A favorite blogger brought up an interesting question today and it got me going so much I thought I’d post my reply here as well.
The question: Given the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, would you ever write erotica?
I never thought about it much until I needed to add sex scenes to my current book. (I say needed because I felt it added to the story.) I have a love/hate relationship with erotica. I’ve read a few erotic books and, generally, don’t like them simply because it is like watching porn—people pretend to care about a story line, but it is really just a device to cover why people are flocking to the movie in the first place. How many porn moves are there that have a true plot line, well developed characters, great dialogue, etc? Not many. (Or so I am guessing.)
However, there is a time and a place for everything. The first sex scene I wrote in Love’s Forbidden Flower is only mildly graphic. To do more with it felt forced, and it would have taken away from the story. The second sex scene some would call erotica, though in my mind it is more the cerebral experience of one person. I made that scene more intense on purpose because the characters and relationship I wanted to convey dictated it. I easily could have made it more graphic, but that is not what I wanted.
So Erotica: Hate the general use, love when it has a purpose.
So could I write erotica? Sure. Would I? Unlikely.
Every now and then a publisher takes a chance on “safe taboo” and people go nuts. I’ve written a romantic love story based on forbidden taboo and no one wants to touch it. The market isn’t ready. I want to think that 50 Shades of Grey could change that, but it is safe taboo and mainstream publishers are still being safe. If readers want to find that 51st shade, they need to read Indie.
Oh, and Shades of Gray is a Monkees song—just incase you missed the reference.