By Deeksha Aggarwalla
Erotica- where to begin, when there are so many. I do not mean a specific book or series, I mean the genre, which has aroused enough curiosity to make non-readers, go online and store unheard books on their kindle and phone, and actually read them. Oh! And not boast about reading a book.
Literally, erotica means works of art and literature that deal with sex and are meant to cause sexual feelings. The author accepts that most books claiming to belong in this grey genre have more than one sex scene (A Mills and Boon romance has not more than two and that’s just romance.) but all they cause is curiosity about the different elements whether they are cars, penthouses, villages with a huge number of threesome married couples or sex is a whole other world. Most amateur authors want to write about the non-vanilla way of life, bondage,threesomes, billionaires, werewolves, dominance and all that they think, this genre demands and will get tons of teenagers write ‘Can’t wait for the next book in the series’. It is funny how this sentence has made writers of such so-called series revise the number of books from three to five. Also, did you know that such trilogies or series sometimes, also feature a #2.5th book or #0.5th book?
For all those who think that the Fifty Shades series was one of the first in the genre, sorry but you were wrong. Same goes to Twilight series, which was not the first girl and supernatural forces like vampires.
There was Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence long before there was Fifty Shades. There was The Story Of O,which made quiet a controversy then. In fact for those who read extensively would know that Maya Banks has written more books that E L James and successfully published them before Mrs. James even wrote the fan fiction Master of my Universe.
What does Goodreads have to say about these books? An average of 4 stars, with about more than two lakh books shelved as ‘erotic-romance’! If you click on one to read a review, the comment section has pictures of corsets, panties and beautiful women and rugged semi-naked men strewn all over them. And then there are some comments talking about how shitty these books are. I agree to the latter. What is more that they have the same stories – Rich messed up billionaire man, got molested when young, dysfunctional family, made his own money, does not believe in feelings and dominates not just the world but the bedroom as well with whips and clamps; then, the beautiful innocent girl enters and his life is thrown upside down. Some have bad boys and bad girls fighting for a good cause. In between punctuations is either steamy introduction to the underbelly eroticism or a threesome or a scene degrading people practicing vanilla to prudes. And did I mention the pretty and rich part?
Erotica books are full of stereotypes. Ironically, they were meant to introduce the world to sex without being pornographic. In essence, they are but mills and boons with really bad content, grammatical errors and logical loopholes. How can a heroine’s hair colour change over the three books in a series – from red to brown to blonde? Seldom do we come across a read worthy erotic romance. I do wonder if this bubble that the publishers and authors are in, will ever burst. Probably not! For all those too shy to read on literotica or log on to xvideos, there will always exist an erotica.