Sexuality versus Sensuality

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

Sexuality versus Sensuality

From David Dennis

Published before 2005

Several of my art history professors, mainly the women (just stating a fact in my case not generalizing) and one male apologist anthropology professor had a lot to say about the nude paintings of young men and women in regard to white patriarchal sexual dominance and oppression. We even had to read a book on dance which discussed in great detail how ballet was originally designed as a way of displaying the female body in sexually provocative movements and poses. They never produced any documentation to that effect, just proposed that this was the underlying reason for all the beautiful 18th and 19th Century works and ballets. Somehow, I never saw the paintings as such, never found myself aroused at a ballet, just in awe of the beauty and power of the dancers and the music. What of the deliberately pornographic works of Jeff Koons, Mapplethorpe and Carolee Schneeman? No, they defend these modernists to the death as not making pornographic works but making statements about pornography and of course patriarchal sexual dominance and oppression. Gee, I'm just all confused!