Sunday, January 31, 2010

Erotica VS Pornography

Sunday, January 31, 2010
I've been meaning to write this entry for awhile. As usual, I came home from work tonight, showered and changed into my pajamas. Alas, I never seem to get to sleep before 3 a.m. on weekends anyway, so I might as well get my blog post over and done with.

So, what is the difference between erotica and pornography? Some deem that anything pertaining to sex (or rather, depictions of sexual relationships) is indeed pornographic. Others believe that the difference between erotica and pornography is all a matter of taste -- that is, erotica is classy while pornography is tasteless.

My views on the subject? Well, they're certainly complex. Allow me to say that I don't believe my blog to be pornographic -- despite its graphic written depictions of sex. I believe (and hope others do as well) that my writing is good enough that it transcends "prurient interest" and gives the reader something more.

True, many of my blog entries don't have any sexual content at all, but honestly: this is a blog about my career as a sex worker. From fisting and rimming to anal and oral, there's a lot that minors shouldn't (necessarily) be reading here! So, is it possible that something can be both sexually graphic and not pornographic?

I think it all comes down to presentation and execution.

Jenna Jameson, for instance, made a career as a pornographic actress. Her films, in my opinion, are pornography. Jenna has sex with men on-camera and the subsequent intercourse is then filmed and distributed via the Internet and DVD. There's no real art to them. Jenna is penetrated in a variety of orifices to stimulate sexual arousal in men (and perhaps women) around the world.

So yes, Jenna Jameson's body of work can be deemed pornographic -- specifically because the films show actual sex. That is, the viewer can witness the man's penis enter Jenna's vagina. That's sex, folks. Nothing more. As such, that meets my personal definition of pornography.

Now, if a film with an actual plot were to also feature actual penetrative sex, would that be deemed pornography as well? I truly don't know. I vaguely remember hearing that Chloe Sevigny of HBO's Big Love performed oral sex on a man in a independent film. As far as I know, this independent film has remained an independent film. It's not being sold any adult video stores or anything.

Other sexually graphic films include Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and A Clockwork Orange. I also believe that David Lynch's Blue Velvet was subject to controversy during its release, as were the classic French films Last Tango in Paris and my much-beloved Belle de Jour.

Still, these films have artistic merit. That can't be said for the works of Jenna Jameson or Tera Patrick. Understand that I'm not aiming to degrade and/or criticize these ladies' work. All I'm saying is, "Not everything that involves sex is necessarily pornography."

But let's have a visual aid, shall we?

Now, I'm not linking to any hardcore porn. Cheesy as it sounds, I want to keep this blog relatively clean. So let's take it down a notch and talk about "softcore" images, the kind of thing one would see in PLAYBOY magazine. Full disclosure: the following photos are full nudes and should not be viewed at work.

Janine Habeck (Miss September 2006) -- Photo 1

Janine Habeck (Miss September 2006) -- Photo 2

Janine Habeck (Miss September 2006) -- Photo 3

So, these photos are certainly stylish. Tasteful, even. And, obviously, Janine is a woman who looks great naked. However, let's compare it to what some might deem to be more artistic nudes -- ones that aren't created for the purpose of arousing men.

Artistic Nude 1

Artistic Nude 2

Artistic Nude 3

Notice a difference? While neither of these photos are obscene -- in fact I think they're all beautiful -- one can easily discern which ones are for men and which ones are for artistic expression. The fact they all three feature a female in a state of undress seems almost besides the point. It's the presentation and/or execution that makes a difference.

In sum, I hope this post was a worthwhile foray into the debate of Erotica vs Pornography. And now, my dear readers, I am going to sleep!
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