Are We Earning Our Hussy Image?


I’m starting to wonder if I’m becoming a prude in my old age. Romance writers complain a lot about the rest of the world not “respecting” the genre, its popularity, etc. Have you hit the bookstores lately? Checked out the excerpts (mine included) posted on loops and websites? Yes, I know, erotica vs. erotic romance blah blah blah. But is there a kernel of truth in the critiques? I flipped through an anthology last night and realized there’s no debating the fact I was looking at soft porn. Well, not so soft in a few cases. Big NY publisher. That’s fine, legal I think, and we supposedly live in a free society. I’m struggling a little though, because I never set out to write soft porn, and there can be no doubt it’s selling, big time. Sure, you can wrap it in a lovely story and call it erotic romance or romantica or whatever you like… Anyone struggling with their own comfort zone these days? Writing hotter and hotter to try to sell? Hmmnnn. Gotta figure this one out, cause personal boundaries are very important.

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7 thoughts on “Are We Earning Our Hussy Image?

  1. Jen says:

    Mmmm interesting question. I write what I like to read. Of course, I like “soft porn”. If it’s wrapped up in pretty ribbons and has a HEA, I like the sex scenes. It’s the gratuitous one scene after another that is really gross. The story sells the sex scene, not the other way around IMHO.

  2. Ciar Cullen says:

    Yes, I agree with you on all counts.

  3. Natalie Damschroder says:

    Anyone else struggling with their own comfort zone these days? Writing hotter and hotter to try to sell?

    IMO, no one should EVER do this, whether it’s writing erotic romance or inspirational romance. If it’s not in your comfort zone, it will show. Plus, you’ll be miserable trying to write it.

    In a general sense, I don’t think anyone should write something just because they think it will sell. One should only write what they REALLY want to write.

  4. Lyn Cash says:

    Ciar, you nut. Just read what you posted on my blog and howled laughing. *snort* Left you a reply, if you’re interested.

    I agree with both Jen and Natalie – and with you as well. I think that’s why I write under so many different pseudonyms – I rather like being trashy at times, but I have to have a plot and characterization, or I don’t feel I’m accomplishing anything as a writer when I’m doing erotic romance.

    Ditto for the mainstream…everyone has an opinion, and if all we do is expound because we are in love with our own words, where’s the meat? Plot? Characters?

    Ditto for the male-male books, which I was SHOCKED to find that I enjoy writing – as long as it’s a romance first and the eroticicsm takes second place.

    Good blog today.

    Have you seen Smart Bitches today? OMG – talk about some readers and writers getting on their soap boxes as to whether what we do is art.

    Anyway – have a great day. Thanks for stopping by – enjoyed your humor.

  5. Shelley Munro says:

    Great question, Ciar. I write the type of stories I want to read. My tastes have changed slightly and at the moment, it’s hot with lots of sex and love scenes. Sometimes I get sick of writing love scenes so I have books that are sensual as well as erotic romances. My personal taste is to have lots of plot with my love scenes, lots of bodies, baddies with guns and the like. I’m not keen on some of the books that have loves scenes of fifty pages, but that’s me. Other readers like books like this. The main thing is to stick to your comfort zone and vision. Be true to yourself and if that makes for a hussy then sobeit 🙂

  6. Kendra Clark says:

    You’re so right!My short stories are pretty hot, because there isn’t a lot of room for relationship building, but in my full length, I really want it to be about the relationship. To me, if the reader doesn’t care about their story, why should they care if they have sex or not? I don’t know, I just think I’ll always want the romance aspect of it in the story.

  7. Angela James says:

    you know, Sam Winston and I had a long debate about this last year, her saying that it is pornt, me arguing vehemently against. But now, I’d qualify my answer to say “it depends on the book and the author”. Because some of the books I read, yeah, I think plot and characterization suffer for sex. It’s the skillful authors who can do both. But you know, it’s the sex that sells these days. No matter how many readers say they want plot and characters. Well, sex and paranormal. Combine the two and you’ve got a winning combination 😉

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