Erotica is often confused with pornography and vice versa. While the two are seen as overlapping orientations of human sexuality, they lie on two very different planes. The following manual may help you understand the differences between the two while arousing even more curiosity.
1. Sex and erotica are absolutely different from each other. It is sex that thrives at the core of erotic literature in its naked and conscious aura. It is no secret that eroticism has been idealised as an art form by mankind for ages.
2. Greek scholar Anne Carson mentions in chapter two of Eros the Bittersweet that the Greek word eros associates with ‘lack’, ‘want’or ‘desire’ for that which is missing. According to her, Desire is central to Eros, not in one’s possession nor in one’s being, but only for that which lacks. “Who ever desires what is not gone? No one. The Greeks were clear on this. They invented Eros to express it.
3. Octavio Paz, in Double Flame, said, “There is no love without eroticism, just as there can be no eroticism without sexuality.” He went on to say that literature throughout history has had eroticism, be it in poetry or simply a story that speaks the language of eroticisation. Paz called eroticism a metaphor for sexuality.
4. Eroticisation demands the power of linguistic devices to arouse the senses. It is rather a personification of human desire built through the best of literary craftsmanship.
5. Pornography is to the brim with sex whereas erotica primarily concerns itself with sexuality and sensuality. The subject of pornography is given agency to practice free will and not be controlled by the imagination of the writer.
6. While pornography solely appeals to one’s senses and carnal appetite, erotica is absorbed in an aesthetic and engages with judgements about the ideals of human beauty.
7. To titillate the viewer and help them honour the joys of flesh is what pornography aims at. However, erotica transcends to a third dimension and celebrates a carnal union while portraying the ecstasy that two individuals can potentially enjoy as they share the experience with each other.