Erotic photography is a style of art photography of an erotic, sexually suggestive or sexually provocative nature.
After the 1960s erotic photography began to be less commonly referred to as such, and to be increasingly described as glamour photography.
Erotic photography generally produces a composed image of a subject in a still position. Though the subjects of erotic photography are usually completely or mostly unclothed, that is not a requirement.
Erotic photography should be distinguished from nude photography, which contains nude subjects not necessarily in an erotic situation, and pornographic photography, which is of a sexually explicit nature. Pornographic photography generally does not claim any artistic or aesthetic merit.
Erotic photographs are normally intended for commercial use, including mass-produced items such as decorative calendars, pinups and for men's magazines, such as Penthouse and Playboy, but sometimes the photographs are intended to be seen only by a subject's partner.
The subjects of erotic photographs may be professional models, celebrities or amateurs. Very few well-known entertainers have posed nude for photographs. The first entertainer to pose nude for photographs was the stage actress Adah Isaacs Menken (1835–1868). On the other hand, a number of well-known film stars have posed for pinup girl photographs and been promoted in photography and other media as sex symbols. Traditionally, the subjects of erotic photographs have been female, but since the 1970s erotic images of men have also been published.
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