Art or Porn?

I once heard a Larry Flynt interview in which he pointed out that the “erotica v. porn” debate was pretty classist. To paraphrase him, if a photo of a nude woman is in a $75 coffee table book, then it’s erotica. If it’s in a $5 magazine, then it’s porn.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that the coffee table books are often in black and white, as if that makes them more artistic. But this image (found on Tumblr) really highlights the bias that seems to be at play here.

I wonder why black and white makes it more likely to be seen as art. Any thoughts out there?

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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1 Response

  1. 11/11/2012

    […] we reinforce the sex-negativity that so much of our culture revolves around. Not to mention that the distinction is often quite classist. Black and white photos in a $75 book are art, while full-color photos in a $10 magazine are […]