2C3D October 2, 2021 Art or Porn?

Art or Porn?

It’s a question I’ve thought a lot about lately.  Is my work art? Is it porn? Both?

Wikipedia defines art as “…a diverse range or product of human activity involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas” and goes on to define porn as “…the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal”.   Seems pretty straightforward, right?  Maybe not.

Many of the places artists (pornists?) publish content have policies in place regarding what’s considered art and porn.  Deviant Art, for example, has a pretty clear stance on the distinction.  They prohibit the following in submitted deviations:

  • Masturbation 
  • Sexual Intercourse 
  • Vaginal, Penile, or Anal Penetration 
  • Sexual Body Fluids 
  • Bodily Waste 
  • Erections 
  • Vaginal or Anal Spreading 
  • Adult Oriented (sexual) Toys 

Other sites are a bit looser with their policies but generally have rules in place regarding what’s acceptable or not.

Now, obviously, you can have art without sexual content.  But can you have depictions of one or more of the above items and still call it art?  While I’m not really interested in debating the merits of DA’s policy, I am intrigued by how different individuals perceive sexual imagery.

How do you personally distinguish between the two?  This is the question I asked several members of the art community.

The difference between pornography and art is aesthetics. From my point of view as a woman, pornography is only about sexual intercourse or situations in general that are supposed to make you horny and in the end cum. In erotic art, the artist wants this in many cases too, but it should also be beautiful. Whether it is special lighting conditions or a story to let the viewers immerse himself in the world the artist creates.  Art is also about feelings. The artist loves what he creates and wants the viewer to love it too. While porn is mostly about money. If an artist gets some money, they are of course happy. But they would also create their art if this were not the case.

X3rr4 DeviantArt

For me, the difference between porn and art is the intention of the creator.

It’s easy to make porn: make a picture of 1, 2, 3 or more people fucking. But if you want to make art, you’re going to have to look a little bit further than that. When I make an artwork, I always try to convey an emotion or a state of mind, an atmosphere. Some people would only think it’s porn though but some others would say “Wow, i can feel how peaceful this character is” or “I can almost feel this orgasm just looking at it”.

In fact, the answer to this question depends as much on the creator as on the audience: it’s all a question of sensitivity. And of open-mindedness.

As porn is still taboo in some cultures, people are unable to recognize that porn can sometimes be art.

Moineau: DeviantArt

What is art? Art is anything that people use as art. I don’t know what porn is. Is all depiction of sex porn? Or is some of it erotica? Is porn just the category of sexualized expression that is objectionable?

Sex can be beautiful, and it can be portrayed that way. It can also be portrayed in a way that is degrading or repulsive. For me personally, the former is art and the latter is not. Although art can have the purpose of shocking or inspiring other emotional responses.”

Madara2021 DeviantArt

Some people might see any sexual activity (shy of reproductive capacities) as porn, whereas others can see any sexual activity as just a form of entertainment (without or with the sleazy elements). I think if you’re doing some story, where they have sex or explore sexual things, it’s part of the flow of the story… tho when sex is the story, then it goes more towards porn…I think the context of the story or the focus of the “objective” are points to consider.

AL-818 DeviantArt

All porn is art.

seriously, they aren’t mutually exclusive

everything can be art

I can splatter paint on the floor and it’s art

I can record the birds chirping and it’s art

Do people really think porn can’t be art?

I didn’t even know that was a common opinion

zOh DeviantArt

To me, it all depends on the response from the person viewing the work.  If someone’s work is aimed at trying to invoke a sexual response or arousal, then it can be viewed as porn.  If the work in question is viewed subjectively and not relying on a physical response, then that leans more towards art.  Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two because they can step over the line either way, they can be one in the same.

Kentyrr  LewdPixels

My takeaway from all this is that it all really depends on the individual.  Things like societal and cultural norms, as well as personal tastes, play a huge factor in shaping our perceptions.  What I consider art might not be seen the same way as someone else.  I guess that old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”  rings true here.

I’m interested in knowing what you think.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  Oh, and check out the work of the artists that contributed to this article.  They’re all very talented!

Attribution(s)

Cover Image by 2C3D: https://lewdpixels.com/profile/2c3d

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2C3D

I mainly do pinup and lesbian artwork featuring slender, girl-next-door type models with a focus on sensuality.

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