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A good friend asked me an interesting question the other day which was, what is the difference between romance and erotic fiction or erotica as some call it?

Some people will tell you it is the size of the book that matters, that erotica is smaller while romance novels are full length. That actually is not the case at all. in this particular instance, size doesn’t matter.

Oh come on, you know that was funny!

There can be full length erotic fiction, such as 50 Shades of Grey. Heck that’s even a trilogy. And just as there can be full length erotica, there can also be shorter romance novels, such as the case in the recently released Plus One. It’s a love story about a girl who after a string of really bad dates decides to make a pact with a childhood friend to be her plus one at a series of upcoming events she has to attend in the next three months, mostly weddings and whatnot. Only what she didn’t know is that childhood friend has secretly been in love with her all of his life and well now she is about to see him in a different light. Okay it’s not exactly the best romance story I ever read but still, the point is the story was short and it was a romance novel. So length has nothing to do with it.

But if length doesn’t determine the category, then what does? It’s simple, it is the story itself.

A romance novel is about a romantic story. The book, no matter how long or short, must revolve around some sort of romantic tale. Sure the people in the story could have relations, could even be hot and steamy but in the end it’s still a story about love.

Erotic Fiction is a story that revolves around sex. For example, 50 Shades of Grey, while it has a story, a detailed one, it still a story that revolves around the sexual relationship of the parties involved. So that is what makes it erotica. Actually in that case, because of the type of sex involved it’s a sub category of erotica known as Erotic Fiction: BDSM or Adult: Erotica: BDSM.

Anyway the point is, a romance novel is a story about people who fall in love or are in love. The story revolves around their lives and what happens, the good, the bad and yes, sometimes the naughty. Where as erotic fiction is a story about sex. There may be other parts to it, but in the end, it’s still a story heavily based on sexual relations, sexual locations, sexual feelings and desires. Sex drives the story, not love.

So now you know the difference between a romance novel and erotica.