Ancient erotic literature-12 Weird Examples of Perverted Ancient Roman Literature

Erotic literature can take the form of novels, short stories, poetry , true-life memoirs , and sex manuals. A common feature of the genre is sexual fantasies on such themes as prostitution , orgies , sadomasochism , and many other taboo subjects and fetishes , which may or may not be expressed in explicit language. Much erotic literature features erotic art , illustrating the text. Despite cultural disapproval of such material, circulation of erotic literature was not seen as a major problem before the invention of printing, as the costs of producing individual manuscripts limited distribution to a very small group of literate readers. The invention of printing, in the 15th century, brought with it both a greater market and increasing restrictions, including censorship and legal restraints on publication on the grounds of obscenity.

Ancient erotic literature

Although athletic, he cheated extensively--slaughtering countless bears, lions, and humans from a terrace above the sands of the arena. Kearney A History of Erotic Literature. What begins as the story of an affair—the gender-ambiguous narrator falls for a dying married woman—hurtles into an arousing dreamscape of exaltation and loss. Ancient erotic literature ahead with Tip Sheet! Cylinder seals — small cylinder-shaped etotic etched with figures and cuneiform used as a signet — occasionally featured men and women in erotic poses. Prose Poetry. In later prosecutions Private peaceful tour literary erotica under the literaturw of the act, however, even purely pornographic works with no apparent literary merit escaped destruction by the Ancient erotic literature. Related e.

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Chinese literature Ancient erotic literature a tradition of erotic fiction dating back to at least the 16th century. Other scholars think the drawings in the margins were a kind of moral caution, but the depiction of priests and other ranking officials engaged in sex acts suggests political origins as well. Ancientt from the original on February 2, Ok Privacy policy. The centre of the trade in such material in England at this period was Holywell Street, off the Etotic, London. Kristina Wright [92] is well known for her bestselling genre themed anthologies through Cleis Eeroticincluding steampunk erotica, Ancient erotic literature paranormal erotic romance, [94] and fairy tale erotica, [95] [96] exemplified by authors such luterature Shanna Germain [97] and Michelle Augello-Page. The first instances of modern pornography date back to the sixteenth century when sexually explicit images differentiated itself from Ancient erotic literature sexual representations in European art by combining the traditionally explicit representation of sex and the Party lesb norms of those times. See also: Erotic literature and I Modi. He accepted a plea bargain, pleaded guilty and was convicted. All rights reserved. Libido Inc.

These works, spanning from to , contained graphic scenes that stirred public disbelief and outrage.

  • Roman literature , written in the Latin language, remains an enduring legacy of the culture of ancient Rome.
  • Ancient Greek society had different words for different kinds of love.

Her book's topics range from orgasm to the long-ago fear of hermaphrodites, from circumcision to the wide acceptance of a variety of gay relationships. With Tip Sheet, she shared some carnal curiosities and extraordinary stories of sex and love, encountered while researching The Joy of Sexus. Or Caligula? Mere runners-up. Emperor Tiberius reigned A. According to his biographer Suetonius, in later life, Tiberius built himself a porn central on Capri. There, youngsters performed elaborate daisy-chains of sexual acts, the emperor by turns voyeur and participant.

Even grosser activities took place in his bathing pools, where toddlers were trained to nibble and fellate him underwater. Wandering wombs and other private parts : Relaxed about nudity, Greeks and Romans adored the human form. Nevertheless, no one tinkered with human bodies after death. Result of this taboo? Human anatomy, largely unexplored, was guesswork. Thus, doctors applied bad smells and loud noises to scare wombs back into position. Medicos and intimidated husbands also had dire opinions about the female clitoris.

Diminutive was dandy; anything larger called for gulp surgery. The curious role of kissing : Male-female public kissing was frowned upon among Greek and Roman aristocrats, although husbands did routinely kiss their wives upon returning home after a hard night of male partying. Their goal? Female wine detection, not affection. The popularity index of anal sex : Few towns win infamy by giving their names to a class-A felony. In Biblical times, a burg we know as Sodom near the Dead Sea did just that.

As told in Genesis , God was fed up, about to destroy it and neighbor cities when Abraham pointed out some decent folks worth saving--his own nephew Lot and family. God sent two male angels down to investigate, who immediately attracted a large mob of sodomy-loving locals. In later Greco-Roman times, sodomy lost its standing as an abomination.

Called pedico , it was practiced by men and women, the latter largely for contraception. When it came to adultery, however, the law took the practice of pedico in another direction: the guilty party could be sodomized by the injured party. Or, if he chose a stand-in, with a large radish! Erotic salads, pro and con : To maintain their manly wellbeing, males around the ancient Med had to watch what they ate.

The Greeks believed that anti-aphrodisiac lettuce instantly withered an erection. In Egypt, men were equally certain that lascivious lettuce gave their organs vim and vigor, serving romaine at their orgiastic festivals for the fertility god Min. But they were hit on by female groupies from all walks of life, as the hard-breathing graffiti still visible in Pompeii show. Not all gladiators were enslaved.

Although athletic, he cheated extensively--slaughtering countless bears, lions, and humans from a terrace above the sands of the arena. In his spare time, Commodus dutifully pursued sexual degradation, trying to outdo feats by earlier rulers.

His parents, Faustina and Emperor Marcus Aurelius, also faced a gladiator dilemma. She became aroused over one combatant; after confessing her passion to her husband, he consulted with soothsayers. Their solution? Faustina was ordered to have sex with the gladiator in question, who would then be murdered while on top of her. Afterwards, she was obliged to bathe in his blood, do a quick cleanup, and then make love to her husband Marcus. Such as the bittersweet story of a love triangle made in heaven.

Like other royal matches, Sabina and Hadrian had an arranged marriage. The empress traveled with Emperor Hadrian on his years-long circuits of the sprawling Roman Empire. Although he dallied with women and men alike outside the marriage bed, they treated each other with courtesy. Near his 50 th year, Hadrian met his true love: Antinoos, a sultry, teenaged nobody from Bithynia. They became inseparable; and Sabina, their unwilling witness. On yet another grand tour, they reached Egypt in A.

One October evening, the year-old disappeared. After a frantic search on land and in the waters of the Nile, Hadrian went berserk with grief. Neither the body nor the motive was ever discovered. Within weeks, he deified the boy, turning his lost love into a god.

Hadrian founded in a city in his name, had thousands of statues made of Antinoos, and ordered his worship throughout the empire.

As if to make amends, a few years later Hadrian also deified Sabina when she died, making his longsuffering empress into a goddess. But his apotheosis of a commoner, a sexual playmate, was a first. Today, the museums of our world are still crowded with statues and busts of that beautiful lost boy, often misidentified as Ganymede or Dionysus.

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Between CE and CE Sanskrit developed into an international scholarly and liturgical language across south Asia, rather like Latin in the medieval West. The shelf life of these manuscripts, in south India's tropical climate, was three to four centuries, after which patrons would order copies made with new palm leaves. These included L'Ecole des Filles , a French work printed in that is considered to be the beginning of pornography in France. The first conviction for obscenity in England occurred in , when Edmund Curll was fined for the publication of Venus in the Cloister or The Nun in her Smock under the common law offence of disturbing the King's peace. Print Email Share. This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Vishnu, along with Brahma , the creator, and Shiva , the destroyer, are the three main gods of Hinduism.

Ancient erotic literature

Ancient erotic literature

Ancient erotic literature. How Did the Ancient Greeks Understand Sex and Sexuality?

In some cases, the possession of certain books, engravings or image collections was outlawed, but the trend to compose laws that actually restricted viewing sexually explicit things in general was a Victorian construct. When large-scale excavations of Pompeii were undertaken in the s, much of the erotic art of the Romans came to light, shocking the Victorians who saw themselves as the intellectual heirs of the Roman Empire. They did not know what to do with the frank depictions of sexuality, and endeavored to hide them away from everyone but upper-class scholars.

The movable objects were locked away in the Secret Museum in Naples , and what could not be removed was covered and cordoned off so as to not corrupt the sensibilities of women, children and the working class.

England's and the world's first laws criminalising pornography were enacted with the passage of the Obscene Publications Act of Pornography has existed throughout recorded history and has adapted to each new medium, including photography, cinema, video, and computers and the internet. The first instances of modern pornography date back to the sixteenth century when sexually explicit images differentiated itself from traditional sexual representations in European art by combining the traditionally explicit representation of sex and the moral norms of those times.

The first amendment prohibits the U. Indecent speech is protected and may be regulated, but not banned. Obscenity is the judicially recognized exception to the first amendment. Historically, this exception was used in an attempt to ban information about sex education, studies on nudism, and sexually explicit literature. In the s in the United States, attempts were made to shut down the pornography industry by prosecuting individuals on prostitution charges. In the case of People v.

Freeman , the California Supreme Court ruled to distinguish prostitution as an individual taking part in sexual activities in exchange for money versus an individual who is portraying a sexual act on-screen as part of their acting performance. Supreme Court, thus it is only binding in the state of California. Among the oldest surviving examples of erotic depictions are Paleolithic cave paintings and carvings. Nude human beings with exaggerated sexual characteristics are depicted in some Paleolithic paintings and artifacts e.

Venus figurines. Archaeologists in Germany reported in April that they had found what they believe is a 7,year-old scene depicting a male figurine bending over a female figurine in a manner suggestive of sexual intercourse. The male figure has been named Adonis von Zschernitz. A vast number of artifacts have been discovered from ancient Mesopotamia depicting explicit heterosexual sex. Depictions of sexual intercourse were not part of the general repertory of ancient Egyptian formal art, [17] but rudimentary sketches of heterosexual intercourse have been found on pottery fragments and in graffiti.

The ancient Greeks often painted sexual scenes on their ceramics , many of them famous for being some of the earliest depictions of same-sex relations and pederasty.

Greek art often portrays sexual activity, but it is impossible to distinguish between what to them was illegal or immoral since the ancient Greeks did not have a concept of pornography. Carved phalli can be seen in places of worship such as the temple of Dionysus on Delos , while a common household item and protective charm was the herm , a statue consisting of a head on a square plinth with a prominent phallus on the front.

The Greek male ideal had a small penis, an aesthetic the Romans later adopted. There are numerous sexually explicit paintings and sculptures from the ruined Roman buildings in Pompeii and Herculaneum but the original purposes of the depictions can vary. On one hand, in the Villa of the Mysteries , there is a ritual flagellation scene that is clearly associated with a religious cult and this image can be seen as having religious significance rather than sexual.

On the other hand, graphic paintings in a brothel advertise sexual services in murals above each door. In Pompeii, phalli and testicles engraved in the sidewalks were created to aid visitors in finding their way by pointing to the prostitution and entertainment district as well as general decoration.

Sex acts that were considered taboo such as those that defiled the purity of the mouth were depicted in baths for comic effect. Large phalli were often used near entryways, for the phallus was a good-luck charm, and the carvings were common in homes.

One of the first objects excavated when the complex was discovered was a marble statue showing the god Pan having sex with a goat , a detailed depiction of bestiality considered so obscene that it was not on public display until the year and remains in the Secret Museum, Naples. The Moche of Peru are another ancient people that sculpted explicit scenes of sex into their pottery. At least Moche ceramics have sexual themes. Often, an infant is depicted breastfeeding while the couple has sex.

Fellatio is sometimes represented, but cunnilingus is absent. Some depict male skeletons masturbating, or being masturbated by living women. Rafael Larco Hoyle speculates that their purpose was much different than that of other early cultures.

He states that the Moche believed that the world of the dead was the exact opposite of the world of the living. Therefore, for funeral offerings, they made vessels showing sex acts such as masturbation , fellatio and anal sex that would not result in offspring. The hope was that in the world of the dead, they would take on their opposite meaning and result in fertility.

The erotic pottery of the Moche is depicted in Hoyle's book Checan. There has been a long tradition of erotic painting in the East. India , Japan , China , Persia and other lands produced copious quantities of art celebrating the human faculty of love.

The works depict love between men and women as well as same-sex love. Another notable treatise on human sexuality is The Perfumed Garden by the Tunisian Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi, dating to the fifteenth century.

In Japan, the erotic art found its greatest flowering in the medium of the woodblock prints. Harunobu , Utamaro produced a large number of works. Painted hand scrolls were also very popular.

Shunga only ceased to be produced in the 19th century when photography was invented. The Chinese tradition of the erotic was also extensive, with examples of the art dating back as far as the Yuan Dynasty — The erotic art of China reached its peak during the latter part of the Ming Dynasty — In both China and Japan, eroticism played a prominent role in the development of the novel.

The Tale of Genji , the work by an 11th-century Japanese noblewoman that is often called "the world's first novel," traces the many affairs of its hero in discreet but carnal language. The Tale of Genji has been celebrated in Japan since it was written, but The Plum in the Golden Vase was suppressed as pornography for much of its history, and replaced on the list of four classics. Erotic scenes in medieval illuminated manuscripts also appeared, but were seen only by those who could afford the extremely expensive hand-made books.

Many medieval scholars think that the pictures satisfied the medieval cravings for both erotic pictures and religion in one book, especially since it was often the only book someone owned.

Other scholars think the drawings in the margins were a kind of moral caution, but the depiction of priests and other ranking officials engaged in sex acts suggests political origins as well. It was not until the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg that sexually explicit images entered into any type of mass circulation in the western world.

Before that time, erotic images, being hand made and expensive, were limited to upper class males. Even the British Museum had a Secretum filled with a collection of ancient erotica donated by the upper class doctor, George Witt in The remains of the collection, including his scrapbooks, still reside in Cupboard 55, though the majority of it has recently been integrated with the museum's other collections.

Prints became very popular in Europe from the middle of the fifteenth century, and because of their compact nature, were very suitable for erotic depictions that did not need to be permanently on display. Nudity and the revival of classical subjects were associated from very early on in history of the print, and many prints of subjects from mythological subjects were clearly in part an excuse for erotic material; the engravings of Giovanni Battista Palumba in particular.

An earthier eroticism is seen in a printing plate of for an Allegory of Copulation where a young couple are having sex, with the woman's legs high in the air, at one end of a bench, while at the other end a huge penis, with legs and wings and a bell tied around the bottom of the glans, is climbing onto the bench.

Although the plate has been used until worn out, then re-engraved and heavily used again, none of the contemporary impressions printed, which probably ran into the hundreds, have survived. The loves of classical gods, especially those of Jupiter detailed in Ovid provided many subjects where actual sex was the key moment in the story, and its depiction was felt to be justified.

Michelangelo's Leda was a fairly large painting showing sex in progress, and one of the hundreds of illustrations to the book the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of shows Leda and the Swan having sex on top of a triumphal car watched by a crowd.

In the 16th century an attempt to print erotic material caused a scandal when the well-known Italian artist Marcantonio Raimondi published I Modi in , an illustrated book of 16 "postures" or sexual positions. Raimondi was subsequently imprisoned by the Pope Clement VII and all copies of the illustrations were destroyed.

Raimondi based the engravings on a series of erotic paintings that Giulio Romano was doing as a commission for the Palazzo del Te in Mantua. Though the two depictions were very similar, only Raimondi was prosecuted because his engravings were capable of being seen by the public. Romano did not know of the engravings until Pietro Aretino came to see the original paintings while Romano was still working on them.

Aretino then composed sixteen explicit sonnets "both in your cunt and your behind, my prick will make me happy, and you happy and blissful" [3] [34] to go with the paintings and secured Raimondi's release from prison. Raimondi escaped prison that time, but the censorship was so strict that no complete editions of the original printings have ever been found.

The text in existence is only a copy of a copy that was discovered years later. In the 17th century, numerous examples of pornographic or erotic literature began to circulate. These included L'Ecole des Filles , a French work printed in that is considered to be the beginning of pornography in France.

The author remains anonymous to this day, though a few suspected authors served light prison sentences for supposed authorship of the work. During the Enlightenment , many of the French free-thinkers began to exploit pornography as a medium of social criticism and satire. Libertine pornography was a subversive social commentary and often targeted the Catholic Church and general attitudes of sexual repression.

The market for the mass-produced, inexpensive pamphlets soon became the bourgeoisie, making the upper class worry, as in England, that the morals of the lower class and weak-minded would be corrupted since women, slaves and the uneducated were seen as especially vulnerable during that time. The stories and illustrations sold in the galleries of the Palais Royal , along with the services of prostitutes were often anti-clerical and full of misbehaving priests, monks and nuns, a tradition that in French pornography continued into the 20th century.

In the period leading up to the French Revolution , pornography was also used as political commentary; Marie Antoinette was often targeted with fantasies involving orgies, lesbian activities and the paternity of her children, and rumours circulated about the supposed sexual inadequacies of Louis XVI. They were often accompanied by illustrations and served as political commentary for their author.

The text is hardly explicit as Cleland wrote the entire book using euphemisms for sex acts and body parts, employing 50 different ones just for the term penis. However, it was not legal to own this book in the United States until and in the United Kingdom until In , Louis Daguerre presented the first practical process of photography to the French Academy of Sciences.

Artists adopted the new technology as a new way to depict the nude form, which in practice was the feminine form. In so doing, at least initially, they tried to follow the styles and traditions of the art form.

Each had to be registered with the French government and approved or they could not be sold. However, the realism of a photograph as opposed to the idealism of a painting made many of these intrinsically erotic. The daguerreotypes were not without drawbacks, however. The main difficulty was that they could only be reproduced by photographing the original picture since each image was an original and the all-metal process does not use negatives.

In addition, the earliest daguerreotypes had exposure times ranging from three to fifteen minutes, making them somewhat impractical for portraiture. Unlike earlier drawings, action could not be shown.

The poses that the models struck had to be held very still for a long time. It was cheaper to hire a prostitute and experience the sex acts than it was to own a picture of them in the s. This technology produced a type of three dimensional view that suited erotic images quite well.

Although thousands of erotic daguerreotypes were created, only around are known to survive; however, their uniqueness and expense meant that they were once the toys of rich men. In , William Fox Talbot patented the calotype process, the first negative-positive process, making possible multiple copies. Also, the reduction in exposure time made a true mass market for pornographic pictures possible.

The technology was immediately employed to reproduce nude portraits. Paris soon became the centre of this trade. In only thirteen photography studios existed in Paris; by , there were over The pictures were also sold near train stations , by traveling salesmen and women in the streets who hid them under their dresses.

They were often produced in sets of four, eight or twelve , and exported internationally, mainly to England and the United States. Both the models and the photographers were commonly from the working class, and the artistic model excuse was increasingly hard to use. The Victorian pornographic tradition in the UK had three main elements: French photographs, erotic prints sold in shops in Holywell Street, a long vanished London thoroughfare, swept away by the Aldwych , and printed literature.

The ability to reproduce photographs in bulk assisted the rise of a new business individual, the porn dealer. Therefore, the development of a reliable international postal system facilitated the beginnings of the pornography trade.

Victorian pornography had several defining characteristics. It reflected a very mechanistic view of the human anatomy and its functions. Science, the new obsession, was used to ostensibly study the human body. Consequently, the sexuality of the subject is often depersonalised, and is without any passion or tenderness. At this time, it also became popular to depict nude photographs of women of exotic ethnicities, under the umbrella of science. Studies of this type can be found in the work of Eadweard Muybridge.

Although he photographed both men and women, the women were often given props like market baskets and fishing poles, making the images of women thinly disguised erotica.

Such cards came to be known in the US as " French postcards ". During the Victorian period, illegal pornographic periodicals such as The Pearl , which ran for eighteen issues between and , circulated clandestinely among circles of elite urban gentlemen. The new printing processes allowed photographic images to be reproduced easily in black and white, whereas printers were previously limited to engravings, woodcuts and line cuts for illustrations.

First appearing in France, the new magazines featured nude often, burlesque actresses were hired as models and semi-nude photographs on the cover and throughout; while these would now be termed softcore , they were quite shocking for the time.

The publications soon either masqueraded as "art magazines" or publications celebrating the new cult of naturism , with titles such as Photo Bits , Body in Art , Figure Photography , Nude Living and Modern Art for Men. Another early form of pornography were comic books known as Tijuana bibles that began appearing in the U. These were crude hand drawn scenes often using popular characters from cartoons and culture.

In the s, the word " pinup " was coined to describe pictures torn from men's magazines and calendars and "pinned up" on the wall by U. In the second half of the 20th century, pornography evolved into the men's magazines such as Playboy and Modern Man of the s. In fact, the beginning of the modern men's glossy magazine or girlie magazine can be traced to the purchase by Hugh Hefner of a photograph of Marilyn Monroe to use as the centerfold of his new magazine Playboy.

Soon, this type of magazine was the primary medium in which pornography was consumed. In postwar Britain digest magazines such as Beautiful Britons , Spick and Span , with their interest in nylons and underwear and the racier Kamera published by Harrison Marks were incredibly popular.

These magazines featured nude or semi-nude women in extremely coy or flirtatious poses with no hint of pubic hair. Penthouse , started by Bob Guccione in England in , took a different approach. Women looked indirectly at the camera, as if they were going about their private idylls. This change of emphasis was influential in erotic depictions of women. Penthouse was also the first magazine to publish pictures that included pubic hair and full frontal nudity , both of which were considered beyond the bounds of the erotic and in the realm of pornography at the time.

Magazines for every taste and fetish were soon created due to the low cost of producing them. It was published in black and white, in a very clear yet photographic manner celebrating the male form and was published for nearly 50 years.

The magazine was innovative in its use of props and costumes to depict the now standard gay icons like cowboys , gladiators and sailors. Also in Fatima's Coochie-Coochie Dance [54] was released as a short kinetoscope film featuring a gyrating belly dancer named Fatima.

Her gyrating and moving pelvis was censored, one of the earliest films to be censored. It was a second film loop, with a close-up of a nuzzling couple followed by a short peck on the lips "the mysteries of the kiss revealed". The kissing scene was denounced as shocking and pornographic to early moviegoers and caused the Roman Catholic Church to call for censorship and moral reform - because kissing in public at the time could lead to prosecution.

The rise of the novel in 18th-century England provided a new medium for erotica. This book set a new standard in literary smut and was often adapted for the cinema in the 20th century. Peter Fryer suggests that Fanny Hill was a high point in British erotica, at least in the eighteenth century, in a way that mainstream literature around it had also reached a peak at that time, with writers like Defoe, Richardson and Fielding all having made important and lasting contributions to literature in its first half.

After , he suggests, when the Romantic period began, the quality of mainstream writing and of smut declined in tandem. Writes Fryer: "sex was driven out of the English novel in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Meanwhile, French writers kept their stride. One genre, which vies in oddness with the English "Merryland" productions, was inspired by the newly translated Arabian Nights and involved the transformation of people into objects which were in propinquity with or employed in sexual relationships: such as sofas , dildos and even bidets.

The climax of this trend is represented in French philosopher Diderot 's Les Bijoux indiscrets in which a magic ring is employed to get women's vaginas to give an account of their intimate sexual histories.

In the late 18th century, such works as Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue and Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade were exemplars of the theme of sado-masochism and influenced later erotic accounts of Sadism and masochism in fiction.

De Sade as did the later writer Sacher-Masoch lent his name to the sexual acts which he describes in his work. In the Victorian period, the quality of erotic fiction was much below that of the previous century—it was largely written by 'hacks' [ citation needed ]. Some works, however, borrowed from established literary models, such as Dickens.

It also featured a curious form of social stratification. Even in the throes of orgasm, the social distinctions between master and servant including form of address were scrupulously observed. Significant elements of sado-masochism were present in some examples, perhaps reflecting the influence of the English public school , where flagellation was routinely used as a punishment.

It first appeared in and was written by one Gordon Grimley, a sometime managing director of Penthouse International. Clandestine erotic periodicals of this age include The Pearl , The Oyster and The Boudoir , collections of erotic tales, rhymes, songs and parodies published in London between and The centre of the trade in such material in England at this period was Holywell Street, off the Strand, London.

An important publisher of erotic material in the early 19th century was George Cannon — , followed in mid-century by William Dugdale — and John Camden Hotten — An important and entertaining conspectus and evaluation of 19th-century pre and earlier underground erotica, from the author's own private archive, is provided by Victorian writer Henry Spencer Ashbee , using the pseudonym "Pisanus Fraxi", in his bibliographical trilogy Index Librorum Prohibitorum , Centuria Librorum Absconditorum and Catena Librorum Tacendorum His plot summaries of the works he discusses in these privately printed volumes are themselves a contribution to the genre.

Originally of very limited circulation, changing attitudes have led to his work now being widely available. This was associated with the Decadent movement , in particular, with Aubrey Beardsley and the Yellow Book. But it was also to be found in France, amongst such writers as Pierre Louys , author of Les chansons de Bilitis a celebration of lesbianism and sexual awakening.

Pioneering works of male homosexual erotica from this time were The Sins of the Cities of the Plain , [63] which features the celebrated Victorian transvestite duo of Boulton and Park as characters, [64] and Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal Important publishers of erotic fiction at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th were Leonard Smithers — [65] and Charles Carrington — , [68] both of whom were subject to legal injunctions from the British authorities in order to prohibit their trade in such material.

Because of this legal harassment the latter conducted his business from Paris. It published a mix of erotic fiction and avant-garde literary works.

Another trend in the twentieth century was the rise of the lesbian pulp fiction. Many of the authors were women themselves, such as Gale Wilhelm and Ann Bannon. Many male homosexuals also enjoyed gay pulp fiction , which borrowed the same sexploitation format as the lesbian books. Chinese literature has a tradition of erotic fiction dating back to at least the 16th century. The critic Charles Stone has argued that pornographic technique is the "union of banality, obscenity, and repetition," and contains just the "rudiments" of plot, style, and characterization, while anything that is not sexually stimulating is avoided.

If this is the case, he concluded, then The Lord of Perfect Satisfaction is the "fountainhead of Chinese erotica," but not pornography. There is also a tradition of erotic fiction in Japan. Some portion of this is doujinshi , or independent comics, which are often fan fiction.

Plots revolved around humor and entertainment at the pleasure quarters. It is a subgenre of gesaku. In Indonesia, a mysterious erotic writer known only as Enny Arrow [91] wrote countless novels from the late s until the early s which were secretly circulated through magazine sellers.

They are now regarded as classics by some Indonesians and have been scanned for historical purposes. In the 21st century, a number of female authors have risen to prominence, including Alison Tyler , Rachel Kramer Bussel and Carol Queen. Janine Ashbless, Kristina Lloyd, and Portia da Costa are well known for their erotic novels and short stories. Kristina Wright [92] is well known for her bestselling genre themed anthologies through Cleis Press , including steampunk erotica, [93] paranormal erotic romance, [94] and fairy tale erotica, [95] [96] exemplified by authors such as Shanna Germain [97] and Michelle Augello-Page.

Other authors celebrate the term 'erotica' but also question why literature 'with the sex left in' should be considered outside literary fiction. The debate has been rekindled by the release, in , of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy written by E. The phenomenal success of her erotica for every woman, dubbed 'mommyporn', has given rise to satires like Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by 'Fanny Merkin' real name Andrew Shaffer , a book of essays called Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades ed.

Lori Perkins , a parody called Fifty Sheds of Grey [99] and editors of erotic imprints re-evaluating the content and presentation of the genre. A development in contemporary erotica has been that, contrary to some previous views that it was mainly a male interest, many women readers are aroused by it, whether it be traditional pornography or tailor-made women's erotica.

Romantic novels are sometimes marketed as erotica—or vice versa—as "mainstream" romance in recent decades has begun to exhibit blatant if poetic descriptions of sex.

Erotic romance is a relatively new genre of romance with an erotic theme and very explicit love scenes, but with a romance at the heart of the story. Erotic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction and utilizes erotica in a fantasy setting. These stories can essentially cover any of the other subgenres of fantasy, such as high fantasy , contemporary fantasy , or even historical fantasy. The extents of the genre to break existing conventions and limits in subject matter have managed to shock popular audiences, with genres such as monster erotica emerging with the ease of digital publishing.

Erotic fantasy can also be found in fan fiction , which uses plot elements and characters from popular fiction such as television series, movies or novels.

Erotic fan fiction may use characters from existing works in relationships undreamed of by their creators, such as " slash " homoerotic fan fiction. Fan fiction and its Japanese counterpart, doujinshi , account for an enormous proportion of all erotica written today. The Internet and digital revolution in erotic depiction has changed the forms of representing scenes of a sexual nature.

One researcher [] concluded that erotic literature was available among the poor and performed at public readings in 18th-century Britain. Erotica was present on the Internet from the earliest days, as seen from rec.

This news group was a moderated forum for the exchange of erotic stories that predated the creation of the World Wide Web. The vast majority of Internet erotica is of an amateur nature, written for the enjoyment of the author and readers instead of for profit.

Increased interactivity and anonymity allows casual or hobby writers the opportunity not only to author their own stories but also to share them with a world-wide audience. Many authors adopt colorful pseudonyms and can develop cult followings within their genre, though a small number use or claim to use their real names. Among transgender or genderqueer authors it is a common practice to adopt a feminine or masculine alter-ego, although it is not unheard of for a writer to use his or her own given name.

Prostitution was the focus of much of the earliest erotic works. The very term " pornography " is derived from the Greek pornographos meaning "writer about prostitutes", originally denoting descriptions of the lives and manners of prostitutes and their customers in Ancient Greece. According to Athenaeus in The Deipnosophists these constituted a considerable genre, with many lubricious treatises, stories and dramas on the subject.

Accounts of prostitution have continued as a major part of the genre of erotic literature. In the 18th century directories of prostitutes and their services, such as Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies — , provided both entertainment and instruction. In the 19th century, the sensational journalism of W. Stead 's The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon about the procuring of underage girls into the brothels of Victorian London provided a stimulus for the erotic imagination.

Stead's account was widely translated and the revelation of "padded rooms for the purpose of stifling the cries of the tortured victims of lust and brutality" and the symbolic figure of "The Minotaur of London" confirmed European observers worst imaginings about "Le Sadisme anglais" and inspired erotic writers to write of similar scenes set in London or involving sadistic English gentlemen.

Erotic memoirs include Casanova 's Histoire de ma vie , from the 18th century. Edward Sellon was a writer, translator and illustrator of erotic literature who wrote erotica for the pornographic publisher William Dugdale, including such works as The New Epicurean Various discrepancies with known facts of the singer's life, however, have led many to doubt the veracity of this book and the erotic adventures contained in the second volume, at least, appear to be very implausible.

These include the author indulging in lesbian sadomasochism, group sex, sodomy, bestiality, scatology , necrophilia , prostitution and vampirism : all before she had reached the age of Sex manuals are among the oldest forms of erotic literature. The Indian Kama Sutra is one of the world's best-known works of this type. The Ananga Ranga , a 12th-century collection of Indian erotic works, is a lesser known one. Also very famous, and often reprinted and translated, is The Perfumed Garden for the Soul's Recreation , a 16th-century Arabic work by Sheikh Nefzaoui.

There is anecdotal evidence that at least as late as the midth century sex therapists and other physicians prescribed erotic literature as treatment for erectile dysfunction. The ancient Chinese versions of the sex manual include the texts that contain the Taoist sexual practices.

These include books that show illustrations of the ideal sexual behavior because sex in this religion is not considered taboo but a manifestation of the concept of the yin and yang , [] wherein the male and female engage in an act of "joining of energy" or "joining of essences". The belief is that proper sexual practice is key to achieving good health.

The manuals included the Ishinpo text, [] which is a medical document that also included sections devoted to sexual hygiene and sexual manuals of the Tang and Han dynasties. Chi kung manuals include warming a wet towel and covering penis for a few minutes, then rubbing one direction away from base of penis hundreds of times daily, similar to chi kung.

Squeezing sphincter while semi-erect or fully erect dozens of times daily, particularly a few hours before intercourse will help delay orgasm or enhance non-ejaculatory pleasure. The Universal Tao system was developed by Mantak Chia to teach Taoist meditative and exercise techniques to balance the body and increase and refine one's vital energy, or chi "chee".

Front and back channel, the back channel is where the perineum is located between anus and scrotum moving up the tailbone to the crown, the front channel is moving down the front of your body down the midline.

Breathing up the back channel and then breathing out from the front channel down to and from the abdomen moves chi. Many practices combined help chi to be transformed into spiritual energy or shen. Not all sex manuals were produced to arouse or inform readers about sexual acts. There are also those created as a form of satire or social criticism. For instance, there is the case of mock-sex manual produced in the early sixteenth century by Pietro Aretino in response to the clerical censorship of the nude engravings of the Roman artists Marcantonio Raimondi.

Erotic or pornographic works have often been prosecuted, censored and destroyed by the authorities on grounds of obscenity. After the Reformation the jurisdiction of these courts declined in favour of the Crown which licensed every printed book. For instance the Licensing Act of was aimed generally at "heretical, seditious, schismatical or offensive books of pamphlets" rather than just erotica per se.

Even this Licensing Act was allowed to lapse in and no attempt made to renew it. The first conviction for obscenity in England occurred in , when Edmund Curll was fined for the publication of Venus in the Cloister or The Nun in her Smock under the common law offence of disturbing the King's peace. This set a legal precedent for other convictions. It was the Obscene Publications Act which made the sale of obscene material a statutory offence, for the first time, giving the courts power to seize and destroy offending material.

The origins of the Act itself were in a trial for the sale of pornography presided over by the Lord Chief Justice , Lord Campbell , at the same time as a debate in the House of Lords over a bill aiming to restrict the sale of poisons. The bill was controversial at the time, receiving strong opposition from both Houses of Parliament , and was passed on the assurance by the Lord Chief Justice that it was " The Act provided for the seizure and destruction of any material deemed to be obscene, and held for sale or distribution, following information being laid before a "court of summary jurisdiction" Magistrates' court.

The Act required that following evidence of a common-law offence being committed — for example, on the report of a plain-clothes policeman who had successfully purchased the material — the court could issue a warrant for the premises to be searched and the material seized. The proprietor then would be called upon to attend court and give reason why the material should not be destroyed.

Critically, the Act did not define "obscene," leaving this to the will of the courts. Whilst the Act itself did not change, the scope of the work affected by it did.

Known as the Hicklin test no cognisance was taken of the literary merit of a book or on the extent of the offending text within the book in question. The widened scope of the original legislation led to the subsequent notorious targeting of now acknowledged classics of world literature by such authors as Zola , James Joyce and D. Lawrence plus medical textbooks by such as Havelock Ellis rather than the blatant erotica which was the original target of this law.

In contrast to England, where actions against obscene literature were the preserve of the magistrates, in America such actions were the responsibility of the Postal Inspection Service, embodied in the federal and state Comstock laws , named after the postal officer and anti-obscenity crusader Anthony Comstock who proved himself officious in the work of suppression both in his official capacity and through his New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.

Twenty-four states passed similar prohibitions on materials distributed within the states. This question of whether a book had literary merit eventually prompted a change in the law in both America and the UK.

In the United Kingdom the Obscene Publications Act provided for the protection of "literature" but conversely increased the penalties against pure "pornography.

After this piece of legislation questions of the literary merit of the work in question were allowed to be put before the judge and jury as in the Lady Chatterley trial. The publishers of the latter book were found not guilty by the court on the grounds of the literary merit of the book. In later prosecutions of literary erotica under the provisions of the act, however, even purely pornographic works with no apparent literary merit escaped destruction by the authorities.

Purely textual pornographic texts, with no hint of libel , ceased to be brought to trial following the collapse of the Inside Linda Lovelace trial in However, in October , a man was unsuccessfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act the R v Walker trial for posting fictional written material to the Internet allegedly describing the kidnap, rape and murder of the pop group Girls Aloud.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution gives protection to written fiction, although the legal presumption that it does not protect obscene literature has never been overcome.

Instead, pornography has successfully been defined legally as non-obscene, or "obscene" been shown to be so vague a term as to be unenforceable. In Brian Dalton was charged with creation and possession of child pornography under an Ohio obscenity law. The stories were works of fiction concerning sexually abusing children which he wrote and kept, unpublished, in his private journal. He accepted a plea bargain, pleaded guilty and was convicted. Customs officers are often permitted to seize even merely 'indecent' works that would be perfectly legal to sell and possess once one is inside the nations concerned.

Canada has been particularly notorious for such border seizures. Although the year as well as legislation outlawed the publication, retail and trafficking of certain types of writings and images, regarded as 'pornographic', and would order the destruction of shop and warehouse stock meant for sale, the private possession of and viewing of pornography has not been prosecuted until recent times. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs expansion.

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Erotic Fiction (Bookshelf) - Gutenberg

Museums are often misconstrued as dusty and lifeless — the least likely place to find something hot and steamy. Such astonishingly intimate works reveal a side to the ancient Near East that contrasts sharply with the modesty prevalent in the modern Middle East. Two clay plaques, small enough to hold in your palm, depict couples copulating in remarkable detail.

Dating from the early second millennium BCE, the Old Babylonian period, they come from a year window when mass-produced terra cotta plaques were popular, including those that exhibit sexual acts. The first plaque shows a man penetrating a woman from behind, while standing. The second, slightly smaller one, depicts a man and woman in a similar position, with the woman drinking beer through a straw from a jug. According to Dr.

The depiction of couples engaging in rear entry may be indicative of that practice. That the erotic clay plaques were found in temples, graves and private homes makes it difficult to generalize about their intended use, but is testament to their popularity.

That excavators found the erotic artwork in high-traffic rooms of homes leads Assante to infer that they were accessible to men, women and children.

Cylinder seals — small cylinder-shaped stones etched with figures and cuneiform used as a signet — occasionally featured men and women in erotic poses.

This is the destiny of mortals. The Gilgamesh epic also describes sexuality as a potent force that distinguishes humans from beasts. Israelite and Canaanite artwork, by comparison, typically had very little overt sexuality, only nude female figures that disappeared after the institutionalization of early Judaism in the eighth century BCE. Both figures are fully clothed, however, and there is no latent intercourse, only the suggestion of it.

The similarity between the two passages comes as little surprise. Ancient Israel was the land bridge connecting the two major civilizations of the ancient Near East, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and its culture was influenced heavily by both. A stark difference, however, was the difference in ancient Babylonian and Israelite perspectives on male homosexuality. The Babylonians, writes Prof.

Sexual intercourse between a woman and a man on a terra cotta plaque from Mesopotamia, early 2nd millennium BCE photo credit: The Israel Museum.

Ancient erotic literature