(What Does Erotic Mean?… with Şahin C from Istanbul)
I recently got a letter from a Swedish reader about his experience reading Elska for the first time. He’d come across Elska via our Instagram feed, where he recognised a friend who was in the Taipei issue. He was instantly worried that his friend may have done something stupid, may have been misguided or tricked into posing for a magazine that he’d come to regret. He quickly ordered a copy, read it cover to cover and wrote me to say how relieved and pleased he was that the content was tasteful, artful, and not the erotic mag he’d expected it to be. He then asked if we’d consider doing a Stockholm issue, and if so, that he’d love to be photographed for it. As I told him, I’d love to go to Stockholm and he’s very welcome to be in it.
I’ve long been uncomfortable with the word ‘erotic’. When an early article written about Elska referred to it as ‘erotic’ in the headline, I was upset. I felt it gave Elska a seedy connotation. And as I can see from the letter I got, such articles may scare readers away from Elska. On the other side of the coin, perhaps those expecting a porno are disappointed.
But what does ‘erotic’ technically mean? A quick google search yields the definition “relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement”. For me, my intention with Elska isn’t to be erotic, but if people find it erotic, I suppose I can’t help that.
That being said, what is pornography? Another google search refers to it as “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement”. Ok, so since there’s no intention to cause stiffies, Elska isn’t porn… but it might be erotic. And there’s nothing I can really do about that.
See more of Şahin C and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (06) Istanbul