There’s this essay that’s been bouncing around in my head for more than a year. It has to do with the junctions, disjunctions and ruptures in the terms ‘erotica’, ‘sexual explicit imagery’, ‘pornography’ and ‘Art’.
I have some 30 pages of notes but sitting down to write in earnest is a real struggle for me.
It’s a shame, really–being able to call on such an essay in the analysis of this image would pay rich dividends in the case of this image, especially given that I’d be inclined to label this as both ‘erotica’ and ‘pornography’ but less willing to attribute any strong artistic merit or suggest that depicting and erect penis precludes sexual explicitness.
What’s sexual here is the position of the female body in relationship to the male. The image clearly captures a moment prior to the commencement of sexual congress; in other words, the image titillates through implication.
There is a sense of artistic pretense–high contrast, black and white, shot with a strobe there’s also the feeling that what is presented is a crop from a larger image; or, what should have been a composition centering on a wider angle of view.
Artistic shortcomings aside I do find this image to be highly erotic as it includes a number of things that dampen my undies: the fact that although not wearing a stitch, the female bodied participant is presented in such a way that her nakedness is hidden at the same time the male bodied participant is visible for all the world to see. (In this case I also really dig the acute angle of his erection and way the flash draws attention to the texture and tone of his foreskin.)
There’s also something intangible about the image that conveys for me a sense of craving a lover’s body so much it causes physical pain. And with that aching transforms the carnal union into not only an approaching of ecstatic bliss but a drowning of pain in pleasure.