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eroticismsexual excitement or desire, and the changing social constructions of this. Theorists such as Michel FOUCAULT, The History ofSexuality (1979) have done much to document how SEXUALITY, the erotic realm and the discourses of eroticism (both scientific and literary) are transformed in every historical period and also have political dimensions (see also ROMANTIC LOVE). At a more empirical level, researchers such as Alfred Kinsey et al. (1948 and 1953) have sought to provide a comprehensive account of the range of erotic sexual behaviour. It is plain that eroticism and the objects of eroticism, which may or may not involve direct behaviour with other persons, take many forms, only a minority of these directly involving sexual reproduction. Most forms, and the greatest incidence of sexual behaviour, can be described as ‘recreational’, much of this as part of a continuing sexual relationship, although varying between different cultures and in different periods in the life cycle.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]
Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit.: Magill IV, 45]
Daphnis and Chloë
frequently semi-nude heroine of sexy French comicstrip. [Comics: Berger, 211]
Delta of Venus
their idyll reconciles naïveté and sexual fulfillment. [Gk. Lit.: Magill I, 184]
stories of sexual adventure including incest, perversion, prostitution, etc. [Am. Lit.: Anaïs Nin Delta of Venus in Weiss, 124]
narrator of Cleland’s 18th-century novel of erotic experiences. [Br. Lit.: Cleland Memoirs of Fanny Hill]
detailed Hindu account of the art of lovemaking. [Ind. Lit.: Benét, 538]
Perfumed Garden, The
a beautiful woman willing to undergo every form of sexual manipulation at the bidding of her lover. [Fr. Lit.: Pauline Reage The Story of 0 in Weiss, 445]
Arabian manual of sexual activity. [Arab. Lit.: EB (1963) IV, 448]
monthly magazine renowned for nude photographs. [Am. Pop. Cult.: Misc.]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.