What’s the difference?

You may have asked the above question many times —and it’s easy to see why. Category romance (such as Harlequin), mainstream fiction and other genres include sex scenes but these aren’t identified as “erotica” or “erotic romance.” So how can you tell where your work falls?

Below is a brief guide.

The difference between erotica and erotic romance is that in the first, sex can’t be omitted without damaging the storyline. In the second, even without sex, the story would still be strong, well-developed and complete.

Erotica: Sex drives the story, not character or plot development. These encounters are very frequent and extremely explicit in description. No Happily Ever After included/required. (Publisher: Ellora’s Cave)

Erotic Romance:  Sex guides the story and cannot be omitted without weakening the development of the characters and their relationships. Encounters are frequent and explicit in description. These always include Happily Ever Afters. (Publisher: Ellora’s Cave, Liquid Silver, etc.)

Erotic romance … [is] when sex is the basis of the conflict …” — Jane Litte

Sexy Romance: Sex flavors the story. Even without it, the story, characters and relationships would be well-developed and complete. These always include Happily Ever Afters.

For a great, in-depth discussion of the differences, see the article written by Sylvia Day.

At DCS, we do not edit erotica. Our clientele’s work mainly falls into mainstream romance (as far as heat-level). However, we do offer clients whose books fall on the steamier side the option to edit their books minus those scenes. (Contact Us to see if that’s an option for you.)


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