Gary Rinsem

There's a difference between porn and erotica. There must be, why else would there be different words for them?

In grade school I got my hands on some magazines. Playboy and Hustler are well known, but I also had Pussy Willow. It specialized in... uh huh, right... There's no pretense involved, they all celebrated pure porn.

I'm not a connoisseur of porn, but for a time a group of sailors (all female but one) became connoisseurs of erotica. Nobody got off on it, the study was a matter of understanding a social taboo. Porn you have to hide and be ashamed while erotica can be talked about in whispers. I define them as guy porn and girl porn, even tho those women were all guy porn freaks.

The first two novels are our favorites from the Victorian age. They're fun as literature and as porn. Surprisingly graphic, an eye opening read given the belief in Victorian prudism. At least pick a spot somewhere in the middle of each and read a few paragraphs.

The Romance of Lust

Anonymous, 1873-1876
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The Autobiography of a Flea

Anonymous, 1887 or 1888
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The other noteworthy bit of erotica is noted not because it's content was good, but because it was bad. This book was a social sensation at the time and started our study of erotica. We searched for more after this book disappointed. Sold out cardboard displays were everywhere, even grocery stores. Confusion was complete when we finally got a few copies to share, because the book offered little that was erotic and even less social commentary... the two selling points.

I found this seriously strange in an online listing: "Genres: Novel, Romance novel, Philosophical fiction, Magical Realism." So..... I looked up "Philosophical fiction" only to find that it's pure gibberish. Virtually everything ever written, can be assigned to this genre. A story about dogs talking about the best place to poop, is positively "Philosophical fiction."

Conclusion: it was nothing more than a successful advertising campaign, brainwashing the culture into accepting without question. 23 sailors learned a wonderful sociology lesson. Advertisers already knew the lesson.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

by Milan Kundera 1984
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