Tag: 50 shades of grey

What Part of “Fantasy” Don’t They Understand?, Resuscitate your relationship with erotica

Two very interesting and informative blog posts on erotica/porn:


What Part of “Fantasy” Don’t They Understand?

Dr. Marty Klein

The success of “50 Shades of Grey” and news about Pornhub’s most popular search terms has too many people buzzing about the alleged dangers of each.

Both traditional conservatives and some self-identified feminists are condemning 50 Shades as encouraging violence against women. Clearly, these people know nothing about S/M, and not nearly enough about violence against women. Similarly, groups like xxxChurch and other anti-porn crusaders are dismayed that “teens” was the most popular porn search term last year, fearing this means we’re about to see a rash of adults trying to have sex with teens.

The panic about both of these things is founded on the persistent myth that enjoying a fantasy is the same thing as desiring it in real life. If that were true, millions of our neighbors would be punching their bosses, sleeping with their brothers-in-law, selling their homes to start over in Boise, or urinating on the very next TSA guard that hassles them.

Most grownups know that fantasy doesn’t equal desire and that it doesn’t predict behavior. One of the ways we cope with the pressures and complicated decision-making of adulthood is fantasy. We watch Star Wars and Star Trek, CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and James Bond (and yes, Wonder Woman and the Million Dollar Baby) and we think “If only that were me…if only I had the chance…”

And we make damn sure we never have the chance. That mayhem stuff is dangerous. Fun to imagine, but nothing to mess with.

Which explains the appeal of 50 Shades of Grey: Fun to imagine, but nothing to mess with. And the appeal of porn featuring 18 and 19 year olds (the only teen porn you can find on the overwhelming majority of porn sites): fun to imagine, but nothing to mess with.

Yes, there are people who coerce women sexually. And adults who romance college kids, even some high school kids. But 50 Shades isn’t making that happen, and neither is porn. According to the federal Justice Department, the incidence of each has gone down in the last decade.
* * *
Anyone who looks at 50 Shades and thinks that women like to get roughed up is (a) not really watching the movie, and (b) thinking that before they watch the film. The idea that women like to fall in love with guys who rough them up was popular before E.L. James was born. Jimmy Cagney and Jane Austen come to mind. 50 Shades isn’t the problem. Given economic options, most women don’t stay with someone who roughs them up. And, of course, 50 Shades isn’t about roughing someone up, it’s about two people collaborating on an experiment.

The concern about porn and – read more:



Resuscitate your relationship with erotica


So the honeymoon phase of your relationship is over and life is becoming monotonous. Everything in the relationship has become boring, including the sex, which is now once a week, and a scheduled activity. Honestly, you have both tried everything that you could possibly think of, but still there is something lacking. How can you get that spark back?

With the recent release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, women all over have been lobbying for more passion in their love lives. And men all over have been seeking ways to meet the demand.

Here to help is Jamaican author K Sean Harris, who is no stranger to erotic fiction. Below he shares five ways in which erotica can add some much needed spice to your relationship.

1. Erotica can help to broaden your sexual horizons; adding a bit of spontaneity to your love life, especially if sex has become predictable. Most of us go through school reading books related to our course of study, he said, but how many of us pick up books about sex? “You learn a lot through reading. And it’s no different with well-written erotic fiction. You can learn many new things or new spins on old ones, and that knowledge can be brought into the bedroom to resuscitate relationships on their sexual deathbed,” he said. So the next time you are in the bookstore, walk on over to the adult section and browse. See what they have; you never know what you may find.

2. Erotica can help to enhance communication between you and your partner. Though many persons may not frequently practise this, talking about sex with your partner is actually quite a liberating experience. “One of the keys to a healthy sex life is actually being able to talk about sex freely with one’s partner, and being able to reference scenes or acts from a book as an example of something that you’d like to do can be a catalyst to create excitement where there used to be a dull routine,” said Harris. This tip alone, if taken seriously, can change the whole dynamics of your relationship.

3. Erotica can be an excellent aphrodisiac. Within the privacy of your bedroom, before jumping into bed, flipping through a few pages of an erotic novel can be good foreplay. “Erotica gets you in the mood for the real thing. Think of it this way, it is like a literary lubricant,” Harris said. So bookmark that page and go right ahead…

4. Erotica is a great source for ideas. Sex performed in the same way every time gets boring. It is often said that sex it not only a physical thing, it is a mental thing as well, and as such the brain is actually the biggest sex organ there is. If that is so, why not give it something to think about? “Erotica provides tons of ways and scenarios for people to have sex and introduces readers to experiences and fantasies that they likely wouldn’t have thought of before or in some cases, can relate to, which in itself can be a huge turn-on — seeing the things you love deliciously described in print,” said Harris.

5. Erotica facilitates intimacy and sharing between couples. “Erotica can add a whole new dynamic to a relationship. When couples read sexy paragraphs or scenes to each other in bed it can be a super cool way of talking dirty to each other with no pressure of coming up with the right words to say.”



Porn on the Kindle: A Catch-22

SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 has suffered from this Catch-22. Trying to locate it on the Amazon site is near impossible. You have to look specifically in ‘Books’ when searching at the top of the page. If you just type in the name and search in ‘all departments’ as most people do it will not appear.


The Atlantic article by Noah Berlatsky discusses this dilemma.

Porn on the Kindle: A Catch-22

“Many of us realized immediately that, like the Internet, the Kindle was made for porn.” So wrote the pseudonymous kinukitty at my website, The Hooded Utilitarian, a while back — and the use of the pseudonym underlines the insight.  Consuming porn is something people often prefer to do at least semi-anonymously — especially people who happen to be women. By dispensing with book covers, and indeed with books, the Kindle has made it possible for readers to peruse 50 Shades of Greywheresoer they go, without fear of scorn — and, for that matter, without fear of harassment. According to the (also pseudonymous) porn writer  Venus Santiago, back in the 90s, when she purchased Black Lace titles at a brick and mortar store, “the clerk felt free to hit on me.” After that happened several times, Santiago said, she stopped buying in public.

With the Kindle, though, you don’t need to buy in public.  As Santiago wrote me by email:

The beautiful thing about buying porn on Kindle is that nobody sneers at you.  It’s just you, Amazon, and your personal mobile device.  You can read it on the train or subway, at home, wherever, and no one has any idea what you’re ogling.  Which removes most of the outside negative social pressure that prevents a lot of women who are interested in porn from buying it in the mainstream places (sex shops, online XXX websites).

As a result, pornographic e-books have taken off.  50 Shades is the successful mainstream phenomenon that everyone knows about, but there are tons more where that came from, and tons kinkier as well. E.L. James’ nervous flirtations with BDSM are perhaps titillating by the standards of the rest of the best-seller list. But her too-timid-to-even-sign-the-contract relationship shenanigans barely even register as kink compared to the other offerings available via e-book, where step-sibling incest, minotaur porn, and futanari abound. Santiago for her part has written gay assassin romance as well as a series of cheerfully perverse stories featuring human cow lactation porn, in which submission, degradation, and impossible busts exist alongside a remarkably detailed grasp of dairy industry mechanics.

The Kindle, then, provides both privacy and the promise that somewhere, someone has written exactly the gay werewolf paranormal romance you’ve always wanted to read. Combine the privacy and range of titles, and there’s little doubt that for readers digital is the perfect porn delivery system.

Which seems to have made Amazon somewhat uncomfortable. Back in 2010, Amazon deleted many erotica e-books with incest themes — not only dropping them from its store, but actually electronically erasing old titles from consumers’ digital devices.  (It later claimed the erasures were a mistake, though its policy on incest titles remains unclear.) More recently, the company has been filtering some erotic titles, so that they don’t appear in the All Departments search. To find them, you need to search directly in Books or in the Kindle store. For example, Santiago’s title Accidental Milkmaid 3: Gangbanged by Bulls shows up in the Kindle Store, but not in the All Departments search. On the other hand, high-profile erotica like 50 Shades, or, for that matter, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, appears in both kinds of searches.

Fiddling with the search function may seem like a relatively benign step. In practice, though, it has an impact on sales, and can render a title essentially invisible. Selena Kitt, the pen name of a successfulerotica author who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a month by writing porn e-books, has referred to Amazon’s filtering as the Pornocalypse. Previous Amazon rejiggerings of their search function have at various points cut her monthly income by a third, she says.

In an essay on her website, Kitt argues that that Amazon’s seeming efforts to hide the porn are both hypocritical and a bad case of biting-the-hand.

Erotica, as a genre, has been Amazon’s dirty little secret from the beginning, driving sales of the Kindle to astronomical numbers. Does Amazon really believe that it was all the free copies of “Huckleberry Finn” and “Moby Dick” … that drove readers to buy Kindle devices? Nope, sorry. It was erotica. It was “porn.”

Kitt is angry, and you can understand why. She works hard, is successful, and instead of giving her accolades, her business partners keep her product hidden from would-be readers.

I was not able to get a comment for Amazon for this piece, so I don’t know for sure why they are manipulating search functions. Nor do I know why they refuse to explain their standards to authors. One of Kitt’s chief frustrations is that Amazon won’t tell her what she needs to do to keep her book from being filtered, and that they seem to keep changing the rules on her.

Amazon’s policies may be unnecessarily opaque, but reading Kitt’s essay, you can at least see a possible motivation for the company’s apparent Puritanism. Kitt herself, like Santiago and kinukitty, believes that the appeal of porn on the Kindle is precisely that it allows for reading of content surreptitiously. Porn may have helped make the Kindle successful, but a big part of the reason that the Kindle is so perfectly made for porn is that it doesn’t look like it’s made for porn. Women (and men, too) who want to read porn on the Kindle don’t want to be buying their porn from some place that screams porn! Amazon’s advantage as a seller of porn is precisely that it sells lots of things that aren’t porn, and that it is known primarily for selling things that aren’t porn.

Porn e-book writers and readers, then, are in a catch-22. Folks like Amazon porn because Amazon isn’t branded as a porn outlet. But as long as Amazon isn’t branded as a porn outlet, the company is going to see X-rated content as something of an embarrassment.  The same incentives that drive writers to use pseudonyms and readers to use the Kindle also drive retailers to keep porn from showing up in searches and make them want to keep it off best-seller lists.  For many good reasons, and perhaps some bad ones, nobody — not readers, not writers, not retailers — wants to publically embrace the porn.

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