A little bit of a rant. Sorry!
My new toy is a dieselpunk adventure story that also happens to have lots of graphic sex in it.
I’ve read a small amount of romance and erotica: enough to know I don’t care for it. Not because I don’t like sex or romance, which I do, but because I was dissatisfied with the “plots.” And I mean “plot” in the most generous definition possible. Plot = a thing happened. Most erotica and romance have “plots” that kind of go like this:
Jane just broke up with her boyfriend. Oh noes! How will she ever be a whole and complete woman without a man? Oh hey look, Studly McManlypants just moved in next door! Jane’s totes going to go jump on his dick and he will complete her.
I wanted scifi erotica. I looked. I found “boning in space,” which is not what I was looking for. Sure, Zero G sex sounds fun (albeit a tad dangerous), but where was the scifi?
Alien life forms? Sure, but they all looked human (and the one with the magic penis turned out to actually be a human).
Cool technology? Spaceships are cool, and those existed in the story, but they were just backdrop.
Anything at all in the plot that was a hallmark of a scifi story? No. Not at all. Just “hey look some buff guy in a spaceship! Let’s get biz-AY!”
I’ve been tirelessly searching for “intellirotica,” or intelligent erotica. I haven’t found anything yet.
First of all, in my research for what erotica even is, I’ve determined that a lot of the books billed as “erotica” aren’t actually erotica at all. They’re just porn. According to the Interwebs messiah, the Mighty Google, the difference between erotica and pornography (in literature as well as film, photographs, paintings, etc) is that erotica is sexually-stimulating content that has high-art aspirations, whereas pornography is sexually-stimulating content that just wants to make you sploosh into a sock.
Of course, beauty (or porno) is in the eye of the beholder. Something I might consider erotica would be decried as porn by someone more conservative than I. For example:
I think this is tasteful. She’s just hanging out on a couch. She’s not being obscene. Her plastic surgeon ought to fix that botched right boob job, but otherwise there’s absolutely nothing wrong here.
As opposed to:
You know what? I’m not putting something I’d consider porn into this post. This is a family-friendly blog, after all! Okay, not entirely, but still. No porn. Go look it up yourself. It’s not difficult to find porn on the internet.
Something I’ve been told by erotica authors and fans is that in order to count as erotica, a book’s plot must have sex in it. That is, the book isn’t about swashbuckling, and then you throw in some graphic sex for no reason. The sex needs to be plot-essential, which means it has a direct impact upon the development of characters or storyline.
Great! I want that! I want a plot that is not about sex, but has sex in it. Does that make sense? No? Shit.
For example, I read an erotica book about an aspiring author who couldn’t write sex scenes, so she went to a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting to get a better idea of how to write sex. First of all, that’s a stupid idea, but I’m not here to complain about the weak-ass plot of that book. Second, she ends up meeting some hottie that she eventually ends up (surprise!) boning.
But there’s no build-up to their relationship. No chemistry. Nothing else going on. If you removed the sex, or her pining over what’s-his-face, you wouldn’t have a book. You’d have like a thousand words, tops. And the ending? He tells her that he loves her, and her life is complete. Ohhh what a great message! The only way to achieve happiness is to have a hot boyfriend with an enormous wiener who is inexplicably devoted to your insufficient, weird self.
I need more than that. I need to know more. I’m tired of a heroine who is just a clumsy, awkward, stupid mannequin that is designed for the reader to slip into. I’m tired of “bad boys” who have only two redeeming qualities: physical attractiveness and a comically oversized dick. I want to read about sex that’s realistic, too. Oh my GAWD the sex in these erotica books is laughable.
Anyway, my fruitless search for intellirotica has led me to believe that, like the majestic Sasquatch, it is comfortably lost and playfully elusive. I’m sure it exists somewhere. I just can’t find it.
I thought, “Well if no one is writing intelligent erotica, maybe you should! There’s got to be a market for it!”
Half of me responded with, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”
The other half said, “It probably can’t even be done. Why drive yourself crazy?”
Shut up, second half.
I’m writing, plugging along, adding in my sexy-sexy-sex-times, but I might end up going back later and removing them. Or not. There have got to be people who want to be stimulated in both their brain AND their no-no parts, right?