My career as an erotic author commenced only after discovering a nifty little website called Literotica, a free erotic reads site that encouraged authors to submit their own writing. In the early years of my acquaintance with this site I must have read hundreds and hundreds of different stories by different authors, so I'd count myself a minor authority on the topic about which I am going to rant.
Why oh why oh why can't erotic authors pick *normal* names for their characters?
I mean, this is a flaw that occurs in non-erotic writing too, but it seems to be far worse in erotica. I suspect it's due to some obligation the author feels to make their character 'sexy' and 'unusual', perhaps thinking that a Tom or an Alice can't possibly get involved in sexual misadventure.
Personally I think this is a load of old, smelly tripe. The whole point of erotica is that the author wants the reader to connect with the story and the characters--to see the situation and the people as realistic as far as they possibly can, because shortly you could be about to get them involved in some marginally unrealistically mind-blowing sex.
I hate picking names for my characters, but when I do I try to make them as normal as possible--Natalie, Andrew, Melissa, Richard, Katie, Alistair--names one would come across in everyday life. I refuse to provide examples of some of the sillier names I've seen in erotic writing, because I don't want this to get personal with any one author and made-up names are, by their very nature, easily recognisable and identifiable.
Just one more thing that occurs to me -- perhaps this is a cross-Atlantic thing again. I have noticed that Americans tend to go in for slightly more unusual names than we English. The use of boys' names for girls, surnames for boys' first names and so forth. I'd like to think that this is all it was-- a cultural clash between English and American, but somehow I doubt it. So, if you're ever planning on writing some erotica, please please consider calling your main character something terribly terribly normal. I'd love to see more Chris's and Carolines!