Portal:Pornography

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Pornography and erotica portal

Movie theater showing a pornographic film

Pornography (often abbreviated as "porn" or "porno" in informal usage) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games. The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself, and so does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors or porn stars, who perform in pornographic films. If dramatic skills are not involved, a performer in a porn film may also be called a model.

Various groups within society have considered depictions of a sexual nature immoral, labeling them pornographic, and attempting to have them suppressed under obscenity and other laws, with varying degrees of success. Such works have also often been subject to censorship and other legal restraints to publication, display or possession. Such grounds and even the definition of pornography have differed in various historical, cultural, and national contexts. More...


Fanny Hill, aka Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, erotic novel by John Cleland, first published in 1748

Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually. Such erotica takes the form of novels, short stories, poetry, true-life memoirs, and sex manuals. A common feature of the genre is sexual fantasies on such themes as prostitution, orgies, homosexuality, sadomasochism, incest, and many other taboo subjects and fetishes, which may or may not be expressed in explicit language. Other common elements are satire and social criticism. Despite cultural taboos on such material, circulation of erotic literature was not seen as a major problem before the invention of printing, as the costs of producing individual manuscripts limited distribution to a very small group of readers. The invention of printing, in the 15th century, brought with it both a greater market and increasing restrictions, like censorship and legal restraints on publication on the grounds of obscenity. Because of this, much of the production of this type of material became clandestine. Much erotic literature features erotic art, illustrating the text. More...

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Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Jacobson v. United States, 503 U.S. 540 (1992), is a case decided by the United States Supreme Court regarding the criminal procedure topic of entrapment. A narrowly divided court overturned the conviction of a Nebraska man for receiving child pornography through the mail, ruling that postal inspectors had implanted a desire to do so through repeated written entreaties.

It was the first time the court had considered an entrapment case from outside the realm of controlled-substance enforcement, or one involving conduct that had only recently been criminalized. By relying exclusively on whether the defendant had a predisposition to commit the crime, the court appeared to have finally resolved a lingering issue in its previous decisions on the subject.

The decision was seen as a rare triumph for defendants before a conservative court that frequently sided with prosecutors. Guidelines for federal law enforcement agents were changed in its wake, and it was described as having brought entrapment "back from the dead." (Full article...)

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Signature of Bataille

Story of the Eye (French: L'histoire de l'oeil) is a 1928 novella by Georges Bataille that details the increasingly bizarre sexual perversions of a pair of teenage lovers. It is narrated by the young man looking back on his exploits.

Story of the Eye consists of several vignettes, centered around the sexual passion existing between the unnamed late adolescent male narrator and Simone, his primary female partner. Within this episodic narrative two secondary figures emerge: Marcelle, a mentally ill sixteen-year-old girl who comes to a sad end, and Lord Edmund, a voyeuristic English émigré aristocrat.

In a postscript, Bataille reveals that the character of Marcelle may have been partially inspired by his own mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder, while the narrator's father is also a transcription of his own unhappy paternal relationship. In an English language edition, Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag provide critical comment on the events.

Roland Barthes published the original French version of his essay "Metaphor of the Eye" in Bataille's own journal Critique, shortly after Bataille's death in 1962. Barthes' analysis centers on the centrality of the eye to this series of vignettes, and notices that it is interchangeable with eggs, bulls' testicles and other ovular objects within the narrative. He also traces a second series of liquid metaphors within the text, which flow through tears, cat's milk, egg yolks, frequent urination scenes, blood and semen. (Full article...)

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Erotic art from China, for The Carnal Prayer Mat

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