Erotica (from the Greek "Eros"—"desire") or "curiosa," works of art, including literature, photography, film, sculpture and painting, that deal substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing descriptions. "Erotica" is a modern word used to describe the portrayal of the human anatomy and sexuality with high-art aspirations, differentiating such work from commercial pornography. [ [ Pornography - MSN Encarta ] ] "Curiosa" is generally used to refer to erotica and pornography as discrete, collectible items, usually in published or printed form.

Various sub-genres of erotica exist. As with fiction as a whole, there are erotic stories with a science fiction, fantasy, horror or romance focus. Additionally, erotica can also focus on specific sexual behavior or fetishes such as BDSM, wearing uniforms, cross-dressing, polygamy and sexual promiscuity. Fan fiction featuring characters engaging in male homosexual acts has become known as slash fiction.

Erotica and pornography

The commonly used distinction between "erotica" and "pornography" is that sexually-explicit depictions in "erotica" must have an inherent artistic or literary merit, while those in "pornography" are intended solely in order to cause sexual arousal. While in principle this seems clear enough, in practice there is no easy way to define objectively artistic or literary merit and detect its presence or absence in a given work. Such definitions change from one society to another, from one period to another and often also from person to person. The issue came to prominence mainly through obscenity court cases under the Comstock Laws in the US and their equivalents in other countries. In cases such as that of Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer", the decision whether a certain book constituted "erotica" or "pornography" was tantamount to the decision whether its publication and distribution would be permitted of forbidden. The answer was seen to depend ultimately on the esthetic judgement of individual judges and/or their cultural background.

Since the 1960's such laws, though not formally repealed, are less stringently enforced, and the issue - while far from moot - has become less heatedly debated. In general, there is a considerable number of works whose literary or artistic merit is not in serious doubt; there is, on the other hand, a considerable quantity of material - nowadays produced and distributed more or less freely - whose being pornography is not seriously doubted either; and there is a considerable number of in-betweens, whose attribution to one of the categories can be disputed, though such disputes are now usually settled out of court and through people's individual or collective esthetic sense.

ee also

*Erotic art
*Erotic literature
*History of erotic depictions
*History of erotic photography
*List of authors of erotic works


External links

* [ "Erotica and Pornography"] by Edmund Miller, "glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture" (website), New England Publishing Associates, 2002.
* [ "Alice in EroticLand"] Erotica in Art and Photography
* [ "Pepe Kanavis"] Erotic and Digital Art

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Erotica — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Erotica Álbum de Madonna Publicación 14 de octubre de 1992 Grabación 8 de julio de 1991 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erótica — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Tiziano: Dánae recibiendo la lluvia de oro (1553). Erótica es un término colectivo de raíces griegas y latinas (nominativo plural de erotikon, εροτικον, y de eroticum y carente por tanto de plural él mismo) con el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erotica — Студийный альбом Мадонны …   Википедия

  • Erotica — bezeichnet: Erotica (Film), einen Spielfilm der Regisseurs Russ Meyer aus dem Jahr 1961 Erotica (Album), ein Studioalbum der Pop Sängerin Madonna aus dem Jahr 1992 Erotica (Lied), ein Lied der Pop Sängerin Madonna von dem gleichnamigen Album… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • erotica — meaning ‘erotic literature and art’ is a plural noun, and any verb it governs should be plural (Erotica are much in evidence in the world of videos), although it is often treated as a singular mass noun: • None of Minton s erotic drawings have… …   Modern English usage

  • erótica — sustantivo femenino 1. Atracción o excitación comparable a la sexual: la erótica del poder, la erótica de la fama …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • erotică — erótică s. f., g. d. art. eróticii Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  ERÓTICĂ s.f. v. erotic [DN]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Neoficial …   Dicționar Român

  • Erotĭca — Erotĭca; in der Bibliographie Bücher, welche[867] sich auf die sinnliche Liebe beziehen, vorzüglich solche mit (erotischen) Abbildungen zur Erregung des Sinnenkitzels, z.B. Erotopaegnia, s. Priapeja veterum et rec. Veneri jocosae sacrum, Par.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • erotica — index pornography Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • erotica — 1820, from neut. pl. of Gk. erotikos amatory (see EROTIC (Cf. erotic)); originally a booksellers catalogue heading. Force Flame And with a Blonde push Over your impotence Flits Steam [Emily Dickinson, #854, c.1864] …   Etymology dictionary