Erotically Speaking

According to Wikipedia, Erotica is defined as “any literary and artistic work that deals substantively with subject matter that is erotically stimulating or sexually arousing but is not pornographic.” I feel the need to share this definition because I think that many people believe that erotica is synonymous with pornography.

I have read a lot of erotica – what can I say, it’s part of the job! I have preferences and thankfully there’s something for everyone. One of the benefits of reading, listening, or viewing erotica is that it helps us get out of our own head and allows us to break out of our routines. Some taboo issues that we can’t express in everyday life are exciting to visit in our imagination.

I just reread Dr. Lonnie Barbach’s book The Erotic Edge, 22 Erotic Stories for Couples published in 1994. It’s a compilation of short stories written by a variety of authors. I especially like the short story genre because if a particular story is not of interest there are many more that might hit the spot. It seems that writers of women’s erotica select this subject matter because in addition to loving the craft they can help women enjoy their sexuality more fully and have a positive influence on the culture. This unique book, The Erotic Edge, contains stories written by both men and women. Dr. Barbach’s intention is for the stories to “broaden a couple’s sexual horizon.” The hope is that by portraying the perspectives of both men and women we will all gain a better awareness and appreciation of each other’s experience. She writes “I hoped to make explicit the different ways in which the two sexes approach the erotic.” Dr. Barbach encourages couples to read the stories out load and talk amongst yourselves!

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