Pornography is a word often misunderstood. It is made up of two greek roots. Let’s deal with the non-controversial one first. The suffix -graphy means “to write” and has been expanded in meaning to include visual portrayal. Photography, for example, means “writing with light.” Biography means “writing about life.”
Porneia is the Greek root in the word pornography. It is variously translated but the central theme in all translations is “immoral sexuality.” Not sexuality per se, but immoral sexuality. Now here it gets complicated. Some people believe that sexuality with anyone other than a spouse is immoral. Others believe in more latitude in relationships but gnenerally have a line somewhere. Most people would agree that rape, incest, etc. are immoral forms of sexuality.
However you define “immoral sexuality” will, therefore, define whether the visual or written portrayal of the sexuality in question is pornography. In my conversations with people on the subject I like to take a few steps back to the underlying question: :”Do you believe the visual portrayal of sexuality is wrong?” If someone says “Yes” then everything considered will be categorized as such and classified as pornography. In other words, it can be the visual portrayal of sexuality itself that a person can consider immoral. However, if someone says “it depends” then they are truly in line with the definition of pornography which refers only to the visual or written depiction of immoral sexuality.
This, for me, is the distinction between erotica and pornography. The visual depiction of sexuality meant to inspire and excite is erotica as long as it does not portray sexuality that is immoral in nature. This is a definitive rule for me and our company in all we produce. We don’t make films with forced sex, cheating on relationships, etc. These are things that we, as filmmakers and people, consider to be immoral. We refuse to promote these things because we disagree with them and believe they are harmful to sexuality and relationship.
So, in conclusion and in direct answer to your question: Yes, pornography is wrong by definition. Erotica is a whole ’nother thing.