Musings on politics, erotica, philosophy and whatever else comes to mind
|Erotica and Porn - differing perceptions of voyeurism
This blog post is in response to a comment which has been made regarding last weeks objectification of women in pornography and erotica. The commentator argued that one of the differences between erotica and porn, and the reason why he avoids erotica, lies in its level of voyeurism. He argued that in his mind pornography creates unemotional images, which he can simply enjoy, whilst erotica involves so much emotion, he feels he is intruding on a very personal moment between two, or more, people. He therefore feels like an intruding voyeur in the second, but not the first.
The interest for me lies in the perceptional shift - for I would feel the exact reverse. Erotica lets me become one of the characters, live through the experiences describes vicariously in a way, whilst porn simply leaves me on the outside looking in. However, where it relates to last week, the objectification of women, is the realisation that in pornography both partners therefore become the object. They are the object of the pleasure of the viewer - for both my commentator and me. The only difference between us lies in what kind of voyeurism we enjoy.
In erotica, on the other hand I am making myself the object, and the subject, by stepping into the role and living it. I am not simply looking on, I am experiencing it. This changes my position extensively. In pornography I accept the role of the onlooker, in erotica I desire to be the participant.
I am wondering if the question of objectification of women in erotic expressions such as pornography or erotica has not more to do with our taboo of considering if the quality of sex matters - and the way the participants approach it openly. It might have nothing to do with voyeurism at all.