Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Sable Hunter, who lives half-time in central Texas and half-time RVing. Her newest book, Hot on Her Trail, the second book in the Hell, Yeah series, is being released soon.
I asked Sable how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
She decided she would let Libby, the heroine from the first book in her Hell, Yeah series, Cowboy Heat, answer that question.
“Let me set the scene up for you. Libby is in an examining room at a clinic, waiting on the verdict from her physician. To pass the time, she is lying on the hospital bed reading one of her ever-present erotic romance novels. The doctor startles her when he comes in, and she throws the book in the air – hitting him square on the head!
Here is his question and her answer:
“Were you reading porn again, Libby?” Doc Mulligan loved to tease Libby Fontaine. She was as cute as she was sweet.
“It’s not porn, doc. It’s erotic romance; there’s a difference, you know.” She lay still as the physician checked her vital signs.
He was listening to her heart, but it didn’t stop him from continuing his bantering. “Oh my, it must have been some good stuff; your blood pressure is slightly elevated.”
Libby blushed and hid her head in the pillow. “It was pretty hot.”
“Explain to me the difference between porn and erotica. I don’t believe I can live another day without understanding the variances in that particular genre.” Doc Mulligan managed to keep a completely straight face.
Libby grinned; she liked when the doctor joked around. Due to the disease that she had battled for so long, opportunities to socially interact with people were few and far between. Usually, she had been too ill or fatigued to enjoy anyone’s company. Now, her blue eyes sparkled and a dimple came out to play, just past the corner of her top lip. “Not erotica, romantic erotica. Huge difference!”
Doc Mulligan laughed. Libby was such a delight. Never a frown, never a down day – no matter how bad the diagnosis. “Excuse me, O ye hedonist extraordinaire.”
“Whadjacallme?” Fits of giggles escaped as the doctor made a funny face at her.
“A hedonist, my dear, is a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure.” He made notes on his clipboard all the while.
“All right, that sounds like something I would be very interested in. Sign me up; I think I’d make an outstanding hedonist. Pleasure seems preferable over pain any old day.” Even though she smiled, Doc Mulligan knew that she was remembering all of the pain that she had endured through the years. Cancer could be a cruel disease.
“I don’t blame you, my dear.” Refusing to be negative, he picked back up on their earlier conversation. “So, explain it to me; what‘s the difference between porn and romantic erotica?”
“That’s easy.” She flipped over on her side, so he could listen to her breathing from the back. “Porn is explicit, graphic descriptions of sex. Romantic Erotica is explicit, graphic descriptions of sex; but the girl and boy love each other very much and there’s always a happy ending.”
“Ah, a happy ending – that’s always good.” In his profession, he didn’t see nearly enough of those.
“Yeah.” Libby grew quiet. What she wouldn’t give for a happy ending.
So: in summation – porn is explicit – for stimulation’s sake only – erotica has a plot, but not necessarily a happy one and romantic erotica has an explicit, satisfying love story that takes you behind the bedroom door and describes the lovemaking thrust by thrust and blow by blow – with a happy ending, of course.”
Sable’s favorite authors are Maya Banks (Sable loves the Colters and would trade places with one of Maya’s heroines any day); Sara McCarty, especially the Hell’s Eight and the Promise series; Lorelei James (“I love the continuing saga of the McKay clan,” she told me. “The sex is raunchy, but the emotion is on high gear!”)
“Sara’s books are historical erotic westerns and are absolutely luscious!” she said. “When one of my readers described my sex scenes as luscious – I told them I had been inspired by Sara McCarty!”
When Sable is writing, she has three criteria she uses to judge her own work. First, her erotic fiction has to rope the reader in.
“One reader told me that a scene in my story made her feel like she was watching the couple from the bushes. I laughed at her comment, but I understood – she felt like she was there – and that is what I’m after,” Sable explained. “Second – I want my stories to either make me laugh out loud or tear-up. They can’t always do both – but, when they do – I feel like I’ve succeeded. Third – my love scenes have to turn me on. If they don’t make me hot, they’re not going to do it for anybody else. I’ve been told that my sex scenes make women hunt their husbands down and drag them to the bedroom. I took that as a compliment.”
“What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?” I asked.
“I classify my stories as erotic romance – but erotic is the key word. There is enough worry and trouble in this world – we all need to be able to find some joy and happiness in our day to day life. I want my books to bring romance, joy – and yes – sexual stimulation to my readers,” Sable responded. “Erotica is a wonderful genre. I have heard people talk down their noses about erotica and romantic erotica – that’s a crock – these same people read it every chance they get – they’re just too puritanical to admit it. Those of us who openly and loudly proclaim the joys of erotica and romantic erotica have fuller, richer and more satisfying lives!!!!
Erotica is not dirty. Sex is not dirty. As my hero Tyler Landon said in Heart in Chains, ‘Sex is the grandest, most wonderful thing in the whole world!'”
Sable told me that her husband would like her to tell me that she does all her research in the bedroom (and it’s true that she does a lot of it there). She also, however, watches Cinemax and, especially, Cinemax After Dark. Some of her favorite shows to watch for inspiration include Zane’s Sex Chronicles, Life on Top, and .
“My God, there was a scene on Lingerie the other night – it was a ménage between the photographer Jason (the hunky, hot, gorgeous, inspiring Michael Scratch) and two women,” she said. “I tell you honestly, I nearly wore my DVR out! You can believe I took explicit notes during that scene. Another resource I have used is the internet, of course. But, my main source of research is my wild, fertile, vast, sorta-dirty imagination.”
We talked about the boundary between porn and erotic romance.
Sable has ventured into BDSM, has a ménage coming out soon, and has hinted at anal play. She said that she’s not into cruelty in any way and that bestiality, unless it’s part of a shifter romance, will never be included in any of her books.
“There are some kinks and fetishes that don’t do it for me – like golden showers and foot obsessions,” she told me. “Altogether, I’m pretty open. And I would never write a story that didn’t end with the couple getting together, which is probably the clearest boundary for me.”
She actually started out writing straight romance. She found it totally unsatisfying.
“I hated to send those two love birds behind the bedroom door and leave me standing on the other side. I wanted to see what was going on! Heck, I wanted to feel what was going on,” she explained. “So, finally I opened the door – walked in – sat down with my notepad and took copious notes. They didn’t mind a bit!”
And, what does her family think?
Her husband doesn’t read a lot of it, because he wants more pictures and illustrations.
“Typical man,” she said. “His best friend, however – a GUY – loves my books. HE constantly asks my husband where I am on a book and when it’s coming out and what I’m writing about. He’s my biggest fan! He takes my books to an oil rig and passes them around. I have a fan club of these big, tough he-men out there somewhere.”
Her grandmother and great-aunt, who are both in their 90s, read her books and fans themselves. Her younger brother, in college, also reads them and passes them out to his female friends.
On a personal note, if Sable could be anyone, it would be one of her own cats.
“There has never existed a more spoiled, loved, lazy, well-fed, hedonistic group in the world! When you die – if you’re good – you come back as a beloved pet!” she said. “Now, that’s the life! Of course, my luck – my owner would get me fixed and there would go my sex life. Rats!”
If she were going to pierce a body part, it would be her navel because she thinks it’s super-hot to see a little cold ring shining over a low cut pair of blue jeans. She also likes to read and write about nipple piercings and clit piercings but admits, “I’m too much of a wienie to ever have those parts done.”
The sexiest piercings she’s ever read about, however (and she does plan on writing into her books someday) is penis piercings and how great they feel to the girl as they drag over her sensitive parts.
“Lord have mercy!” she exclaimed.
Her favorite food is gumbo, which isn’t surprising since she’s originally from New Orleans. And, she can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
“It’s the same difference that there is between straight romance and romantic erotica,” she explained. “Pepsi is sweet – like straight romance. Coke is sweet, but it has a bite – like erotic romance.”
Sable’s strangest habit is announcing “Well, I’m glad that’s over with” every time she finishes a project or comes back from an event.
“My husband put that saying on my cell phone and says he’s going to put it on my tombstone,” she told me.
When she’s not writing, she loves to read, cook, and she also ghost hunts.
“Yeah, that’s right. I’m right up there with TAPS – digital cameras, video equipment, digital recorders – emf detectors – BOY COULD I SHOW YOU SOME WILD PHOTOGRAPHS!” she asserted.
Finally, I asked her what advice she would give to someone who wanted to write erotica.
“My advice – do it! First, you need a great story as well as some ideas for a hot scene. You ought to be able to pull out the sex scenes and still have a great book! But, the sex scenes, for me are critical. There are some guidelines that I use for myself:
“A – Refrain from making it all description of the act. It’s best if you work in the emotion. Tell what the heroine and hero are thinking and how the sex is making them feel – guilty, committed, falling in love, desperate to forge a bond – let the reader know how the sex act is affecting not only the plotline, but also the character’s emotions.
“B – Also, tell the sex scene from both points of few – his and hers. Men and women look at, feel, and respond to sex differently and that makes the story that much more intriguing.
“And C – include dialogue in the sex scenes. I love it when I get feedback during lovemaking. Tell me when something feels good. Tell me how much you want me. Groan. Moan. Scream. Beg. It’s all HOT!”
You can keep up with Sable on Twitter, http://twitter.com/huntersable