that you were one of the first to write man on man erotic sex scenes and make them sexy for me. The same with bbw. Before your The Fall of Troy, I'd never imagined a full-figured woman could be viewed of the object of a hunky male's desire.

And I love that you were first one the first authors to write IR erotic romance. So for me, if you write it, I'll read and buy it.


Phyllis said...

Good Morning, Marilyn,

I am a long standing member of your group, and am glad to see you "out and about."

Excellent points from the other Ladies.

You were my first interracial with The Talisman, my first BBW with The Fall of Troy, my first vampire, my first m/m and I could go on with the "firsts" but they all had character development to them, not just sex. I'm not actually "turned off" but I might not continue to read that story right then, but put it to the side until I "needed" just a mindless story.

I need a plot and characters to keep me interested. I need to develop my brain. I love the way you write and I love your characters. Keep up the great work.

AndiG said...

After years of reading romances that didn't really give me what I want, I'm delighted to discover erotic romance. I like to read it and don't feel any need to make excuses for wanting to read about the hero and heroine making love sooner instead of later.

If I wanted to read romances that dance around sex between a couple, I'd read sweet romance. If some writers don't understand it or don't get it, let them write what they do get and understand.

Keep writing what you write. There are those of us who love it just the way you write it.

About Me said...

Thanks for the feeback, Jane.


About Me said...

Thanks for stopping by Mari. It's support like yours that keep me writing when I'd rather be playing video games. :-)


About Me said...

Good morning, Phyllis

Thanks so much for your support over the years and for you comments on the blog.

I appreciate both.


About Me said...

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and give your input, Andi.


Jay said...

I thorouhgly enjoy reading erotic romances. I expect lots of hot, knee-trembling sex but I also expect a believable plot and a promising relationship between the hero and heroine. I wouldn't want to read a book stuffed full of sex featuring characters who are going nowhere and who I could care less about.

Marilyn Lee said...

I think most of those who read erotic romance share your view, Jay.

Thanks for sharing it.


Mechele Armstrong said...

I want it all *grin*. Hot steamy sex so I know "IT" happened (nothing bothers me more when I don't know for sure the event really happeend) and characters that I live with. I don't just read for the sex but I do love mushy scenes. But I have to care about the characters for the scenes to really resonate with me.

I think it all depends on the story. If the characters make it work to have sex in the first chapter, I can roll with that and follow them through.

Marilyn Lee said...

Very well put, Mechele.



limecello said...

Hi Marilyn,
Well these are my 2 cents. I definitely want plot and character development in erotic romance. I expect a story, and one that is believable. If I wanted straight sex, no story no character or plot, I'd read erotica, not erotic romance. Of course, the sex is great too - which is why I like erotic romance. I'm surprised someone said that readers weren't interested in character development, to be honest.

Marilyn Lee said...

Hi Limecello

The question was asked about i/r romance in particular. The writer wondered why most of the published I/R books were erotic in nature. The writer then wondered if all readers of this genre were interested in was sex without character development.

I generally don't reply to such questions, but felt the need to respond to what I considred a baseless assumation.

In my reply to the writer, I made the same point as you--that if such readers didn't want character development as well, they would read erotica instead of erotic romance.

Thanks for sharing your comments.


nascarandbeans said...

I dont mind early sex in a book... i adore reading erotica BUT, there must be a storyline or plot and character development in there.. it must make me want to keep turning the pages to see where the characters go in life..if two strangers have sex in a motel one night never to meet again.. whats the point of a story?

Marilyn Lee said...

Well put, Nascarandbeans.

Thanks for your input.


TJ Michaels said...

I like steaming, scorching, toe curling sex! However, I don't like it without some kind of emotional connection or tension between the people having it. I'm one of those folks who has to have a strong plot. Throw in some suspense and a few "I can't believe he/she did that" moments, and I'm in heaven!

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CARINIAN'S SEEKER, V.C.O.E. Bk 1 ~ CAPA 2007 Nominee
SERATI'S FLAME, V.C.O.E. Bk 2 ~ In Print June 2008
FERAL FASCINATION, Ellora's Cave ~ Now In Print
WILD WINTER, Ellora's Cave ~ Now In Print
HATSEPT HEAT, V.C.O.E. Bk 3, Samhain Publishing ~ July 2008
JAGUAR'S RULE, Pocket Books Anthology ~ Feb 2009

Marilyn Lee said...

Toe curling sex. I can relate, T J. :-)