Is Reading Erotica As Harmful As Watching Porn? 

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When we say the word erotica, books or the literary form of erotica comes to mind. But erotica does not just confine itself to the literary form, it can be a motion picture, or even a painting. 

What Exactly is Erotica? 

Erotica is any literary or artistic work that deals with erotic, sexually stimulating, or sexually arousing subject matter yet is not commonly regarded as pornographic (in a strict sense).

To convey erotic content, erotic art can take any medium, including painting, sculpture, theatre, film, or music. Erotic literature and erotic photography have established themselves as distinct genres. 

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The Rise of Wattpad and Erotica 

What exactly is Wattpad? 

 Wattpad is a social reading platform that allows users to read and publish their own tales online. 

 Is Wattpad a secure platform? 

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 Wattpad is not recommended for users under the age of 17. To be honest, you don’t have to look hard to locate objectionable material. Even if a parent and their child have a shared account, they will still be exposed to explicit book descriptions and cover art. 

 Who uses Wattpad? 

 According to our data, 85 percent of Wattpad’s 45 million+ readers are aged 13 to 30. Fifty percent are under the age of eighteen. 

What is the minimum age requirement for Wattpad? 

Wattpad has a 13-year-old minimum age limit, but if you download it via the Apple App Store, you must be 17 or older. 

Is it suitable for children? 

 Some categories are age-appropriate for children, while others are not, and some are difficult for youngsters to reach. Adventure, LGBTQ+, Fanfiction, and Romance are just a few of the categories. There’s also a ‘New Adult’ category, which includes erotica, relationship, and romance stories with names like ‘booty call’ and ‘I slept with my stepbrother.’ There’s also a’smut’ category, which includes stories with sex and improper language. 

Other content we’ve come across that can be troubling to younger children includes: 

Content with tags – Prohibited content like this may easily be found on Wattpad. 

You can set an age rating for a tale as either ‘Mature’ or ‘Everyone.’ The mature or ‘new adult’ tales on Wattpad have an age rating of 17+, but users under the age of 17 can still read them. 

Is Wattpad Toxic? 

Despite the stories’ dubious nature, it provided a platform that allowed young creatives to grow. Despite the fact that it allowed youth to explore topics of sexuality, it did so in a way that glamorised and promoted abuse, which is why Wattpad has destroyed our generation’s minds. 

Wattpad is known for its erotica. 

These are some of the different genres that are most popular on Wattpad: 

  • Fanfiction 
  • Fantasy 
  • Fiction set in the past 
  • Horror 
  • Humor 
  • LGBTQ+ 
  • New Adult

New adult and romance are the most popular genres. 

What exactly is the New Adult genre? 

New adult fiction is a growing genre of fiction with protagonists between the ages of 18 and 30. 

Understanding the essence of Erotica

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Any piece of art that deals substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing subject matter is referred to as erotica. Painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music, and literature are all examples of art that can represent sensual content. Erotica is distinguished from commercial pornography by its high-art aims. 

Pornography, on the other hand, is a creative activity (writing, images, videos, etc.) that has no literary or artistic purpose other than to arouse sexual desire.  

“If the work was created erotically, it’s safe to presume that the artist thought the subject matter was admirable. Something to rejoice about… celebrate, praise, and glorify.” – Leon F. Seltzer, Retired American clinical psychologist

He goes on to say, “It does not appeal solely to our senses or sexual cravings, unlike pornography. It also activates our aesthetic sense, our evaluation of how this or that person exemplifies a human beauty ideal.” The most important remark Seltzer makes regarding erotica clarifies what he is attempting to say: “What ultimately determines the work’s eroticism is the artist’s (or, for that matter, author or composer’s) approach to their subject.” 

What is the definition of pornography? 

Films that portray sexually explicit subject matter in order to arouse and gratify the audience are known as pornographic films (pornos), erotic films, or sex films.

Sexual fantasies are depicted in pornographic films, which typically include erotically arousing material such as nudity (softcore) and sexual activity (hardcore). The distinction between “erotic” and “pornographic” films is frequently drawn on the basis that the latter features more explicit sexuality and focuses more on arousal than a narration; nonetheless, this is a highly subjective distinction. 

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Pornographic movies are produced and distributed in various formats, home video, DVDs, Internet downloads, cable TV, depending on demand and technology available.

Pornographic films are now sold or leased on DVD; broadcast on cable and satellite via Internet streaming, special channels, and pay-per-view; and viewed in increasingly disappearing adult theatres. They are often not allowed to be screened in mainstream cinemas or on free-to-air television because to legal restrictions. 

What are the differences between erotica and pornography? 

Erotica vs. Porn

 Erotica is a term that is used to describe something that is sexually arousing with an aesthetic appeal, more refined.

 Erotic art is art that is dedicated to or tends to arouse sexual affection or desire.  

What constitutes pornographic material? 

Pornography is a term used to describe content that deals with sex and is intended to stimulate its readers or viewers. “Writings, drawings, etc. intended principally to excite sexual desire,” according to Webster’s Dictionary. Obscenity and child pornography are two types of pornography that are not protected by the First Amendment. 

What is the Purpose of Erotica? 

Not that the artist’s work, which is similar to pornography, isn’t evocative. It does not, however, appeal solely to our senses or carnal cravings, as does pornography. It also activates our aesthetic sense, our evaluation of how this or that person exemplifies a human beauty standard. The rendering could be abstract or as realistic as an unaltered photograph.

It could be in colour or black and white. Male or female, it doesn’t matter. The humans depicted might be modern and real, ancient and mythological. The artist’s (or, for that matter, author’s or composer’s) approach to their subject is ultimately what decides the work’s eroticism. 

Erotica is viewed as art but porn is not. 

What is the Purpose of Pornography? 

“Pornography” (or “porn”) refers to images that are designed to arouse and bring sexual pleasure to those who read, watch, hear, or handle them. 

Erotica and pornography have certain similarities. 

The use of erotic stimuli to promote sexual feelings and expression is the subject of eroticism and pornography. The underlying intricacies of these two sectors, on the other hand, are often quite distinct. Eroticism is viewed as a creative way of expressing sexuality; it is described as “plain,” peaceful, and sensual. Pornography, on the other hand, appears to link sexuality to some type of aggressiveness and/or a power imbalance between men and women. 

There is nudity and sexual content in both erotica and porn, resulting in sexual excitement. This is the most common similarity between the two. 

The History of Erotic depictions  

Paintings, sculptures, pictures, dramatic arts, music, and literature depicting scenes of a sexual nature have all been depicted in the history of erotic depictions. Almost every society, ancient and modern, has built them.

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Early cultures frequently connected sexual acts with supernatural forces, and their religions were consequently entwined with such representations. 

Representations of sex and sensual art have special spiritual meanings within national religions in Asian countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan, and China. 

The ancient Greeks and Romans created a great deal of sexual art and decorating, much of it was influenced by their religious beliefs and cultural customs. 

Each new tool, such as printing, photography, motion pictures, and computers, has been modified to display and propagate these portrayals in more recent times as communication technologies evolved. 

Erotic art is frequently distinguished from pornography, which includes scenes of sexual action and is designed to elicit erotic arousal. Pornography is rarely regarded as fine art. 

People may distinguish between erotic art and non-sensual art depending on the work’s objective and message: non-erotic art would be works designed for purposes other than arousal that might be appreciated as art by someone disinterested in the erotic elements. 

Classicism Behind Erotica 

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Erotica has often been noted as rich man’s porn. The themes behind erotica and porn have similar ancient origins and even their purpose might be similar but one can be considered high class and the other more commercial and almost looked down upon. 

Erotica is known to be associated with classicism, as some people see it as the rebranding of “high-quality” porn for the upper class to consume. Erotica as a genre is considered fine art whereas porn is considered unoriginal and for commoners.  

This marketing technique of selling it as luxury is seen in every product. You elevate the idea behind the product and you sell exclusivity and not the product itself.  

What Type of Genre is Erotica? 

Erotic literature is a subgenre of fiction that puts the sexual qualities of love front and centre. The erotic genre includes writings that range from slight sexual allusion to explicit descriptions of sexual activity. Sexual fantasy, homosexuality, sado-masochism, and fetishes are also prohibited components. 

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Softcore Pornography vs. Erotica 

Softcore pornography, often known as softcore porn, is commercial still photography or film that contains a pornographic or erotic element but is less sexually graphic and intrusive than hardcore pornography, which is characterized by a lack of visual sexual penetration.

Stripteases, lingerie modeling, simulated intercourse, and an emphasis on the sensuous appreciation of the female or male body are all examples of softcore pornography. 

It typically contains nude or semi-nude actors involved in love scenes and is intended to be sexually arousing and aesthetically beautiful. The distinction between softcore pornography and erotica is largely a matter of taste. 

There is an overlap in this sense too. 

Why is it Harmful to Read Erotica? 

Erotica can be equally as harmful as porn since it can reinforce prejudices and display sexual behaviours that are comparable to porn but with a different aesthetic. It’s almost as if you’re reading pornography. Reading erotica might also help you establish unrealistic standards. 

It can be easier to get sucked into erotic books (and the GREATEST EVIL: Fanfiction) than it is to get sucked into video porn, because erotic books have a believable plot, and because erotic books don’t seem “as bad,” we don’t put the same negative emphasis on it, even though it’s still terrible. Erotica is seen as an innocent hobby at first which can later develop into an obsession. 

Erotica is seen as more easily digestible when compared to porn but it can have similar effects to excessively watching porn. With the constant use of erotica, you can see how the lines between fantasy and reality can easily get blurred. 

The damaging side of erotica 

 While research on the effects of erotica is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that erotica may be having major negative consequences in the lives of many users, which should not be overlooked. Whatever the case may be, it’s past time to prioritize positive portrayals of sexuality and relationships. Exaggerated, harmful portrayals in pornographic content can divert attention away from real, healthy relationships. So, let’s get back to loving each other.  

The Start of An Obsession 

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You might have heard of Fifty Shades of Grey. This series caused a frenzy and most people might have read it out of curiosity.  

The fact that the series was loosely based on bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M) practises, or BDSM for short, further added to the problem. People begin hunting for more information after reading E.L. James’ twisted view of BDSM, and they rapidly uncover sites where they may read any style of porn. And there are a lot of options. 

 Cruelty, horror, and humiliation are all distinct genres in their own right. 

 Sticking to one genre and avoiding the things that seem disgusting doesn’t always work, because a story tailored to one genre may incorporate new elements in a way that makes them appear normal. 

An Addiction Toward Erotica 

One of the most difficult aspects of this addiction is finding someone who will take it seriously. Few people think it’s an issue because most people don’t read as much as they should, making whatever you find on the subject of reading addiction humorous or satirical. 

Video gaming is a very comparable addiction that is much more publicly known. 

Another thing to consider is what reading actually does for you.

Is there something you receive from reading that you don’t have in your life?

Examining which aspects of the stories you read to satisfy your desires will help you understand why this has progressed from a hobby to an addiction. Once you’ve identified the root of the problem, you can focus on resolving it to avoid a recurrence. 

Finally, this is a serious situation. If you let it, this, like any addiction, may ruin your life. This one is more difficult than certain physical addictions in some ways. When reality gets hard, disappearing into stories and dreams will lure you, and life will get more stressful as you neglect it for a fantasy. 

How Bad is it to View Porn? 

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Erectile dysfunction is frequently blamed on desensitisation caused by watching porn – but there is little evidence to back this up. According to UCLA and Concordia University researchers, watching porn can actually aid with sexual arousal. Men who watch the most porn report feeling more sexually aroused when shown porn in the lab. 

RELATIONSHIPS 

“One of my friends wanted his girlfriend to dress up like a porn star and act like one. Pornography is so easy to find. On the bus, you see guys viewing it on their phones in the classroom.” Watching too much porn can lead to behavioural changes that can damage you and your relationship, according to research published in the International Journal of Health Sciences. 

Men lose interest in their partners when they watch porn. 

SEX LIFE  

Pornography has long been accused of interfering with couples’ sexual lives. According to studies, males who viewed more porn were less satisfied with their sex life, which could be due to the sort of porn consumed. 

Pornography can lead to social isolation. 

Problem: Pornography almost always necessitates isolation. Anything that customers do in secret frequently results in embarrassment. For men and women, especially those who are young, one of the first repercussions of watching porn is social awkwardness in public, which, ironically, leads to further guilt and concealment. 

Isolation and shame can make sharing true intimacy with others difficult. It also makes it tough to actually mature and grow as a person, as well as attain our full potential as individuals. 

Solution: Many people are already suffering from humiliation and depression as a result of pornography. It might be tough to restart a social life if a consumer’s pornography habit has dimmed their drive to be social. 

Please support research into textual pornography and other forms of pornography. Help them understand that just because it’s a book or a cartoon and not actual people doing it doesn’t mean it’s not harming them or leading to bad habits and obsessions. 

Resources:

Is Erotica Bad for the Brain?

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