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The Erotic Museum


The evolution of erotica throughout time is an interesting phenomenon

History of Erotica

Erotica has been a part of culture since naughty cavemen and women first wrote on cave walls. Both people and animals have been depicted in a sexual nature on every kind of art imaginable. Scenes of erotica have been depicted on sculpture, in paintings, pottery, music and literature since time began. Fast forward to modern times with all the technological advances and we see erotica in films and photographs and of course, all over the internet just a click away.

The evolution of erotica throughout time is an interesting phenomenon and naughty girls everywhere are starting to pay attention. It has been universal throughout cultures but culture and society norms have shaped and changed erotica and attitudes about it over time. For example, some people refer to erotica as pornography but the concept of pornography didn’t appear until the Victorian Era when Queen Victoria thought every woman was a naughty girl, and the battle between what is pornographic and what is erotic rages on today.

The United States Supreme Court has even been brought into the debate. It is hard for people to draw the line between the two, if such a line even exists. Justice Harry Blackmun, after hearing a pornography case during his time on the Supreme Court bench said he didn’t know how to define pornography but he knew it when he saw it.

Religious Erotica

In general erotica portrays sensuality and sexuality in works of art. Pornography tends to focus on sexual acts that are explicit for gratification.

If we go back in time to the meanings behind erotica we find some very interesting facts. For example:

• Erotic depictions were often related to religion. The sexual act was thought to be related to supernatural forces. Hence, it became a part of religious practices.

• With the rise of Christianity came fear of sex and the body which shows a lot in early art with their sadistic paintings of people being tortured while naked along certain body parts being cut off.

• Very early Christianity, Mermaid’s became identified with the siren, the seductress of men’s souls. During the middle ages she was therefore widely popular as an emblem of libidinous passion.

• Native religions in some Asian cultures have very specific spiritual meanings associated with sex and erotic depictions on art.

Erotica Through The Ages

• Some of the oldest erotic art that survives today are cave paintings and carvings from the Paleolithic era most commonly depicting nude humans with emphasis on their genitalia.

• Creswell Caves located in England contains cave art of what is believed to be female genitalia that is estimated to be over 12,000 years old. Does this make you wonder who the naughty girls who posed for these pictures were?

• The Greek artists were much more interested in the male nude than the female.

• The Greeks of the archaic and early classical periods seem to have had little feelings of guilt about any form of sexual activity including homosexuality.

• It wasn’t until the 17th century that there was a change of attitude towards the enjoyment of the body.

• 19th century sexuality in art had one theme which was inherited from the Romantics, that of the captive woman, entirely at the mercy of the male to be used as he pleased.

Violent Erotica

• Very popular in European art was their violence towards women. Rape scenes by satyrs and other half-human creatures were almost as popular with the artists of the Mannerist period as they had been with the Greeks of the late 6th century B.C. Rape scenes of all kind are common in European art of the 16th and 17th centuries and later.

• It wasn’t until the 19th century that works of art illustrating deviant practices again began to multiply. The most richly represented of all sexual deviations was lesbianism. The taboo against male homosexuality was so much stronger than that of lesbianism. Another taboo was incest with depictions being taken from the bible such as Lot with his daugthers. A deviant fantasy that was used so frequently throughout European art was pleasurable pains, the plight of the bound and helpless victim.

Greek Erotica

Different cultures had different methods for producing erotic images. What images were considered to be erotic or significant for religious reasons varied as well. Certainly two of the most famous cultures when it comes to erotic images are the Roman and Greek Empires.

The Greeks often used ceramics to show erotica. Many of the images they are most famous for are considered to be some of the earliest depictions of same sex coitus and pederasty. What we may find immoral by today’s standards simply was a depiction of every day life for ancient Greeks. Since they had no concept of pornography, what is depicted on their art are examples of what was considered the normal sexual behavior of the day.

Depictions of phallic symbols can be seen in ancient Greek temples and tradition charms used in the home also contained a representation of the phallus. This shows more of the relationship between religious practices of the day and erotica.

One of the most famous works of erotica the Greeks are famous for is Sappho’s Hymn to Aphrodite, the first documented lesbian themed erotica in literature in western culture. This was the first of many homoerotic works given to us by the Greek culture.

Roman Erotica

The Ancient Romans considered erotica and other depictions of a sexual nature to be in good taste and they were often used to decorate homes. Having large phallic symbols in the entry way of the home was considered good luck.

Brothels advertised by having large paintings of sexual acts above their doors and carved testicles and phalluses were found in the ruins of Pompeii. These were used to help visitors find their way to prostitutes.

As technology advanced so did the creation and distribution of erotica. Printing plates of the 15th century enables erotic prints to be available and because of their compact nature, popularity soared.

French Erotica

In the 7th century circulation of erotic literature began to increase including the French work L’Ecole des Filles. Printed in 1655 it depicts a sexual dialogue between two female cousins and is considered to be work that is responsible for the beginning of pornography in France.

It was during the Enlightenment period in France that pornographic images were used as satire and social commentary, usually against the Catholic Church. Some of the more famous writers of erotica during this time were the Marquis de Sade and John Cleland who wrote Fanny Hill in 1748 a book which was illegal to own in the United States until 1963 over 200 years since it was published.

Vintage Erotica

With the invention of photography, erotica took on a whole new mass market when combined with the postal system. Halftone printing came along in 1880 which allowed photos to be produced in large quantities very inexpensively. This led to erotica being printed in magazines which set off a whole new wave of availability.

From the first pin up girls of WWII (perhaps some of the first modern naughty girls?) to more explicit images in Playboy and Hustler magazines made way for a whole new form of media and accessibility to erotica. The focus on what is sexy has changed over time however. In the 1940’s pictures focused on the woman’s legs, then in the1950’s it was breasts. As things evolved so did the images. Penthouse magazine first published pictures showing pubic hair and women showing full frontal nudity in the 1960’s. The 1970’s brought more focus on pubic area and by the time we fast forward to the 1990’s pictures showing penetration, homosexuality, fetishes, masturbation and more. Whether you call them porn, erotica, or skin magazines, today there are more available than can be counted, catering to every sexual desire, fetish and gender.

Modern Erotica

For the next jump in technology naughty girls everywhere need to thank Thomas Edison and his protégé William Dickson. They are the ones who invented celluloid film as well as the kinetoscope, the machine to view the film. This led to the first peep show and naughty girls everywhere began to find a new way to make a living. Stag films eventually led to the erotic movies and porn we have today as technology advanced even more. Some of the most famous films include Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door. With videotape it became even easier and cheaper to make films and the porn industry boomed.

Today we have the internet which makes seeing erotica of all types very simple. We have come a long way from Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the Tropic of Capricorn and for many the line between erotica and pornography is still blurred.

Erotica Today

When it comes to naughty girls perhaps the biggest misconception is that they are not supposed to like either one. But naughty girls know that it is wonderful to be able to appreciate erotica as a true art form and be fascinated by how it evolved over time. They also know that watching porn is not just for men as there is a whole aspect of the industry geared just toward women. Whatever they do, whatever they watch, true naughty girls are comfortable with their choices and their sexuality.

• Buy Erotic Art Here

• View Erotic Photos & Videos Here

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• Practice Ancient Lovemaking Positions

Sienna Sinclaire ~ Naughty Los Angeles Sex & Dating Coach

This article was originally published at Naughty Lifestyle Guide. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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