Guest blogger: Sami Lee
Erotica: The stories revolve around sex, and if you take the sex out of the story, you don’t have a story. Often follows one character’s journey to greater self-discovery through sexual experience.
Romance: Focuses on a man and a woman falling in love and working toward building a monogamous relationship in what is called a Happy Ever After (HEA).
Erotic romance: Think of romance as the framework in which you can put a whole bunch of elements from erotica and jumble them around to suit the characters or the story. In erotic romance the sexual relationship is vital to the characterisation and plot development; however, unlike erotica, the story moves two (or more) people toward a relationship in either a HEA or HFN (Happy For Now).
Mummy porn: oh please, let’s not go there.
Some might argue that the rise of erotic romance has blurred the lines between erotica and romance. From the above definitions I think we can agree that’s true. This is never more clearly demonstrated than in a ménage a trois themed story.
In 2009 I wrote my first ménage themed erotic romance, called Chasing Sunset. That novella is an erotic romance, not erotica, because it culminates in a HEA for a couple, even though the journey to that HEA involves the heroine having a sexual experience with someone other than her primary partner. Some readers might find this unpalatable, and that’s fine. I was once one of those readers, which was the chief reason I wrote Chasing Sunset. I wanted to explore my own scepticism about this type of story and its inclusion in the romance umbrella. Initially I thought if one of the protagonists was sexually active with anyone else during the course of the story, it’s not a romance because they’re not monogamous. But is it cheating if your significant other says it’s okay—encourages you in fact? Is infidelity about sex, or about lying? Deception destroys trust, a fundamental building block of a successful relationship. If the trust and love remain despite the existence of a third person in bed, how has the relationship been damaged? Is it in fact possible to enrich a monogamous relationship in this way? These were the question I wanted to explore. And I had lots of fun doing it, I might add.
More recently I wrote another ménage themed story. You might have seen the post about it here, as it was released on 21 August. Erica’s Choice explores the concept of ménage in a different context—that of three people working their way toward a triad relationship. This was fascinating to write and so different from the experience of writing Chasing. It was so much more complicated to ensure those people got a HEA that was satisfying for each and every one of them. It was also the first time I’d written a book that included male/male sexual contact. I’m all about pushing my own boundaries, it seems. That’s when I feel most alive.
Which is why I think erotic romance is the perfect genre for me. When I’m pushing a boundary or broadening my mind, I am exhilarated. When I’m in my world of romance, where every girl gets her man, I always have a smile on my face. And when I’m with my fellow erotic romance authors, I feel as though I’ve found my tribe.
Thanks for having me today. If you want to find out more about me or my books you can find me at these places:
signed, Sami Lee
erotic romance author
(not purveyor of mummy porn)