Erotica – It is better than sex
Since taking up this little ‘hobby’ of Erotica writing, I seem to be getting accused of writing ‘Sex’ or ‘nothing short of Pornography’. For example, I’m sitting at my desk working on my latest pictures & poems when I’m asked what I’m doing.
“I’ve just created some pictures”"
Cool. What of?”
“Here’s one. Tough Love”
“WTH? That’s just sex…”
That just seem to be a common perception for practically anything I do these days. When Shopping, I head towards the South African Boerewors Sausage versus the German Krainer Wurst. I then receive a ‘Roll Of Eyes” and ‘Typical’ cursive remark.
When I ask a friend at the airport ‘did you enjoy yourself? I am informed that I have a ‘one-track mind’…
Perception – It’s what others see in you.
I recall these and various other events in my life to query whether I have an unusual fixation to Pornography or if my view of erotica is slightly warped. I can’t help but conclude that my prudish point of view simply differs from others around me.
As I research this more, I start to browse the Internet for more examples of Erotica. It’s not long before my Surfing unravels a short ’erotic story’. I’m immediately shocked as within a few short lines I’m confronted with descriptions of nude bodies writhing, fully drawn erections, deep thrusts of anatomy, then apparent climax.
Climax? It’ barely been a couple of chapters? At the risk of sounding pretentious, I was rather hoping for more. This is like taking a pamphlet or flyer to bed at night for reading rather than a New York Times bestseller. I’m fairly certain that delivery of pamphlet sex to our partners would be frowned upon.
- Porn is of British origin popularized in the 60s’, whereas,
- Erotica has an earlier origin from Greek myth & history
“Nope. Erotica. It’s Art mate”
“No. I think it was just a kiss. I think…”
“Pornography could well be the hard-sell line for Erotica”
- PJ Bayliss
Let’s face it, there are a wide variety of Black & White model pictures depicting a ‘more that idea for most of us’ sexual scene floating about the Internet & being distributed to friends all day. However, it is also understood that many of these models do not actually engage or penetrate or have penetrate in coitus. Technically, this would be classed as Erotica in my books.
Then there is the same visual depiction, but this time it’s blatantly obvious that the models are well engaged. Hard-core or not, I would class this as Pornography. However, a friend challenged me and said “it was Erotica because of the emotion shown within her eye.”
So Porn is just lifeless Erotica? Or if Erotica was emotionless, it became Porn?
I was now more confused than ever as the definition of Erotica became increasingly mingled with the concept of Pornography. To help clarify, I attempted to write my most prominent sex scene in my book. (First Sight Part 2)
Now, having completed this exercise, I discovered something remarkable about writing sex scenes. It’s not an Origami Exercise!”
When we view Pornography in a picture format, our minds immediately process the image as ‘Part A is slotted into Part B’ and that is pretty much all our mind registers. “The Act” is all we really see.
However, to write that same picture, it’s necessary to explain the events leading up to it, and what happens in that scene. To successfully deliver the message in writing it is necessary to consider:
- Point of view
- Patterns of imagery
- Plot & Theme
Putting all of these together into a piece of writing that works must be considered as an Artform: Erotica.
Obviously it is possible for an author to write the same sexual encounter in varying degrees of vulgarity. I’ve demonstrated this before in exercise 1 within “Can a man write romance” where I turned an existing piece of text into something a little more romantic.
Therefore, the difference between one Erotica writer to another is the style & use of terminology. Just as in music where some Metal Bands are less ‘Metallic’ than others or the lyrics in the songs are far more likely to become censored. It all comes down to style & grace.
In 1988 I purchased Ralf’s book as part of an Art Award. I won’t ‘give’ my age at the time, but it’s needless to say that my parents were briefly shocked before accepting the images and verse and my associated artistic flair. It is a very profound book if you ever get the opportunity to read it.
Prophets emerge with the fullness of time and all their prophecies are wrong
This picture and passage comes from Ralf Steadmans’ book called “The Big IAM”
Erotica by one person is quite possibly identified as being Pornography by another person. A writer may create a passage under the intention of creating an Erotic artwork, but a reader or critique still has the right to associate it as Pornography. The points of view from writer, reader, and critique, do not necessarily remain identical.
This is a common problem associated with the arts. The gap appears to widen through generations:
- In the 1600s, if a woman was discovered with an unusually large clitoris, she was typically condemned to death as a witch.
- In 1858 Doctors listed Death, Hysteria, Epileptic fits and Hysterical epilepsy as potential diseases triggered by female masturbation.
What these facts, and many others, tell me is that human society is not always correct in current points of view. No doubt it is far more ‘mature’ today than in some noted historical periods, but I could not possibly suggest that we have it right yet. I raises questions over the reported “right or wrongs” of MILF Pornography or “Bubblegum Porn” (to which I can’t locate a reference) Is it possible that we still simply have the wrong perspective of these topics as a society? Are we still trying to witch-hunt these ‘freaks of nature’ when the sober reality is that they simply exist?
If this is the situation, how can the existing dictionary reference of Pornography being “an unhealthy interest” be correct? Especially when there are “fully clothed” categories of Pornography?
It’s impractical to label any particular artwork or writing as no longer belonging to the realm of Erotica and to be considered as Pornographic in todays society.
I believe that “pornography” has become increasingly subjective and a matter of personal opinion based upon the obvious gaps in dictionary definitions and what society considers to be of Pornographic nature.
There is a dark, unhealthy stigma surrounding pornography where a population of society considers it to be a taboo. However, history tells us that such taboos were incorrect or considered superstitious by society. Our current knowledge and acceptance suggests that these idealisms are unfounded and incorrect.
The basic truth remains that Erotica topics vary in nature, and may in fact include the descriptions of sexual acts such as coitus or ‘making love’. It is not necessarily fair to assume that the writers perspective will match the expectations of the audience.
Progress and maturity of Erotica requires acceptance by society and an understanding of what we have evolved from. Fossil evidence supports that argument that our ancestors evolved from an alpha male to multiple female harem styled lifestyle. By denying this prehistoric animal instinct within todays society must surely be seen as defiant laughter in the face of our basic Human Spirit.
(C) 2012 – 2013 PJ Bayliss