No…um…I don’t write porn.

Julia Rachel BarrettI felt so excited about my new science fiction romance, Captured, that I had to tell someone outside of my immediate family about its release.  I tried telling a friend who knows I write – she doesn’t know exactly what I write, but she knows I write.  I explained the fascinating plot to her and she made one comment… “Oh…you write porn…”

Up went my hackles.  No, I don’t write porn.  I write romance.  Huge difference, woman.  It’s the difference between the sensuous, exciting, riveting dance scenes in the musical Chicago and an indifferent lap dance at a cheap strip club.  I remember Kathleen Turner’s character in Romancing the Stone stuttering out that she was a romance writer.  Yeah, stumbling over the words.  Don’t we all stumble over the words because you just know someone is going to say exactly what my friend said…“Oh…you write porn…”

Remember that precious scene in the village of the Columbian drug lord?  “Joan Wilder?  Joan Wilder?  The Joan Wilder?” says Juan.  “Angelina, that woman, she makes me hungry!

That is what good romance does, it makes you hungry.  You read a great romance with a satisfying ending.  You sigh and you hunger for another book.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Where would our world of entertainment be without romance?  What is Avatar?  Off-world romance combined with the same kind of heroic sacrifice that is the meat and potatoes of nearly every single romance novelist.  The Terminator – a romance between Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese.  The most recent installment of Star Trek – hmm – a secret romance between Spock and Uhura???  Who’d-a-thunk-it!  I’m hard-pressed to think of a movie that doesn’t involve romance or the possibility of a romance.  Maybe Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey, but nothing else comes to mind.  Some of my favorite movies have great sex scenes and they are not porn – L.A. Confidential, The Big Easy, Excalibur.  Ooh, the sex scene in Excalibur between the disguised Uther Pendragon and Ygraine makes me hungry.  It is a fabulous, hungry scene, and Uther never even removes his armor.

So no, I don’t write porn and when someone says that, I bristle.  Captured is a marvelous morality play – there you go!  Really, it’s true.  It’s about two people from two different worlds who must find a way to survive.  There’s heroism and sacrifice, lust and love, guilt and redemption.  The book is filled with delightful must-have goodies that leave a reader hungry for more.

___________________

<!–[if !vml]–>Captured by Julia Rachel Barrett
<!–[endif]–>

Mari never expects to find herself in a cage in a cargo hold on a spaceship.  She learns from her captors she’s headed to the meat market.  When they try to return her to stasis, she resists.  The male in charge, Ekkatt, allows her to remain awake.  Mari realizes her survival depends upon connecting with Ekkatt.  She must make him see her as a sentient being or she will end up dinner.

Ekkatt has never spoken to any human.  Humans are beasts.  They are valued for one thing, the money they bring at auction.  The Attun are vegetarians, but other species prize human flesh and Ekkatt makes good money trapping.  Then the female with red hair awakens.  She speaks to him and forces him to admit she has a name.  Mari throws Ekkatt’s entire life into question, the biggest question…can he watch her sold to the highest bidder?

_________________

“No, I can walk by myself.  You don’t have to baby me, Ekkatt.”

“You sat up for the first time yesterday.  There is no need for you to walk to the b’yat.  I can carry you.”

Mari crossed her arms, and what he’d come to recognize as the stubborn look came over her face.  “I will walk.  It’s good for me to walk.  I need to move around, make my lungs work a bit.  I told you, I am no stranger to illness.  I’ve had something like this on earth.  It’s called Influenza A, and when you catch it, believe me, you wish you would die, but you don’t.”

“Because you are lucky.  Most humans die of Tist Fever.”

“Oh…now you tell me this?”

Ekkatt actually grinned at her.  “I did not wish to frighten you.  My people say that if one believes he will die, very often, he does indeed die.”

“Mind body connection.  We say the same thing on my planet.”  Mari stared straight ahead.  “Sometimes I forget,” she said.

“Forget?”

“That this is not my home.”

Ekkatt made no reply.

“All right.” Mari pushed herself to her feet. “I’m walking to the b’yat.”  She shuffled toward the small building. The long blanket he’d wrapped around her naked body trailed after her.  Ekkatt followed to make certain she didn’t trip and fall.  When she reached the outhouse, Mari turned and looked at him.  “Go,” she said. “Sit over there.”  She pointed to the step.  “If I need help, I’ll call you.”

Ekkatt sat leaning back against the cabin.  He closed his eyes, letting the warm sun wash away some of his weariness.  He’d barely slept in a week. He’d been determined that this woman would live.  Between the medicine and the baths he’d been able to manage her fevers, but then she’d begun to cough.  He feared she’d reached the end of her strength, and the disease would take her.  On the fifth day, miraculously, she’d rallied and swallowed some concentrated nutrient broth.  Now she coughed only in the mornings, and she’d been able to eat and drink for the past two days.  The woman had lost flesh.  He would help her gain it back.  She needed to be strong when the snows arrived.

Her body, while much more slender than the women of his own race, was otherwise the same, Ekkatt mused.  It was only her hair color and eye color that were different. Her skin did not contain quite as much pigment, but then he knew that the skin tone of human women varied.  It was considered a curiosity.

Most of the species in his region of space were singular.  His own species, the Attun-Ra, all had yellow eyes, blue-black hair, and light bronze skin.  His people were taller and stronger than humans although he had noticed the occasional human who was every bit as tall and strong as an Attun-Ra.  Her people were softer though.  Those he harvested were generally quite fleshy.  Mari was not one of those, but her skin felt very soft to the touch.

He’d come to enjoy the sensation of her beneath his fingers.  He’d found pleasure in the silk of her hair, and he’d taken comfort in the smoothness of her skin.  Ekkatt knew his own religious leaders would call such feelings a sin against nature.  Their opinion on the subject had come to matter nothing to him.  The little human, on the other hand, had come to matter a great deal.

__________

Thanks for coming and visit me anytime!

Julia

To buy Captured, click here.

To visit Julia’s WebsiteFacebook.

24 Responses to No…um…I don’t write porn.

  1. Mona Risk

    Hi Julia, you are so right. Good romance makes you hungry. I never looked at it this way, but I won’t forget it. Lovely excerpt.

  2. Pam Keener

    I also enjoyed the exerpt. I agree to the I don’t write porn. I, as a reader, often have been made to feel bad for my choices in books but I just let it roll off my ample shoulders and say phooey to you. Unless or until you read what I read don’t you ever knock it because you know Jack about it.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam

  3. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Thanks for hosting me, Romance Junkies! Yes, romance authors do not write porn!!! And our readers aren’t reading porn. I appreciate the comments, Mona and Pam. I loved the movie, Romancing the Stone! julia

  4. Cindy Spencer Pape

    Oh, I know EXACTLY what you mean, Julia. My husband and kids are allowed to tease me by calling my books porn. But they don’t mean it. Because really, there is a huge difference, and your work is definitely romance!

  5. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Cindy – I’ve heard about your kids! They are so open! My kids stick their fingers in their ears when I bring up anything! They’ll read the first chapter, that’s it! However, they do know it’s not porn!

  6. Kris Norris

    Hi Julia,

    I’m so with you. When folks ask what I do… and then or course, oh what do you write… my hubby loves to tell them “She writes smutty novels for women.” Yup, and to think I didn’t run when I had the chance.

    Your book sounds great. And I’m sure it’ll leave folks hungry.
    Kris

  7. amber skyze

    Cheers to you Julia! I get so tired of hearing people say eewwww, you write porn!

    Great excerpt!

    Hugs…

  8. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Shoulda run, Kris! LOL! I’m okay with smut, porn is another animal altogether. And Amber, I’m with you! I do get tired of it. I don’t write porn!

  9. Tessie Bradford

    Like Cindy, within my close family, we also joke around and it’s all in good fun. What bothers me the most is when people refer to our work as porn without ever reading it!! What are they basing their opinion on – the beautiful covers, the tantalizing blurbs and excerpts? Too bad they don’t take the time (or are too hung up) to read incredible, romantic stories written for adults!

  10. Gail Roarke

    Well, I guess I’m going to be the voice of dissent. I write porn. It’s romance and erotica, but it’s also porn–at least by my spouse’s definition, which is based on the answer to a simple question: “Do you read it or look at it or watch it to be aroused?”

    If so, it’s porn. Not, as Jerry Seinfeld, says, that there’s anything wrong with that!

    So, yes, I write porn. It’s not _only_ porn (i.e., sex scenes without plot or conflict or artistic intent), but it’s definitely porn.

  11. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Gail, your honest answer makes me laugh. I have to say, I love me some good sex, but I read for the story and the characters! It’s true! What I mean is, if an author doesn’t make me care about the characters, I don’t care about their physical relationship. In other words, sex, without context and people I care about, is meaningless to me.

  12. Katalina Leon

    Porn does not foster tender feelings or look for common ground between partners. It’s a purely physical focus. Romantic/Erotica focuses on the sexual side of emotional bonding. In my opinion emotional intention is the big difference between porn and Romantic/erotica. They are not the same thing at all.

  13. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Kat, you nailed it!

  14. Gail Roarke

    I’d say that emotional intention is the big difference between good fiction and bad in every genre. So yes, sex without emotion or feeling (and characterization and plot) is boring, but so is violence–which is why action-packed blockbusters can be dull. All the shooting and explosions and car chases can’t make up for a lack of interest in what the hero(s) are doing, and their emotional investment in it.

  15. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Yes, Gail, I do agree – the same thing applies to books, movies, television – without plot and character development, there is nothing particularly interesting about special effects, unless that is all you are into. J

  16. Regina Carlysle

    The differences between romance and porn are huge. Porn is all about the sexual gratification with no emotion whereas romance packs an emotional punch. I get teased about ‘writing porn’ by my immediately family but it’s just a joke. If someone else said it, I’d be highly offended. Many years ago, I was with a group of women and one of them said…ohhh you write trash. The group went silent and she gazed around with this innocent look. It was nice when the other women defended me and what I write.

  17. Linda Henderson

    Hey, my daughters used to call my romance books “smut books” and they were harlequins. I read a lot of different genre’s and they would truly be amazed at what I read now.

  18. Paris Brandon

    I know people who think all romance is porn and make that distinction without ever reading a romance, let alone an erotic romance. Most of the time I just shake my head because trying to explain the difference is a waste of time.

  19. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Regina, Linda and Paris – thanks for coming by. I do perceive a huge difference between erotic romance and porn. In my mind, porn is devoid of attachment and emotion. The focus is the sex act, period.

  20. Bronwyn Green

    Julia, this is a fantastic post! It really pisses me off when I hear the porn comment. Now I just need to memorize Kat’s definition and spout it at them whenever I hear it! 😉

  21. Julia Rachel Barrett

    Yes, Bron, me too!

  22. Fran Lee

    You ladies don’t write porn…not so sure about me, though, LOL! Hot, sexy romance is a far cry from porn, and a reader who loves to read sexy romance is hardly doing anything wrong. Porn focuses on sexual titillation rather than on any sort of romantic relationship. I have read both, and although porn can be hot and erotic, it leaves me ice cold. I love a well written story that reaches out and grabs me, and holds on until I put the book down with a sigh.

  23. TK Turner

    I write erotica.

    Not porn. Not romance.

    People can’t just look at sex for sex. They want to attach “romance” or “porn” to it, and I wish they’d just let the sex stand on its own without forcing a label on it, or conforming it into something it is not. Sex can be romantic, but it can also be sad…angry…lonely…passionate…desperate…dirty. There’s more than two boxes to put it in.

    I don’t believe in HEA endings (in fact, none of my erotic stories have HEA endings…all of them are HFN) but to me, that seems more REAL. More authentic. If the two MCs are trotting off to the alter at the end of every romance novel, it seems…too convenient…too tooth-rotting-sweet–not enough grit and angst for my taste, haha.

    I like the one-night stands, the sordid sex scandals and secret affairs! I don’t want the rainbows and fancy lace in my stories, lol. I want stories that will get to the point–the sex–without reading like some trashy scene from an amateur porn video.

    There’s not enough publishers brave enough to take this stand, though, sadly…so I must grit my teeth and write the corny HEAs in my stories to get them published. *sigh* But I’m hoping one day that’ll change!

    Good blog post! 😀

  24. Ona Choat

    I usually do not drop a leave a response, but I browsed a few of the responses on this page Romance Junkies Blog | No…um…I don’t write porn.. I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it simply me or do some of these remarks come across as if they are written by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online social sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of your social community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Leave a Reply

Back to Top