Monday, May 16, 2011

Literary Erotica

Woo wee...pleased as punch that my book reviews are gathering attention across the internet. Specifically Suite101 I've been given the opportunity to do and share what I love. Write and read. Write about what I read.

And the latest reading has brought up an interesting subject. Erotica and does it have a place in the literary world?

Bad Romance was an exception to the usual definition of erotica. It's packed full of the dark stuff of fantasy and fetish. But that's not all that erotica is about.

Nude Maja
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1746-1828

Erotica has been around in one form or another for centuries. Paintings, sculptures and literature. Over the years, many have viewed erotica as nothing more than literary pornography, but it's so much more.

In its literary form, erotica is sensuous and arousing - somewhat like pornography. But it's not supposed to be gratuitous as most pornography comes across. There is a point to the story, there is something buried deep within the psyche that causes a character to need, or want. It's not just about the sex. It's about the relationships, it's about the environment, it's about the character.

You could have an erotic story about a woman who is a sex addict. The story is not about the acts, per se. The story is about the person, the addict, dealing with such an addiction and how it affects the rest of her life. Sure there are usually sexually explicit scenes but they need to have a point. Does the character feel pain when she indulges in her addiction? Remorse? Satisfaction? Does she see a problem in what she is doing? How does this addiction affect her other relationships? The woman could be married. Or maybe still lives with her parents. Maybe her days are filled with constant sexual thoughts that affect her job performance. There is so much more to be explored.

Freaky Fountain Press has brought up something different, yet tangible. The freaky side of sexual relationships. The fetishes, the painful relationships, the indignity that can be felt in participating in some of the weirder fetishes. The dark side. This newly formed book press takes us to a place that most do not wish to journey. But it's out there whether we like to admit it or not.

For so many years, gays and lesbians have been fighting for freedom, and the fight is far from over. They have struggled to be seen and heard, fought for the right to marry. And society is coming around.

Erotica has been closeted in much the same way. Why are we so afraid to talk about our most intimate desires? Why are we afraid to admit it's there and deserves its place on the bookshelf?

Time will only tell but one thing is for sure...erotica is making its way into the light.

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