#mommyporn: Derogatory or Adoration?

Both.  It’s all about the context.  Recently a fellow writer, Sierra Godfrey, tweeted that she was offended by the term #mommyporn in reference to Fifty Shades of Grey. And frankly, I agree with her… mostly.

The phrase “mommy porn” was coined by the media in reference to the hype and explosion of the Fifty Shades series. If you search the hashtag on Twitter, you will find it used with adoration and in derogatory.   (Adoration i.e.: Can't wait to pour a glass of wine and curl up with my #mommyporn. Wahoo!) It’s the negative, derogatory use of #mommyporn people associate with Fifty Shades (or any erotica/romance book) that offends me.  For the record, I didn’t like Fifty Shades. (I want to be a professional writer and not a reviewer so I will not elaborate.)  But the point remains, why can’t mothers read erotica?  Just because we have kids doesn’t mean we’ve shut down our sexual side. Why does a negative stigma have to be associated with it at all?  It’s kind of like literary book snobs who frown on commercial fiction.  PEOPLE ARE READING FOR GOD’S SAKES!  For a lot of people, it has ignited a passion to read all together!  Note that I said ignited and not reignited.  Some adults were never readers until SOME book lit something on fire inside them.  Who are we to judge what that was? Reading Twilight did that for me.  We all know the love/hate Twilight has.

It also offends me that people associate written erotica/romance with porn.  I've watched porn before (Dear God, please don't let my mother ever read this post.), and majority of them are purely about sex.  And IF there's a "story line" in porn, it's the most horrible cheesy crap I've ever seen. Erotica and porn both have sex, that's about all they have in common.  Men have nipples, doesn't mean they can breast feed.  There are more complicated things going on under the surface that distinguish the difference. Yes, some erotica reads like written porn, but we are talking about majority vs. majority. Not the exceptions to the rule.   

Many times I have lovingly referred to the romance novels I read as “romance smut.”  And I love my smut.  I mean it with the utmost respect and appreciation. I use “romance smut” as a loving term, therefore I feel it is okay to use it…until now.  This is a stretch comparison, but it’s kind of like the “n” word.  (For the record, I think the “n” word is horrifically more offensive than #mommyporn but I’m trying to make a point.) Some people say only black people can use the word because they do so in a playful way to their fellow people. BUT if they use the word, then other people feel like they can too, and the cycle of using an offensive word continues.

Also keep in mind that making blanket, close-minded statements will make you appear ignorant.  Kind of like a woman I met at a wedding a few weeks ago who said to me that people who read that stuff (referring to Fifty Shades) are unhappily married….um, yeah. WOW…yeah, just wow.  I did tell her that though I didn’t like Fifty Shades, I do read other romance/erotica and I’m very happily married.  O_o  *crickets*

Am I making an all-call for people to stop using the term?  No, but I do think people need to be aware that the term itself can be considered offensive.  Does this mean I will never use “romance smut” again?  No, but I will limit when and where I use it, keeping in mind I might be offending someone.  (Not that I have ever heard of anyone being offended by that term but I’m sure it’s happened.)

It’s inevitable that you will offend somebody, even with the most innocent intentions. You can’t make everyone happy.  And just because one person gets their hackles up doesn’t mean everyone will.  Awareness and tact are all I’m asking for, in anything you do.