Charles Baudelaire
[Writer, b. 1821, Paris, d. 1867, Paris.]

 ... a thousand hungry eyes are bending over the peepholes of the stereoscope as though they were the attic windows of the infinite. The love of pornography, which is no less deep-rooted in the natural heart of man than the love of himself, was not to let slip so fine an opportunity of satisfaction [as photography]. And do not imagine that it was only children on their way back from school who took pleasure in these follies; everyone was infatuated with them. (1859) 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist. 

Chuck Close
[Artist, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, lives in New York.]

 No one makes a nude if they’re not going to get turned on, and if they claim that they are making it for other reasons it’s an absolute lie. 

Nobuyoshi Araki
[Photographer, b. 1940, Tokyo, lives in Tokyo.]

 In the act of love, as in photography, there is a form of life and a kind of slow death. 

Susie Bright
[Writer, feminist, and activist, b. 1958, Arlington, Virginia, lives in Santa Cruz, California.]

 Seeing lesbian photography is just the tip of my radicalized clitoris. I have modeled for, commissioned, published, and fought for these pictures, and answered threats against them. I’ve seen the feminist movement bring these pictures to life, and I’ve seen that same movement try to suppress the liberating results. 

Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Mortenson)
[Actress, b. 1926, Los Angeles, d. 1962, Los Angeles.]

 It’s like being screwed by a thousand guys and you can’t get pregnant. (On what happens between her and still cameras, to photographer Ernst Cunningham.) 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 A cock is more problematic [than flowers] when you’re photographing, especially if you want it erect. You can’t jiggle the lights as much, and it’s hard to refine the photograph as much as you’d like... 

Roland Barthes
[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]

 [The pornographic photograph] is always a naive photograph, without intention and without calculation. Like a shop window which shows only one illuminated piece of jewelry, it is completely constituted by the presentation of only one thing: sex… 
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