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With each new technological advance, pornography has proliferated and  degraded in quality. Today, porn is everywhere, but where is it art? 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom surveys the history of pornography and argues that the success and vibrancy of a society relates to its permissiveness in sexual matters. This history of erotic art brings together some of the most provoca With each new technological advance, pornography has proliferated and  degraded in quality. Today, porn is everywhere, but where is it art? 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom surveys the history of pornography and argues that the success and vibrancy of a society relates to its permissiveness in sexual matters. This history of erotic art brings together some of the most provocative illustrations ever published, showcasing the evolution of pornography over diverse cultures from prehistoric to modern times. Beginning with the Venus of Willendorf, created between 24,000-22,000 bce, and book-ended by contemporary photography, it also contains a timeline covering major erotic works in several cultures. 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom ably captures the ancient and insuppressible creative drive of the sexual spirit, making this book a treatise on erotic art.


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With each new technological advance, pornography has proliferated and  degraded in quality. Today, porn is everywhere, but where is it art? 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom surveys the history of pornography and argues that the success and vibrancy of a society relates to its permissiveness in sexual matters. This history of erotic art brings together some of the most provoca With each new technological advance, pornography has proliferated and  degraded in quality. Today, porn is everywhere, but where is it art? 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom surveys the history of pornography and argues that the success and vibrancy of a society relates to its permissiveness in sexual matters. This history of erotic art brings together some of the most provocative illustrations ever published, showcasing the evolution of pornography over diverse cultures from prehistoric to modern times. Beginning with the Venus of Willendorf, created between 24,000-22,000 bce, and book-ended by contemporary photography, it also contains a timeline covering major erotic works in several cultures. 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom ably captures the ancient and insuppressible creative drive of the sexual spirit, making this book a treatise on erotic art.

30 review for 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Frankie Brown

    25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom and I got off to a rocky start, as Alan opens the essay using ancient Greece as an example of sexual progressiveness. Opening with such an example was unwise of Alan. It automatically indicated a large problem: that in Alan's consideration of sexuality, he only considers male sexuality -- even though he claims to speak on the broader subject. This book claimed to be a commentary on general sexuality and pornography, but it's actually a history of the male relationsh 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom and I got off to a rocky start, as Alan opens the essay using ancient Greece as an example of sexual progressiveness. Opening with such an example was unwise of Alan. It automatically indicated a large problem: that in Alan's consideration of sexuality, he only considers male sexuality -- even though he claims to speak on the broader subject. This book claimed to be a commentary on general sexuality and pornography, but it's actually a history of the male relationship to pornography, featuring supplemental history of general (and generally straight) male sexuality. Which is fine, if that's what Alan claims his book is about. But it's not. I'm sure I don't need to explain how deeply problematic it is to center conversations about sexuality exclusively around straight men. An example: On page 39 Alan says, "In Germany... the desire to curb and regulate sexual expression took on trappings that, perhaps predictably, were pseudo-scientific." Then he goes on to describe a device which was fitted on young dicks of the time to prevent them from having wet dreams: "a ring with sharp spikes set around the inside surface." Horrible. But after giving that example, Alan moves on, as if it's case closed -- as if the only sexuality, the only genitalia, worth commenting upon is male. He does this repeatedly. This book is full of women, and absent of them. Where are the women? Where are the women in all this commentary on sexuality? This is definitive passive exclusion. Definitive objectification. Alan spends the first part of the essay sanctifying famous, tragic men who were persecuted for their creation of erotic art and the love they had in making it. The first mention of women creating erotic art comes on page 44, halfway through the essay, with the subject of Tijuana Bibles. Alan states there are many legends which could account for how these Bibles were born, but his favorite says that three unnamed women looking to "supplement their income" started producing them. He calls these ladies "winning" and "endearing." It's SO reductive. Most mentions of women in this book are antagonistic, from the wives who destroyed their late husbands' porno, to Mary Whitehouse (the BBC's censoring head), to the feminists who object to the demeaning depiction of women in porn. Hard to imagine this is accidental--surely Alan Moore is more self-aware than that. It's difficult for me to think objectively on Alan's narrowly viewed generalizations of the "chanting feminist" perspective on pornography. I find his passages on feminism and sexuality deeply offensive and embarrassingly outdated -- it seems that Alan thinks feminists are a hive-mind without dissenting opinions, the loudest opinion being the one that all or most feminists share, and any objectors a marginalized minority. It seems he has never heard of third-wave (or fourth-wave!) feminism and is still applying the tenants of first- and second-wave feminism to the contemporary feminist woman. As the essay reached its (happy) ending, Alan suggested that the sexualization of women in our media is responsible for a rise in violent sexual crimes. The idea being that sexually overstimulating men and then making porn, an outlet for that stimulation, taboo, is a cause of sexual assault on women. I almost stopped at this point, but reader, I persevered. The idea that men rape because they don't watch enough porn to exercise their sexual frustration is RIDICULOUS. Alan then suggests that a "tiny percentage" of men who watch porn commit rape, which is not true; remember, a fourth of all women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Even if we assume that some men are repeat offenders, that means about a fifth of men are probably rapists. Twenty percent is not tiny. The way to reduce sexual violence against women is not to give men more sexual outlets; it's to teach men how to respect women. Women should be able to have sexy billboards on every fucking street corner without worrying that oversexing the men will make them into rapists. Women should be able to do whatever the fuck they want. Women are not responsible for male sexual violence. I actually agree with the main thrust (har har) of 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom: that a more sexually liberal society correlates to a healthier societal psyche. I just disagree with the method that we should go about obtaining it, and I think the path that Alan suggests is narrowly conceived. As I mentioned above, Alan spends most of the book glorifying male creators of erotic art (in this review, for the sake of brevity, I'm ignoring the fact that many of the artists he talked about were famed misogynists). Alan's implication is that when "real artists" created pornography, when it had artistic value that was contributive to society, it was a legitimate art form. He says that this legitimate art form has been degraded, but what's interesting is that he doesn't expound upon the nature of its degradation. Of course it should be obvious: it's crude, it's demeaning to women, it's lacking in artistic nuance or depth. But Alan says that in order to correct this, we have to go back to the way things were... you know, back when women had literally no agency over their sexuality and existed as the muses of a few men who objectified them. I shouldn't have to explain why idealizing historical attitudes toward sexuality is wrong, so I won't. It's interesting that in Alan Moore's call for porno with artistic depth, he overlooks contemporary erotica. But then, erotic literature is a market completely dominated by women. Why has this colossal market escaped Alan Moore's notice so completely? Maybe what Alan doesn't realize--or is afraid to say--is that male domination (pardon me) of the porn industry is the problem. Men are the principal creators and most open consumers of porn, so the porno market responds to their demand. If men created this problem, are men the ones to fix it? Why have women escaped Alan's notice so completely -- except to be objects of carnal desire? 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom -- for who?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phrodrick

    It is with some sorrow that I have to disparage Alan Moore’s 25,000 Years of Erotica. His Watchman books are among the best graphic novels around. His Lost Girls is ample and artful warning that he has a taste for the prurient. I share a preference for literature and artwork that serves the various and varying appetites for things sexual. So against all this why such a weak product from the otherwise powerful Mr. Moore? Alan Moore’s. 25000 Years of Erotic Freedom is weak. His initial hypothe It is with some sorrow that I have to disparage Alan Moore’s 25,000 Years of Erotica. His Watchman books are among the best graphic novels around. His Lost Girls is ample and artful warning that he has a taste for the prurient. I share a preference for literature and artwork that serves the various and varying appetites for things sexual. So against all this why such a weak product from the otherwise powerful Mr. Moore? Alan Moore’s. 25000 Years of Erotic Freedom is weak. His initial hypothesis is that sexually free societies achieve great things while sexually repressive ones do not. A fair enough and testable hypotheses but not one the book properly, scientifically tests. The text rates as a decent college level paper mostly a history paper rather than a sociological analysis and there are some lovely pictures. About the pictures. Mostly pictures of naked people, mostly women and almost all can be found in any decent art history book. Nothing wrong with this except that the text refers to a number of people and styles nowhere exhibited on the page. Moore clearly likes Aubrey Beardsley, as do I so he gets a number of paragraphs of text and several illustrations. But where are the examples of early Christian Church art intended, according to Moore to draw in the crowds to gape at and later repent? There is a casual mention of pulp fiction author Hank Jansen, and not one of those pulp covers; The 8 page Tijuana Bibles get several references and not one visual. Bill Elder is listed as doing a “Superior job of reproducing and subverting the whole Archie style…” and no examples of Archie the all American Teen next to one of him ‘Subverted”. As a college paper this is maybe an undergraduate “B”. As a book for Moore fans, or fans of Erotica? Well it is kinda pretty and there are snippets of history, overall: Meh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Wu

    Now, believe it or not, I have met Mr. Moore and his girlfriend, to whom he dedicated this book. They are larger than life and, let's face it, Mr. Moore probably thought I was smaller than life, but he shook my hand anyway in a very gentlemanly fashion and signed his name in my book. (Not this one, another one, which I will review separately.) I find Mr. Moore very cute. He is a magician but, I believe, a kind one, except when he's cursing people. His humour is apparent in everything he says and Now, believe it or not, I have met Mr. Moore and his girlfriend, to whom he dedicated this book. They are larger than life and, let's face it, Mr. Moore probably thought I was smaller than life, but he shook my hand anyway in a very gentlemanly fashion and signed his name in my book. (Not this one, another one, which I will review separately.) I find Mr. Moore very cute. He is a magician but, I believe, a kind one, except when he's cursing people. His humour is apparent in everything he says and it's very apparent in this book. As is his seriousness. He is serious about life in a very humorous way and I find that cute. His rhetoric is deeply flawed but it's entertaining; and his motives, like his manners, are impeccable. The conclusion is in favour of porn. Yay! Give me a hug, darling, I'm a fan!

  4. 4 out of 5

    A.

    Truly, one of the most blatantly stupid and ignorant things I have read in my life. :D "So, to recap on what we have learned so far: sexually open and progressive cultures such as ancient Greece have given the West almost all of its civilizing aspects, whereas sexually repressive cultures like late Rome have given us the Dark Ages." If you want something serious, read Evola's Metaphysics of Sex. Truly, one of the most blatantly stupid and ignorant things I have read in my life. :D "So, to recap on what we have learned so far: sexually open and progressive cultures such as ancient Greece have given the West almost all of its civilizing aspects, whereas sexually repressive cultures like late Rome have given us the Dark Ages." If you want something serious, read Evola's Metaphysics of Sex.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Will Kastner

    A shallow, self-indulgent, and disappointing treatment of the painted/printed/filmed/etc. expression of human sexuality.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    This is rather a curate's egg of a book, so I'll review it under several headings because, fine work though it is, when viewed from different perspectives it scores very differently. First the use of facts. Moore doesn't footnote anything. There are no references. Apart from one hilarious case where even he says that something is pretty implausible and quotes his source, there's really no way of telling where he got some of his facts from. In some cases he is simply wrong. In other cases he allow This is rather a curate's egg of a book, so I'll review it under several headings because, fine work though it is, when viewed from different perspectives it scores very differently. First the use of facts. Moore doesn't footnote anything. There are no references. Apart from one hilarious case where even he says that something is pretty implausible and quotes his source, there's really no way of telling where he got some of his facts from. In some cases he is simply wrong. In other cases he allows a somewhat rose-tinted view of the distant past overtake reality. For example, he rightly excoriates the Victorian habit of men indulging in sexual debauch while freezing out their women (though he, strangely, seems to think this a uniquely Anglo-Saxon phenomenon) but holds the view that, say, Roman society was massively permissive. Which it wasn't: Roman women of quality were just as tightly bound as Victorian; we hear so much about the ravers because they were exceptions and notorious. And the Greek society that he idolises (by which I think he means classical Athens) was immensely hypocritical, with men doing things with boys and prostitutes they would never dream of doing in the home, and would kill their wives (over whom they had power a Taleban leader might only wish for) if they found them doing it. The pernicious sexual schizophrenia of Western society, the split between the man's world and the family world, was born in the Athens of Pericles. Moving on, Moore takes the usual ahistorical view of Christianity and the later Rome Empire (his chronology seems to break down at this point as well), has a touchingly quaint faith in the notion that there was something called the 'Dark Ages' and generally makes it sound as if all were swingers before the puritans came along. And that pornography has become more and more dehumanised over time. Well, for one thing, this is a very Whiggish view of history, and for a second, one only has to look at, say, some of the precursors to Tijuana Bibles issued in France before and after the Revolution (in which poor Marie Antoinette figured somewhat overmuch) to see that crassly stupid crudity is not a phenomenon of modernity, it's just that we usually only see the good stuff from the past, whereas now we see all of it because time has not yet winnowed out the chaff. And finally, for this part, I was simply stunned at the massively Eurocentric view of history. What about the influence of Islamic culture? Is Anglo-Saxon Europe really the only place where the double-standard reigned? Oh yes and, even more finally, I do find Moore's enthusiasm for the anything goes culture a little lacking in thought. As well as the effect of time, one of the reasons why past erotica tends to be interesting, while modern porn isn't is simply that the constraints under which artists in the past worked forced them to be more indirect and to work to a higher quality than is now the case; pornographers were more inventive. To see this, look at this piece of mine and compare and contrast modern 'glamour' shots with past. No constraint is as bad for art as too much constraint. So, why four stars. For a simple reason. Though it does flag at the end, this is a wonderfully well written polemic, and it really doesn't matter if it wouldn't hold water as an academic study. It is a rant, and hugely enjoyable as such, and that is all it is intended to be. And as such, it succeeds admirably.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pieter-Jan Beyul

    Alan Moore's superb writing will make it difficult for the reader to stop unearthing the content of this book. I read it from beginning to end without stopping. Many of those who are familiar with Moore's work will know this to be true. Moore's main point is that sexually permissive cultures are preferable compared to the more sexually restrictive cultures of the past and the present. Exemplified in 19th century Victorian contraptions that intend to hurt swelling penises in order to avoid onanism Alan Moore's superb writing will make it difficult for the reader to stop unearthing the content of this book. I read it from beginning to end without stopping. Many of those who are familiar with Moore's work will know this to be true. Moore's main point is that sexually permissive cultures are preferable compared to the more sexually restrictive cultures of the past and the present. Exemplified in 19th century Victorian contraptions that intend to hurt swelling penises in order to avoid onanism, or even arousal for that manner, these cultures are the actual perpetrators of perversity, not the ones who are more liberal in their attitude towards sexuality. Moore's plea is one of a return of art into eroticism, a true ars erotica. The Venus of Willendorf as the primal expression of fertility, but also of sexuality, is proof of our longing for the combination of naked flesh and art. Even though sex is ubiquitous in Western society, it is either a strategy to associate a certain commodity with arousal, or it belongs to the shady corners of private life. Left to our own devises, we can either masturbate or copulate with another, still with the watchful eye of the taboo above us. Pornography, one mouse-click away, is still a scurrilous ghetto of the wretched and far from anything an aspiring artist would want to meddle with. By advocating a renaissance of eroticism/pornography in the arts as a remedy for our self-loathing attitude towards sex, Alan Moore hopes to appeal to the individual artist as the spearhead of a movement that might shatter the cliche that sexual openness brings with it or is even synonymous with decadence and societal downfall.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mangoo

    Yet another pamphlet on that nasty thing called sex? Yes, and rightly so. The brand-new essay from Alan Moore comes in luxury format, adorned with tens of explicit pictures taken from paintings and recent imagery. The text is rather short but dense and polished, Moore's rethorical skills are at high level and the result is intriguing for the ease with which he supports his view. The main theme is that while sexually progressive cultures gave birth to advanced technologies and knowledge, sexually Yet another pamphlet on that nasty thing called sex? Yes, and rightly so. The brand-new essay from Alan Moore comes in luxury format, adorned with tens of explicit pictures taken from paintings and recent imagery. The text is rather short but dense and polished, Moore's rethorical skills are at high level and the result is intriguing for the ease with which he supports his view. The main theme is that while sexually progressive cultures gave birth to advanced technologies and knowledge, sexually repressive ones fall rapidly into decadence. His review starts from a small statue of fertile Venus of 22-24 thousands years ago till recent thrash western culture. He observes that with every new generation of mass media (particularly press and Internet), pornography both expanded and degenerated. Today we are saturated with sexual hints and explicit remarks, still sex is regarded as vicious, performed in solitude by humiliated people with a deep sense of guilt. According to Moore, it might be very healthy to reinstate the grand value and benefits of sex, much like it happens in Holland, Spain and Denmark where it is seen as an unloading valve rather than as something pecaminous. In this regard, art should take initiative, so that attention could be again freely focused on erotica without easy and pregiudicial censorships. A conclusion to which it is hard to object.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate O'Hanlon

    Don't let the title fool you. Moore's focuses is on pornography the West (there are some Japanese prints but no discussion of them) and mostly from the 19th Century on. It's an interesting read and Moore clearly loves his subject but it's also fairly lightweight fare. Don't let the title fool you. Moore's focuses is on pornography the West (there are some Japanese prints but no discussion of them) and mostly from the 19th Century on. It's an interesting read and Moore clearly loves his subject but it's also fairly lightweight fare.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chanel J

    Written in Alan Moore's frank and comfortable style, this proves to be a very enjoyable read that raises some very interesting points. I definitely recommend it- even for those who don't particular have any interest in sex and art. Written in Alan Moore's frank and comfortable style, this proves to be a very enjoyable read that raises some very interesting points. I definitely recommend it- even for those who don't particular have any interest in sex and art.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Conrad

    Oh hey, Alan Moore wrote a book on sex! I'm sure this book will come in handy if I ever need to induce vomiting, tremors or a cold sweat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cam2kK... Oh hey, Alan Moore wrote a book on sex! I'm sure this book will come in handy if I ever need to induce vomiting, tremors or a cold sweat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cam2kK...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ian Carpenter

    No surprises. Found it very obvious.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robert Adam Gilmour

    After reading some negative reviews I can understand why some would dislike this book, there's not many women writers/artists mentioned and it relies a bit much on the idea that ancient Greece is an obvious exemplar to follow. The title is just too much to live up to, because it really isn't that wide ranging at all, I doubt he did much research preparing for this book, I'm guessing this is just the sum of his previous experience with erotic art. If it was called Uncle Alan's Porn Ramble I think After reading some negative reviews I can understand why some would dislike this book, there's not many women writers/artists mentioned and it relies a bit much on the idea that ancient Greece is an obvious exemplar to follow. The title is just too much to live up to, because it really isn't that wide ranging at all, I doubt he did much research preparing for this book, I'm guessing this is just the sum of his previous experience with erotic art. If it was called Uncle Alan's Porn Ramble I think people would be a bit less disappointed. I enjoyed it, I thought it was a fun ramble and back in 2009 I hadn't heard of Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Louys or seen any Franz Von Bayros. Elsewhere I saw Moore being quite dismissive of top shelf magazines and I've always felt the cheap stuff was usually better than ART Porn when you want to see models and their personalities. I like the latter too but I'm very skeptical of people who only speak up for the more obviously artistic stuff.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paolo Aguas

    A very short read the book itself isn’t long it’s under 100 pages, but the aesthetic of the book is very nice, hardbound, nice paper and all the photos of the different erotic art, in short a very nicely designed cover and book. The book is more of a very long essay of Alan Moore discussing how since we have existed man has always enjoyed sex period, we have made sex toys or art about the human body ever since. It’s an interesting read about a man (who did research) discuss how peace and a time o A very short read the book itself isn’t long it’s under 100 pages, but the aesthetic of the book is very nice, hardbound, nice paper and all the photos of the different erotic art, in short a very nicely designed cover and book. The book is more of a very long essay of Alan Moore discussing how since we have existed man has always enjoyed sex period, we have made sex toys or art about the human body ever since. It’s an interesting read about a man (who did research) discuss how peace and a time of greatness happens when certain societies didn’t restrain its citizens from having pre marital sex or making of sex art. If you’re interested in knowing Alan Moore’s opinion or just a fan of Alan Moore buy this short read book and enjoy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Brilliant. Much better than Lost Girls! More of a long essay than a book, so a quick and oft-hilarious read. Unlike Moore's later comics, it won't test your patience if you find his digressions re: ceremonial magic tiresome either. As other commenters point out, it is hardly an academic text. Very punk, and not always aligned with modern scholarship, but Alan Moore is an eccentric writer, not a tenured academic. Best to read with that in mind... Brilliant. Much better than Lost Girls! More of a long essay than a book, so a quick and oft-hilarious read. Unlike Moore's later comics, it won't test your patience if you find his digressions re: ceremonial magic tiresome either. As other commenters point out, it is hardly an academic text. Very punk, and not always aligned with modern scholarship, but Alan Moore is an eccentric writer, not a tenured academic. Best to read with that in mind...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anu

    Although an interesting read, it was a really shallow and superficial opinion piece. For a book titled "25,000 years of erotic freedom", it really only discussed recent English/American viewpoints, and mostly of a heterosexual white male. There's a lot of eroticism in other parts of the world, and from the viewpoints of other genders and orientations, so it was unfortunate to have those completely ignored. Although an interesting read, it was a really shallow and superficial opinion piece. For a book titled "25,000 years of erotic freedom", it really only discussed recent English/American viewpoints, and mostly of a heterosexual white male. There's a lot of eroticism in other parts of the world, and from the viewpoints of other genders and orientations, so it was unfortunate to have those completely ignored.

  17. 4 out of 5

    George

    my thoughts Let's be clear the arguments made in this book are anecdotal, not research driven. Author Alan Moore posits that societies, where pornography and sex are publicly accepted and treated like art, are healthier and more intellectually creative. He uses examples past and present to make the case. I'm not entirely convinced. Given the controversial nature of the topic YMMV. my thoughts Let's be clear the arguments made in this book are anecdotal, not research driven. Author Alan Moore posits that societies, where pornography and sex are publicly accepted and treated like art, are healthier and more intellectually creative. He uses examples past and present to make the case. I'm not entirely convinced. Given the controversial nature of the topic YMMV.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Short, tho very readable book, more an essay, really. It'll only take you a couple of hours to read and he makes some sound points. Short, tho very readable book, more an essay, really. It'll only take you a couple of hours to read and he makes some sound points.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wallace Figueiredo

    Interesting review on how societies deal with the individuals sexuallity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Neven

    Alan Moore is a an imaginative and clever writer, but as he ages and his work suffers both from excesses and shortcomings, the last thing I want to read is his nonfiction essays on controversial topics. So, I approached this essay on the history, function, and hopefully bright future of pornography and erotica with low expectations. And I was pleasantly surprised—it's very readable stuff. His history, psychology, and sociology are all more fiction than non, but he maintains an approachable tone, Alan Moore is a an imaginative and clever writer, but as he ages and his work suffers both from excesses and shortcomings, the last thing I want to read is his nonfiction essays on controversial topics. So, I approached this essay on the history, function, and hopefully bright future of pornography and erotica with low expectations. And I was pleasantly surprised—it's very readable stuff. His history, psychology, and sociology are all more fiction than non, but he maintains an approachable tone, so this reads more like a general argument than a deeply researched study. His ultimate point is rather sweet: that what's missing between the boob-banning strictness of religious antisexuality and the joyless, abusive churn of the porn industry is sex as a topic of good art. Moore doesn't give any specific examples of how to move in this direction, but I suppose he feels that he has already contributed most of what he can on this subject in his 'Lost Girls'. That book is at times overwhelming, but it generally does what Moore says pornography should ideally do.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ljubomir

    A wonderful overview of the history of pornography and erotic art, from the Venus of Willendorf to Richard Kern. Alan Moore's formidable erudition is quite obvious, but still he does twist some of the facts a bit, sometimes for the sake of making a valid point, sometimes for the sake of making the text witty and pleasant to read. The critics would probably not consider this as a serious study (particularly as he doesn't quote any sources either), but as I said Alan Moore makes valid points and I A wonderful overview of the history of pornography and erotic art, from the Venus of Willendorf to Richard Kern. Alan Moore's formidable erudition is quite obvious, but still he does twist some of the facts a bit, sometimes for the sake of making a valid point, sometimes for the sake of making the text witty and pleasant to read. The critics would probably not consider this as a serious study (particularly as he doesn't quote any sources either), but as I said Alan Moore makes valid points and I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the topic, no matter whether he or she praises or condemns pornography.

  22. 4 out of 5

    KL Baudelaire

    A short essay on the history of permissiveness around the publication of pornography, and the patterns which Moore believes stem from social attitudes towards it. It's an opinion piece; none of the facts he gives are referenced to other works; but I'd say it's worth reading. He gives the anti-porn movement some space, and acknowledges aspects of their argument with which he agrees, as well as ultimately arguing for the legitimacy of pornography as a vent for sexual desire, and as a form of art. A short essay on the history of permissiveness around the publication of pornography, and the patterns which Moore believes stem from social attitudes towards it. It's an opinion piece; none of the facts he gives are referenced to other works; but I'd say it's worth reading. He gives the anti-porn movement some space, and acknowledges aspects of their argument with which he agrees, as well as ultimately arguing for the legitimacy of pornography as a vent for sexual desire, and as a form of art. Well worth a look for anyone interested in the arguments around pornography in modern culture. The book itself is a pretty little hardback, with gorgeous (and provocative) prints throughout.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Randall

    This essay from the author of graphic narratives like "Watchmen" impishly over-generalizes both in its chronology and its conclusions. But its basic thesis -- that repression of eroticism in art and culture is bad -- is compelling. I felt the argument could have stood a more thorough presentation. However, even a brief argument about something so inextricable from human culture is better than the ignorance that tends to get promoted when the subject of sex comes up. This essay from the author of graphic narratives like "Watchmen" impishly over-generalizes both in its chronology and its conclusions. But its basic thesis -- that repression of eroticism in art and culture is bad -- is compelling. I felt the argument could have stood a more thorough presentation. However, even a brief argument about something so inextricable from human culture is better than the ignorance that tends to get promoted when the subject of sex comes up.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Davey

    A solid and thoughtful essay on erotica/pornography with a little bit of history and some solid thoughts on the current state of the world, along with some art examples throughout. It makes me wish it was an introduction to an encyclopedia with examples of more than just art, since he mentions all sorts of writings and comics and more.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andy Connell

    Nice little rumination on pornography and it's importance/roots in human existence. Reads more like a spoken word essay than something of academic quality (no citations or sources listed) but still written with the authority of someone who knows the subject. Nice little rumination on pornography and it's importance/roots in human existence. Reads more like a spoken word essay than something of academic quality (no citations or sources listed) but still written with the authority of someone who knows the subject.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Conor Mcvarnock

    Good overview and arguement. Takes on the third wave feminist backlash in a sensible and mature way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julian Darius

    An excellent, anecdotal study of the history of sex, filtered through Moore's lovely prose. This is important material, every bit as much as Moore's more famous works. Highly recommended. An excellent, anecdotal study of the history of sex, filtered through Moore's lovely prose. This is important material, every bit as much as Moore's more famous works. Highly recommended.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I loved it but I don't know that it needed to be an entire book. Maybe the afterward to Lost Girls. The images seemed sort of disconnected to the text. I loved it but I don't know that it needed to be an entire book. Maybe the afterward to Lost Girls. The images seemed sort of disconnected to the text.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ian Callaghan

    A fantastic article of truly taboo history.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ammie

    Such a pleasure to read! It was both refreshing and entertaining to read Moore's takedown of the puritanical fuddyduddies that police human sexuality, in the day-to-day world and in print. Such a pleasure to read! It was both refreshing and entertaining to read Moore's takedown of the puritanical fuddyduddies that police human sexuality, in the day-to-day world and in print.

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