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User:Hedonisia

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It all began in my sophomore year at York University in Toronto, Canada. Young, idealistic and a Sociology major; I wanted to save the world. I loved taking on assigments on controversial topics: Recreational drugs, feminism, homosexuality, AIDS, prostitution, racism.

One of my major essays was called "Pornography; where do we draw the line?" As part of this assignment I had to go around campus showing female staff and students a series of sexually explicit pictures cut from various "men's" magazines and then to ask them whether they felt these images were erotic or pornographic. (I was also hoping to meet a couple of open-minded girls. That's why I chose this topic!)

No such luck. Though it was only 1982, Political Correctness had already established firm roots in this cold, dreary Canadian campus. Many of the females found the pictures degrading and exploitative with no redeeming features whatsoever. (The horror was that I had personally picked the photos and I had grown quite fond of some of them!) I was condemned to be a lonely young man for quite a long time after that survey.

However, during the course of my assignment, I did notice the not too subtle difference between men and women when it came to their enjoyment of erotic\pornographic images. I delved deeper into the subject. (My major was Sociology so what else could I do!) I read the feminists; Susan Brownmiller, Andrea Dworkin, Gloria Steinhem and so on. "Give us Erotica" they cried. "Not Pornography." But then they often went all fuzzy when it came to defining exactly what was erotica. I surveyed females on campus and asked them to describe what they saw as "erotica". No two answers were the same. Yet feminist writers and many females I spoke to were almost universal in their condemnation of pornography per se and the male commercialization of sexuality in general.

The male counter-reaction was often just as harsh. "These women who want to ban sex films are just prudes who just can't face the sight of an erect penis"; "feminists are anti-sex and anti-men"; "they see only lesbian depictions of sex as erotic; anything else is pornographic"; "Some "wimmin" seem to think that if a guy reads Penthouse then he has to go out right afterwards and rape". And so the war of the sexes raged on. For me doing that essay was a turning point in my life. This issue was just too interesting to let go. . . .

Nineteen years, two trips round the world, and after much more investigation into the subject . . .

The smell of food can make us hungry. Should the sight of sex make us horny? With men it seems to do just that. A man can bring himself to orgasm in two minutes flat by merely masturbating and watching a naughty movie. However it is simply not the same with a woman. (At least not in two minutes!) As women are quick to state, a little more is required. It is not enough just to show naked bodies pumping away at each other. There needs to be some sort of story under all the skin and sweat. Preferably something exotic, esoteric and romantic. And then anything goes!

Over the years, I slowly began to build up a collection of erotic art and literature from the various countries of my travels. I would often show samples to my female friends. Almost without exception, they were fascinated by these decidedly different interpretations of erotica. It was quite a difference from that first survey I did all those years ago at York U.!

I founded World Art Erotica.com, a virtual museum dedicated to historical and cultural erotic art and literature. Perhaps not surprisingly 39% of my customers are female. The times are changing again. After a long period of decline because of AIDS, the Sexual Revolution is once again picking up steam.