Erotic Literature Becomes Thought Crime

Delta of Venus by Anais NinToday’s depressing censorship/thought crime news is that a woman has been sentenced to five years of probation for writing sex stories. Yes folks, for writing fiction.

I’ve already posted about this case. It’s difficult to speak out in defense of the author because the stories depicted child abuse, violence and rape – that’s why the government went after Karen Fletcher and her site Red Rose Stories. But this case sets a frightening precendent: you can be prosecuted for what you write.

An Australian man had his home raided and was prosecuted in May for reading these kinds of stories.


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If anyone thinks that these sorts of stories are some kind of modern abberation, think again. Instead, check the library and the shelves of your average English lecturer at university. Fact is, stories about child rape are disturbingly common in erotic fiction.

For this month’s feature article at For The Girls I created a “top 11” list of the best-known works of dirty writing; what could be known as the erotic canon. I hadn’t read most of them so I did a bit of preliminary reading for research. I was amazed to discover just how many of these hallowed literary works could be considered obscene according to the law post-Red Rose.

Sure, it’s easy to spot Lolita. Nabokov’s celebrated novel is about pedophilia and contains explicit sex scenes featuring a 12 year old girl. And the Marquis De Sade’s works are an endless litany of depravity and abuse (and have long been hailed as literary classics).

But did you know that Delta of Venus by Anais Nin opens with a rather shocking tale of incest and underage rape? Nin is often held up as the ultimate female-friendly author of erotica, so I was simply stunned to open the book and read those first few pages (check out the Amazon excerpt if you want to read it).

The Story of the Eye and Fanny Hill also offer explicit stories of underage sex.

How is it that we can go after one writer and yet exalt the works of others? And in the end, how can we justify prosecuting individuals when they’re guilty of merely writing (or reading) words on a piece of paper.

And now I’m some kind of pervert, apparently, because I’ve read what now amounts to literary child porn. Even if it is by Anais Nin. Send the thought police, please. I need to be saved from myself.