Question: What is your opinion of erotica? Do you think attitudes toward erotica have changed in the past decade? Do you think being erotic is more about physical looks and sexy underwear or is it more of an emotional thing?
Cheryl: Erotica is found throughout history and in almost every country. Erotica can take any artistic form, including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music or literature. I think people sometimes get confused between erotica and pornography these days. People who think erotica and pornography are the same thing are missing the point of erotica. Erotica is generally more artistic than pornography. Erotica seeks to capture the playfulness, creativity and tension of human sexuality. Erotica is about tantalizing the mind, which many consider to be the largest sex organ in the human body.
Some great examples of erotica can be found decorating ancient Greek pottery. It appears that the ancient Greeks were very comfortable with their sexuality, celebrating it on walls, pottery and ceilings. Erotica from the 40s and 50s often took the form of, pictures of “pinup girls” printed on playing cards, post cards or calendars. Bettie Page was perhaps the most famous pinup girl of that era. She was often referred to as the, “Queen of Pinups.”
Burlesque dancing is another form of erotica. Burlesque is the art of the tease. While burlesque dancing dates back to ancient Greece, it is still alive and well. You can likely find burlesque classes in your local city. It combines sensual movement with flirtation. There are even burlesquercise classes to get you in shape while you get in touch with your inner diva.
An excellent modern example of literary erotica is, “Herotica: A Collection of Women's Erotic Fiction,” a series of 7 volumes of erotica written by women. Each book includes a selection of short stories that tend to be very creative and entertaining. You may be surprised by how much they turn you on.
I believe that in the last decade, since the widespread availability of hard-core, internet pornography, erotica is viewed as rather tame. It is much more interesting in many ways though. In my view erotica is something that individuals can enjoy and couples can share freely because it lacks many of the derogatory implications of pornography. A fun thing for a couple to try is to take turns reading erotica to each other in bed. The person who isn’t reading can playfully try to distract the reader through giving them pleasure and sensual touch.
One of the best things about the erotic is that anyone, regardless of looks or age, can cultivate their erotic side. Erotic energy is a flame inside all of us that waits to be ignited. I believe, what most people describe as great sex has an element of the erotic to it. It is not just a physical act. Erotica stimulates our minds and emotions to elevate the sexual experience. If you have never sampled erotica, you are missing out. Do yourself a favour and indulge yourself.
Writer Gloria Steinem states that, "Erotica is as different from pornography as love is from rape, as dignity is from humiliation, as partnership is from slavery, as pleasure is from pain."
For more information about Cheryl, visit our About & Contributors page or go to her website www.sexwithcheryl.com