Do you know what some of the most commonly asked questions are? Genre questions. Either asking us what genre a certain book or series is in, or what exactly is that genre. After spending so much time immersed in the world of romance, it has become second nature to instantly catergorise books into their respective genre, or sub-genre. Just a glance at the blurb, or even just the cover then I can tell you what genre it will be. Of course, not everything is black and white and not every book is so easy to label, but a majority are.
We have previously done a very concise guide about genres giving an overview of each, but we decided to take each genre and do a more general and indepth guide. In this, we will tell you the definition of the genre, what types of characters you may expect to see, popular troupes within a genre, some of our favourite authors and series within this genre. And anything else we can think of! By the end of the guide you should be able to tell what book is what and have a few recommendations to pick up.
The seventh chapter in this guide is *drum roll please*
The definition of erotic romance can be some what subjective. But, the general gist is, is that the story focuses on sex as well as romance. In a lot of cases, the different kinks of the characters, such as BDSM, sex outside, voyeurism, menage, anal…anything that has a substantial amount of these kinks and goes way beyond the realms of vanilla will get put in this category.
A romance where sex is an important aspect of the plot. The sex in the book will be explicit and help to drive the romance between the main characters forward.
So, to break it down a little more, the essential characteristics of an erotic romance novel
- There will be no fade to black sex scenes. The sex scenes in the book will be explicit and frequent.
- The sex will be integral to the plot and/or the development of the romance
- The characters will be adults
- There will be a HEA at the end of the book
In my essential characteristics, I also put there will be “a lot” of sex. Obviously this is a subjective measure. Maybe two extended and really hot sex scenes seems like a lot in the context of the book, therefore you categorise this as erotic romance where perhaps another person wouldn’t. What seems erotic to one person will not necessarily be the same for another. However, there will be no sweet romances in erotic romance, the emphasis will be on the sexual relationship as much as, if not more, than the romantic one.
There are various sub genres of erotic romance such as sci fi erotic romance, paranormal erotic romance, historical erotic romance…. it’s not just stuck in a contemporary setting.
Spot the difference! Erotic Romance & Erotica/Smut
Now, I am on the opinion that there are two types of erotic novels: erotic romance and erotica/smut and I want to define what the difference is between these types of books.
Erotic romance…the key word here is “romance”, an erotic romance novel will have romance in it. By the end of the book the couple will have formed an emotional bond and a happily ever after, all whilst having a lot of sexy fun. This is essential; erotic romance is a sub-genre of romance and although there will be a lot of sex it should serve the purpose of bring the characters together in a long lasting and meaningful way. Yes it’s sexy as hell, but it isn’t in the kind of “any hole is a goal” mindset, the sex scenes should show an element of emotional chemistry and connection as well as physical.
This is different to smut/erotica it will just be sex normally with little or no pretence of a story nor any attempt at an emotional bond being made between the characters. Often these books will be less than 15o pages – in fact 150 pages would be an epic erotica! And although the line between contemporary romance and erotic romance is blurry, smut and erotic romance are very different creatures. In essence…erotica is porn, it wants to engage your body without trying to engage your emotions.
Why UTC loves Erotic Romance
Of all romance sub-genre, erotic romance is probably disparaged the most. But, sex and healthy attitude and openness to sex is essential to a good romantic relationship. We love that erotic romance promotes this. It’s also a genre that empowers women to enjoy sex and to have their emotional as well as physical needs met. It celebrates people’s bodies and the pleasure they can bring without objectifying them. Also, often the women are in control, even in a BDSM when a woman is a submissive…she chose that, she has often set her boundaries which her partner has to abide by. An great erotic romance is a beautiful thing and here at Under the Covers we love it!
UTC Required Reading List
Here are some great erotic romances we recommend you give a try. If you fancy any straight up fantasy novels let me know in the comments and I will happily unleash a deluge of recommendations!
What are your favourite erotic romances?
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?