Random Thoughts of a Romance Blogger: What Makes It Erotic?

What Makes It Erotic?

What makes an erotic romance erotic opposed to the PG version of the same genre. For me it all comes down to the math’s.

Erotic Romance = (High Heat Level + Lotsa Time Spent Banging) Kinky Stuff

Most the time, you won’t need to give this much thought, you know if the book culminates in one sex act and that’s it, then it’s going to be contemporary romance, no matter how explicit and hot that sex scene is. After all, you’ve just read 250 pages and this is the first time an in-the-flesh penis has popped up, no matter what the naughty things the penis does, this is still not an erotic romance. What you have here is:

Contemporary Romance = High Heat Level + Minimal Time Spent Banging

However, maybe there’s a few scenes scattered through out. Maybe every few chapters Mr Penis and the Twins come out to play. But…the scenes are brief, some ambiguous prose is used. Lots of flowers blooming and things quickening and quivering. Chances are,  this is also just a contemporary romance. In this equation what you have is:

Contemporary Romance = Low Heat Level + Lotsa Time Spent Banging

Now, if the book starts with the hero or heroines hands or tongue diving into any kind of orifice and that’s just the start, you may be on to an erotic romance. Especially when the heat level is on a steady high and they couple spend most the time partially dressed, undressed or thinking about undressing. Then there’s the kink. Lets face it, as soon as anal sex comes up, you got yourself an erotic romance. As soon as the hero reveals his St Andrews Cross, erotic romance. As soon as the heroine reveals her penchant for being watched…and they follow through. Erotic romance. So, it all comes back to math’s…

Erotic Romance = (High Heat Level + Lotsa Time Spent Banging) Kinky Stuff


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Aly P

I love how you explain it :))

Kathleen Bylsma

Mr. Penis and the twins! Snort! 😉

Amy R

Thanks for the post.

Nicki S

I’ve noticed a trend lately in my PNR books of two sex scenes in a book, and it leaves me wanting more. So any hook-up beyond those two would probably bump it into a paranormal erotic romance classification? Seems I prefer the erotica, but still like a good plot. Thanks for your “random thoughts”; always a must-read for me.

Marika Weber

I totally agree with you. But why do MOST authors label their stuff erotic when it’s not? Bugs the hell out of me.


Well said