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If pornography as a whole exists to satisfy our animalistic, inherently human sexual impulses–a means to an end–then it follows that works of erotic art should be similarly differentiated by the artist’s intention as opposed to its degree of explicitness; nudity is a wholly inaccurate benchmark. Someone who approaches artistic mediums with blanket, concrete definitions in mind might underestimate the capability of erotic illustrations to draw on one’s emotions, assuming instead that its disconnect from the human form (in that it’s not a direct depiction like photography) necessarily diminishes its sexuality and capacity to imprint upon our sexual identities.
Counterintuitively, the distance between erotic illustrations and the real-life human form is actually what drives its capacity to inspire and inform our sexuality. In the same way that an air of mystery engages people more than straightforward explanation, there’s something about the allusion to sex that is more intimate and visceral than sex itself.
The power of manually drawing sex lies in the fact that crude and often satirical renderings lend itself to a more substantive reaction. Illustrations do not create distance between the act of sex and the human experience of carnal desire, rather it uses intentional irreverence in order to make a larger point that might be lost in photography or other traditional depictions. Erotic illustrations are emotive and unpredictable-just like sex and life.