Friday, September 05, 2008

Smile When You Say that, Pilgrim--veinglory

The insult is in the intent. Which is why the Duke uttered that famous line. You can use pretty much an cuss word you want to describe a friend, if you smile as you say it. The same word said in earnest is likely to have an entirely different effect.

But some words get more of a benefit of the doubt than others. It seems that 'erotica', for example, is fine with most of use now. Some still prefer 'erotic [insert genre here]' but on the whole, we're good. Although 14% Are still not having it, smile or no.

Pornography however is more likely to be assumed to be an insult (57% of respondents). But a growing proportion went for some version of 'it depends'. So if the customer is using pornography as a neutral genre word they would pretty much be okay with it.

The times, they are a-changing. Shall we try this again in a year or two and see if it has shifted and in which direction?


Erastes said...

I'm impressed that it ended up with nearly 20percent of no in the 2nd question. I was thinking it was just me.

It would be very interesting to see the results year on year.

Ann Somerville said...

I don't object to the label of pornography on offence grounds (not solely anyway.) I object because my writing is not porn - porn requires very particular skills and styles and approach, and I simply don't have them. Anyone buying porn wants to get off quickly and reliably - and my stuff would never deliver. I think using the label confuses people when they're looking for one thing and get another - whether they want romance and end up with porn, or vice versa.

Same with the erotica thing. I simply don't think my stuff meets the requirements for that, which is to make the reader hot, if not actually masturbate. A lot of so called erotica just isn't very erotic, and I think the value of the term has been debased by writing with very weak claims to be erotica at all, being labelled as such.

I also object on the basis that m/m is almost automatically considered erotica/porn, when it should be treated as any other romantic genre - the erotica/porn tag should relate to the degree and kind of sexual content, not the number of penises in the story.

Treva Harte said...

I'm agreeing with Ann in that calling erotic romance either porn or erotica is like calling a lemon a lime instead. They may all be citrus and you will get your Vitamin C from either but if a lime wasn't what you wanted, you're going to get a surprise. Unless you think the distinction makes no difference at all, which is a different debate.

veinglory said...

The debate is more whether you think there is a lateral distinction. e.g. lemons and lime versus lemons and citrus. In my world saying erotic romanceis not poronographic is like saying 'no it isn;t a citrus fruit, it's a lemon'. But the question was to see roughly how many people have each kind of outlook. In many ways the 'it depends' camp is the mpst sophisticated--not enforcing their definition on the other person.