E is for Erotica

E is for Erotica

Erotica is defined as erotic literature and writings, literature and writings whose purpose is to cause sexual excitation.    There is evidence of Palaeolithic cave paintings that were erotic in nature suggesting that we have always created erotica.    In ancient Greece there was quite a bit of erotica written, mostly in the form of poetry.  Quite a lot written by Sappho of Lesbos, Martial and Ovid.

Erotic art and erotica has continued into to the present.    We now have poetry, novels, true life writing, photography, a variety of art mediums, plays and cinema.  We have a much wider variety of choice now than in the past.  Famous authors have produced erotica under pen names.  For example, Ann Rice wrote erotica under two pseudonyms, A N Roquelaure and Ann Rampling.    At one point erotic memoirs became very popular.  One of the most famous of these was Casanova’s Histoire de ma vie (History of my Life) written in the 18th century.  Casanova has remained a world famous lover in no small part because of the erotica he wrote.

I have always loved erotica.  The first book I remember getting my hands on was Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer when I was 12 years old.  The book was fascinating.  There was so much intense emotion in it and the sex scenes were graphic and felt real.  I remember reading it over and over again.

My next discovery was Victorian erotica including Fanny Hill.  I remember finding it hard to take it seriously and giggling at places I should have been feeling aroused.  Next I was given a copy of the Story of O by Pauline Reage when I was 14 years old.  I still have that copy 39 years later and I still find it stimulating.


Here are my 5 favourite uses for erotica:

  • Erotica is a great way to explore new things without having to commit yourself to doing anything. It allows you to explore in privacy.  For erotica to be the best tool of exploration, a wide variety must be interacted with as that allows you to try out many things with little risk.  There is erotic literature (like Sexus by Henry Miller or Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov).  One of my favourite sources for discussions of erotic literature and links to new things is Literotica which is billed as ‘Sophisticated Smut for Highbrow Readers’.    One of my favourite authors is Anais Nin.  There is erotic science fiction and fantasy which is one of my favourite genres.  The best publisher for this type of writing is Circlet Press and I can recommend most everything published by them.  There is also garden variety erotica.    The wider variety you examine the more you will learn.  Pay attention to your reactions.  What turns you on?  What turns you off?  Are you bored?  Disgusted? Excited? Ashamed?  Perhaps you have always wanted to try anal sex but feel you would react badly at the time.  Reading can desensitize you so you will not react badly in the moment.
  • Telling your lover what you turns you on and what you might like to try.   Many people find it difficult to talk about sex in detail and particularly to ask a lover for a new or different sexual experience.  A person may worry that his partner will be disgusted or rejecting and so he will choose not to ask even if it is an activity that is very important to his sexual satisfaction.   Erotica can make things easier.  You can present your lover with an erotic story or novel that has the sexual experience you desire within it.  Once your partner has read the story, you can start a discussion with her.      Even if you don’t have trouble communicating, erotica can make the discussion far more entertaining.
  • Foreplay Reading erotica to each other can be extremely exciting and a great way to start a passionate encounter.   Take turns reading from the same book, each of you take a one character and read her part, or one person read on day one and the other read on day two.  However you structure things, reading sexy scenes out loud is great foreplay.  One lover played a game with me where he had me try to keep reading as he began to touch me.  The idea was for me to finish the story.  I never managed to make it to the end.
  • The script and prop manual for roleplay You can use erotica to help you design a roleplay scene.  Sometimes it is fun to act out a favourite scene in a book.  Lots of people I know have acted out scenes from the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (AN Roquelaure) or the Marketplace Series (Laura Antoniou).  You can work together to write a script based on the book or story, look for props or costumes.   If you want more in depth information about role play, join me for my workshop Casanova’s Secret on 10 December in person and simultaneously online.  Use the coupon EEROTICA for a 25% discount!
  • Write an erotic story for your lover. One of the best presents I ever received from a lover was an erotic short story he had written.    Being the main character in his erotic fantasy was so flattering, so exciting and made me feel like superwoman.    If you don’t feel you can write, there are authors who will custom write a story for you.

I would love to hear how you use erotica and some of the topics you enjoy.  Email me at drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com.  Sign up for the newsletter, Keepers of the Flame below and receive my free eBook A to Z of Erotica: Where to find the top 100 Titles of Erotica.