DefinitionsGreek porne , prostitute, and graphein , to write; first recorded in English around 1864:
1. Erotic writings, pictures, movies, etc., intended to arouse sexual desire. Humorously defined by Frederic Mullally in The Penthouse Sexicon (1968): ' Elevating reading-matter.'
(1) Gloria Steinem. Erotica vs Pornography (From articles in Ms. in 1977 and 1978): ' Pornography is about dominance. Erotica is about mutuality.'
(2) Andrea Dworkin. Pornography (1981) Preface: ' Erotica is simply high-class pornography; better produced, better conceived, better executed, better packaged, designed for a better class of consumer.'
(3) Attributed to Henry Miller (1891-1980) by George Plimpton: ' Obscenity is a cleansing process, whereas pornography only adds to the murk.'
(4) Angela Lambert (1990): ' Pornography is literature designed to be read with one hand.'
(6) Walter Matthau as Justice Dan Snow in First Monday in October (1981): ' Just being offensive is not an offense. One man's pornography may be another man's poetry.' Possibly a rewording of a famous line by Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan said in a 1971 case on free speech: ' One man's vulgarity is another man's lyric.'
(8) Charles Rembar: ' Pornography is in the loin of the beholder.'
(9) Rosalie Maggio, The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage (1991): ' Men may buy pornography but women pay for it - in terms of exploitation, rape, violence, and a society that sees them as disposable sexual objects. Pornography associates women with pain, inferiority, and humiliation; the assumption for the user is that this is real and normal. Good sex is also a victim; a graduate of The School of Pornography is a sex-illiterate. (...) Erotica differs from pornography in that it celebrates rather than degrades human sexuality. It preserves the mutuality of sexual activity, is not exploitative, controlling, objectifying, addictive, a "using" activity, or affected by prurient interests.'
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