Quote Time 6

As Stephan Schindler shows, 18th century German literary debates gave rise to later divisions between “high” and “low” literature, their labeling as “useful” versus “entertaining,” and the gendering of their readers as male versus female. These divisions paved the way for dismissals of popular genres, particularly ones aiming at affective ad sensuous responses, such as romance, pornography, and horror. In the realm of pornography, the literary has become coded as feminine, partly due to the intertwining of romantic fiction and sexually explicit depiction in mass-market paperbacks, and perhaps also to antipornography feminists’ embrace of the erotic (as opposed to the pornographic) since the 1970s. The label of erotica has also enabled sexual fiction to be sold in “respectable” locations and to be openly purchased by women.

– Susanna Paasonen, “Erotic Amateurs: Erotic Writing and Notions of Quality”

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