In the vast realm of literature, erotic writing is a genre often misunderstood or overlooked. It’s a form of artistic expression that delves into the sensuous and the taboo, creating narratives that explore the complexities of human desire. Storytelling and sex are two rituals as old as time. So might we ask ourselves, why do we today, widely dismiss erotic writing- something that combines these two very natural parts of human existence?
The history of erotic writing
Erotic writing, with roots dating back to ancient civilisations, has a rich history. From the explicit verses of ancient Indian texts like the ‘Kama Sutra’ to the subtle sensuality of classical literature, such as the works of Ovid and Chaucer, the exploration of human desire has been a recurring theme. The Renaissance saw a surge in erotic literature, often disguised within allegorical tales. In the 18th century, the rise of the novel provided a platform for more explicit storytelling, exemplified by works like John Cleland’s ‘Fanny Hill’.
In the 20th century, authors like Anaïs Nin* and Henry Miller pushed societal boundaries, exploring sexuality with a greater degree of openness. In the 21st century, with the likes of the internet, erotic writing found its own space online. With the likes of fan-fiction, sexting, kinky blog stories, reddit posts, or custom written stories for sale- erotic writing continues to be popular, even in a world where video porn dominates.
The link between sex and the mind
At its core, erotic writing is more than explicit scenes or gratuitous content—it’s an exploration of the human experience, which can be seen as a dance between physicality and emotion. Writing is arguably the art form which most directly depicts human thought. This means that more than many other forms of erotic art, erotic writing can really concentrate in on the link between sex and the mind.
The intimacy of reading
The power of erotic writing lies in its ability to evoke a visceral response, stimulating not only the senses but also the imagination. Successful erotic writing goes beyond mere physical acts; it captures the essence of connection, building a bridge between characters and readers.
Many people find that reading a book is one of the most intimate arts when it comes to the consumer. It’s something we’re often forced to do completely alone, unlike watching a film which we can be done with another person or multiple people. With just your own thoughts and the narrators detailed thoughts (which often blur into one as we become more involved with the story) it’s not surprising that erotic writing can feel so much more intimate and arousing than any other form of erotica.
Erotic writing and breaking taboos
Erotic writing has the power to challenge societal norms and break free from taboos associated with human sexuality. Storytelling is wonderful in the sense that – it’s not real – meaning that we can push boundaries and explore our own desires in total safety. By exploring diverse relationships, identities, and scenarios, writers can contribute to a broader conversation about the spectrum of human experience.
Journalling is a common outlet for many people today. It’s how we process and cope with our emotions without worrying about offloading our traumas onto those around us. Writing is wonderful because it forces us to actualises the little thought that pass through our brain. Therefore, erotic writing is not just helpful for a reader for but for the erotic artist too. It forces them to process their kinks- it’s like a sexy version of journalling.
Erotic writing isn’t ‘seedy’
In conclusion, erotic writing is a dynamic genre that goes beyond the surface to explore the depths of human desire. Whilst it may have gotten a bad name in the world of literature, with many considering it not ‘proper’ and a little seedy, this is huge misconception. Sex can be profound, and so writing about it can be too. Erotic writing is a celebration of connection, an exploration of intimacy, and a canvas for breaking societal taboos.
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