A distinction can be made between erotica and pornography although the line of difference between the two is usually very thin. Erotica are work of art, like literature, photography, film, sculpture and painting that deals mainly with sexual arousal or stimulation. It deals with description of human anatomy and sexuality using art. It is the portrayal of work of art in a sensual manner in order to arouse an intense emotional reaction. Pornography on the other hand is the portrayal of explicit sexual matter or scenes for sexual excitement or satisfaction using a media, which may include books, magazines, post cards, photos, sculpture drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, video or film.
Such basis and the very description of what is or is not pornographic or erotic have differed in diverse contexts. With the coming up of social attitudes more liberal to sexuality and with more explicit definitions of obscenity production and consumption of pornography has risen. Eroticism is the exploration of the feelings and emotions stimulated by sex and sexuality. Pornography on the other hand, focuses exclusively on the physical act itself (Lawrence, 1986).
A clear distinction between erotic and pornographic is in their objectives, the purpose and their symbolic content. Pornography intention is the graphic depiction of sexually explicit scenes in a detailed naturalistic image, verbal description or demonstration of the act of sexual intercourse, or the genitals. The objective is sexual arousal and the content is normally limited and centered on sex only. Pornography can also be said to be exploitative and degrading (Young, 1966). Erotica on the other hand is the portrayal of human anatomy and sexuality mainly in a media with the objective of passing a sexually evocative message. The purpose is to tell a story using sexual themes to explore sexual desires, passion and intrigues.
Pornography is representatively one-dimensional, with a single purpose and objective. It is only meant to sexually arouse the audience while erotica is multi-dimensional, with a number of layers of denotation. It can be portrayed in paint, film, song, music, photography, sculpture, poetry, literature or the verbal word, the audience can relate to the piece in a number of diverse levels, probably but not only sexual, and can take the other meanings.
Pornography generally does not depict love, loyalty, intimacy, compassion and kindness from sex. It is shameful and designates discounted acts. Porn shows extremely incomplete story, which end in an orgasm. The observer after few porn acts becomes arouse and wants more sex in order to be satisfied or may not get satisfied at all. This may leave the audience at state of unfulfilment. This may lead to unpleasant attitudes in the viewer. However, erotica only shows how sex is a normal desire and a element of a much superior, fuller, complex, fascinating and deeper experience. It depicts sex as a reality of existence, like eating, drinking or defecating. It is ordinary, it does not entail severe strain, it is just the act of making love, secure, perhaps risky but mainly rational warmth. People do not experience considerately harsh consequences from erotica.
Pornography has a predefined number of outcomes, mainly which feature on the physical act. The stories in pornography, describes various parts of the anatomy and sex acts. These word descriptions are purposely for stimulating the audience. It does not in any way engage the viewers or readers, nor does it care to provide any explanation for any action or expressed feelings on the feature. That is where the difference with erotica lies. A piece of erotic work tries to make clear or look at why something feels so good or bad, Pornography do not. In eroticism, it can also expose the darker side of sexuality. It has the capacity to do this in a much more critical way. Pornography entails what can be considered unpleasant sex act and presents it in a provocative way, while eroticism can use the same sex act and the satisfaction experienced from it so intense. Eroticism is able to involve the viewer or reader while making of moral judgments. Eroticism can look at a broad variety of emotions and what it elicits, Pornography is unable to do it this way.
The majority of pornography uses a particular formula; it begins with a woman undressing, and goes through a multiple sexual positions in the similar order and finishes with the man orgasm. Even though pornography portrays both men and women, women are normally depicted as passive partners. Unlike pornography, erotica does not seek out to limit emotions. It portrays sexuality in full dimensions erotica can be more arousing in many ways of which pornography may not. Sexuality in human beings is complex and erotica takes it out in its form. It takes into account the physical as well as the emotional aspect of human nature. Pornography does not consider the emotional aspects but only takes into account the physical aspect. Erotica allows one to explore their emotional being (Nerwens, 1978).
Erotica and Pornography are the same because finally they both have a demeaning impact on audience. Both have a corrupting aspect on human personality. It affects individual morals and values. Erotic art is pornographic in nature because the outcome is the same. Both of them are based on sexual, which is obscene. The end meaning, whether explicit or implicit, corrupts individual values and emotions, which is harmful to the society. It is likely to have a long-term effect on a person love relationship. Pornography and erotica are both corrosive to societal values, exploitative and oppressive especially to women hence harmful to the society (Lakoff, 1987).