Dirty Talk: To really love yourself, seek the power of the erotic

Chapman W. and Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

This week we welcome you back form spring break by discussing the power of the erotic.


A logo for the show "Dirty Talk with Chapman and Tati"

You may find yourself asking “what is the erotic?” or  “are you talking about the content of my sex dreams?” or “are my sex dreams powerful?” or even “how can I profit off of this power you speak of?”

Which are mostly fair questions.

This week, we look towards Audre Lorde to get a different definition of the erotic. In her essay, “Uses of the Erotic,” she discusses how the erotic is understood, and how it could be used. Lorde makes a distinction between the erotic and the pornographic, which are often confused as synonyms.

According to Lorde, “The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling.”

Part of what makes it such a special piece is that it invites you to understand a power contained within yourself. Sure, it’ll take some work to get it, but you can’t argue with how conveniently located this power is.  

The erotic can be that urge to create — the urge to paint, to love, to write, to build, to open your hand, and to embrace. But we’ve been taught not to trust this power. Lorde tells us how this happened.

“The erotic” has been contorted into meaning sexuality, which in itself is historically used to degrade women. Women who were aware of their sexuality where whores, witches and certainly inferior. Maybe it’s optimistic to word all of this in the past tense; women who are in touch with their sexuality today are still demeaned and disrespected.

Lorde writes, “the erotic has been misnamed by men and used against women.”

If we can work against all the fear, the misunderstanding and the taboos, the erotic holds endless potential for us. To live embracing the erotic could lead to lives more full of creative, loving energy. If offers us whole versions of ourselves.


Checkout the full episode on iTunes or on KCSUfm.com.

We’ll be talking self-love, Audre Lorde, La Macha, Aurora Levins Morales and more. With special guest Ratu Marutle. 

Collegian Managing Editor Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick can be reached at managingeditor@collegian.com or on Twitter @tatianasophiapt.