To acquire wisdom, one must observe


Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)


What is erotica? Is erotica considered porn?


Erotica is a term that is used to describe porn that is articulated and often produced in strictly written form. These could include explict sexual encounters or articulating the sexual tension. It is not a term that is typically used for pornography, as that is attached to a visual aid that can sometimes include or not include audio. Although erotica is seen as a subgenre of pornography, it is still largely enjoyed by a large percentage of the world. Erotica can come in many different levels of professionalism, from fanfiction to #1 New York Times best-sellers. 


Erotica is a form of porn. There is no such thing as “normal” or “regular” porn, as it is based on the observer or person who is going to be engaging with the media. There are many forms of “alternative” porn that may not be what is being presented by mainstream media. Erotica by many is seen as porn, but it also can be classified as literature. Because erotica is often, but not always, an articulation of experience, desire and/or fantasies it may also sometimes be a part of a literary experience. Erotica also takes the form of comic strips, books and manga. The genres are endless and there is something for everyone if that is something that you would like to try out. If you have any questions please feel free to stop by our office during our office hours! 

Stay pleasureful. 

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