The romance genre, including contemporary romance, has three distinct sub-genres. They are:
- Sweet Romance
- Sensual Romance
- Erotic Romance or Erotica
Sweet Romance is squeaky clean. There is no sex. All passion is expressed through kissing, hand holding and perhaps brushing a hand along a face. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG.
Sensual Romance includes a few sex scenes. They are used to enhance the plot, but unlike erotica, in sensual romance there is no harsh language. The descriptions are not overtly graphic. The emphasis is on the character’s emotions as they consummate their relationship, but unlike erotica, the plot line doesn’t revolve around the sex scenes. Most of the action takes place outside of the bedroom.
Erotic Romance is all about the sex. The descriptions can be quite graphic. It may include variations such as threesomes, orgies or bondage. The story really isn’t about two people falling in love. It’s about the characters having sex and plenty of it.
Why I write sensual romance
I write sensual romance because it’s the sub-genre I enjoy reading, and it’s what today’s readers expect. My lead characters make love, but only after they’re emotionally invested in the relationship. Once their relationship is consummated, I typically don’t write another sex scene because it would be redundant. The only exception would be if the characters have been separated for an extended period of time and are reestablishing their relationship.
From time to time, however, a lead character becomes involved with the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Typically, it will happen early in the story, before the two lead characters have begun their relationship. On those occasions I may approach the sex scenes a little differently.
For example, in my upcoming novel The Deception, Carrie, the female lead, has just ended a long-term relationship. She then meets Scott, a man who isn’t who he appears to be. Scott knows Carrie is emotionally vulnerable so he takes advantage of her. Because Scott is a one of the villains in the story, the sex scenes between him and Carrie are a little racier, but even then, the scenes aren’t overly graphic. I’m more interested in what the characters are feeling in the moment.
If you’re looking for sweet, squeaky-clean romance I’m afraid you won’t find it in my contemporary romance novels. However, if you’re looking for a believable story that will leave you feeling satisfied as a reader, I hope you’ll give one of my books a read.