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Author Topic: Erotica/Romantica/Porn  (Read 2834 times)
silver
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« on: September 04, 2008, 03:28:35 PM »

Just thrashing out some confusion...
Does anyone know?  What is the difference (maybe the legal difference) between written Erotica, Romantica(I didn't make this word up, I swear) & pornography?

I'm hunting on-line, but all I've found is on-line fic-writing references, & I'm looking more for info on the written(published) word.

Thanks in advance!
 cool
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Ratatosk
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 08:26:00 PM »

I don't have a complete answer, but I can tell you this -- at least in the US, the term "pornography" is not a legal term of any note.   The United States Supreme Court has said that legislatures can regulate "obscene" materials, which may include pornographic material.  I've not paid all that much attention to federal lately law since my state gives more protection to speech than our federal overlords.  But if memory serves, material is obscene if it appeals solely to prurient interest and lacks any scientific, cultural, social, literary or political value. 

So pornography may be obscene.  Or not.  You might find this interesting – it walks through some of what you’re touching on. 

The take away I get from my background in law and the wikipedia article – porn is an area on the entertainment continuum.  Erotica is another.  Literature is another. The more the goal is just sexual excitement, the more it’s porn.  The more the goal is other themes, the more it’s traditional literature. Erotica is in the middle.  I’ve never heard of Romantica, but I’m bettin’ it’s randy romance.  Where people draw the line varies dramatically. 
 

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EmmaFrost
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 11:15:16 PM »

As I understand it, the difference is more in the publishing world than the legal world.

In the publishing world, there's a spectrum between romantica (which generally doesn't portray explicit sexual acts), erotica (which does portray explicit sexual acts) and pornography (which has always been difficult to define -- witness the ongoing legislative struggle).  It seems to me, as a reader of all three, that there's been a lot of shifting along the spectrum in the last few years. 

Many publishing houses are still very specific about what they'll accept and print in terms of "levels of sensuality" (that's from Harlequin's submission guidelines, which I get a kick out of).  A good place to poke around if you're trying to figure out what the various publishing houses will accept is the Romance Writers of America's site.

Not sure if that helps.

Em
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silver
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 03:12:19 PM »

ratatosk--
Quote
However, when sexual acts are performed for a live audience, by definition it is not pornography, as the term applies to the depiction of the act, rather than the act itself. Thus, portrayals such as sex shows and striptease are not pornography.

This was very interesting, thanks for the link!
 cool
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silver
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 03:20:52 PM »

EmmaFrost--
Quote
A Central Love Story — In a romance novel, the main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the relationship conflict is the main focus of the story.
An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending — Romance novels are based on the idea of an innate emotional justice—the notion that good people in the world are rewarded and evil people are punished. In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

This is good.  There are now so many e-publishing houses on the web that "being published" is becoming a very gray area.
I'll keep hunting...

EDITED: (hey, I posted a link!) (And it worked!)
http://www.writing-world.com/romance/romantica.shtml
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 08:31:44 AM by silver » Logged

"Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."---Mae West
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