• Sex and Our Emotions (and Erotica)

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    Alastor [sign in to see picture]
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    I think most of us would agree it is not actually necessary to be in love with your partner in order to have good (or even great) sex, though of course that deep emotional attachment adds great resonance to the acts once you have found someone with that effect on you. Some people even seem quite happy to engage in No-Strings-Attached activities (certainly if even only a small percentage of those apparently seeking this online are genuine) though this may not be the entirety of their sexual activities.

    For many though, I think that having sex with someone is such an emotionally charged event that some kind of emotional ties are highly likely to develop, even if this is not going to make them ‘the one’. I can think of a number of friends whose initial NSA intentions developed into more complex (and sometimes complicated) emotional relations. I would say that emotional connection with, and fondness for, my partners has characterised each and every sexual relationship I have experienced, but ultimately only 1 or 2 (don’t ask!) have merited the L-word. I would also say that the vast majority of those relationships have been very pleasurable.

    So for the purposes of this discussion I am going to assume that most people can have highly rewarding sex involving emotional ties and bonds but without it actually requiring whatever it is we all think ‘Love’ is. It is also reasonable to think that a percentage of others find these emotional connections developing with their partners.

    Consequently, when I write erotica, the characters involved may demonstrate strong emotional connections, but I do not ever remember writing one declaring their love for another, or scripting a narrative as if this were some goal towards which they were being impelled. I do tend to include that emotional connection in most stories, since I discovered how powerful that representation can become.

    This seems to me to be an entirely tenable way to approach erotica, and it can be seen in the writing of a number of authors, but perhaps mostly when writing in short form. Yet when we approach novel length accounts I discover hackneyed ‘romance’ plotlines, full of stereotypes and clichés. Heavily recycled and one-dimensional motivations abound, plot complexity is almost non-existent, innovation seems to be something rigorously avoided. Why oh why is it so? Must we dilute the essential joyous purity of sex with the (often milk-sop) mentality of ‘Love’? Are we still caught in the post-religious condemnation of pleasures of the flesh, and feel we must ‘cleanse’ our enjoyments in a respectable disguise? Will things ever improve?

    I hope so.

    So what do the forum members think? Should there be more literature and other media that celebrate sex and worthwhile emotional connections without requiring the trappings of ‘romance’?

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    rose hip [sign in to see picture]
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    Alastor wrote:

    form. Yet when we approach novel length accounts I discover hackneyed ‘romance’ plotlines, full of stereotypes and clichés. Heavily recycled and one-dimensional motivations abound, plot complexity is almost non-existent, innovation seems to be something rigorously avoided. Why oh why is it so?

    Lowest common denominator culture for the sake of profit margins. It's true of rom coms, romance novels and erotica based on that formula.

    IMO a better question is why so few people read great literature at all any more. If there was a bigger market for that, we'd likely see more book length literary erotica. I think part of the answer is because the publishers push the junk rather than the good stuff and many people take their cue from that.

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    kinkyqueen [sign in to see picture]
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    I agree there should be more literature that celebrates sex and 'other' emotional attachments. However 'worthwhile emotional connections' could equate to love to many people. Not in the hearts and flowers sense, but how do you define 'love'? It means different things to different people.

    The so-called 'rubbishy' romance novels do fill a need in many peoples lives. A fantasy, an escape from real life, a dream. Publishers push the junk - but we read it, we have a choice. I think there is room for both the hearts and flowers and the 'literature'. Variety is 'the spice of life' afterall.

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    ShannonMarlene [sign in to see picture]
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    None of my erotica include romance! Otherwise, I'd dub it romantic erotica.
    I've spent my whole life reading the works of Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. And I'm only 19, still got so much more to read!

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    Alastor [sign in to see picture]
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    There is some quite nice Lovecraftian erotica about btw. ;-)

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    ShannonMarlene [sign in to see picture]
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    Al, oh, I know! ;)

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    Lady Ness [sign in to see picture]
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    There's a good few erotic books which include romance and other emotions, but generally you have to dig around a bit.

    Personally I like a mixture of the good and bad emotions in all stories, as they make me realise, how special and important the good times are.

    Also, I do wish their were more erotic books where escorts / sex workers show romance and emotions, so many feel emotionaless (which personally is a bad representation for real life sex workers). I know when I escort, I make the people I see kinda fall in love with me, they adore me, and the session focuses more on the emotional side than the sexual. They often go away with fond memories, which they use when fantasising. When using this method of showing and sharing more emotions I often get comments on how amazing their time with me was compared to an emotionless one night stand etc.

    I think emotions do help anyway =)

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