First off, sorry about the flashing GIF but it is Idris Elba and I couldn’t resist *strokes screen*. Yes Ladies and Gent’s, I got that judgey statement/question again this week…. “Oh my God, you read PORN?” (a statement followed by me swiftly sighing and smashing my head against desk).
I don’t consider what I read as “porn” but even if I did, what the fuck has it got to do with anyone else? I have no issues with porn but I do have issues with people assuming these books are only porn; they take far more skill to write than any porn story ever has. It’s annoyed me so much this time, I decided to come on here and rant to you lovely people and vent my frustration ….. it’s why you come here right 🙂
So, I decided to try find some justification to my usual “my reading material isn’t porn” reasoning that isn’t my usual “so fuck off” (I get cranky with the judgement, I really do). So I went to the dictionary to look up porn. The Oxford Dictionary gives the definition of porn as;
Pornography : Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement. (Oxford Dictionary)
Huh, well I suppose that some of the scenes within the books can possibly be described as porn if they are taken out of the context of the story. They are definitely graphic (did we all read the excerpts on the Sex Scene Championship?) and are definitely hot. However, these scenes aren’t the whole book and their purpose is not to exclusively just be hot (at least not in romance of any quality). Let’s be honest, if the only thing I wanted was “to stimulate sexual excitement”, I wouldn’t pick up a book and read it for 2 hours, I would just find actual porn on the internet… it’s not hard to do!
Every Erotic book I’ve read has more than sex. It has characters I give a shit about, it has a story that sucks me in and it has some romance. I don’t require a HEA, because not every romance lasts forever, (I know all of mine haven’t!) but I do need a connection between the characters. Even in the books that are classed as Erotica (as they have no HEA) there is a relationship of some sort, an affection or a bond. Reading the sex act itself isn’t the erotic thing for me; it’s the words, the connection and the feelings that really make a scene work.
I want to read about characters, about people and their stories. I chose to read about them within a romantic setting because that’s what I like and sex is often a part of that romance. Do I like the sex scenes? Yes, I do and I’ll make no bones about it. Do they fit the definition of porn? As I mentioned before, took on their own, I suppose they do, as the reader wouldn’t have any emotional connection with the characters and only see the sex. But took within the context of the story? No they don’t. The sex scenes usually advance the story, the purpose of them isn’t purely to titillate but to advance the romance in some way. The titillation is just the extra cherry on the cake and I don’t see anything wrong with that either.
By the ranting of this post, you would think that I’m angry and you’re right, I am.I’m angry that labeling these books with that word often means people don’t read them because it belittles the quality of the writing in them and brings them purely down to sex. But I’m not angry that people judge me, or any erotic readers, for what they ASSUME I’m reading at all. In fact, in the words of the lovely JAckles….