What's the difference between
pornography and erotica? Porn -- quick and dirty, sex with a little bit of
story. Erotica -- long and dirty, euphemistic sex with lots of story,
presumably having literary merit. The Blue Moon Erotic Reader III
presents excerpts from an assortment of stories, by various authors, purporting
to be erotica. The pieces range from Victorian to contemporary, and explore a
variety of situational elements and sexual behaviors.
An individual reader might find
some of the excerpts erotic, some not, depending on their individual tastes.
Similarly, the stories differ so much in style that anyone interested in such
material would find something to like, and something to dislike in the volume.
As for "literary merit," I didn't find much. Some of the excerpts
contain such convoluted, tortuous prose that I skipped ahead to the next
story. Others engaged my interest enough that I felt annoyed when the excerpt
abruptly ended, leaving me wondering what happened next. But my interest did
not extend to tracking down a full-length version of the piece to find out.
Here's my advice: if you're looking
for quick and dirty, go to your local dirty bookstore and get something
straightforward and pornographic. If you like an extra-spicy story, get a
well-reviewed, full-length work of erotica in your preferred flavor. Don't
waste your time with the condensed version. What's the point of sex with lots
of story if the story gets cut short?
© 2003 Jodi Forschmiedt
Jodi Forschmiedt reads, writes,
and teaches in Seattle, Washington.