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