What makes art erotic – for you?

Honesterotica will shortly be coming up for our fifth birthday, and we’ve come a long way in that time.

We started with just 80 artists; now we have over 340. We started with zero Twitter followers; now we’re well on the way to 10,000. At the beginning we were lucky to have twenty visitors to the site each day; now we regularly have more than 800.

To celebrate our birthday, and to honour and thank all our loyal followers, we would very much like to know what it is in particular that makes the subject matter of honesterotica truly erotic for you. Yes, you – what do you find really works for you?

At the end of this blog post are some of the ways ‘the experts’ have defined erotic art over the years. To be honest, they’re all a bit dry and academic, trying hard to define the essentially undefinable. Because there isn’t any one set of elements generally thought of as ‘erotic’ that works for everyone, and anyway, what we might find fascinating or beautiful or titillating often varies from one day to the next.

So to counter these not-very-helpful generalities, we are inviting you to think about what works for you. We’d like you to tell us, in your own words, what ‘erotic art’ means for you personally. And if you’re agreeable we’d like to share some of the range of ideas you come up with in a birthday blog in March 2022.

If you’re up for it (and we hope you are!), this is what we’d like you to do:

  • Starting with the words ‘The sort of erotic art and illustration that excites me most is … ’ tell us in 300–500 words what really works for you.
  • Write from a personal point of view, don’t worry about giving any ‘right answers’. There aren’t any.
  • You can write in your own language if you want to; we can translate it into English.
  • If you want, you can add two or three examples of art or illustration to complement your words.
  • We can include your name, Twitter handle, web or blog site if you want, but it’s fine to remain anonymous. If you want to be Anon, just give us a pseudonym and maybe the country you live in. You tell us how you’d like us to attribute your contribution and we’ll do exactly what you ask.
  • Send your contribution in an email to info@honesterotica.com with the email heading ‘Birthday blog post’. Make sure we have it by Friday 25th February.

Looking forward very much to reading your contributions!

‘Erotic art’ according to the experts

Erotic art is a broad field of the visual arts including any artistic work intended to evoke erotic arousal, usually depicting human nudity and/or sexual activity.

Erotic art is art on a sexual theme related specifically to emotions rather than merely actions, and sexual depictions which are justifiable on aesthetic grounds.
     Peter Webb, Erotic Art, 1975

Erotic art comprises presentations and representations that are, or at least are taken by some viewers to be, in some sense about sexual activity.
     Richard Posner, Sex and Reason, 1994

Erotic art is truly an image without context, a naked and pure image that transgresses the norm by making the private, the intimate and the sexual public, expressing the infinite power and beauty of the subconscious.
     Olivier Zahm, 2017

Whether explicit or implied, graphic or abstract, erotic art gives the viewer a glimpse into another world; a view of an intimate scene or a perspective of the subject which most people would not usually see, whether physical or emotional. It is this shared intimacy which makes erotic art so powerful and captivating.  
     Carla Morris, 2020

Erotic art is a rather broad field of visual art, unlike naked art which is much more specific. It includes any artistic work intended to evoke the erotic arousal, usually through the depiction of human nudity and/or sexual activity.
     Jack Berning, Gallerima, 2021