Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) Fifty Shades of Grey discussion


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Porn, ooh sorry I mean Erotica

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message 1: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Louise I am a writer so I often hear about publishers who are calling for submissions.
Lately every second one is a calling for Erotica (with a capital E darlings).
I don't know if this interests anyone else, but I wonder what this mean for our book reading habits. Are we about to be deluged with erotica? Is our age set to become the age of erotica, just like the previous ages of the romantics only with much less clothing?


Ilana l feel like we're already beginning to be swamped by 'Erotica'. I grew up reading 'romance' novels which fell either in the historic or contemporary category however they were less focused on the sex and more about the man overpowering the woman. i feel like in those instances it was really just a handful of scenes that gave us R rated sex.

Erotica now, well everyone seems to be eating it up and really looking for it since it's definitely more graphic in nature and really a better form of escapism.

i feel like we went through the phase of paranormal with vampires, werewolves and what not and now it's just the next stage of things that people want to read so they can get out of their heads a bit more. I'm definitely on the Erotica or Dystopian path ...although they are clearly completely different sides of the spectrum.


message 3: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Louise Great comment Ilana.
So do you think it is just a passing fancy or is it the new benchmark for most genres? Will readers now expect to find graphic scenes in their books in much the same way that movie viewers expect realistic depictions of sex and violence.


Ilana well, i think that there will be an expectation that there will have to be a bit more 'heat' and quite a bit more detail. i feel like the sense of romantic 'love making scenes' written into a book won't be the way of the future for folks that have read 50 shades as a gateway into the genre. I feel like i use other romantic style novels to fulfill a fluffier reading desire, so the expectation i there.

i think that the problem that we run into is that once one author pens something that catches on, there are quite a few 'copy cats' for lack of a better word and that's actually the frame of reference that newer authors will have and try to 'one up' each other. either with how far they take the same Erotica piece (i.e. if you're still going down the dom/sub whips/chains' route) or if it's down another path of fetish or kink.

i want to say that my opinion is that it'll be a fad since i'm not sure that it'll really last terribly long since there's only so far that you can take something to consider it new, but if there are enough GREAT authors writing the material, then it could have longer legs.


Nuran For me erotica has been part if my life a long time, long before fsog, and I fully expect adult books to have an erotic scene or two. I don't mind erotica being popular, as long as there are still good erotica with a good story. I don't class fsog as this.


Siobhan I think it's a little bit a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has gone, you know? All publishers want that next big book, but the mistake is to pick on the trend caused by the last big thing. Maybe a new type of SciFi will be big (like when Hitchhikers came out), maybe pirates, maybe even a book with no people. There's no call for what can become a huge best seller, but putting your money on what's selling right now is a nice safety net until that one sure fire hit comes along.


message 7: by Rhonda (last edited Mar 17, 2013 07:18AM) (new)

Rhonda Louise Siobhan wrote: "I think it's a little bit a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has gone, you know?"

Agreed. I do hope it is a fad just because the benchmark is so low.
Steampunk is getting really popular. I predict the next big seller will be in that genre.


message 8: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Louise Very good point Marie.
And I thought as a society we really were over that "me rich successful Tarzan, you sweet little Jane" thing.


Kerahia PORN, EROTICA... C'est la meme chose...


Wendy Marie wrote: "I really think it can get too clinical turning the story into a biology class more than an interesting book. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was the first erotica I had read. I find that a little ..."

She was not an unwilling sex slaves. She was not kidnapped and sold! This is something that some grown people enjoy to do. I personally dont feel like there is any thing unhealthy in that.

Also on a separate note, people who feel like these books are porn need to pull their prudish head out of the missionary position!!!!


Haidi Well, after reading the fifty shades books, it certainly hasn't left me hanging for more Erotica. I enjoyed the books but would rather loose myself in some amazing fantasy novel than a book about sex any day.

So, even if the market does get flooded with these types of books I probably won't be compelled to pick them up.


Kerahia Wendy wrote: "Marie wrote: "I really think it can get too clinical turning the story into a biology class more than an interesting book. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was the first erotica I had read. I find ..."She was not an unwilling sex slaves. She was not kidnapped and sold! This is something that some grown people enjoy to do. I personally dont feel like there is any thing unhealthy in that.

Also on a separate note, people who feel like these books are porn need to pull their prudish head out of the missionary position!!!!



I agree to that... like i said, porn, erotica, bdsm, sex is sex, once it's with two or more lolzzz willing participants, sex is sex... if you dont like the damn book, leave it alone


Michael I believe that this is the first erotic trilogy I read. Although I have read graphic books before, the plot was centered around the character triumps than the excessive intercourse. As far as what reader expect while reading a novel, that depends on someone's preference. Not everyone loves the same type of book. There are some that love erotic, others detest it.

That is the wonderful thing about opinions, everyone does not share the same taste. I personally think this book had sympathetic characters and concentrated less on the sex but on the story. Even though it did irritate me when almost every page was sex, I looked passed that and saw the character inner struggles.


Kerahia Marie wrote: "Wendy, the added note about sex slaves was not meant to tie into 50 Shades, I should have made that more clear. I know in 50 Shades it was two consenting adults, not a situation of sex trade/ slave..."

Point taken and i agree with you 100.... Not doing any attacking, having different opinion than some... but to i dont see why a book is causing such controversy though... It's a book. I read it, liked it and moved on, why aren't people doing the same.. sheesh... Oh well.. i guess people like making little things a big stress.. like i said and i love saying if they dont like the book.. leave it the hell alone.


Michael Marie wrote: "Michael, it was my first erotic trilogy too.. an eye opener! I agree, when you look past the constant sex, which isn't that unrealistic in a new relationship at that age,( maybe that type of sex is..."

Anatasia irritated me in every book but she was more annoying in the last two. My favorite book was the second one, Christian was more understanding and not as psychotic. He was more human also, his background was interesting and it made me have tremendous respect for him. Anatasia simply annoyed me period, she just was not all that interesting with her constant complaints.


Nuran There's a thin line between erotica and porn.

I can't see how people don't even consider this porn. One or two sex scenes doesn't make a book porn or erotica, but when the majority are sex scenes or sexual acts then yes it could be considered erotica or even porn. People who can't call this porn either need a dictionary or are just as much prudes as people who don't like reading porn, because they're too embarrass to admit they're reading porn. Now, I'm totally okay reading these books, in fact I love some of the erotic books I've read, not fsog though, but I can at least admit what I'm reading.


Sophia Moore I think we're slowly drawing the line between erotica/romance/porn, etc. I think porn is more likely to be a short story. Erotica and romance have to carry you along so you actually care about the characters before they do it.

In my book, I have a fair number of sex scenes, but I know they wouldn't have any tension—or release—without relationships added in.


Michael Nuran wrote: "There's a thin line between erotica and porn.

I can't see how people don't even consider this porn. One or two sex scenes doesn't make a book porn or erotica, but when the majority are sex scenes..."


I don't think it is fair to assume that one needs a dictionary to define what porn is. I personally thought this was basically porn IF you took out the actual plot. I believe this had a plot, although it was very little. Christian background was explored and we got to see why he was so controlling.

As far as admitting what you are reading, I still think that depends on the type of book. Not everyone is going to see the same viewpoints as another one.To suggest otherwise is an assumption that you can't prove. If that was the case, what about the other books that are just as graphic, or they porn as well? In order to answer that, you must first ask the person that is reading it. Not everyone is going to mutually agree, though I think you made a valid point:)


message 19: by Diane (last edited Mar 20, 2013 11:17PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Diane Michael wrote: " I personally thought this was basically porn IF you took out the actual plot. I believe this had a plot..."

I agree with you.

For me, the difference between porn and erotica, is that porn is made for the sole purpose of titillating while erotica goes beyond that. To people who find this more than just a book about sex then it is surely erotica, maybe romance, maybe a book about self-discovery, etc.

Marie wrote: "Maybe instead of leaving the book alone people should look deeper inside to see what inside them is causing the distress over it.
."


Yes, this.
And/or look at the possible problematic contents and discuss how this impacts real life; discussion is key.


Robbie Thornton For me, the distinction between Erotica and porn is easy. Porn is describing sex without any sort of romantic feelings between the couple. Erotica is describing sex either within the confines of a caring relationship or between two people who you know WILL eventually have a caring relationship. That loving relationship (or it's potential) is what the author has to convince me of in the other, less steamy, parts of the story. Unfortunately, I didn't get a loving feeling from the couple in FSoG, but I did see the potential there, so I didn't consider it porn. My problems with FSoG had more to do with the dysfunction of the relationship than it did with the sexual content.

That's not really what I want to address though. I want to address Rhonda's comment about what editors/publishers want these days and whether we are "about to be deluged by erotica".

My opinion: yes we are. Regardless of the fact that other authors have been writing very good (IMHO much better) erotica for years. DH Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover was the first erotica I ever read, and that's been around for about 100 years now. Rosemary Rogers did some fantastic erotica in the late 70's and early 80's, though perhaps not quite as graphic as it's done now, but still enough to have me squirming in my favorite reading chair. More contemporary authors like Lora Leigh and Sarah McCarty write excellent and extremely detailed erotica, with great stories to boot, and have been for at least the last decade. Yet for some reason there are those out there, particularly in the media, who seem to think that FSoG was the first, or groundbreaking, or some such rubbish. Certainly it did mainstream it more, and the "why's" of that still baffle me, but certainly it's popularity was bound to make publishers sit up and take notice of the erotica market among women.

Now what happens? Well, we've seen all the copycat FSoG series coming out already, some by rather gifted authors. I'm equally convinced that at least in some cases, editors have put pressure on these authors to write these books quickly to catch the current FSoG wave, or at least it's wake. I can also see, at least in the next few years, editors refusing to publish romances that aren't erotic enough. That, my friends, is a shame, since I'm sure there will be authors that won't compromise on the point, and some really good manuscripts will go unpublished because they didn't have (or require) detailed humping and bumping. Or (perhaps worse) the authors will bow to the pressure and throw in steamy love scenes that are repetitive and unnecessary, ruining an otherwise good book.

I like reading naughty books. I've liked it for a very long time now. But I can be equally pleased (sometimes more so) by a good romantic plot where I can leave it up to my imagination what goes on behind the bedroom door.

To trash down a good book just to increase sales at the expense of the story is the direction I think we're headed, and that's just a shame. I feel sorry for author's who are uncomfortable writing erotica (for whatever reason) and are going to be pressured to do so just to get published. I also feel sorry for the readers who are going to be forced to follow the trend towards erotica just to get a decent romantic story. Really, everyone loses in this arrangement, at least until the next "big thing" comes along.


message 21: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Louise Robbie wrote: "Really, everyone loses in this arrangement, at least until the next "big thing" comes along.
i>

I think you make a really good point Robbie. As a writer I can refuse to write what I'm not comfortable with or good at, possibly at the expense of a contract. But as readers is there anything we can do to stop the cycle you describe? Perhaps we should be using our buying power to support indies or to seek out alternatives and hidden gems?



Nuran Michael wrote: "I don't think it is fair to assume that one needs a dictionary to define what porn is. I personally thought this was basically porn IF you took out the actual plot. I believe this had a plot, although it was very little. Christian background was explored and we got to see why he was so controlling.

As far as admitting what you are reading, I still think that depends on the type of book. Not everyone is going to see the same viewpoints as another one.To suggest otherwise is an assumption that you can't prove. If that was the case, what about the other books that are just as graphic, or they porn as well? In order to answer that, you must first ask the person that is reading it. Not everyone is going to mutually agree, though I think you made a valid point:) "


I'm only asking for people to consider that it could be seen as porn. One reply up above mine said people who think fsog is porn are prudes, which I find it an unfair statement and assumption.

You can argue that the porn industry admits that to attract and target women they need a story but they still class what they make as porn, story or not story. So by the pom industry standard, fsog can be classed as porn for women. Is the porn industry filled with prudes?? Nope, which makes the prude statement utterly invalid.

I find it humorous people can't even consider it could be class as porn. Don't have to believe it is porn, but people must at least see why it could considered porn without resorting to unfair statement.

I know I made an unfair statement, but I was trying to show the other extreme unfair viewpoint that can be taken.

I don't dispute that there are different viewpoints, I was trying to validate there are different opinions, and you don't have to be a prude to think one way or another. I said there was a thin line, meaning it's quite easy for one person to have one point of view and another to have another point of view of what is erotica and what is porn. It's quite easy to fall on either side of the line or land straight in the middle and find certain books fit both criteria and have issues with it or not be a prude about it.

I believe there is a thin line between erotica and porn, and people shouldn't get angsty about terms people use for a book like fsog.


message 23: by Cami (new)

Cami Balthrop I know everyone is going yo come at me with nails drawn (lol) for saying this but here goes....I couldn't even get thru the sample chapters of faith-based of grey!! I am a lover of erotica text and tasteful erotic pics but I found fifty shades go be nothing but low level writing and just plain dribble! the story of O And valley of the dolls are much better written and just plain great! currently am reading wallbanger and finding it better than fifty shades but still predictable I want SEXY erotic prose with a meaningful story interspersed within the sexy scenes..any suggestions without vampires,shapeshift ers,werewolves and such?


message 24: by Cami (new)

Cami Balthrop that should read fifty shades of grey! my kindle loves to make me appear to be an idiot!


Diane Cami wrote: "I know everyone is going yo come at me with nails drawn (lol) for saying this but here goes....I couldn't even get thru the sample chapters of faith-based of grey!! I am a lover of erotica text an..."

Do you mean actual books or fics? Wallbanger was also a twilight fanfic you know.

If you do mean fics, these are some of the fics that come to mind(ones that haven't been pulled to publish that is), all free to read of course:
The Art Teacher by Spanglemaker9
Neverending Math Equation by twanza
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Lissa Bryan
Volition by Rochelle Allison
Venice Beach Stories by Chicklette
A Quiet Fire by Magnolia822


message 26: by Robbie (last edited Mar 21, 2013 10:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Robbie Thornton "I think you make a really good point Robbie. As a writer I can refuse to write what ..."

Rhonda, I wish I could say that people could "vote with their wallets", but first they have to be able to find published material that is good romance without the ultra-sexual content. In other words, there has to be published work out there to buy. Clearly, that is going to be more difficult in the near future if publishers are more or less demanding romantic authors include copious erotic scenes in their manuscripts.

I'm always looking for those hidden gems you speak of. Shopping Indie book websites is a great idea, but that more or less leaves out those readers who depend on libraries or grab the latest paperback at Kmart.

It would likely be a good time right now for some entrepreneur to set up publishing companies and retail website devoted to "low smut content" romances to catch the readers who fall through huge void I see opening up between "totally clean" romance and erotica.

Again, it's not that I don't like sexy romance. I like it just fine. I just worry that soon enough publishers will limit my choices, at least temporarily, and I'm just not always in the mood for reading about every detail of a variety of sexual encounters. It seems that we are already starting to get to the point that we can either have Christian romance, which usually comes with a religious message that I don't feel comfortable with, or erotica. In some genres, like my personal favorite, paranormal romance, it's already to the point that finding something to read with even toned down sex scenes is nearly impossible. It sort of reminds me of the 70's, when if you wanted a historical romance, you were stuck with stories of pirates. Now, your stuck with sexy scenes and language. It's a shame for the reader, and an even bigger burden on the writer.


message 27: by Rhonda (last edited Mar 22, 2013 01:44AM) (new)

Rhonda Louise Exactly Robbie!
I guess what I was hoping when I started this post is that somehow we could find a solution.
Maybe we have to accept that it is as important for us as readers not to band wagon jump.
And here is the bit where I confess: I haven't read FSoG. And no, not because it has graphic sex scenes in it, but because the consensus is that the writing is awful!


message 28: by Vee (new) - rated it 1 star

Vee Gretzinger i'm 16 and i read the book... yes i thought it was a bit graphic, and the things i was imaginng were horrific. never again will i read a book like this. however, i will not judge other who enjoyed the book. i hate when people rip on me for that, so i'm not going to do that to others.


message 29: by Vee (new) - rated it 1 star

Vee Gretzinger Not books like that I can tell you that!! I read young adult but my mom got it on kindle(hated it) and so I tried it out (biggest mistake of my life, oh my god. Do people actually do tht?)


Mochaspresso Marie wrote: "I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one irritated with her character. For what she knew he went through as a child , it seemed so mean to keep pushing his buttons. I was actually disappointed that th..."

You guys were not alone in disliking Ana's character. I thought she was extremely annoying and a complete and total nitwit.


Robbie Thornton Rhonda wrote: "Exactly Robbie!
I guess what I was hoping when I started this post is that somehow we could find a solution.
Maybe we have to accept that it is as important for us as readers not to band wagon jump..."


Unfortunately, it seems that whenever a post is started about FSoG, it kind of collapses into a morass of bickering about whether it is a good book or not. That, of course, is subjective. I only read the first book, and personally, I thought the writing was awful and the relationship between Ana and Christian was disturbing and abusive. I have been told (repeatedly) that I just need to read the other two books as Christian redeems himself in them. No, I don't. When I seriously dislike a book, I don't continue reading the same author, much less the same series.

The bigger issue, IMHO, is the difference in romance reading material on offer lately. After a tiny bit (seriously, I didn't have to look hard) of research, I figured out that the pressure to "sex it up" was coming to a large extent from publishers. I'm sure there are writers out there who want to cash in on the current trend as well, but the publishers seem to be the main offenders here.

I'm really not terribly concerned if people liked the book or not. To each his or her own. Clearly, enough people did like it for it to become a trend, and it's the trend that bothers me as it will certainly impact the material the publishing world offers me in the near future.


Robbie Thornton Marie, by expressive I'm assuming you mean that authors will feel more comfortable in the future writing detailed sex scenes. Having read a great deal of historical, paranormal and suspense romances in the past few years, I can safely say that most contained one or more graphic sexual encounters. I don't think the pre-FSoG publishing world was all that restrictive on authors where sex is concerned, because there was plenty of it out there long before FSoG came along.

I believe the biggest danger lies in just the opposite happening. That is, authors will be forced by the publisher to include these sorts of scenes when they would rather not. In fact, that's the very situation Rhonda describes, and she's not the first author to tell me this.

Granted, most books don't have as much sex as FSoG did, but then, as you pointed out with your "thesaurus" comment, it wound up being too much and rather repetitious. So long as you can maintain the story, graphic sex scenes are fine. But if these scenes don't flow naturally in the progression of the story line, then you get the situation you described. If publishers force authors to include these scenes in their books in order to see their manuscript, then obviously the scenes don't flow naturally and feel contrived to the reader. In point of fact, they ARE contrived.

However, FSoG has legitimized erotica to some extent, and an author might feel it's more socially acceptable to write erotica now. She might be less hesitant to tell her family and friends what "type" of romance she writes. For a few authors, that might be helpful.

But what about those love stories where the story is about building a relationship out of bed, and where the end of the book culminates in them finally getting together? How can this sort of story be told if publishers are insisting on massive sexual content throughout the book?

I'm not really a writing snob. I don't mind if a book is poorly written if the story is good enough to compensate. But to insist on copious sex scenes means the couple has to get into the sack pretty quickly in the story, and that limits the types of stories that can be told. The result will be not just repetitive sex scenes, but also repetitive plot devices.


Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'? I have read quite a bit of erotica in my day and I'm not talking Harlequin romance novels. Pick up any book by Zane, and it will make Fifty Shades look like kiddie literature. I don't have a problem with it.
I think our society is becoming so much more accepting of these things, that people are feeling more comfortable to write and read them in public. It used to be that seeing people kiss on primetime T.V. was taboo, now, not only is there kissing, There are kids kissing, couples kissing men kissing men, women kissing women and sex scenes(While nothing is showing)are becoming more prevalent as well.
So, I think this is just a product of our society evolving.


Juanita Cami wrote: "I know everyone is going yo come at me with nails drawn (lol) for saying this but here goes....I couldn't even get thru the sample chapters of faith-based of grey!! I am a lover of erotica text an..."

Cami, I recommend if you haven't read them. "The Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon and "The Bronze Horseman" trilogy by Paullina Simons. Both very good story lines. They both have descriptive sex scenes but it doesn't overtake the story.


Kayla Robbie wrote: "For me, the distinction between Erotica and porn is easy. Porn is describing sex without any sort of romantic feelings between the couple. Erotica is describing sex either within the confines of a ..."

Robbie, Well said. Amen.


Julia Cami wrote: "I know everyone is going yo come at me with nails drawn (lol) for saying this but here goes....I couldn't even get thru the sample chapters of faith-based of grey!! I am a lover of erotica text an..."

Cami - try anything by Jacqueline Carey. She is SUCH an awesome writer and her stories are amazing. Start with Kushiel's Dart. Sexy, sexy, sexy... and an engrossing story to boot!


message 37: by Cami (new)

Cami Balthrop Thanks Julia!


message 38: by Cami (new)

Cami Balthrop Thanks Juanita!


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