Erotica and Pornography – Never the Twain Shall Meet

EroticaThe other day I saw a quote that prompted this blog post:

“The difference between erotica and pornography is lighting.”

Yikes! That is not my experience with erotica.

To me erotica is like the lotus flower – artistically pleasing and arousing… opening us up to beauty and light… evoking deep feelings of sensual love and romance.

In my opinion pornography focuses on the explicit physical act of sex… bordering on obscene… with no love, no honoring, no cherishing… and certainly not artistically arousing.

I LOVE Rabbi Shmuley’s view of erotica from his book The Kosher Sutra: 8 Sacred Secrets for Reigniting Desire and Restoring Passion for Life:

Eroticism is the thrilling desire to connect; to know, to explore, to penetrate, and to comprehend. When our lives are electrified by an erotic pulse, all existence becomes illuminated.

Susie Bright(a.k.a., Susie Sexpert) shares: “The very word ‘erotic’ implies superior value, fine art, an aesthetic which elevates the mind and incidentally stimulates the body.”

French novelist Honore de Balzac makes a good point, too: “eroticism is dependent not just upon an individual’s sexual morality, but the culture and timethat individual resides in as well.”

What does erotica mean to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts – feel free to share in the comment section below or tweet me @AndeLyons.


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  1. “When our lives are electrified by an erotic pulse, all existence becomes illuminated.”

    Love this. It’s true. Even the birds chirp louder and the roses smell sweeter…..

    I find as a ”Christian” sex blogger, it’s a very very fine line, between what is aloud to be promoted and what is not regarding this subject.
    I agree that We all need stimuli outside ourselves in order to keep novelty and all the endorphin’s attached to it, in our relationships to continue buzzing with sexual love. Whether it’s playing a new sport, reading a book, buying a new car, more exciting date nights, bungee jumping together, body paints……whatever! Our blog would get NO traffic if this wasn’t the case. So,the fact remains, people want/need/crave excitement and erotic love. They just don’t know if they are ”allowed” to have it.
    The line is clear for pornography that it is a Moral and Marriage NO NO…and rightfully so. It’s a dangerous funnel of destruction (for all involved) waiting to happen, and we’ve counseled and seen more marriages break up from the addiction. But, erotica doesn’t have to be this. It can be. ~ But not always.

    I’ve talked with woman who read romance, but then turn around dissatisfied with their husband because he doesn’t measure up to the man in the book. Very immature reaction, but real none-the-less. But, I’ve also seen woman finally break free from sexual bondage and embrace their sensuous selves by reading erotica (and their husbands thank them), and use it for good. Still working through the ”how” to handle this with couples.
    I think also, that if you have to ”ask” if it’s OKAY to read it, then you aren’t mature enough to handle it anyway.
    God is in the gray with this issue, so we haven’t felt up to discussing this as of yet without it opening up a can of worms. Many sex helpers are on one side or the other. We find ourselves in the middle since believing there are no hard/fast rules on this subject. You will always have the extremes being loud with opinions, so it’s makes it difficult.

    • Ande says:


      I am so grateful for your wonderful response to this post. In fact, your wisdom is so profound, it’s a post all by itself!

      I often use words just like your comment ‘the birds chirp louder and the roses smell sweeter’… it’s that important for us to reach this place of illumination with intimacy… because it does spill out into the rest of our lives.

      We are all on a journey to deepen our relationship with God… and part of that journey is the love, both physical and spiritual, we share with our beloved partner. That’s why we crave the intimacy with our partners… it’s part of our journey. And you’re right about the fine line between the type and the amount of stimuli we allow into our lives.

      It can be easy for some ‘lizard’ brains to get addicted to edgy excitement, however it shows up… from drugs, to lifestyle, to pornography. It’s a dilemma we face as sexperts. Yes, we understand the challenge of keeping things spicy after years of marriage (26 years here!). Yes, boredom will destroy a perfectly good relationship. How to lead our tribe to make healthy decisions for them regarding their intimate, sexual activity is a huge responsibility, IMHO. Something I often pray about! LOL!

      The bottom line for me… and Bring Back Desire… is presenting tools, tips and resources that are framed in love, honoring, cherishing and respect. The authors I curate have done their homework and know the difference between erotica and pornography. And I categorize and review the books so readers know ahead of time what they are getting into.

      Except for the book covers, you’ll rarely see real body parts at BBD. I don’t EVER show the act of sex. I believe this is private and should be between two loving, cherishing couples… and I believe imagination…or the ‘other G-spot’ between the ears… is key to enhancing sexual pleasure and satisfaction. In fact, I often refer to this as ‘emotionally safe sex.’ It’s the best part of being in a committed, loving relationship!

      I’m so saddened by the pornography addiction I see in marriages… I refer folks to specialists in order to deal with this awful situation. It’s crippling to any marriage and recovering the love afterwards is very difficult.

      Thank you for having the courage for sharing your gifts with the world. You and Chip are making a HUGE difference in marriages everywhere. Your spiritual and physical guidance is unprecedented. And your humor is the BEST! You always bring a smile to my heart and a laugh to my belly. I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing this space with you both.

      Love and blessings,


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