Saturday, February 21, 2015

What's the Difference Between Erotica and Pornography?

That's the question, isn't it? What is the difference, and why does it matter?

It matters to me because upon doing research for the upcoming book (yay!), Jotham pointed out to me that many places which sell stock photography won't allow their pictures to be used in pornography. Now, considering we've actually found pictures that were used for books like "Pounded by President Bigfoot" (which is right in our target group) on these stock photo sites to no obvious repercussions, it shouldn't matter. The thing is though... "Pounded by President Bigfoot" and the like really aren't erotica: they're pornography. It's written porn, but it's porn. Or is it?

When you say "erotica", it conjures up images of satin sheets, lit candles, and two bodies moving in and out of focus all steamy like, but not really seeing "the good stuff", right? Pornography would be the opposite, sexually speaking: two (or more) bodies moving together, showing everything from every angle in good lighting. Like... erotica is Cinemax late at night, and pornography is the Playboy channel. Some people say the difference is that erotica has a story, and porn doesn't. (I disagree with that, but that's a different post later on.) 

Here's the thing though: erotica is a synonym for pornography, and vice versa. Personally, I always thought "erotica" meant literary pornography. It was still porn... it was just written down and had no photos. A quote by someone famous says that pornography is erotica which is not to the taste of the person describing it. I think I like that definition the best. Why? Because it's all fucking subjective, that's why. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Everyone under the sun is going to have a different view of what is erotica and what is pornography. Some people say that erotica is only for women's brains, and porn is only for men's crotches. Others will say one has a story and the other doesn't. Some will say that porn is just pictures, erotica is writing.

My personal opinion? Porn is erotica. Erotica is porn. They both aim to get you off. You can dress it up as fancy as you like, or you can take it all off and show it proudly to the world, but the end result is orgasms. How's that bad again? (Setting aside arguments for exploitative works--I do not hold with that at all.) Oh yeah, I forgot; people are so damn repressed mentioning anything about porn will get you the angry and disgusted looks, "OH. You watch THAT?" Well, yes, yes I do. I happen to enjoy porn. I enjoy erotica. They're the same thing for me. It's kind of like... when I want action and adventure, I watch something actiony. When I want something funny, I watch a comedy. When I want romance, I watch a romance. When I want sexy fun feelings, I watch porn. (Or read, whichever.) So, yeah. They're the same.

That really doesn't help to find stock photography for the covers though. There are a couple of sites that cater for erotica, but I don't know how they would feel if they thought it was for butt-fucking raptor-men.

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