Is On-Stage Sexuality Art Or Pornography?

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Is On-Stage Sexuality Art Or Pornography?
The fine line between artistic expression and porn.

A couple years ago I attended a performance at one of those trendy yet underground clubs on the Lower East Side. Normally, I wouldn't even be able to get into that place, but since my friend had recently started cocktail waitressing there, we were ushered past the long line and escorted to one of those exclusive tables that everyone outside would have killed to be seated at.

Although it was a club where the performance was less of a focus and more of a backdrop, this particular place was known for some of the antics of their burlesque-type performers. I had heard that some of it was shocking, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when one of the dancers straddled herself over a champagne bottle, lowered herself onto it, then rolled backward to show the audience that all we could see was the bottom of it — the rest of the glass bottle was inside her. I was less shocked over what she had done than concerned that the bottle would break and her vagina would be ripped to shreds.

I left that night not sure if I had just witnessed — art or pornography. My friend who worked there called it art, a friend who was with us defined it as porn, and I fell somewhere in the middle, but mostly that's because I was still fixated on the possible serious damage to her vagina one of these days if she continued to do this particular move.

The debate of what constitutes art and what constitutes pornography is a discussion that no one can win. Each person has their own view on the subject, and similar to politics and religion, it's rare that you can persuade someone to see things as you do on the matter.

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