Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The appreciation of erotic beauty - as an end in and of itself.
What is the purpose of erotic art? What is the goal in appreciating erotic beauty? The satisfaction of sexual desire? My stance is that this is one component, but not the only one. If erotic beauty satisfies one's sexual desires, then that is perfectly fine. And in fact, that is the primary element that sets erotic beauty apart from other kinds of beauty - that's what makes it special, and so very alluring. Yet the true connoisseur of erotic art understands that it is not simply the satisfaction of sexual desire that makes erotic art so appealing - after all, for that there is crude pornography. Erotic art taps into the romantic sensualism of beauty; it takes a sexy image, and drapes it in meaning and desire. It is, put simply, sexy but more. And it is this "more" that makes the erotic image far more appealing to some (even in a sexual way) than crude pornography. It is, in a sense, divine bliss, as opposed to earthly pleasure.
But is an appreciation for erotic art purely a means towards acquiring the goal of sexual satisfaction? Does one look at erotic images to pass the time between acts of fucking? Does one use those images as a catalyst or motivator for their other sexual behaviors? I'm sure some people do. Especially those who view porn. Yet, this is not the only possibility, and restrictions on erotic imagery should not assume that it is, while ignoring other, less 'salacious' uses of erotic images. In my own unique personal case, I have a suspicion that I actually enjoy the pursuit and appreciation of erotic imagery above and beyond the carnal act of sex itself. I'd rather create (or discover) and share a work of lasting erotic beauty, than spend a few moments attaining temporal carnal bliss. Should my interest in erotica (and eroticism) be belittled because some people (perhaps even a majority) have crude intentions? Should 'fine art' be dumbed down for the sake of the unsophisticated majority who are incapable of proper artistic interpretation?
No, absolutely not. That some people get off on images in crude ways is not an argument that those images should be in any way restricted. And that's without even touching on the argument that perhaps people getting off in crude ways is good for their health (and by extension, good for the rest of society, too).