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Elsewhere, an article about pubic hair promises to get to 'the front bottom of what women are doing to their pubes these days'. It's a perfectly straightforward article, but hardly illuminating and rather mundane. The rest of the magazine is made up of articles with titles such as Singleness And Coupleness is that even a word? While I suppose we should applaud the editor's desire to provide an alternative to the many indistinguishable magazines for women, I'm not sure this one is the answer.


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Apart from a homoerotic sketch of two men and a sexually explicit short story, there's little to excite about this magazine. It's far too earnest and dull, and reads like a geeky girl's idea of what might be sexy. It labours under the persistent misapprehension that what turns women on are photos of seminaked men.

Fully naked men, by the way, are on the cards for future issues. Arousing: The editor claims her research shows that pictures of models such as the one above represent what women find sexy. Women just don't respond to visual stimuli in the same way that men do - and if we did, I doubt whether Filament's hairless, feminine men would be the ones to turn us on.

But then neither, in all probability, would perfectly honed, six pack-flexing, chiselled hunks. A man who can make a woman laugh is worth ten of either type. To tickle our erotic centre, we need a living, breathing, talking human being. So why do we persist in pretending we're just like men? Even when we are aroused by visual images in pornography, our loud inner monologues promote disagreement between what our bodies are feeling and what our minds are saying.

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Has she been forced to do what I see her doing? Take, for example, the image of the beautiful David Beckham in his underpants. What's not to like? Now imagine that you have spent the evening with him, and listened to him speak in that child-like, squeaky voice of his I'm sorry, David, I'm sure you're a lovely man, but your voice is not your best quality. Are you still bathed in lust, or has that inner voice had its way with you and extinguished your desire?

I think we all know the answer to that one. Most of us need a man to be funny, clever, kind, thoughtful, protective, intellectually challenging or at least some of these things for us to find him sexy. But then it shouldn't really come as any surprise that sexual desire is located in the mind for women.

The problem about pornography for most women is that it is far too explicit and leaves nothing to the imagination. Our most erogenous zone is our brain, and the reason that some of the books we read connect with our sexuality is because they fire our imaginations and allow us to weave fantasies which are largely of our own making.

Thinking, rather than seeing, is what turns us on. The sight of a handsome, naked stranger cannot compete with the experience of a man you find interesting looking intimately into your eyes and talking directly to you. It is in this personal contact and discourse that our temperature becomes raised. Why else would beautiful women fall in love with not-so-beautiful men? For women, and many men, you might say that the eye-bone is ultimately connected to the brain-bone.

Androgynous images: 'Women have subtle threads of sexual desire that mark us apart from men'.

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Just as not all men are turned into sexual predators at the sight of naked female flesh, so not all women are not left cold in the face of pornographic images - and that, I fear, is increasingly a result of the ever-more-crude society in which we live. Kristina Wright [90] is well known for her bestselling genre themed anthologies through Cleis Press , including steampunk erotica, [91] paranormal erotic romance, [92] and fairy tale erotica, [93] [94] exemplified by authors such as Shanna Germain [95] 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 [97] 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 fiction has similarities to romantic fantasy but is more explicit. 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. Most of this migrated to the alt. 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.

Three brief fragments of a sex manual written in the fourth century BC that is attributed to Philaenis of Samos have survived, though modern scholars generally regard it as a work of parody probably written by a man, most likely the Athenian sophist Polycrates. The Indian Kama Sutra is one of the world's best-known works of this type.


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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. Prosecutions of books for their erotic content alone were rare and works which attacked the church or state gave much more concern to the authorities than erotica or ' obscene libel ' as it was then known.

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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. Prosecutions of erotica later in the 18th century were rare and were most often taken because of the admixture of seditious and blasphemous material with the porn. For instance, no proceedings were taken against the publishers of Cleland's notorious Fanny Hill 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.

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Campbell was taken by the analogy between the two situations, famously referring to the London pornography trade as "a sale of poison more deadly than prussic acid, strychnine or arsenic", [] and proposed a bill to restrict the sale of pornography; giving statutory powers of destruction would allow for a much more effective degree of prosecution. 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.

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Cockburn's declaration remained in force for several decades, and most of the high profile seizures under the Act relied on this interpretation. 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. Importing books and texts across national borders can sometimes be subject to more stringent laws than in the nations concerned. 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 and legislation outlawed the publication, retail and trafficking of certain 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.

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