Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 'Othering' of pornography

A fascinating and in depth essay/article on porn and porn users.

'[P]ornography in particular is seen as ‘the lowest of the cultural low’, worse than the National Enquirer or Elvis paintings on velvet, ‘the nadir of culture’'.

Well, I have to say the view from the nadir is not bad.

I vacillate between feeling happy in Eroticaland and feeling that I should be somewhere else. Lately I've been wondering if the secret is that Eroticaland is not a country with borders, different to other Booklands, but just another region of Bookworld. Or maybe even just one way of looking at humans/the world.

Donna George Storey's fabulous erotic story John Updike made me do it is up at Clean Sheets, showing how a story can be literate, thoughtful and horny, all at once.


Danielle said...

hm...i so can understand what you mean..i write erotica for so many years now...and still do..but i started my new book (and also have other new projects in the making) and non of them are erotica relatet...which makes me a bit sad...and feel like i cheat on erotica...but there are other genres..and things..i have to work in..i have to write...

ach donna..isnt evertyhing she writes fab? i mean..she isnt a writer..she is just a magican:-)

Craig Sorensen said...

I like to think of erotica as something like punk. It's on the outside, and yes, there are those who don't respect it.

But writers like Donna stand as a reminder that we can do work that fits the genre, and that work can be entirely respectable.

In the end, there's nothing wrong with writing in other genres. The point is to be writing.

At least that's how I see it.

Nikki Magennis said...

Cheating on Erotica, Danielle? Erotica's a slut, it won't mind if you cheat. ; )

Yes, Donna is a magician.

Craig - yes, I fully appreciate the punk attitude. I have to say that one of the things that keeps me on this side of the fence, if the fence exists, is that I know so many lovely, warm, intelligent and considerate people within the erotica community.

But sometimes I find writing with sex as a focus as restrictive. At least, I'd like to write to explore sex without feeling like it should be erotic, which then feels like one might be cheating the readers.

Ah, cheating on Erotica, cheating on readers. It's all bringing me back to Donna's swinging story!

Donna said...

Hey Nikki,

Thanks so much for the kind words about my story (you, too, Danielle and Craig)! I'm speechless with gratitude all the more because I admire your work so much. I have this fantasy that it's only a matter of time before the greater public will acknowledge that erotic writing can be smart and complex and gorgeous--all they need to do is read more Magennis, Sorensen and Santiago.

I've printed out the article as it seems like the sort of thought-provoking essay I'll want to mark up with notes.

And I do understand your feeling of limitation in terms of writing about sex in a way that won't be a downer. I'm remembering now Susie Bright saying that bad sex or depressing sex can turn a reader on. The truth always turns me on....

Thanks so much again!


Nikki Magennis said...

I'm going to print out that article too, Donna. And sorry, I meant to tell you I was linking to your story, got distracted! I do love it, anyway.

Erobintica said...

I think I'm gonna take Donna's idea and print that out - I want to mark it up too. I've been pondering this whole subject lately, for various reasons. Thanks for the link to that.