A Study in Erotica

The thing with erotica is, it is often a genre that is either overlooked or avoided by the mainstream. People do not like to talk about it in public. Thus, like pornography it seems to be buried beneath the layers and layers of skepticism. However, erotica is not just porn is it? it is a very complex genre and sometimes it can become more than just a medium for sexual pleasure. Hence, comes Anais Nin, an author I am speedily becoming a fan of.

delta of venus


Delta of Venus is a work that has been taken from Anais Nin’s diaries. It showcases the stories that Nin wrote for money (at 1$ a page) for a private connoisseur with her only instruction being – “Less poetry, more sex”. This leads to some interesting stories being penned down in the collection.

Nin creates sexual explorations and writes them with a certain style that catches you. Though when you reflect back the acts seem gross (there is pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality depicted within these pages). Somewhere one feels that Nin is mocking the person buying such work. She creates stories that have a climax that makes you shudder, makes you wish to run away from the erotic display of affection you just partook in. Here, Nin becomes the dominant mistress. She yields the whip until the reader lets go and submits. She makes the reader beg for mercy for wanting to read less of poetry by mocking him, by making fun of him through her words.

She isn’t poetic. She isn’t eloquent and beautiful. She is nasty. That alone drives the stories home. She creates short narratives which make you sweat and you wish to look away but, you can’t. Nin’s erotica is marked by this distinct theme of darkness and brutality that challenges your morals and yet, creates a certain sexual fervor within you.

Then come the longer stories, and there Nin fails miserably. She cannot keep up the pace and somewhere the stories become boring. You can see her becoming what she feared because of the directive of the person who loves her so. “Less poetry and more sex” shines through the pages.  Somewhere Nin looses the mark that she creates earlier and it becomes a piece that plays with darkness until it becomes bland. Bijou is a character you see but, you don’t feel her like you felt the “The Hungarian Adventurer”. Yet, even in those stories there are moments that shine through and make you feel trivial.

Read this only if you can leave your morality at the door. Otherwise, this would be a futile exercise for you.

  • Rating : 3.8/5

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