Erotica vs. Pornography

Keep the comments coming on the last post. The discussion has been very interesting to look through and I'm impressed with the respect shown in most comments.

In my mind, there is a difference between erotica and pornography. I will share my opinions on both realizing that you may not necessarily agree.

Erotica can be defined as literature or art dealing with sexual love.

Pornography is the depiction of erotic behavior intended to cause sexual arousal.

Some have written me asking if I would recommend erotica in their marriage, but I think they're really asking me about viewing pornography together.

Your definitions may be different from mine. I think movies with a passionate kiss or sexual tension (e.g. Pride and Prejudice), songs, poems and many pieces of art are erotica. Pornography, to me, leaves nothing to be wanted- it's all right there in front of you. It's sole intent is to be sexually arousing. Erotica may have a side effect of being sexually exciting to some, but it's not the sole purpose. Another interesting thing about pornography, is that people don't usually want to broadcast their use or viewing of pornography and many do it in private (Notice all of the anonymous comments in the Pornography post).

There can be wholesome connecting forms of erotica and others that cross the line into pornography. The line is becoming increasingly blurred. It likely varies between couples and individuals what falls where.

Some questions that might be helpful to ask yourself and your spouse to determine if material is appropriate in your relationship could include: Is this material demeaning, objectifying or uncomfortable? Is the sole purpose of this to be sexually arousing? Do my partner and I both feel comfortable? If we differ in our opinion- why?

There was recently an article in Psychology Today where the author explains his distinction between erotica and pornography. He articulates his ideas much better than me and I agree with most of what he says.


  1. I'm confused about your distinction between porn and erotica. From what I took, the sole purpose of porn is to be aroused when erotica isn't. To me this doesn't make sense. I guess it really depends on what you think erotic is. Is a painting of a Greek god erotica? Then I guess the sole purpose isn't for arousal (but was it when it was originally painted?). Most would consider a sexy novel to be erotica but why read it if arousal isn't the sole purpose.

    And what is the difference between a picture of a naked Greek god and a picture in playboy?

    I guess you were right when you said the lines are fuzzy. I just don't think all porn is the same and should be labeled in the same category - bad.

  2. The article in Psychology Today, that you linked, is great at differentiating between the two. If you are in question, I would recommend reading it.

    I have personally seen how pornography removes ones agency, taking an addiction recovery program to break away from its bondage. It distorts the image of true love and makes one into more of a robot. Frustration has been prevalent because sex doesn't climax as quickly as it has while watching porn. It does anything but bring intimacy and a close relationship.

    Usually, I have a hard time forgetting all the other things that are running through my mind, distracting me from sex and getting "turned on". Erotica has really helped me get in the right mindset and mood to have sex.

    The line may be gray but I believe we do know what is good for us and our relationship. We may have to look deep down inside, we may have to put some thought into it and we might have to seek help to break away from media that may be suffocating us and our relationships. Giving those things up will be worth a strong and healthy relationship. I promise!

  3. I like that you mentioned the anonymous part... I mentioned that no one takes pride in pornography in the last post. I am thankful you see the same connection! This was a good follow up post, and I am glad you shared your thoughts.

  4. Just found your blog! Great post! So Gwen, are there any resources you'd suggest that are erotic and helpful for boosting my drive and feeling more comfortable about sex?

  5. Stacee and others who are interested. You can follow my channel and see the updates by going either here-

    Or here-

    Thanks!! Hope they're helpful!

  6. To the commenter who responded to my last comment~ Can you post your vimeo link again please! I didn't get it. Thanks!



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