What is Erotic?

“Eroticism is an aesthetic focus on sexual desire, especially the feelings of anticipation of sexual activity. It is not only the state of arousal and anticipation, but also the attempt through whatever means of representation to incite those feelings” (Wikipedia).

Since my early adulthood I have inquired, mostly to strangers, about this word, “erotic”. Predicated on the idea that everybody has a unique definition for most words – I took the individual interpretations and catalogued them. Mostly I was afforded a potpourri of acts as opposed to sensations – which initially surprised me.

Looking back on the individual notions of this strange, wonderful word there was one through line that I had failed to discover: All the definitions were aesthetic interpretations of sexual desire.

“Eroticism has its own moral justification because it says that pleasure is enough for me; it is a statement of the individual’s sovereignty.”
– Mario Vargas Llosa

From my conversations, the list of “what is erotic” included, among other things: intellect, kissing, oral sex, clothing, mannerisms, body parts, voices, words. Until now I was not aware about this continuity; that all of these stated items involved the aesthetic interpretation of sexual desire. It wasn’t sex, in-general, it was something different. An interpretation.

My primary definition of eroticism has always been: The way that a woman moves across the floor. In this I knew I had something – but what exactly, I was unsure. Alas, now I see with a much more provocative clarity: The way a woman moves across a floor is an interpretation of my sexual desire, as well as her sexuality, in-general.

After querying the multitudes of people that I had, I even came to the conclusion that simply saying the word “erotic” is erotic.

Lexically I have always been interested in demarcating between eroticism and sexuality. With this newfound definition at the head of this post – I have, alas, found that definition between the two.

Eroticism is the aesthetic focus on sexual desire. Whereas sexuality “refers to the expression of sexual sensation and related intimacy between human beings, as well as the expression of identity through sex and as influenced by or based on sex” (Wikipedia).

Furthermore, “the sexuality of human beings comprises a broad range of behavior and processes, including the physiological, psychological, social, cultural, political, and spiritual or religious aspects of sex and human sexual behavior” (Wikipedia).

It was on account of this new project of mine, this erotica project, that I opened my eyes a little further – to alas, find the demarcation that I had spent years searching for. Strange that I would find it in such a conspicuous place, an online wiki-encyclopedia.

“Eroticism is assenting to life even in death.”
– Georges Bataille

~ by The Provocateur on April 3, 2007.

7 Responses to “What is Erotic?”

  1. You have nailed it, I think.

    For me, restraint is erotic. I am sure you know what I am talking about. *wink*

  2. “My primary definition of eroticism has always been: The way that a woman moves across the floor.”

    There is something so erotic about the sound two heels makes as she walks across a hard floor. Gets me excited every time I hear it.


  3. your writings…. I love them! your sentences “fire burns a different color for me now” or some such words—eloquent! I wish I could find a marriage of the Erotic and the Eloquent…… I’ve got a blog that matches that description….. I first spotted you on Tara Tainton’s blog comments…. so, are Brazilians really such wonderful lovers? I’ve never made love to a Latino/a. I may be missing out on something! I love that bare belly pic of that sexy young woman. Nice cock pic with that wet, female mouth sucking it, too. Thanks, Provocateur!

  4. whats so wonderful is that everyone’s sexuality is so different. It’s defined differently within each person… and yet i find myself, defined by my sexuality. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    xoxoxox mina

  5. No half-nekkid Thursday photo?? Agh.. I’ll have to hold my breath until next week. 😉


  6. There are so many fancy quotes on eroticism, but the core of eroticism lies in reciprocation. There is no eroticism without it, and I think that applies to physical interactions, writing, just about anything that’s tagged to be erotic.

  7. “Eroticism is the aesthetic focus on sexual desire.” I disagree. I think it’s the intellectual, personal focus. I think I may have to write vast tracts of words on this now. Damn you for making me think when I should be working!

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