How do you feel about Erotica?
I enjoy it. Of course, the caveat to that is that they have to be well written! I admit it, back when I was in college, I wrote some rather smutty fanfiction for several television shows that I am a fan of. They were definitely better written than many of the fics that I read (which, I think is part of the reason I wrote them). I was on AOL Instant Messenger fairly recently, talking with a friend who happened to bring them up. He found a saved file with several of these stories on them - not surprising, I'd used his laptop and written some of them while we were hanging out. He majored in English, and said that rereading them made him realize that I've got a knack for writing erotica. He made the suggestion that I should perhaps take a little bit of my spare time and post some on the Literotica website. Hmm. Why I never thought of that, I don't know. So, here I sit actively contemplating the idea of authoring a story or two... to see how it goes.
A question begs to be asked though... is literary erotica the same thing as pornography?
I don't think so. They have obvious similarities, but erotica is less discriminatory in my opinion. Many of the stories are written in first person, allowing you to substitute yourself into the situation - you're not forced to stare at anorexic blonde teens, while thinking "Hey, I need to lose weight!" or "My thighs jiggle when I do that." or "Hey, if I bounced that much, my girls would give me a black eye!" Instead with the erotic writing, there is more personal depth.
Is it harmful to read? Or inspiring? I suppose, like with anything, that question is an individual one - in the same way that "Just One Beer" might not affect, but would throw a recovering alcoholic into a downward spiral. Definitely, within the context of a larger story, I think it is perfectly acceptable. Alone, I think it is okay, albeit usually somewhat cheesy. I don't think it is necessarily "bad".