I get asked this a lot. The line between hawt, steamy romance and erotic is growing thinner all the time. So, how is a reader or an author to know?
It’s all about the words and subject matter. Come versus cum, for example. Up close and personal descriptions of all the “pink parts.” Elements of BDSM–whether a scene in a bedroom or most of the book being set in a BDSM club–clearly make the leap to erotic. Sex toys push those limits, too.
However, the romance still remains. The push and pull of falling in love, the joy and thrill of it, the fear of commitment remain the same. Characters we come to love by book’s end are just as engaging with a flogger in their hand as a rose. Kink, for some, is merely sex play. An extension of themselves, a way of releasing tension.
Safe, sane, and consensual.