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    Seduced by preconditions : Eroticism of power, money and the uncommon in Goethe, Sacher- Masoch and E.L. James
    "Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power." This famous quotation, which is often wrongly attributed to Oscar Wilde, refers to the unspoken preconditions that underlie all social structures as well as the communication about them. But these preconditions are of course also important for artworks, erotic artworks in particular. Therefore, what we consider to be erotic is closely connected with social preconditions, like power or money and the unlikelihood of their perfect occurrence. For Niklas Luhmann, the German social theorist, power, money and sex serve as emblematic communication media for the individual to find, express and communicate his or her position in society . So narratives of erotic situations do not only amuse us, they also teach us about the preconditions of social positioning and possible upward social mobility. In Johann Wolfgang Goethe´s The sorrows of young Werther , love serves as a code for intimacy and the communication about it and this love code becomes a moral legitimisation for erotic activity since then. Originated in the historical period where the love code is appearing, the novel also shows the limits of this code. In Leopold von Sacher- Masoch´s short stories Katharina II about Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, power serves as a symbolically generalized communication medium in erotic situations. In the stories we sometimes find power as simple threats, which are then followed in order to avoid negative consequences. But more interestingly we often find power as the communication medium of politics, by using powerful women in military positions and with military costumes as actresses in erotic situations. In E.L. James` Shades of Grey trilogy money and economic success work as symbolically generalized communication media and here the underlying motivations are most evident: Anastasia exchanges her innocence against social promotion, Christian gets an obedient sexual partner shaped after his wishes in exchange for his economic status. However, like in many cases of economic motivations in erotic situations, the communication thereabout is implicit. Instead the love code is used again as a moral legitimization.