Erotica and Clichés

Chances are that when you think of erotica, if you think of erotica at all, you think of a series of clichés and bad jokes. You might even have developed some judgements. So let’s examine the clichés first.

Clichés About Erotica

  • Teenage boys read erotic letters in pornographic magazines as their first introduction to sexual relations.
  • Middle-aged women read erotic romances as a way to replace or rekindle lust in their relationships.
  • Men read erotica as a tool for masturbation.
  • Erotic literature is sub-standard and shameful, full of smutty language and bawdy acts which “normal” people would never attempt, assuming that they physically could.
  • Nothing meaningful about a society could ever be determined from familiarity with its erotica.

More than Cliché

Most clichés become clichés because they hold some kernel of truth. Still, there’s so much more to erotica than just the clichés can lead us to believe.

  • When it is well-written, erotica can be educational or thought-provoking. I’m not talking about the standard letter-to-the-editor fare you might find in certain adult magazines which shall remain unnamed. There are other erotic works, however, that are not only titillating, but informative. Maybe there were aspects of a fetish or lifestyle you were unaware of that were included in an erotic story. Perhaps a you might learn a new technique or get an idea that you and your partner might enjoy trying.
  • Despite what some might believe, there is no single demographic to which erotica is targeted… neither is there a single type of erotica. Humans are sexual beings, so sexual, in fact, that sex is a form of play. Erotica is a mental extension of that play.
  • For better or worse, our erotica does say something about our societal health and values. When societies are repressed, their erotica tends to be more romantic, less explicit, and perhaps more ‘vanilla’. But when societies become more permissive, more open, erotica become more mechanical in nature, explores relationships which are more fringe, and explores more fetish areas. Other inferences can also be drawn.

Ultimately, there will be those who can’t get past their own issues or distaste to read (or write) erotica. And that’s ok, but it would be so much better for those folks if they acknowledged the issues existed, even if they continued to choose not to overcome the “ick” factor they might feel. Still I think it is those very issues that gave birth to the clichés and that continue to foster them.

Do you harbor any clichéd attitudes about erotica? Tell me about them in the comments, below!

Slaps and Tickles!


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 2:41 am and is filed under Erotic Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.