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So, the bro has a blog about books and comics etc that deal with superheroes or people doing super stuff…it includes straight super heroes, your super spies like Bond, James (omg Daniel Craig is hot) Bond, and your vampire slayer type stuff.

His romance category was very sad and consisted only of an old Nora Book…Night Shadow or Night Shield (I get it mixed up). So I have been giving him suggestions for other romance stuff, which given his particular interest, has leant heavily to the paranormal end of the genre.

In the course of our IM conversations I’ve have smacked him for his tendency to call romance porn.

Now what is pornography vs erotica vs romance is a sliding scale and different folks will have different value judgments on this. And many wiser heads than mine have attempted to define these things. But for the education of the bro, here’s my definitions.

Pornography. Is all about sex. No-one particularly cares who the characters are, the characters probably don’t care who the characters are. You don’t care what happens after the sex. The sex is the point.

Romance. The relationship is the point. There’s a happy ever after (HEA) ending. You should believe the characters will be together forever. Without the HEA, it’s technically not a romance. You follow the characters over the course of the story and care about the relationship between the hero and heroine or heroine and heroine or hero and hero depending on what floats your boat. There can be sex. But it’s not the point of the story. Romance can range from Betty Neels to steamy, steamy, steamy but it’s the relationship that should give you the satisfaction at the end. As a huge, sweeping, massive generalisation, a lot of guys don’t get romance. That’s okay, a lot (again, I’m GENERALISING) of girls don’t get hard SF. Or aussie rules. Or maybe guys get distracted by the sex…they can be easily distracted by that ; ) If you’re a guy who loves romance or a girl who loves hard SF and aussie rules, then that’s good too!

Erotica. Sex is still the point but you should be at least interested in the characters and the story. There doesn’t have to be a happy ever after.

Erotic romance/romantica. Will have a LOT of sex. In probably more than the average permutations. The plot probably revolves around the sex to a fairly significant degree. But there will be a relationship (though again this is open to some unusal permutations…menage a trois which don’t occur often in straight romance, multiple partners…(Gail Dayton has a cool Luna series with polygamy) and despite all the sex that relationship still should have a happy ever after and the achievement of that HEA is still the satisfying thing.

That’s my take. Others have different views, I’m sure.

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