Is this what “erotica for women” is really like?

I recently downloaded a book that I thought would be an erotic thriller, which is very different from straight-up erotica. It had elements of mystery in it, but I would classify it as erotica if it came down to it.

Anyway, in the front matter, there was a warning that the author writes “erotica for women”. Well, okay, I’m not a woman, but I’ll read it anyway.

I came away from the book wondering if that’s what “erotica for women” is really like.

  • There’s an awful lot of specific descriptions of brands and styles of clothes and shoes.
  • I’m pretty sure the author is British, and she uses the word “knob” to describe a penis on several occasions. She also uses dick and penis. However, when referring to the main character’s sexual organ, it’s always “pussy”. (To be fair, in Shell Game my female main character calls hers her “cunt”, so who knows?)
  • I recall exactly one instance of condom use in the book, and no discussions of birth control, sexual health, or safer sex outside of that single scene.
  • The main character tends to fail upward throughout the book. I mean, she is white, and that is a thing that generally happens for attractive white women, so. She quits her HR job, gets a job at a restaurant, gets fired, ends up on the street, luckily bumps into an old friend, ends up moving to Germany with that friend, and gets hired as an escort by the service where the friend works. That doesn’t seem realistic to me.
  • There are two instances where the main character has sex with someone with a large penis, and it seems to be all that’s on her mind — how big it is. In another scene, she sees her lover’s penis and notes that “it’s not the biggest she’d ever seen”. I know there are size queens out there, but is this really something that goes through women’s minds?
  • I don’t think cunnilingus happened more than once in the book.
  • The main character refers to her breasts as “pert”. That struck me oddly.
  • The book ends with one of the main character’s lovers proposing to her after they’ve only known each other for a few weeks and, as far as I could tell, only had sex once. Now that is unrealistic. At least, it is in my mind.

I suppose I should read more erotica to get a feel for what other people are writing, but honestly I’d rather not. I don’t want my stories to be like other people’s — at least, not on purpose. And I want them to be realistic. Maybe when women go out on fancy dates to expensive restaurants they think about brand names of dresses and shoes, and maybe I just don’t like to write about women like that. I like my female characters to be down-to-earth when I’m writing contemporary erotica. They have normal jobs, normal lives, and normal clothes. (Except for Julianna, but even she is a normal person, when you get right down to it.)

I know that women like my erotica — they have told me so (although I could always use more reviews, hint hint) — but I don’t write “erotica for women”. I write erotica for everyone. Or, at least, that’s what I try to do. You’ll have to tell me if I’m succeeding.

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