To me, erotica - whether it be writing, photographs, or illustrations - requires that the reader or viewer have an imagination. By that I mean erotica must draw the reader in and make him an active participant (mentally) in the story. The same is true if the erotic object is a photograph: the photograph should suggest something rather than explain something. The same holds true for an erotic film, or an erotic scene within a film. To be sure, a certain amount must be shown, or described, but it is that which is left to the imagination that makes the piece erotic.
Pornography, on the other hand, does not really require the viewer or reader to have an imagination. He simply has to know how to read or he has to have eyeballs. Pornography is all-inclusive; it explains and illustrates. It stands alone and doesn't require imagination to fulfill it. One doesn’t get “drawn into” pornography. It is simply a show to be watched, like an old John Wayne western on Saturday afternoon at a small town Bijou.There is no reason or need for the viewer to get involved; the viewer is simply a spectator watching a time-tested plot play out. And, like the John Wayne movie, one can probably guess the ending because they are largely all the same.
Erotica is an unfinished work until it gets lodged in the mind of the viewer or reader and becomes intertwined with the reader’s own thought processes, personal memories and secret curiosities. Even the author doesn’t know the twists and turns the fantasy is creating in the reader’s mind. He only knows what it means to himself as he writes it.
Erotica must always leave something to the imagination. That which is described or shown is important, of course, because without it there would be no fuel for the fire. But it is that which is left to the imagination that ignites the flames. Thinks Max.
The word erotica comes from the Greek god of love, Eros. In Roman mythology, Eros was known as Cupid. Eros was the son of Aphrodite. Although she was very beautiful, Aphrodite became jealous of a mortal woman named Psyche, and ordered her son to go to earth and shoot her in the heart with one of his arrows and cause her to fall in love with the world's ugliest man. But when Eros saw Psyche, it was he who fell in love and he carried her away. They enjoyed great love, but only at night because Psyche was not allowed to shine light on Eros. (See... you have to leave something to the imagination, remember?) There's a lot more, but this post needs to end soon. Cesar Planck wrote an opera called Psyche et Eros. (She didn't really; et means "and" in French.)
In the old Playboy magazine, there used to be a monthly feature called “Dear Playboy” or “Ask Playboy” or something like that. Readers would write in questions about sex, fashion, cars, etiquette, and the like. Mostly frat boys I think, looking back, but they seemed pretty mature compared to my high school ignorance on all social issues. I remember one letter asked what a woman’s most erroneous zone was. I mean erogenous zone. The letter author offered the Playboy Adviser (maybe THAT was the name of the column) several suggestions to choose from. Such as the ear lobe or the neck or one or two other more obvious ones. But the adviser declined all of the writers suggestions and answered simply, “Her brain.” That answer was to help me greatly in years to come.
Let’s hear it for “imagination”.
Listen to Little Arrows
Canterbury film trailer
2 years ago