Sex, Porn And Erotica

By | September 15, 2009

One question that often bothers me is what differentiates porn from the erotic.

Porn in itself is not erotic. It serves a purpose but can not provide the depth of feeling that truly erotic cinema, literature or art can evoke. Regardless of its form of expression erotica has richness that sets it apart.

That’s probably why I haven’t written much that is truly erotic in a long time. Lack of time to spend developing and refining characters, scenarios and scenes to provide the complexity that erotica, like all good fiction, should possess.

It’s not just about being wordy or using a vocabulary that encompasses half the Oxford English Dictionary either. Words are subtle tools and a command of the language is essential, but I find overly-flowery language is distracting. Conveying emotion and passion is not about boastfully complex phrases and obscure references to literature. Sex and passion have an immediacy which is destroyed by the over-application of intellect and ego.

Lustful words are to the point, urgent, needy, impatient. They infer that the panting, edgy desire that we all feel when the blood rises and passion boils over. I want to use my command of the English language to its fullest extent when I write about sex but that doesn’t mean I should look upon each post I write for this blog as a writing competition. Much of the enjoyment derived from sex is in the anticipation but protracted linguistic foreplay stifles the heart-pounding excitement that such anticipation elicits.

Knowing your tools does not mean that you have to utilise each one on every job you undertake. Writing does not always have to be a tour de force of linguistic prowess.

Take the shortest horror story in the world:

The last man on earth sat alone in his room. There was a knock at the door.

The infinite possibilities of those two sentences are magical to me. The words are those that a child could understand, none of them longer than two syllables. Read them and what does your mind tell you about what has happened before this moment? How did he become the last man on earth? Is this next week, next year, a thousand millennia from now? Who is at the door? What comes next.

By economy of words those two sentences let your mind undertake the job of filling in the blanks.