I want to read erotica from the inside.

The surface elements are much less important to me than how the characters feel. A bland setting or one that is poorly realized is, to me, a flaw, and an intriguing one is a bonus, but I don’t absolutely require fabulous worldbuilding. For me, erotica is about the characters.

If the characters are bland, unoriginal, lacking in conflict, then what’s the point of me reading the story? If the characters are intriguing enough, they don’t need to be having sex while riding an elephant up the side of a mountain in the middle of a thunderstorm. If what they’re thinking and wanting and feeling while they have sex interests me, I only need a few key details of what they’re actually doing.

Some erotica, often touted as “literary,” might have other priorities, such as elaborate prose, political commentary, or thought-provoking plot elements. Sometimes I am in the mood for that. But overall, character is the most important element I look for.

I don’t care what gender the characters are, or if the story is about a pair or a menage or simply strangers who’ve met up for a single occasion. I care whether they’re interesting.