Today’s featured erotic historical romance author is Jenna Jaxon. Her books are often listed as “also boughts” on mine and when I asked for erotic historical authors, several people mentioned her name. But she has something to say about that! Please welcome Jenna Jaxon!
Erotic Historical Writer…Who, Me?
I was very excited when Jess contacted me about appearing as a guest on her blog, but I felt compelled to ask her if she had the right person. Her blog was geared toward erotic historical romance and although I’ve written some contemporary erotic romances and my historical books have some hot sex in them, I’ve always thought of them as sensual rather than erotic. To my amazement Jess told me her readers had consistently listed me as erotic historical. Who knew?
So I began to think about the line between sensual and erotic romance. Is there a definite or a blurred line and when or how do you cross it?
I’ve always rated my historicals a 4 out of 5, based on the rating scale they give you when you publish. The reason behind this lies with one of my favorite authors, Lisa Kleypas. I adore her historical romances, but they were an eye opener in the sex department compared to the much tamer Kathleen Woodiwiss I’d read back in the day. Kleypas’ works really got me hot and bothered as I read, so I took her heat level as a guidepost and more or less tried to meet the mark. I’ve never heard her tagged as erotic historical, so I may have overshot the mark a bit. J
I suppose if you want to pin down the major difference for me between writing erotic romance and sensual romance is the use of language during the sexual encounters. In the erotic contemporaries I’ve written, there have been no holds barred. And this is a refreshing change from trying to come up with period euphemisms for a penis. Member, shaft, erection, manhood (I really try not to use that one) are replaced with dick, cock, dong and any other terms I can ferret out on the internet. I’ve even on occasion consulted my DH for more colorful terms for the male and female anatomy.
If truth be told, it may be that terminology is the only difference to delineate erotic from sensual in my works. My historical novels certainly have very detailed sex scenes although they are not nearly as frequent as in the contemporaries. My first historical, Only Scandal Will Do, only has two sex scenes in it and they don’t appear until three-quarters of the way through the novel. But the scenes themselves are every bit as graphic, if couched in somewhat less harsh words, as my contemporary works, such as Hog Wild or 7 Days of Seduction. The next historical in the House of Pleasure series, Only Marriage Will Do, has four sex scenes (but it seems like more to me thinking back), all very steamy and leaving little (or nothing) to the imagination.
Standing back and looking with a more objective eye, I can see where these works could very easily be considered erotic rather than sensual. Where there is no definite line to cross or rule to be broken, the designation must rest in the mind of the reader. One woman’s hot may be another’s luke-warm. If so, I am certainly pleased (or pleasured as the case may be), to join my fellow erotic historical authors in that pool. I hear the water’s HOT!
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