There’s a difference between erotica and porn


Merriam-Webster defines “erotica” as follows:

“works of art or literature that deal with sex and are meant to cause sexual feelings : erotic works”

It then defines “pornography” as follows:

” movies, pictures, magazines, etc., that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement”

The major difference between the two:  Pornography is created with the express intent to get you off and get you off quickly.  Erotica is created to tell a story while including sex scenes, sexuality, and/or innuendo.  Erotica can get you off with the descriptions used in the story, but porn generally puts it out there in front of you (I.E. closeups on the tits, pussy, cock, the act of fucking and the blowjob).

Take my work for example:  In all the work I create, I include a central story, characters, dialogue, sexuality, and eventually something that assists in getting you off.  Many report that they can identify with the characters in my erotic writing.  You’ve heard of “book boyfriends” or “book girlfriends?”  Many readers develop those as a result of reading about the character, getting to know them, seeing how they please another character.

While the scenes in erotica can be seen as pornographic in nature, for the most part, they’re depicting the type of sex that you’d see in real-life.  Some of the descriptions might sound like they were lifted from porn, but erotica doesn’t spend four pages describing how the main character fingered his girlfriend’s pussy, or how intense the blowjob being given to that the male character is.  Additionally, not all sex scenes in erotica are graphically depicted.  Half the fun of reading literature is to draw the picture in your mind.

Since the core mission of porn is to get you off, you’ll see the zoomed up pussy licking, the extreme closeup of the woman deep-throating the other guy, the five minute scene with two people making out that’s more acting than actual chemistry.  You’ll see three different sex positions acted out within a fifteen-minute shoot.

The other element to porn that is often missed upon an audience not aware of the difference is that porn is shot in a studio with a production staff, including a wardrobe, makeup, sound, and lighting team. There is no central story line, no character development, no substantial dialogue, and no connection between the reader and the character.  Characters in erotica don’t wear massive amounts of makeup unless the writer decides it so, they don’t go through a dozen wardrobe changes, and characters are written to have some kind of chemistry, rather than two or three actors in a scene acting for the sole purpose of the viewer’s masturbatorial fantasy.

Much of the vanilla world blurs the lines between the two and sees them as one in the same because as I mentioned, erotic does involve pornographic elements, but it is not restricted to that.  Many of my shorter erotic works go 10-12 pages, and short of some innuendo throughout, the graphic sex scene isn’t until page 10.

If you still feel that erotica and pornography are one in the same, or that erotica is simply a euphemism, compare any pornographic movie with a book written by an erotic author – feel free to let me know what you uncover.

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5 thoughts on “There’s a difference between erotica and porn

  1. I agree. For me, erotica is there primarily to tell a story, it just happens that a major central part of that story is sex.

    Story itself is difficult to define, but I tend to go with something significant happening to one or more characters.

    Porn flips that on its head. It’s primarily there to depict sex – if there’s story at all then it doesn’t deal with a significant event, it’s just there to explain why the sex is happening.

  2. You tell them, sister! And it’s not just the lighting. Story is essential to erotica. I could not have explained the difference between erotica and porn better than you have just done.

  3. I use to make porn and still want to instead i will write it in script and will have thoughts i never knew were in me. On paper anything goes. And its shocking.

  4. I totally agree with you. I have had a similar discussion on my blog and despite how I understand that some people enjoy porn as much as they enjoy erotica, I personally think Erotica is more beautiful and artistic than porn and that’s what makes it special and that’s why I love it. The other this porn is easily forgotten. Whereas when you read some good erotic story, it stays with you for a very long time. I have over read some stories and they aren’t growing old and from time to time I feel the need to check em out again.

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