Please, my erotic romance novel. Now, while my husband has always been incredibly supportive of my writing, he has never been interested in reading it. I get it. If he were writing a fantasy epic or sci-fi novel, I probably wouldn’t want to read that, either.
But because it was there and contained words like “cock” and “fucking”, he read it. And this is what he had to say about it. “Huh. It’s kind of like porn for women, eh?”
Well, maybe. On the one hand, sure, they have a lot of similarities.
Like porn, erotic romance and erotica in general are all about sex. And like porn, it is designed to stimulate and arouse. People read it for the same reasons they look at porn – to be titillated, to be inspired, and perhaps, as an escape from real life. Some may also read it to explore sexual avenues that are taboo in real life. So far, so much like porn.
But here’s the critical difference: No humans were harmed in the making of this book.
What I mean is, erotic romance is words on a page. Fantasy, pure and simple. Porn is real people having real sex for a lot of real reasons that have nothing to do with sex at all.
Having been provoked by my husband’s off-hand remark, and being 10% nerd, I decided to do a little research. The first thing I found was that most of the statistics and research around porn had to do with the users, not the providers. That, in itself, is interesting. What does that say about our attitudes toward people in the sex industry?
But after a bit more Googling, skimming and sifting, this is what I found.
82% of top-rated porn scenes contain aggressive sex acts. 94% of those acts are committed against a woman, mostly by men. But only 9.9% of sex scenes contained behaviors such as kissing, laughing, caressing or verbal compliments.
Things can get a little rough on the pages of a erotic romance novel, too, especially if it veers toward BDSM. But there is always plenty of gentle, loving behavior, too. And again, everything that happens, happens strictly in the mind of the author. No one really gets hurt.
Of course, you could argue that porn actresses chose to be there. Not only that, they’re getting paid, and paid a lot more than their male counterparts. Besides, they must like it. Otherwise they’d be teachers or doctors or lawyers, right?
What do you think? Is erotic romance porn for women?