Interesting article on h2g2 about the difference between erotica and porn:
I think they nailed it. Porn is about the physical act (and there’s nothing wrong with that!), but erotica is about more: it’s about the feelings, the perceptions, about what the act means.
Think about the ludicrously thin plots porn movies have (if they have any at all)–handymen who jump their customer pretty much on sight, schoolgirls who look, and act, too old to be such (and never seem to receive any actual schooling), prison sex… Clearly, if the story was the focus, porn as a genre should be a huge failure.
It isn’t, because the people who buy porn want porn. They want the sheer physicality of it, and that’s all they need or want right then. They don’t care, at least in that moment, about the “touchy-feely stuff”–it only gets in the way of the good bits.
Personally, sheer porn–written, film, or image–almost always bores me. I need the characters’ emotions, the headspace, the relationship to get into the physical side of things. Without these, sex is just body parts in motion to me. “The good bits” remain meaningless to me if they aren’t put into an emotional context.
Mind, I’m not saying that one preference is better than the other. Just like liking apples is no better or worse than liking pears, and many people like both, erotica and porn are two different yet related flavors and each perfectly valid genres. But for me, and people like me, porn doesn’t work. It does nothing for us, because the part that to us is the most crucial is missing.
What about you–erotica, porn, or either?