Originally Posted by VydorScope
So, I'll toss my self out there as a "PRUDE." I do not let that crap in my house, and no we do not have cable.
That being said... I agree with the above poster. Flag it, mark it, segregate it, I am all for that. Allow prudes like me to use simple filters and etc. to avoid it, but do not censor it away. Censorship is a dangerous game, one that we should approach with fear and trepidation.
There's a difference between, "I find that type of work offensive and distasteful" and "it is crap."
While there is a great deal of "crap" in the erotica market, arguably more than in any other genre (and if you don't read the genre, you cannot know how much), that has nothing to do with the genre as a whole; there are beautiful and meaningful works in it, as well as light-hearted entertainment, just like any other genre.
If there weren't such a heavy social stigma against erotic content in *anything*, it *would* be neatly marked out, just like sci-fi or mystery or war-stories. (Sure, some would still leak into other genres; Atwood refuses to believe she writes science fiction, and Bujold's "Civil Campaign" is not marketed as romance. But those are hair-splitting examples; the genre labels mostly work.) However, since so many people believe that sex itself is inherently immoral (not talking about anyone here), those who like reading about it--whether in the milder romance genres, or hardcore erotica, or involving participants that the "mainstream" doesn't approve of (i.e. gay couples)--have long been forced to put up with censorship and sidelining. Because of this, they're not eager to set up new categorizations to allow easy censorship in the future.
I would love to have erotica neatly separated out and well-tagged, so that I could *find it* when I'm looking for it, so that the descriptions tell me enough of what's in and out so I know whether I'd like to buy it. As it is, I cope with reading a lot of free sample previews and building my own lists of authors-similar-to-authors-I-like. (And, sigh, getting a lot of freebies during promos, and reading three chapters and giving up because this book or that one is *so* not to my tastes.)
As far as "erotica apologism" goes... nobody thinks people who read lots of murder mysteries are going to become serial killers. Nobody think people who seek out books like Silence of the Lambs
or Fight Club
are really sociopaths just looking for an outlet. A person's taste in fantasies--be those sexual or not--has no connection to what a person wants to happen in real life. Someone who reads Silence
may enjoy the idea of matching wits with a master criminal without wanting to invite one into his home; someone who reads some godsawful "Coach Does The Whole Cheerleading Squad" erotica may enjoy the idea of celebratory sex every time the home team wins a game, without actually wanting a relationship--even a casual one--with a pack of teenagers.