Sex is often moved "underground" and quietly spoken of. It's naughty and R-ratedand borders on what's acceptable to share and what's embarrassingly not.Karene Howie and her partner Geoff Haselhurst, both philosophers, maintain a philosophy website called sexuality.spaceandmotion.com. Howie explained that philosophy has largely neglected sex, yet sex is central to human existence and survival of the human species."Cultural and religious myths label sexuality 'forbidden' or 'sinful' and equateblame with sexual intercourse. The forbidden fruit is very appealing though, and because of that, it enhances desire and makes evolutionary sense that we findsexuality exciting. We are programmed to seek sex, procreate to spread our genes, and thus survive and replicate."She outlined details in erotic literature, which includes fiction novels, shortsex stories, poetry and verse, sexual memoirs, autobiographies, dramatic plays and sex guides or manuals."The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio (1351) is a famous work of erotic literature from the medieval times. Themes of love, lust, seduction, fortune and misfortune, happiness, desire and generosity are explored with the stories. However, thebook was banned in many countries, even after 500 years!" she said.The Kama Sutra was written by the sage Vatsysayana, who, as Anne Hardgrove of Open Magazine explained, was a monk who collected all of the sexual knowledge of years before him, to meditate and contemplate about the Creator. It is the only surviving written account of that ancient period of Indian history.Tyler Smith, an employee at City Lights Bookshop on Richmond Street, was equallyopen about his opinion about what he sees as the distinction between erotic fiction and pornography.In terms of broader aspects, there is the subtlety and sophistication in eroticfiction â
it's a journey to the act. But with pornography, it's merely 'doing' the act."With the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, Howie added, camea new age of the distribution of erotic literature, as well as more restrictionswith censorships and obscenity laws.Both the Victorian era (1837 to 1901) and the Edwardian era (1901 to 1910) werecharacterised by rigid class structure, moral purity and severe sexual repression."It is fascinating to uncover the sheer volume of erotic literature that came out of Britain and France during this period. When our natural sexual desires aresuppressed, they do not die, but manifest in perverse ways (e.g. the Church andpedophilia) or flourish 'underground,'" said Howie.During the Victorian Era, plenty of passion ensued. It was characterized by fixations on spanking, incest, defloration of virgins, rape, orgies, pedophilia, sexual torture, discipline and punishment, homosexuality, cross-dressing and more.John Cleland was one male erotica writer from the era. He penned Fanny Hill, Memoirs of Pleasure in 1748, one of the most famous works of erotic literature andthe most persecuted in the Western World.Smith contended that erotica, at first, was mainly written by men for men, withfemales being the sexual object. Later, erotica written by women for women proved that they have just as many lustful desires as their male counterparts.