Eroticism is the quality of sexual excitement. In other words, if something is sexually exciting, then it is said to be erotic. Eroticism is an erotic feeling. It is named after Eros, the Ancient Greek god of love.
Many types of things can be part of eroticism. Things that make a person feel erotic (sexually aroused or excited) include the sight, touch, smell, and sound of another person. A person may feel erotic when they see or touch or smell, or hear someone that they love in a sexual way. They may also have erotic feelings about a person that they do not love, but who is sexually attractive to them.
Sometimes eroticism has nothing to do with another person. A person might feel erotic from watching a movie, looking at pictures in a magazine, listening to a piece of music, reading a story or article, or just thinking their own thoughts, or being aware of their own body.
What makes eroticism?
Some things are designed and made especially to make people feel erotic. Things that are designed to make people feel erotic are called "erotica". This word is most often used for art, books and magazines.
- Art Sometimes artists create erotic works of art such as drawings, paintings and sculpture. They might do this because they want to make a record of a person or a relationship that is special to them. But more often, artists make erotic art for people who would like to buy it.
- Books Many books have been written that tell erotic stories, or which give advice about how to make love in an erotic way.
- Movies Many people enjoy watching erotic movies.
- Magazines Many magazines have lots of photos of people naked or in sexy clothing, and with erotic expressions and gestures (actions).
- Avertising Erotic photos are often used for advertising. For example, a beautiful young woman with an erotic expression on her face might be used to advertise hair products, clothes, chocolates, cars, and all sorts of other things.
- Clothing Some clothing is designed to look erotic. Some underwear, in particular, is especially designed to look erotic.
- Food Some food is said to make people feel erotic. Food can also be used as an erotic sign or be eaten in an erotic way.
- Perfume Many perfumes have substances in them that effect the human brain in a way that makes a person feel erotic.
Eroticism and pornography
Most people believe there is a difference between erotica and pornography, but some people have argued that all erotica is "pornographic". (In other words, some people believe that all pictures, movies or writing which are sexually exciting are rude and wrong, and should not be made.)
People who have studied this subject say that erotica is not harmful to anyone, and may be helpful with people's loving relationships. The same writers say that pornography, which generally shows a person being treated without respect or love, is not helpful with people's loving relationships.