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Reminder-Next Tuesday-Jan20-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live, also on blog I Am Charlie, Uncomfortably: The Price of Free Discourse-Remittance Girl

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The Erotic Literary Salon: No Word Ever Censored, survives because of free speech.

I Am Charlie, Uncomfortably: The Price of Free Discourse

by Remittance Girl

To hold a pen is to be at war.”  Voltaire

In the wake of the murder of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo Magazine offices, there has been shock, mourning and much passionate debate. It is sad that it takes the assassination of a group of French satirical cartoonists to prompt a serious discussion of what constitutes freedom of expression and where the limits of cultural offense might be located.

The most difficult part of defending freedom of expression is that it requires that you take a stand with people whose ideas are offensive to you. Much Charlie Hebdo’s satire took aim at the hypocrisy, intransigence and parsimony of the religious groups that make up French society. I, and many people, found the cartoons produced by Charlie Hebdo offensive; they were often racist, homophobic, sexist and concertedly insulting to Muslims, Jews, and Catholics, using exaggerated visual stereotypes to get their point across. I can’t defend the content or the artistic merit of much of Charlie Hebdo’s work, but many people would equally refuse to defend the content or the artistic merit of what I write.

That’s the thing about freedom of expression: the worth of any particular act of expression is always going to be subjective, but the freedom to express it is not.

If you’re puzzled as to why so many French people have taken to the streets – read more:




On Porn and Professionalism: The Staggering Hypocrisy of a Rarely-Questioned Perspective

I wrote the following comment for an article (also excerpted below) Emerald posted in her blog yesterday, December 7th. For those who don’t recognize her photo, she has read as a featured Salon presenter on several occasions. Emerald also led, The Talk: For Adults at the Salon, posing the question as to whether erotica authors have the responsibilty to present safe sex in their writing. It was a most interesting exchange with the attendees. Her erotica has been published in several anthologies, plus she is an advocate for human sexual rights.

Well-stated Emerald. I encourage you to write an article regarding erotica and professionalism. The last scheduled featured presenter for the Salon cancelled her appearance. She feared her professorship status would be compromised with the publicity she receives. I am overly protective of attendees of the Salon since I have been informed on numerous occasions that “if my boss knew I were here I would be fired.” The shame of sexual pleasure, either from physical act, fantasy or sex memoir is being perpetuated by society. I have been told on numerous occasions I am doing a brave thing by offering a space to share uncensored words. The first few times I heard these words I truly thought it was an exaggeration, but I now realize it to be true. It is a sad commentary that one has to be brave in order to allow people the freedom to express themselves sexually, while doing no harm to others.

Upon someone’s recommendation (I am sorry that I don’t remember whose right now), I took a look at an article several days ago by which I found myself feeling quite annoyed. Not that I wasn’t already aware this happened, but Salon.com was reporting about former porn performers being fired from jobs because they’re former porn performers. A judge quoted in the article justified upholding this behavior by stating the following:

“[…] the ongoing availability of her pornographic materials on the Internet will continue to impede [Halas] from being an effective [middle school] teacher and respected colleague.”

Not for the first time, I am faced with the inevitable question: why the flying fuck (no pun intended) would seeing someone have sex preclude that person from “being an effective teacher [or whatever] and respected colleague”? What, seriously, is the matter with people? As maddening as I find this, I also feel truly bewildered, because I simply do not understand this phenomenon.

First of all, according to our people-under-18-don’t-think-about-and-shouldn’t-have-any-exposure-to-sex culture, the students shouldn’t be seeing her work in its “ongoing availability” anyway, so I’m not sure why it would affect her capacity to teach them even if I did find her past profession relevant. But mainly, if you don’t want to see other people having sex, I recommend not watching porn. If you do, then why the hell would it seem to be a problem that the people you watch having sex also do other things in their lives, including making a living in another industry? What, truly, is the problem here?

Read more:


TONIGHT – the Erotic Literary Salon-Live – Study-Pornography, Rape, & the Internet – Self-Published ebooks banned

Academic study supports ebooks and Internet material pushing the boundaries. The following excerpts are from various sources regarding the recent censorship of ebooks by the major book vendors, along with excerpts from the study, “Pornography, Rape, and the Internet.”

Pornography, Rape, and the Internet

Todd D. Kendall*
Clemson University
The John E. Walker Department of Economics July, 2007

The arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography. Using state-level panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence. While the internet is obviously used for many purposes other than pornography, it is notable that growth in internet usage had no apparent effect on other crimes. Moreover, when I disaggregate the rape data by offender age, I find that the effect of the internet on rape is concentrated among those for whom the internet-induced fall in the non-pecuniary price of pornography was the largest – men ages 15-19, who typically live with their parents. These results, which suggest that pornography and rape are substitutes, are in contrast with previous laboratory studies, most of which do not allow for potential substitutability between pornography and rape.

VII. Conclusion

The results above suggest that potential rapists perceive pornography as a substitute for rape. With the mass market introduction of the world wide web in the late-1990’s, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary prices for pornography fell. The associated decline in rape illustrated in the analysis here is consistent with a theory, such as that in Posner (1994), in whichpornography is a complement for masturbation or consensual sex, which are themselves substitutes for rape, making pornography a net substitute for rape.

Given the limitations of the study, policy prescriptions based on these results must be made with extreme care. More research on other countries, other time periods, or using other methodologies or datasets is necessary before broad results can be stated with confidence. Nevertheless, the results of this simple study point to what may be important flaws in the previous literature, and suggest that liberalization of pornography access may not lead to increased sexual victimization of women.

Entire Study:


Self-Published Erotica is Being Singled Out For Sweeping Deletions From Major eBookstores

Curiously enough, B&N and Amazon have yet to remove The Bible, V.C. Andrews’Flowers In The Attic, Alyssa Nutting’s Tampa, Judy Blume’s Forever, or Lolita.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and WH Smith are taking a radical response to last week’s “news” that they sell boundary-pushing adult content in their ebookstores. They are now deleting not just the questionable erotica but are also removing any ebooks that might even hint at violating cultural norms.

This story began when The Kernel discovered last week that, much to their dismay, Amazon was selling legal adult content:

The books are sold as Kindle Editions, the name Amazon gives to books that can be cheaply and quickly downloaded to its portable Kindle device. Available titles include Don’t Daddy (Forced Virgin Seduction) and Daddy’s Invisible Condom (Dumb Daughter Novelette).

As with “barely legal” pornographic films, which seek to satisfy base urges associated with illegal and immoral acts while circumventing laws against depictions of underage sex, many of the titles listed on Amazon protest loudly that rape victims are “over 18”.

Similarly, the “daddy” rapists in many incest stories are revealed in the small print to be “not blood related”. But few reading the titles of these books will be fooled about the supposed erotic intent of the volumes.

Again, this content is legal.

I had planned to simply ignore this as a non-news story, but the major ebookstores were more concerned about legal self-published erotica than I would have expected. The Daily MailOn The MediaBBC News, and a couple dozen authors on KBoards are all reporting that content is being deleted right and left.

Read entire article:


Amazon removes abuse-themed e-books from store


Retailer Amazon has removed several abuse-themed e-books from its Kindle Store after a report highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality.

Titles such as Taking My Drunk Daughter had been on sale.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble both say they are removing books found by technology news site The Kernel, but many others still remain, the BBC has found.

WHSmith and Kobo, which feature titles with similar themes, are yet to respond to requests for comment.

The BBC found that on Amazon’s store, the search function automatically suggested explicit topics to users typing seemingly innocuous keywords – without age verification taking place.

Amazon has not responded to the BBC’s request for comment on the issue, except to confirm that the specific books listed by The Kernel had been removed.

Barnes & Noble said in a statement the titles were “in violation” of its policy on content offered in the NOOK Bookstore and were in the process of being removed.

“When there are violations to the content policy that are brought to our attention, either through our internal process or from a customer or external source, we have a rapid response team in place to appropriately categorize or remove the content in accordance with our policy,” it said.

Justice Minister Damian Green told the BBC “the government shares the public’s concerns about the availability of harmful material.”

Read more:


The online magazine Kernel is after Amazon for publishing pornographic eBooks that fetishize rape and incest.

The books Kernel writer Jeremy Wilson found are awful. If your default position is to support free speech, these are the kinds of titles that make you wince. It’s a lot easier to defend Huckleberry Finn than Taking My Drunk Daughter, Reluctant Brother Blowjobor Forced By Daddy.

So how’d the titles even end up on Amazon? According to Wilson, the authors of the books set up their own publishing houses by registering an ISBN number for a few hundred bucks. Then they upload their work. Amazon doesn’t police its digital publishing platforms in a meaningful way, so the books stay up, even though Amazon forbids pornography.

And these are leagues worse than pornography. These are books that are written to give you, the reader, pleasure while you imagine someone raping a child.

Amazon should ignore Kernel and leave them up.

We outlaw snuff films, child porn and, increasingly, revenge porn, because actual people are harmed during their production. Erotic fiction concerns fake characters who don’t exist in real life. You could argue that entertainment that caters to people’s darkest fantasies makes them more likely to enact them, but the science wouldn’t support you.

Read more:



Tonights Erotic Literary Salon-Live

‘All the Sex I’ve Ever Had’ will be presented along with attendee readings and featured presenter. Details and cover story on reality theater piece are in earlier posting.



Tomorrow – Tuesday – Oct 15 – The Erotic Literary Salon – The Do’s And Dont’s Of Writing Erotic Fiction

The Do’s And Dont’s Of Writing Erotic Fiction

Excerpts from Elissa Wald’s column in LitReactor.

Sex is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s vitally important to nearly all of us. It’s a driving force in our daily lives (even when we’re celibate), and its mysteries are infinite. So it bewilders me that — as a rule — erotica is seldom taken seriously, either by writers or readers. Intelligent, well-written erotica is a rare, rare thing (and I’ve been looking for it all of my life).

I believe that in order to write well about sex, we have to resist the version of sexuality that’s brandished at us every day by the advertising and fashion industry: most especially the idea that we can only be aroused by superficiality and perfection. How can we make sex — on the page as well as in life — less a performance and more a source of communion? How can we go deeper?

The following are some of my own tips for writing erotic fiction:

1. Respect The Genre. Respect The Reader

Bring the same attention and regard to writing about sex as you would to anything else you’d write. Assume the reader wants — and is capable of appreciating — something beyond a jerk-off vehicle. There’s nothing wrong with getting off — I always hope my readers are getting off on what I write! — but I want to affect people between the ears as much as between the legs.

There’s nothing wrong with getting off – I always hope my readers are getting off on what I write! – but I want to affect people between the ears as much as between the legs.

2. Spare The Rod

The throbbing rod, that is, and all other coy euphemisms for body parts. Please don’t tell me about our hero’s member, or manhood, or hard hot tool or battering ram. Likewise, don’t refer to our heroine’s mound or tunnel or the center of her womanhood.

3. Dispense With Cliches

Don’t say that he pounded her like a jackhammer, or that she lay back, spent. Tell me something I haven’t heard before. Make me think about something that wouldn’t occur to me otherwise.

4. Less Is More

Stay away from blow-by-blow descriptions of sex acts. The mechanics aren’t what’s intriguing. The emotional dynamics between people are intriguing.

‘All the Sex I’ve Ever Had’ will be presented along with attendee readings and featured presenter. Details and cover story on reality theater piece are in earlier posting.