Eroticism is a masculine noun that expresses the character or tendency of what is erotic . It can also mean an explicit representation of sexuality , and can be related to lustful love.
Eroticism is a manifestation of sexuality, whose characteristics vary according to the society that is taken as a model.
Although defined at first as “passion of love“, it is necessary to emphasize its character that revalues the specific forms of sexuality, both in personal and social life and in cultural manifestations.
Reflection on eroticism, a privileged form of interpersonal relationships, was born with civilization. In Plato, one of the most fruitful aspects of erotic reflection is already present: the liberating function of eros, a problem that was taken up again by psychoanalysis when describing its liberating aspect for the individual (Freud) and for society (Jung and Reich), as well as to emphasize its character of confrontation with the system (Marcuse, Bataille).
Another of the most relevant aspects of the discourse around eroticism was the intention to delimit the concept, differentiating it from others, such as pornography and obscenity. Its character of cultural elaboration and the important role that the imagination played at all times in the elaboration of erotic codes, led to the point out that the difference with pornography lies more in its deliberate interest in arousing excitement, in the specifically creative function of eroticism. . For this reason, eroticism has been a constant source of inspiration in literature and the arts.
eroticism and art
The first artistic representations with a clear erotic intention were performed by the Greeks and Romans. They appear in the ornamentation of ceramic vases, in murals, as in the frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii (Secret Museum of Naples) and in sculptures inspired by mythological scenes of love games.
During the Middle Ages, this type of representation was often inscribed in the general structure of civil and religious buildings, carved in corbels, capitals and gargoyles. At the same time (10th-13th centuries), Hindu art developed a form of sculptural ornamentation of a religious nature centered on the theme of the maithuna , or couple of gods performing the sexual act in different positions, a symbol of the union of the soul with the divinity.
The introduction of perspective in painting and sculpture facilitated, from the Renaissance, the erotic dialogue between the spectator and the work.
From the 20th century on, eroticism acquired an authentic definition as an independent theme, through the work of A. Beardsley, G. Klimt, H. Matisse and Picasso, among others.
Eroticism and Literature
When analyzing the various works that have as their central theme or are inspired by eroticism, it is necessary to distinguish between those of poetic or narrative fiction and those that have a gnomic or didactic sense. To this last category belongs the Kama Sutra , for example.
The Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), a book in the Bible, is full of a profound erotic dimension.
Erotic poetry found a new dimension in the Roman world by incorporating elements of colloquial language that facilitated the expression of sensuality. During the Middle Ages, the genre evolved towards greater and greater freedom (especially in the poetry of the Goliards), while the poetry of courtly love appeared almost contemporaneously, in which the erotic inspiration happens in a highly sublimated and codified form according to certain rules, faithful reflection of the feudal and chivalrous society in which it develops.
In the Renaissance and Baroque, erotic poetry reaches its last moment of splendor, as in the following centuries it lost its specificity as a genre distinct from love poetry.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the genre is cultivated by an extraordinary number of writers who show a vitality that other types of narrative have not had. In these two centuries, some of the most famous authors of this genre were: Alfred de Musset, George Sand, Oscar Wilde, H. Miller, F. Trigo, G. Bataille, among others.
Eroticism and cinema
Eroticism has been present in cinema since its origins as a powerful element of mass attraction due to the great realism and suggestion of animated images.
The first film of the genre recorded in history, The May Irving-John C. Rice Kiss , was directed by Edmundo Kuhn, in the United States, in 1896. In the same year and in Europe, the Frenchman Eugène Pirou shot Le Coucher de la Mariée , for Méliès-Pathé.
The history of eroticism in cinema is linked to the evolution of the star-system, from which the famous vamps emerged.