idiots

We Don’t Need Sex; Orson Scott Card Pleads



We Don’t Need Sex

This time I’m not the one trying to define erotic romance, as I’ve posted here. In fact, I have mentioned this many times in various posts I’ve written, partly to explain to readers and partly to make note of it here for my own records.

I found the post to which I’m linking by accident last night, and I thought it was interesting because it’s another take on the definition of erotic romance, which is a genre that most people seem to define on their own. Everyone seems to have a definition, and I understand that. The worst critics think it’s porn. But since there has never been a clear cut definition of porn to my knowledge, that’s highly subjective. I once posted about how Sarah Palin thought Levi Johnston’s playgirl photos were porn and he didn’t even show full frontal nudity.

The blogger to whom I linked above says this in the quest to define erotic romance:

I have nothing against erotica, people can read and write what they want to, but I am tiring a little of having to defend my books, and their genre to people who say they don’t like/review/blog about erotica. I have blog guests who write erotica, it’s fine, it’s just that I don’t write erotica.

The confusion in large numbers of peoples’ minds between Erotica and Erotic Romance is leading some publishers to add definitions to their submission pages. (Sadly there are still some publishers who don’t know the difference).

It seems even some large book sellers don’t know the difference.
 
I write both erotica and erotic romance, plus a little new adult sometimes, and I’ve even written the occasional pg rated hetero romance novel with a pen name. I’ve also been around for over twenty years and I started writing gay erotica and getting published when I was in college. The main reason I started writing erotica is that back then there wasn’t a market for anything else that was gay, unless it involved something dark and highly sensationalized like AIDS or suicide.  
 
I agree with the author of the blog post for the most part. And I do think most booksellers and small start up e-presses now don’t know the difference. However, there is one part of the blogger’s definition of erotic romance that I look at differently. 
 
This is what I’m talking about:
 
 It’s a story, plot heavy, but the sex scenes are so integral they need to be there.
 
I don’t think that’s wrong for some authors. And I’m not trying to give a set definition of erotic romance to anyone. I wouldn’t do that; I’m not that presumptuous. But I’ve never personally written an erotic romance where the sex *needs* to be there. On that point I totally disagree with the blogger. I’ve written the sex scenes in my books because I think they add another layer to the story, and because I think readers want that extra layer. I also think sex scenes help define the characters in a more detailed (complicated) way, and they often move the story and characters forward by showing instead of telling. I also believe we are all highly sexual beings…even those who won’t admit it.
 
In other words, erotic romance for me is a romance with erotic scenes. But if the erotic scenes are removed there’s still a strong story that can stand on its own. I’ve posted about this in the past. And I even went the extra mile when I released “Chase of a Dream” in two different versions. One version has strong sex scenes, the other doesn’t have any strong sex scenes. And the version without the sex scenes still has a story as strong as the one with the sex scenes. By removing the erotic scenes from this book, I only removed 7,000 words that clearly did NOT NEED to be there. I think they added to the story, but they were NOT integral to the story. And none of the sex scenes in any of the erotic romances I’ve ever written were integral to the story. In a way, I self-censored with “Chase of a Dream” in order to not only prove this, but to give my readers a choice. Frankly, I prefer the version with the sex scenes. I think it adds that extra layer to the book and it makes the characters more human. But that’s only my opinion and I left the choice to my readers.
 
There is a reason why this blog is now titled “Naughty Guys with Strong Stories.” I didn’t do that by accident.
 
As a side note, there is a difference between erotica and erotic romance. But erotica (not erotic romance) is also a strong story with erotic scenes. Erotica is not just hop into be and start going at it. And if you take the erotic scenes out of the story the story should still stand on its own. So there is not a distinct difference between erotica and erotic romance with regard to the sex. I write them both. I’ve been writing them both for many years. In every single call for submissions I’ve ever answered the editor has always asked that the erotica (not just erotic romance) have a strong storyline. 
 
It’s all about the story.  
 
Orson Scott Card Pleads

Author Orson Scott Card recently made headlines again when he issued a plea to those who plan to boycott the film version of his book, Ender’s Game…I guess in reply to all the anti-gay comments he’s made in the past.

What many of my readers might not know is that Orson Scott Card is a member of the National Organization of Marriage, NOM, that has been fighting same sex marriage for many years. I’ve posted about this a few times.

I was going to share this FB post about how NOM (National Organization for Marriage) works against marriage equality in a Huff Po piece written by former Presidential candidate, Fred Karger, but then decided to post it here on the blog because I’d like it to get more exposure.

Since I wrote that post, and others like it, Karger has continued to work hard to help in the fight for equality. He also made history in the last Presidential election as the first openly gay candidate ever to run for President.

In any event, NOM is not the only part of Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay history. You can read more about his anti-gay history here. And if you do the simplest search with his name you’ll be directed to many others. He’s never hidden how he feels about his beliefs.

In this article he makes a statement that almost sounds like a combination of bitterness, arrogance and begging at the same time. I think I even heard an “I dare you,” somewhere between the lines. But I could be wrong about that.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

As a resident of Pennsylvania where gay marriage is NOT legal, and as someone who has been with his partner for over twenty years, I know for a fact that I’m not at the same level of equality as those who live in states where gay marriage IS legal even with the recent supreme court ruling. I’ve posted about this, too.

But I honestly don’t know how to get that point across any clearer, as things stand right now as I write this post. Yes, the ruling was historic and it brought us all one step closer to full equality. Yes, I’m thrilled it happened and I’m thrilled for same sex couples who live in states where they are fortunate enough to be recognized. However, Tony and I, and millions of other gay couples in this country, are basically still screwed and we are still outlaws.

The bottom line is that Orson Scott Card wants us to forgive and forget, to go see the movie about his book, and he clearly thinks the gay dollar must have some significance. You can choose for yourselves. I won’t be running to the local theater any time soon for Ender’s Game. This isn’t about tolerance. I have no problem tolerating Orson Scott Card, and I have no problem respecting his beliefs and opinions, or his right to free speech. But I do NOT have to support him, or anyone associated with him, financially.