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View Poll Results: Should 'anything go'?
yes 38 45.24%
no 19 22.62%
depends 27 32.14%
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
augustjen
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I'm a prude? What's your opinion

I 'think' I am open minded, but where should lines be drawn?

I've come across a series of books on Amazon that I am uncomfortable with. You might say, "Well don't look!" Fair point!

It worries me regarding self-publishing, that there doesn't appear to be any censorship. Can hear the screams now! What censor books?

Yes censoring is a big deal, but what about a situation where a series of books in the genre 'erotica'? They are about 'Daddy's Little Girl'! The author has apparently softened his story somewhat by adding 'stepdaughter' in a subtitle. I hate to mention the titles here, they are gross, and I don't want to advertise them.

For me, I'm somewhat bias, I have a granddaughter who has a stepfather, and I would image any stepfather would be disgusted with these books.

The Amazon sales page for these books don't have a link to flag up a concern.

I'd be really interested in other's opinions! If I am being the prude about these books, then please feel free to try and change my mind.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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Well, I agree with you. I do wish Amazon had a separate section for 'erotica' - there seems to be an awful lot of them, and some really are, as you say, quite disturbingly titled/described. I don't like the idea that any youngster scrolling through a list of freebies can find and download these - they wouldn't be on public sale in a high-street bookshop, so why should an online one be any different?
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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I certainly can agree with a rating, category, flag or other notification similar to movie or game ratings. This is a restriction or advisory, not censorship.

I disagree with straight censorship, making something unavailable.

Most of us know someone who is religious (pick almost any religion) and intolerant of other religions. Those people are disgusted that we can buy books about other religions and/or offended by books that somehow denigrate their own religion or religious figures. Just be prepared to have your own religious (or atheist or agnostic) beliefs censored.

Perhaps more on-point, violence is a far greater (widespread, common, pervasive, equally damaging) threat to our society than deviant sexuality. Why are we not more disgusted with books that have extreme violence in them? I'm not suggesting we censor those either, quite the opposite.

I do not expect to change your mind. Those who throw stones rarely recognize how slippery the slope is they are standing on.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Some of the most grotesque acts happen because a person lived out their fantasy. I don't know whether the majority of these people wake up one morning and decide to make their fantasy happen or do they have a problem recognizing 'reality'. Each atrocity has it's own dynamics.

It's emotive and it's possibly a dilemma for Amazon. Just wondering what angle others have.

The internet has been cleaned up somewhat over the years, for example domainname.xxx is now available which makes it easy for Nanny-Net for example. Maybe there should be something similar for self published books.

BTW I am not against seriously erotic stories, I've got quite a few of them, including most of the classics - my problem is directing the subject towards children. A comic wouldn't crack a joke about a sexy girl in a gymslip anymore, but years ago they did. (E.g. UK's Benny Hill). Times are achanging.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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One important thing to remember is that these are fiction books. Events in these books are not really happening. Once you start censoring books because of things in them, fictional things, it's quick slope getting rid of detective stories because they have a murders in them, rapes, or anything else. There're plenty of mainstream books or classic pieces of literature that have unsettling things in them.

There are a lot of books out there that I find disturbing. My solution is I don't read them. I feel perfectly fine letting others police themselves, and letting other parents police their children.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
I certainly can agree with a rating, category, flag or other notification similar to movie or game ratings. This is a restriction or advisory, not censorship.

I disagree with straight censorship, making something unavailable.
I am a prude by most standards. I will not by even romance, never mind erotica or porn. I use Google's strict censorship mode on my searches, and I use OpenDNS to filter my machines access to limit where I go. I do not watch/read horror (anymore), and so on.

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.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
QuantumIguana
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No one is a prude for not wanting to read certain material. Tell me I can't have something because you don't like it, and that's different.

I do think that Amazon's search system could be improved. If you type in "daddy", a lot of listings may well be results that the OP doesn't want. Smashwords has a "prude filter" to filter out erotica, that might be a good idea for Amazon to adopt. I've not seen any evidence that the existence of these books lead to people going out and doing these things in real life. They would have such fantasies even if the books didn't exist: non-readers and those in illiterate societies aren't any less likely to have such fantasies.

Even putting aside content that some might find objectionable, so many of the results are irrelevant. In a bookstore, I wander the shelves by category. One minute, I might be in the mystery section, the next, I might be in the science fiction section. I don't want all of fiction in one section, let alone all books in one giant section. Let me search in the Kindle Store by category.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistoryWes View Post
One important thing to remember is that these are fiction books. Events in these books are not really happening. Once you start censoring books because of things in them, fictional things, it's quick slope getting rid of detective stories because they have a murders in them, rapes, or anything else. There're plenty of mainstream books or classic pieces of literature that have unsettling things in them.

There are a lot of books out there that I find disturbing. My solution is I don't read them. I feel perfectly fine letting others police themselves, and letting other parents police their children.
I agree Wes. Everyone has their own taste in books and their own fantasy life. As long as it doesn't cross over into reality (in the cases where it's socially unacceptable) what is the problem? Don't like to read murder mysteries or about space aliens etc. then don't, but don't start pulling books off of shelves or we'll have Usher II or other Ray Bradbury nightmares of censorship becoming real. Some stories are generally unacceptable, but then the publishers never have published much of those types of stories anyway. And the stories that are totally unacceptable aren't likely to stick round any more than the book that the one guy was selling at Amazon did.

Last edited by crich70; 08-09-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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I think a simple filter would work.
1. Erotica or not.
2. Violence or not.
3. Children's works or not.
4. Homo or not.
...
Everything.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:15 AM   #11
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There's a difference between, "I find that type of work offensive and distasteful" and "it is crap."
There is crap sci-fi, there are crap dictionaries, crap knows no limits Crap is an SUBJECTIVE opinion. Some people say my novels are crap, and others disagree with them. Neither of them is wrong.

In other words, Just because you do not like calling it "crap" does not mean it is not accurate for me. That is the nature of subjective topics like this.

Quote:
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.
Do not currently read it. As with every other man, I have read, watched,etc my share of porn, erotica and romance. I have read horror, and gore, watched it etc.I've played the video games and so on. So yes, I know a bit about it. It is just not something I want to partake in anymore.

Quote:
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.)
Yep, I agree. I wish it was separated out better so I could avoid what I do not want, just as much as you say you want it separated so you can find what you want. You are making the same point I am.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:44 AM   #12
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It's a shame freedom of speech still needs to be defened.

Have fun, Jan
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:30 AM   #13
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It's a shame freedom of speech still needs to be defened.

Have fun, Jan
The only time when Freedom of Speech doesn't need to be defended is when there is no Freedom of Speech.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:08 PM   #14
QuantumIguana
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I think a simple filter would work.
1. Erotica or not.
2. Violence or not.
3. Children's works or not.
4. Homo or not.
...
Everything.
Tags are already commonplace, it shouldn't be too difficult to use tags to so people can find books they are interested in and avoid books they are not interested in. We have the capacity to more finely categorize books than brick and mortar stores do, because they don't have to be physically placed.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:48 PM   #15
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I don't think it's so much an idea of freedom of speech being defended as it is putting things out there that are 'over the top,' but then one doesn't have to read them. It's a shame that those of us with books that don't contain erotica have to be lumped in with those whose books do. I give the direct link to my books on Smashwords simply because I don't want my friends and family to have to look through erotica to find my much tamer works.
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