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  1. #41
    titrisol's Avatar
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    Great thread Ari, and everyone that has cooperated.
    For me Sieff, Man Ray, Newton are the models I'd follow.
    However, I have to admit that playboy magazine has some fine photographers (and IIRC they still use 8x10 for centerfolds) but they way they use light has become less and less erotic/sencual and more and more grafic.

    I'd certainly think black and whte favors erotism, since the absence of color helps in focusing o nthe subject (usually a woman or a man). Lighting is the key, I prefer hard light from one side and none or very soft from the other.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  2. #42
    arigram's Avatar
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    Just to make one thing clear:
    I do not consider Sade to be erotic.
    His philosophy is that of sensless destruction. His superhuman is a destructive force without feelings or comprehension, not unlike a tornado or volcano.
    Thus his libertine cannot exist, his reasoning is faulted, but in the end, he is the extreme of extremes, the point of reference to test your limits against.
    On the other hand eroticism is all about emotions and the merging one with the other, with the enviroment. It is creative not destructive.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
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  3. #43

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    For me it's Man Ray and Newton, there is something magical about their work that I don't think has been captured by others.

  4. #44
    arigram's Avatar
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    On my search on the subject, I have come across this publisher which offer some really great stuff, including erotic photography books.
    The Erotic Print Society at http://www.eroticprints.org/index.asp
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    So, would the fetish crowd use the whole chicken in a latex suit?
    Here in the valley, fetish is a chicken in a HazMat suit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    SOunds like you have a good idea of what you are looking for. "erotic is personal. I like the second definition given on Dictionary .com. It sums up erotic for me

    Tending to arouse sexual desire.

    What sparks that desire for you? For me it is the entire package-clothing, voice, look, body language, scent and touch. I do not find the nude human form to be erotic. depending on how the image is presented, the feelings will range from total indifference to appreciation, to humor. I may be completely wrong but eroticism seems to appeal to a higher level of feeling and emotion and requires all of the senses. I have never seen an erotic image, nor do I think I ever will. I feel a two dimensional representation of a person cannot be erotic.

    JMO
    I suspect you have not run across the photographer who connects with YOUR inner erotic self. I have seen porn that was erotic, as well as nudes that were erotic and 'art' that was erotic, but not very often and only with respect to what touches MY personal button of what erotic is. Something along the lines of the whole 5 senses experience of which my mind fills in the blanks for the senses not explicit in a two dimensional photograph. So if you are a photographer presenting me with explicit material, I may find it porn, I may find it dull, I may find it clinically interesting, I may find it technically interesting, and if somehow you connected to my inner Id, I may find it erotic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomassauerwein
    I find Mapplethorpes "flower" pictures very erotic. Strange, more erotic than his nudes. photographing an erotic moment has got to be really tough. I think they can be clothed or unclothed and be just as erotic. One of my favorite erotic moments is from a movie. "Sharky's machine". When Rachel Ward was in a knee length skirt backlit in a doorway. Or in Flash Dance when Jennifer Beals was eating shrimp. The look in her eyes peeled away all my better judgements. I don't know if I've ever seen a photograph with a nude in it that truley was erotic. I know I've tried to create that eviron in my images and failed more than once. something about the immediate gratification of physical exposure that ruins the promise of further entisements. I don't have any idea what the answer is but my wife, well she seems to better understand (if you know what I mean)

    I think you've got the same idea TS. I find Georgia O'Keefe's work erotic on some levels. I find movies can play right into my erotic self because I don't have to synthisise so many senses. The Postman (second making) is one that affects me in some ways. As far as photographs go, it's only a rare one that strikes that cord. Some of Newtons stuff. Some B&W of Appalacian bedrooms (photographer not remembered, I 'll have to look it up), no overert sexuality, actually, no nekkid people what so ever, but photo's brimming with a sexual tension that you can displace your mind into. The books of Anais Nin.

    Wow, great thread.

    tim in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  6. #46
    arigram's Avatar
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    The erotic geometry

    I disagree that pornography is simply something erotic that doesn’t do it for me.

    First of all, we should differentiate sex and eroticism. They are two circles that contain each other’s parts but do not necessarily become one and the same. Eroticism doesn’t have to contain sex and sex doesn’t have to contain eroticism. Eroticism is the mentality of the instinct and sex the physicality. Eroticism is the arousal of the sexual desire but going back to geometry, if you draw a line from the center of one circle to another, there are many points in that line that can be called erotic points. Some are closer to the sexual center, some to the erotic one. Simply that means that certain situations, acts, thoughts, feelings and so on are closer to the physicality of sex and some closer to the mentality of eroticism. The center of the sexual circle being of course the actual sexual intercourse and the center of eroticism is the sexual thought. You can also say that one center is our animal instinct and the other the human intellect. Or to be more physical, the brain and the genitals of the human being (with men of course its easier to just talk about the two heads, the upper and the lower). The sexual instinct of course does not reside in actuality in the genitals but it makes the geometric analogy even stronger: the further up an erotic point it is, close to the erotic center, the deeper rooted in the sexual thought but also further away from the lower center, the sexual physicality. Going upwards that is, the sexual act becomes more remote, more obscure, more mystical, more of a fantasy, less real, less physical, but more human, more personal, more private and deeper in thought. Going downwards, sexuality becomes more real, more public, more animalistic, more instinctual. In photographic terms, you could say that the picture has more light and more detail the further down you go. Like Ara said, that’s why porn uses flood lights and eroticism candles. Photographically of course. After all you could have eroticism in the beach under a burning sun or in a pitch dark corner of an alley. I also believe that it doesn’t matter what a human being dresses in, how much skin (s)he shows or whatever. A topless thong can be as much sensual as body suit, a turtleneck as sexual as a miniskirt. What it comes down to it, is attitude.

    The above geometry is a general idea. But what interests us is the depiction of eroticism, the capture of sexual energy in a piece of paper (or screen for that matter), the reduction of the non-dimensional non-physical creation of the sexual instinct in a two dimensional, quite physical object. That applies to any art, but our focus is photography. We can use that geometry thought applied like this: one center becomes the “in your face”, heavy metal, floodlights, medical postures, common denominator, shallow extreme, the other, the intellectual, flowing water and birds singing, almost complete darkness, virginal innocence and shyness, deeply personal extreme. Both are extremes and both can be extremely boring or extremely exciting depending on your point of view. One is physical masturbation and the other mental masturbation. Or actual ****ing. But both are extremes and you have to be careful when you deal with extremes. The Marquis de Sade is an extreme that the friends of BDSM are inspired by but limit themselves to a personal border that is very much removed from the essence of his philosophy (BDSM is sexual not destructive). At the same time, the Romantics and all the works inspired by them are again extremes, to be enjoyed not to be followed. Both lead to destruction, death. Even your common pop love song talks about extremes that usually the police handles. But of course extremes arouse and excite but not reached and that not distance is the excitement.

    - A hard porn photo has it all laid (not pun intended) before your eyes. Its all there in case you miss anything. The audience of porn don’t want to miss a thing. They want to see -everything- in every detail. In that respect Ansel Adams Zone System landscapes are pornographic: they have all the detail and all the extreme drama of the porno scene. Nothing is hidden by shadows, furniture, posture and the actors scream their acting to the universe.

    They say “Look how I ****” and “how deep I can suck”.

    - A glamour porn is just a bit further down the road: it uses everything but hides a bit. Bukkake shots are not present in Hustler and the chicks of Penthouse may show every part of their body in close up, but hide some of the sexual act.

    They say “Look how sexy I am” and “how rosy it is…doctor”.

    - Glamour photos of lifestyle mags are just simply exhibitionistic. They don’t need to show it all, just the big boobs and the lustful look. They continue though the drama that porn has. Chicks strive very hard to be sexual, to the point of often being comedic as their teachers are the hardcore porn stars. It’s the easiest thing in the world to turn drama into comedy after all, or just simple boredom. Whoever gets swept by the drama of common sitcoms…please don’t raise their hands.

    They say “look what a nice butt I have with that thong” and “I am your dancing club fantasy boy”.

    - Nudes, are simply that nudes. They should excite anyone who likes naked humans, that is most of us. After all apart from the excitement of seeing someone nekkid in this clothed world, apart from discovering that they are well formed, a nude is the essence of humanity, stripped of everything, down to the basic form, the uncovered instinct. Genitals are of course what usually one sees during the sexual act, so are breasts and the ass. The nude becomes a “study” only when it has something else to offer and only to those who can see it. Weston-Shmeston, the dude photographed like nekkid chicks, dude! So, a nude can be either sexual, or plain boring, or artistic. To be erotic…well, here’s the point I am trying to make.

    I will go back a bit to one word: attitude.

    They say “Look at a naked human”.

    Attitude is what starts it, what later becomes visual.

    The attitude in those examples is what I’ve written in “they say” phrases.

    The erotic attitude is the thought of sex, without having to scream out loud “SEX ****ING SEX, YEAH SEX!”, or scream “BIG BOOBS, YEAH SEX!”, or scream “NEKKID, NEKKID!”. Eroticism might be loud like a spank with a wooden stick or a g–spot orgasm but doesn’t have to be. Eroticism whispers “sex” in dark and contrasty negatives, innocent models and creative close ups (had I hard time describing what I mean –close ups exist in porn of course).

    Eroticism, but to geometry, is above, a thought. And I agree that eroticism is very personal, it is. But porn can also be both mainstream and specialized. After all, not everybody enjoys or desires the same sexual acts. Water sports and electrocution is not for your average missionary housewife (even thought that certain last sexual thought is quite proper). Again, the difference is the attitude. There is a difference in an attitude of porn and of eroticism, even thought they might talk about the same acts and the same situations.

    So, there I stand. It all begins with “what the poet wanted to say”. It doesn’t matter if one jerks off with the shot of a vegetable or skips the big boobed Aphrodite with a yawn, what comes down to it, is what attitude the photographer approached the subject of sexuality with. How far did(s) he walk from one metaphorical circle to another, where did (s)he stop.

    Some of the artistic photography that feature erotic elements are not erotic simply because eroticism was not the genuine feeling. It could a surrealistic metaphor, a visual philosophy, an innocent game, a show of technique, the display of a product, the exhibitionism of a model and so on. But is it truly “sexy” (in the actual meaning of the word, not the fashionable one)? Does the model say “let’s ****” or is it “look at me”? Does the composition say “sex” or does it say “philosophy”. The “philosophy in the bedroom” of dear Marquis after all, is dully written philosophical treatise with some graphic sexual parts.

    Ok, enough.

    What this whole text say about me though is that I have too much sex and so I know so much about it or that I have very little so I have time to think about it.

    But anyway writing about eroticism is like photographing it: an intellectual masturbation.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  7. #47
    gnashings's Avatar
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    I have seen definitions of pornography as broad as "any image intended to arouse sexually".. in that case, the smell of spring is XXX to me...

    I have little to add other than the most erotic picture Ihave ever see was a close up of a peach, shot in such a way that... I don't know. I was quite young when I saw it, and it was on a tag for a pair of jeans... I know, its a very proletarian place to find your favorite erotic photo, but that s what it was. I kept it for years, and finally, its uffered one move too many and I lost it. I wish I had it still, I thought it was pure genius. Wish I knew who took it - wether it was stolen by the clothing manufacturer (most likely) or they just plain got lucky and hired someone that had way more talent than they needed or deserved...

  8. #48
    arigram's Avatar
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    Book Review #1

    I have ordered some books on the subject from Amazon and I will tell you what I think of the first one while wait for the others to arrive.

    [size=3]Femmes, Masterpieces of erotic photography[/size]
    by Michelle Olley (Editor)

    http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P...2.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

    Very good book. Hardcover. Well printed apart from four photos that show shocking pixelation!
    As you can see from the cover and the title, the subject is the eroticism of women. As a matter of fact, no men are to be found inside apart from an abstract hint of a couple in one photo. So, its clealy geared towards those titilated by the female body and the interraction between women.
    The style of photos range from almost abstract out of focus close ups in B&W to saturated full color Penthouse style over-lighted studio shots and neo-reallistic snapshot-like captures.
    Women pose alone or in couples or in groups.
    Classical poses, studio shoots, captures of the moment, over-exagerated composites, abstracts, fetish, roleplay, many different styles.
    Women dressed, semi-nude, competely nude.
    Just with each other, staring at the viewer, looking at eachother, at rest, in moments of passion, embracing, caressing, kissing, licking each other.
    "Well-endowed" models and normal women.
    In all, a great compilation of many different photographers by a woman that believes in the eroticism of the feminine unrestricted by the conservatism of the fundamentalist feminism.
    My only complain is that certain styles, such as of roleplay that feature for example ballerinas, its done by erotic models and its not an investigation of the eroticism of said "real" girls.


    Another relevant note.
    Please, all those who comprehend the eroticism of men, contribute. I don't want this thread to be restricted to one point of view. I can easily understand the beauty of the male body and sometimes the face, but I am restricted to my heterosexual orientation.
    I could never understand for example what one could find sexy about my hairy legs.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    By the way, you got me into Rodinal and now I'm totally hooked.
    You're welcome. Glad to see other people hooked on the Holy Water.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram
    Just to make one thing clear:
    I do not consider Sade to be erotic.
    His philosophy is that of sensless destruction. His superhuman is a destructive force without feelings or comprehension, not unlike a tornado or volcano.
    Thus his libertine cannot exist, his reasoning is faulted, but in the end, he is the extreme of extremes, the point of reference to test your limits against.
    On the other hand eroticism is all about emotions and the merging one with the other, with the enviroment. It is creative not destructive.
    I agree!

    In the S/M societies I visit when doing pictures many believe that the word "Sadism" should be replaced to make the line between Sadeian practice and the consensual way.

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