tumblr_lxbb32gSNh1qkc12fo1_500In both my personal and professional life shooting both stills and video, I spend a lot of my time around nudity and sex.

So…let me state that while I love sex, I dislike pornography. That said, I do appreciate certain aspects of pornography.

There is an immediate, primal charge in the explicit penetration. It’s the knowledge that the people on-screen are actually fucking and not simulating.

However, this usually evolves into twenty minutes of repetitive close-ups of genital corkscrewing and pumping. Pleasurable I hope for the participants, but boring to watch.

There’s also a fascination in watching male ejaculation, but porn’s beloved money (or come) shot all too often involves an aspect of humiliation of the female. Intended or not.

As a cinematic genre, porno is to real sex what the romance genre is to real-life love. Meaning, each takes an amazingly complex subject and reduces it to a predictable series of simple-minded clichés.

Worse, pornography robs sex not only of its dimensions, but also of it’s powerful allure.

Porn is just unattractive. It reflects the narrowest aspects of an pre-fabricated male mind-set. Yet, you know, while it’s often said that pornography degrades and exploits women, I believe that it degrades men even more.

Male sexuality is reduced to a commodity, usually limiting male sexual fantasies to endless repetitions of the “Conquest of the Slut/Whore” scenario. Men should take pornography as an insult to their soul and intelligence.

Moving on… there’s another genre called “erotica.” An improvement, sure, but I’ve still had a hard time finding erotica which does what it’s supposed to do. It’s meant to turn me on but the “artistic” approach just disappoints me – it doesn’t deliver the sexual charge it should carry. It’s like adding water to a martini.

Erotica is just porno-lite. It simple-mindedly over-compensates for the challenges of pornography. But it’s too diluted, too implicit. The same tired clichés dressed up (excuse the pun) and watered down.

Where is the balance to be found? We deserve sexually explicit imagery that captures the beauty and complexity of the human sexual experience. Can we create such a thing as “erotic pornography?”

I think so.

And why is this important? Because we now are no longer just the consumers/viewers, we are the stars now of our own productions, even if it’s just a low-res pic taken on a simple iphone like the one above.

We deserve better than to reduce our lives to the level of 70s porn clichés. Wouldn’t you say?