AskDefine | Define erotica

Dictionary Definition

erotica n : creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire [syn: pornography, porno, porn, smut]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Erotic literature or art.


Erotic literature or art
  • Chinese: 色情
  • Lithuanian: erotika



  1. feminine of erotico







Extensive Definition

Erotica (from the Greek Eros - "desire") or "curiosa," works of art, including literature, photography, film, sculpture and painting, that deal substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing descriptions. Erotica is a modern word used to describe the portrayal of the human anatomy and sexuality with high-art aspirations, differentiating such work from commercial pornography. "Curiosa" is generally used to refer to erotica and pornography as discrete, collectible items, usually in published or printed form.
Various sub-genres of erotica exist. As with fiction as a whole, there are erotic stories with a science fiction, fantasy, horror or romance focus. Additionally, erotica can also focus on specific sexual behavior or fetishes such as BDSM, wearing uniforms, cross-dressing, polygamy and sexual promiscuity. Fan fiction featuring characters engaging in male homosexual acts has become known as slash fiction.

Erotica and pornography

Distinction is often made between erotica and pornography (as well as the lesser known genre of sexual entertainment, ribaldry), although depending on the viewer they may seem one in the same. Pornography's objective is the graphic depiction of sexually explicit scenes. Pornography is often described as exploitative or degrading. Erotica, on the other hand, seeks to tell a story with sexual themes. Marie-Franoise Quignard, one of the collection's curators, tried to distinguish between the different elements in the collection: "There is a photograph of an act of oral sex by the artist Man Ray.... For some reason, I find that this goes just too far. Perhaps because it is a photograph and so real, while engravings or lithographs, give you a certain distance and idealisation. Man Ray confronts you point-blank here with something which should, perhaps, better remain intimate." In 1992, the Canadian high court changed its 'dirt for dirt's sake' test until it ruled in the case of sex shop operator R. v. Butler that a work is pornographic if it is "degrading and dehumanizing." According to the order, pornography is a detailed image of coitus and naked genitals for sexual stimulation without any artistic or educating aims. For an image to be considered erotica, the number of images can not exceed 20 percent of the total, nor 50 percent of the whole of an image. Erotica is a portrayal “without open visualization of genital interaction”. Pornography, according to the national expert commission, is a portrayal of group and homosexual intercourse, scenes of sexual violence and/or sexual perversions.


External links

erotica in Bulgarian: Еротика
erotica in Catalan: Erotisme
erotica in Czech: Erotika
erotica in Welsh: Erotica
erotica in Danish: Erotik
erotica in German: Erotik
erotica in Estonian: Erootika
erotica in Spanish: Erotismo
erotica in Esperanto: Erotismo
erotica in French: Érotisme
erotica in Indonesian: Erotisme
erotica in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Erotica
erotica in Italian: Erotismo
erotica in Hebrew: ארוטיקה
erotica in Lithuanian: Erotika
erotica in Dutch: Erotiek
erotica in Japanese: エロティカ
erotica in Norwegian: Erotikk
erotica in Polish: Erotyka
erotica in Portuguese: Erotismo
erotica in Romanian: Erotism
erotica in Russian: Эротика
erotica in Simple English: Eroticism
erotica in Serbian: Еротика
erotica in Finnish: Erotiikka
erotica in Swedish: Erotik
erotica in Turkish: Erotizm
erotica in Võro: Erootiga
erotica in Chinese: 情色

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

French literature, Renaissance literature, ancient literature, belles lettres, classics, contemporary literature, erotic literature, folk literature, humane letters, kitsch, letters, literature, medieval literature, national literature, obscene literature, polite literature, pop literature, popular literature, pornographic literature, pornography, pseudonymous literature, republic of letters, scatological literature, serious literature, travel literature, underground literature, wisdom literature
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