Erotica Warnings – Are they necessary?

Warnings for Erotica Books – Is This A Rule?

I was wondering about the warnings that you put on your book reviews for erotic type books: “Warning: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence. It is only recommended for mature audiences” or this one “Note: The genre for this book is erotica. The book may be inappropriate for anyone under 18, and my review may allude to sexual or other graphic scenes”

Is this something all book reviewers should be doing? I review the occasional erotica so I wanted to know if this is some kind of guideline I am not aware of.


Hey Jennifer!

There aren’t any official guidelines that I’m aware of (like FTC Guidelines), this is just something that I’ve chosen to do on my blog. I know there are a lot of young bloggers out there (13 – 15), or bloggers that just stay far away from erotica. I just don’t want someone to start reading my review because they don’t realize it’s for an erotica book, then be hit in the face with something nasty, if you know what I mean.

So putting a big warning at the top of my erotica reviews is just my way of saying “THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BAIL OUT NOW”.

I guess it’s usually pretty obvious when a book is erotica (hot covers, the synopsis, etc.) but I think it’s better to give people a very clear warning so that they immediately know what they’re getting into.

Do you put a warning at the top of your erotica reviews?

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  1. I often wonder the same about putting warnings in book synopses. I don’t personally find them necessary, actually… I think they’re a little condescending, but that’s how society is, for some reason, and they’re everywhere. As for book reviews, also unecessary. That’s just me, though. Rarely do my views match those of the hoi polloi.

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  2. I like to put up a warning for adult content just because I know that there are young readers out there or those who don’t like those types of books. That way they can’t say they were not warned about it. I just think it’s more of a courtesy to those who don’t like those types of books. I actually don’t review them but I have a couple of bloggers who post on my blog that do.

  3. The only erotica I’ve ever reviewed on my blog is Fifty Shades (read out of pure curiosity about the hype lmao!), but whenever I review anything that I personally deem inappropriate for young readers (*coughcough* September Girls) I mark it with a warning that it may not be suitable for readers under the age of 17.
    Like you said, it’s usually pretty obvious when something is erotica based off of the cover…but sometimes you wouldn’t think something would be full of sex/cursing if it looks like YA. Better to be safe than sorry! I wouldn’t want my 13 year old getting ahold of something like September Girls…

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  4. I wish there were more separation between romance books and erotica. I’m not anti-erotica. In fact, I’ve read one or two. My problem is that now that everyone’s trying to write the next “fifty shades,” it’s everywhere. Again, that’s fine. Erotica lovers, go for it. My problem is that I’m really getting sick of searching for romance blogs or groups and then having nothing but pictures of tied up woman being shoved in my face. I don’t join “romance” sites to read about adventure books. Because let’s face it, erotica is very different. Slapping an HEA on the end of BDSM doesn’t magically turn it into a romance.

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