Saturday, February 13, 2010

# Guest Blog # Post

Valentine's Guest Blog: Alysha Ellis

My Valentine's Romance Guest Blog even continues with today's special guest,erotic romance author Alysha Ellis!

When it comes to reading stories about sex...big is better.

If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume you like reading erotic romance. And to enjoy reading erotic romance you have to have a big sex that weighs about three pounds. Yep, that’s right, the biggest sex organ is the human brain. Without it, any description of sex sounds like a cross between an Ikea assembly manual and a doctor’s prescription...Insert Tab A into Slot B. Repeat as necessary. Once your brain comes into it (and if you smirked at the word comes, that’s your brain doing its work), anything can be made to seem sexy. Take your car. It’s probably dependent on the four stroke engine cycle. Boring? Not at all. Next time you get a blockage in a fuel line ask your mechanic in a breathy, Marilyn Monroe sort of voice “Which part of my performance isn’t right, the suck, squeeze, bang or blow?” and watch him react.

Erotic writers know this, and we spend a lot of time getting inside the heads of our characters so they can get inside yours. If we don’t, what we write is porn. I read some porn just the other day. I didn’t intend to. Someone I didn’t know wrote to me out of the blue and asked me if I would comment on the story she’d written. I couldn’t get past the first two pages. The sex, and that was all there was, was described in graphic images concerned only with the grossly physical. There was no sign of emotion, nothing for my brain to do but recoil in rejection of what to me was unacceptably coarse. I hadn’t been told anything about the participants to make me care and so I didn’t find the writing erotic at all.

For me to enjoy the eroticism of a story, I have to be able to relate to the characters. I have to understand their hopes and fears. This is why I write and read Erotic Romance. I want the story to involve me in the experiences of the people in it, to take me away from my everyday life, to let me experience something outside my normal realm. I guess it’s why I also include paranormal or sci-fi elements in my stories. I like to put my characters in a challenging environment that requires them to make adjustments, that contains threats. They have to work out their relationship—and that involves sex, because almost all romantic relationships do.

Then of course, I have to get that story from my brain to yours. When you read, you decode a series of black marks on a white screen or paper. The entire process of creating meaning from that goes on in your head. What you enjoy, what you hate, what makes you feel icky, it all happens inside your skull. Ideas can have physical consequences, but they start as electrical impulses. You’d eat a shrimp, but be revolted by the idea of eating a grasshopper? The difference is in your mind.
And that’s the difference between porn and erotic romance. Your mind. Your brain. Back at the start of this discussion, I said when it comes to sex, big is better. The good news is, most human brains don’t differ in size all that much, but some of us seem more prepared to use them than others. I have a morbid fascination with the Darwin Awards, an annual event that celebrates those who have removed themselves from the human gene pool in the most spectacular fashion. These are people whose failure to use their brains has resulted in death. Readers who fail to use their brains, probably don’t stay readers.

So what is your brain telling you? What for you is the difference between porn and erotica? What do you look for in a book? What makes you come back for more? What turns you off completely? Leave a comment and let me know what's going on inside your head.

Watching Amy from Ellora’s Cave
Ghostly Ménage and Giving Up the Ghosts


  1. I love erotica. You are right. You need to identify with the characters. You need to care what is happening and why. If I don't care about the characters I don't care what they are doing or why but if I like and care about a character then I'm right in bed with them, usually seeing myself as the heroine. That is why I like series. I like to know about a character's life, likes, dislikes, loves. Series give me the opportunity to find out more about them. No story is too graphic when I like the main characters. If I don't then it's porn, which is fine occassionally, but is a letdown. Erotica is about the anticipation then the act. Porn is only about the act, forget build-up, forget anticipation. It's wham-bam-thank you ma'am. Erotica is a slow hand and mind seeing the words describing the build-up, the act, and the finish (and it's not ending with rolling over and going to sleep.) I love the cover of Watching Amy. Hot! I want to read it because my attention is caught, the anticipation begins, and (because I beta read it) I know the action lives up to the cover. Congratulations on the new book!

  2. Thanks, Alysha, for this insightful peek through the naughty peephole about erotic writing!

  3. Alysha, that was an exceptional insight into erotic romance/erotica... that's the difference for me, the context of the story, the relationship of the heroines and heroes... not just slot A and B and the variations... really, who cares, unless it's a sex manual.


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