The Line Between Porn And Art

Lately, I’ve found the line between porn and art blurred.

More and more, I’ve been finding that one person’s porn is another person’s art.

What inspired me to write this post is:

1) My analysis of Sword Art Online fanservice.

I don’t consider the scene above to be pornographic.

The reason why is because though the sight of Suguha in her underwear is arousing, I don’t see a young woman in her underwear for the sake of being in her underwear.*

I see Suguha physically stripping herself — taking off her clothes — as a manifestation of the mental stripping that she is doing. How is Suguha “mentally stripping” herself? She is taking off her doubt and fear like she would take off her shirt and pants. She is reminding herself of what she is doing — “I’m just showing him the way there. That’s all.” — and why she is doing it. Suguha is essentially asking herself: “What is important to me? Why?”

Do I think this scene is perfect? No.

For example: What’s the point of the shot of Suguha’s lower body? (0:22 — 0:24)

But: Though there are parts of this scene that could be considered pornographic, that is ultimately not the vibe I get from this scene. When I watch this scene, I don’t want to be aroused. What I want is this: To empathize with Suguha.

sword26

My second inspiration for this post is:

2) Japan as Neverland by thesixfootbansai. An eye-opening post about the dark side of anime and manga.

What I am trying to say in this post is:

Porn is a problem. Porn hurts not only the people who are using it, but the people who are the porn, too.

Porn is dehumanizing. It says “This part of a person’s body is the most important aspect of them.”

Porn is unsatisfying. No matter how beautiful the person on the screen or on the page is, eventually the page is turned or a new tab is opened.

But:

It isn’t always easy to tell what is porn and what is not. What one person considers vile another could consider beautiful. And a thing can be pornographic but, at the same time, have much to commend.

That is why discernment is necessary: So that we can praise what is good and expose what is evil.

Test everything. Hold fast to what is good.
~1 Thessalonians 5:21

On a side note:

Fanservice saved my life.

There was a time where depression hit me harder than usual.

I was thinking about suicide because I had recently realized that my plans for my life weren’t viable. I felt that I had wasted my life. That I didn’t have anything to offer the world.

One of the reasons I didn’t make my thoughts a reality is because I was reminded that the universe is full of beauty. Beauty that I didn’t want to see the end of by killing myself.

One of the examples of beauty I thought of was a woman’s butt.

Specifically, a shot of Yolko’s butt from the Sword Art Online episode “Murder in the Safe Zone”:

Sword10

This fanservice helped me to realize that life is worth living.

I don’t appreciate this shot because it arouses me. I appreciate this shot because it reminds me of what I believe to be true:

God created the body and said it is “very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

*The body, to some extent, will always be arousing. The question to ask is “Is arousal the point?” It’s perfectly natural to feel aroused while looking at a piece of art like, for example, The Birth of Venus. But: Arousal is not the point of The Birth of Venus.

Venus

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5 thoughts on “The Line Between Porn And Art

  1. It is troubling to hear of your thoughts of suicide. I have had waves of such thoughts as well throughout. Even yesterday some dread overcame me a few times, but I know it must be a huge sin against God to take they life he gave us. How sad would I be if one of my children made that choice? So we cannot even we are overcome with life.

    On the anime side, they characters in your examples seem young– perhaps not adults, but teen on teen scenes, as real and as innocent as they might be could be inappropriately exciting to an adult. The lines get very blurry.

    Ultimately we are spending our time away from real people who cannot really feel and the escapism of it all it all cannot be good for more than a little while. What of the real girl who feels insecure and the real adult woman who needs to be loved? These should be our concerns. Thank you for the repost and thoughts.

    1. “It is troubling to hear of your thoughts of suicide.”

      I’m happy to say that I feel I have moved beyond such thoughts.

      I feel more confident, less depressed. For now, things are looking up.

      “I have had waves of such thoughts as well throughout. Even yesterday some dread overcame me a few times…”

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      I will pray for you.

      If there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know.

      “So we cannot even we are overcome with life.”

      I agree.

      One thing my struggle with suicidal thoughts taught me is: Life is worth living.

      Even when life seems unbearable, merely to be alive is a blessing.

      “Every breathe is a gift from God.” That’s a saying I try and remember.

      And I try and make the most of everything God has given me.

      “Ultimately we are spending our time away from real people who cannot really feel and the escapism of it all it all cannot be good for more than a little while.”

      I agree.

      All things in moderation.

      On a related note:
      Lessons that I have learned from anime:
      https://timothyach.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/what-anime-has-taught-me/

      “What of the real girl who feels insecure and the real adult woman who needs to be loved? These should be our concerns.”

      One lesson I find myself learning again and again is: People matter more than things.

      Things can only make me so happy — it is people, and God, who will ultimately give me what I need.

      “Thank you for the repost and thoughts.”

      You’re welcome.

      I’m glad you like what I wrote, and I hope more people discover and read your blog. The world needs voices like yours.

  2. Porn is art–of a sort. The same skills that go into making a good film, drawing or story go into porn. But it is bad art. It focuses its energies on one life aspect alone, our sexual responses, and by this focus degrades our common humanity.

    The real difference seems to be between *pornography* and *erotica.* Where porn is narrow, good erotica includes many life aspects. Where porn degrades its participants, erotica uplifts them. Where porn isolates body parts and functions, erotica celebrates the whole person. The Song of Solomon is a great example of sacred erotica, with its erotically charged and often explicit symbolism. Even Courbet’s *L’origine du monde* goes beyond mere pornography with its loving portrayal of the gateway by which we all enter the world as babies.

    I would like to see less pornography, but more art that celebrates all our human aspects including our erotic ones.

    1. I have mixed thoughts about erotic art.

      The purpose of such art, if the name is anything to judge by, is to evoke erotic thoughts and feelings.

      I understand what such art is trying to do — praise the sensual and reproductive aspects of humanity — but I don’t agree with how it is doing it: There are some aspects of humanity that art can’t do justice and, because of the fallen nature of the world, should be left alone.

      For example: Would you watch a couple having sex if the couple was doing it for artistic reasons and, thus, didn’t mind people watching?

      I wouldn’t.

      Because I believe the sexual act belongs in a private, intimate environment, like a couple’s bedroom — not on a stage for all to see.

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