Oh the dance of genre, sub-genre. "Straight contemporary romance," "spanking fiction," "erotica," "erotic romance," "f/f," "m/f," "m/m," "LGBTQ lit," "BDSM erotica," "historical," "fantasy," "menage," "sci-fi," "Regency." I've seen these words and phrases, sometimes alone, sometimes together, describing some book. Whether they actually fit the book is always debatable to me.
Now many of the words come with assumptions, such as appropriate cover art, words used to describe body parts... The list goes on.
In the process of self-publishing "Out of the Night: Book One," I've pondered these things, probably overmuch. Like my friend Ana, I have a book, I believe in, enjoyed writing, still enjoy reading, but it defies many conventions of "erotic romance," regardless of which sub-genre I consider- it can fit into quite a few. Well "Night" and the other 8 books of "Vala's Story" do.
I do not have a "couple," of whatever mix of genders. I don't even fit in the menage category; one Master and nineteen switches, of varying degrees makes for the occasional couple or menage under my fanciful poly, leather family.
And "fantasy." That's another on. I admit, the scale is immense in The Queen's world. However, my goal has long been to have the scale immense, while keeping the sex and BDSM activities real. The Queen has multiple store rooms, closets for his "toys"; most of my Master's toys are kept in a duffel bag at the bottom of His closet.
Oh, but the best argument is "romance" versus "erotica," with the newer (I don't know how new) contender of "erotic romance." There’s two problems as I see it. I describe graphic sex acts while having characters in romantic (if unorthodox) relationships. I really do think "erotic romance" works best for "Vala's Story," but beyond that, things get tricky. At Loose ID, they have a polyamorous category; I am sure after I've brought out "Vala's Story," I’ll look at submitting something to them. I wonder if books like Vala's would happily belong in both poly and BDSM categories? Because that's where Vala belongs.