An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





What I wanted to get at is the value difference between pornographic playing-cards when you're a kid, and pornographic playing-cards when you're older. It's that when you're a kid you use the cards as a substitute for a real experience, and when you're older you use real experience as a substitute for the fantasy.


Edward Albee (1928-, American playwright, dramatist)


There's only one good test of pornography. Get twelve normal men to read the book, and then ask them, "Did you get an erection?" If the answer is "Yes" from a majority of the twelve, then the book is pornographic.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


A widespread taste for pornography means that nature is alerting us to some threat of extinction.


J. G. Ballard (1930-, British author)


At male strip shows, it is still the women that we watch, the audience of women and their eager faces. They are more obscene than if they were dancing naked themselves.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


Pornography is the quadraphonics of sex. It adds a third and fourth track to the sexual act. It is the hallucination of detail that rules. Science has already habituated us to this microscopic, this excess of the real in its microscopic detail, this voyeurism of exactitude.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


Pornographers are the enemies of women only because our contemporary ideology of pornography does not encompass the possibility of change, as if we were the slaves of history and not its makers. Pornography is a satire on human pretensions.


Angela Carter (1940-1992, British author)


Pornography is rather like trying to find out about a Beethoven symphony by having somebody tell you about it and perhaps hum a few bars.


Robertson Davies (1913-1995, Canadian novelist, journalist)


Women, for centuries not having access to pornography and now unable to bear looking at the muck on the supermarket shelves, are astonished. Women do not believe that men believe what pornography says about women. But they do. From the worst to the best of them, they do.


Andrea Dworkin (1946-, American feminist critic)


Those Romans who perpetrated the rape of the Sabines, for example, did not work themselves up for the deed by screening Debbie Does Dallas, and the monkish types who burned a million or so witches in the Middle Ages had almost certainly not come across Boobs and Buns or related periodicals.


Barbara Ehrenreich (1941-, American author, columnist)


The pornography of violence of course far exceeds, in volume and general acceptance, sexual pornography, in this Puritan land of ours. Exploiting the apocalypse, selling the holocaust, is a pornography. For the ultimate selling job on ultimate violence one must read those works of fiction issued by our government as manuals of civil defense, in which you learn that there's nothing to be afraid of if you've stockpiled lots of dried fruit.


Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-, American author)


It's red hot, mate. I hate to think of this sort of book getting in the wrong hands. As soon as I've finished this, I shall recommend they ban it.


Tony Hancock (1924-1968, American comedian)


Pornography is literature designed to be read with one hand.


Angela Lambert


Pornography is the attempt to insult sex, to do dirt on it.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.


Gloria Leonard


There's a subterranean impetus towards pornography so powerful that half the business world is juiced by the sort of half sex that one finds in advertisements.


Norman Mailer (1923-, American author)


The violence and obscenity are left unadulterated, as manifestation of the mystery and pain which ever accompanies the act of creation.


Anais Nin (1914-1977, French-born American novelist, dancer)


Pornography is human imagination in tense theatrical action; its violations are a protest against the violations of our freedom by nature.


Camille Paglia (1947-, American author, critic, educator)


Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


What pornographic literature does is precisely to drive a wedge between one's existence as a full human being and one's existence as a sexual being -- while in ordinary life a healthy person is one who prevents such a gap from opening up. Normally we don't experience, at least don't want to experience, our sexual fulfillment as distinct from or opposed to our personal fulfillment. But perhaps in part they are distinct, whether we like it or not.


Susan Sontag (1933-, American essayist)


What pornography is really about, ultimately, isn't sex but death.


Susan Sontag (1933-, American essayist)


Pornography is about dominance. Erotica is about mutuality.


Gloria Steinem (1934-, American feminist writer, editor)


Pornographers subvert this last, vital privacy; they do our imagining for us. They take away the words that were of the night and shout them over the roof-tops, making them hollow.


George Steiner (1929-, French-born American critic, novelist)


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