What is the difference
|So the great erotica debate: what is the difference between porn and erotica.
The way I see it is that people see the term "porn" as derogatory so want to classify everything they do as erotica. They then try to make up rules to justify this:
Erotica must have a good plot
Erotica must have well developed characters
Porn is a type of movie, if it is a piece of writing is it erotica
Porn has porn-stars who try to act, erotica has actresses who have sex
None of these rules are true. The main reason they are not true is that "porn" and "erotica" are not mutually exclusive, things can be and often are both.
"Porn" is a classification, it is generally objective you can see something and tell if it is pornographic based on several rules. If a piece of writing contains graphic descriptions of sexual acts or of sexual organs then it is porn. It doesn't have to be well written, it doesn't have to have a plot, it doesn't have to be good in any way. It's a lot like the term "food" something is either food or it's not. Obviously there are some things that might be argued over, is a "chicken" McNugget really food or just a suspiciously shaped impostor?
Being "erotic" is a lot like something being "tasty" something can attempt to be erotic and fail in the same way someone can try to prepare a tasty meal and produce a salad. Most food is designed to be tasty in the same way that most porn is designed to be erotic. Things that are not porn can be erotic such as watching a sensual dance in the same way that things that are not food can be tasty. People will find different things erotic one person may find watching a woman brushing her hair erotic, another may find dirty talk erotic. So being erotic is a quality not a classification.
So for something to be erotica it is something that is created that attempts to be erotic. People can fail at producing erotica in the same way they can fail with any other genre. The difference is when some fails at writing a history or a thriller people don't try to claim it is something else.
If it wasn't for people's fear that will be labeled as a porn writer then there really wouldn't be all of these discussions on the difference between erotica and porn. People just need to accept that what they write is both. Trying to produce something that is erotica but not porn is the same as trying to produce a meal that is tasty but not food; It is possible, but a lot of people will view it with confusion and it probably isn't worth the time required.