* UPDATE (2013): A quick post on why “erotica” isn’t “porn” (and how you can help)!
My original post from early 2011 is left below (unedited).
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ORIGINAL POST (January 2011)
Update (31 Jan 2011) — Test screenshot for jessINK (above image)!
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Some rough planning/sketches for jessINK, a “main store”/website I’d like to work on in Jan 2011, since Amazon has banned some of my books.
* Jan 2011: Affected parties include Jess C Scott, Selena Kitt, Esmeralda Greene, and Olympia Press. The issue is being tracked on Facebook (Amazon Censors). Amazon has since progressed to banning books with “rape” in the title, while still maintaining their commitment to getting as many books into the Kindle store as possible (LA Times article).
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I’m a little (just a bit — worse things have happened in life, LOL) bummed that I’ll have to “re-adjust” some of my plans, since my deviant material was quite well ranked and well set-up in the Amazon store. I was (and still am) planning an incest short story collection, but will sell it on jessINK because that way, at least it’ll still be available from me, straight (since webhosting companies allow for graphic porn vids/pictures, I am assuming they’ll not “ban/lock” my website for “questionable content”…though I’d better probably just check beforehand, and get something in black-and-white via email!).
I like to work fast and efficiently, so being slowed down a little is always something that will irritate/annoy me. But no use looking at things you can’t change — better to focus on the solutions than the problems (to quote “The Donald”/Donald J. Trump).
I’ll probably write an article over on jessINK (once it’s up) on the content in SOME of my work featuring underage sex and incest, etc (not sure about bestiality, etc — haven’t done those yet, but I might, if I feel like it some time). I grew up in Singapore, so while I am aware of differing international laws, I am familiar/comfortable with (Singapore’s law) of the “age of consent” being 16 years old (and that’s an interesting story all on its own — can blog/write an article on that later too).
Part of the reason I don’t want to blog my thoughts (in depth, with excerpts from my work) on those topics yet is out of caution (points to the “Report as spam” / “Report as mature” button on the WordPress navigation bar). I don’t know if such an article on WordPress.com would be considered evil/illegal/immoral/unethical/obscene based on a random person’s “opinion,” so I think I’ll just save myself the trouble and have everything on jessINK next year.
I do not condone pedophilia (12 years old and lower, to set an age), because that is an exploitative nature of pedophilia (taking advantage of a minor that is unable to truly give consent, due to the innocence factor of children). Did I still enjoy Lolita? Of course! Did it make me squirm in disdain at times? Of course! That’s part of its appeal for me — navigating through Humbert Humbert’s “twisted mind.”
I have a half-done short story with an incubus and a sixteen-year-old. Is he just exploiting her due to her age? Partly (but the incubus is not wholly human, so technically, Hell’s laws would apply more to him than Earth’s/A certain society’s laws). Are they having mindless sex? Certainly not.
People who rant about me ranting about “underage sex” tell me that I should “change the story and change the characters’ ages” (then accuse me of not taking their advice, all in the same breath, before I’ve even had a chance to read their reply, LOL), and while that’s an option, I’d already have done that if I felt it’d be to the characters’ benefits (to be 18 or above).
Humans are sexual beings. A person doesn’t just turn 18 and magically earn the right to be a sexual being. I remember my teenage years being quite sex-crazed (to summarize — and there is such a thing as “fantasy” vs. “what one does in real life” — I’ve always had an interest in sexual subjects…).
Some of the things I write are in a very non-mainstream, non-conformist way (thought I strive for the elements of honesty and relatability, as much as possible). This is where indie publishing comes in for me, because I am free to write whatever I want, however I want. And maybe, someone, somewhere, will find something (in one of my projects) that resonates with them.
You will see on many erotica publisher’s websites that “incest” is one of the big no-no’s on their guidelines. But rape is okay. I am not going to bother dissecting the logic behind consensual incestuous adult sex being not okay, and rape being okay, because I don’t think logic is what’s behind it.
Some people are very quick to assume that all erotica/erotic fiction is pornographic (with no value, other than to “arouse sexually”). Which is why they’ll always keep missing out on one of the most (if not the most) powerful forces in human life, which is human sexuality. Sexual repression can, will, and does channel into other areas, such as violence, aggression, oppression, homophobia, etc. Oppressing/repressing/suppressing something doesn’t make it go away, though I understand suppression can be done out of either fear, or displeasure at really facing an issue head-on to “deal with it.”
Sex/uality is an area I intend to continue exploring, wandering around in, and pondering about, via writing. It’s how I deal with it.
And sexual repression/suppression, to me, is dysfunctional.
Which actually kind of explains…a lot.
P.S. I will mention here (just for clarification) that I don’t mean to offend all Christian/religious/conservative people with my “sexual open-mindedness” — I was born Catholic, so I have a good idea of the Church’s teachings (maybe not right down to the exact Bible passages, but in general). Not everyone likes to read about sex or graphic material and there’s nothing wrong with that. But oppressing deviant/controversial material deemed to be “immoral” (because “[the person] says so”) is something I’ll fight. If you read the “born Catholic” link, it also explains where I’d like to try to go with my brand of (NON-explicit!) Christian Fiction. I’ve had blog visitors who’ve typed in “Christian fiction erotica” — who knows. Despite my intentions, perhaps what I come up with will still not be “clean” enough (even if I try…one way to find out).
P.P.S. These are the links that explain the creation and development of jessINK. First link was a thread started by yours truly.
Original Post on Amazon: Deletion of Books / Violation of Guidelines
Amazon Censorship of erotic titles (article at TeleRead)
Amazon in the Book Banning Business
Can free speech survive Amazon’s monopoly? #amazoncensors
The Register UK: Amazon’s Erratic Policy on Specialist Smut
Amazon’s Systematic Moral Attack (by Valerie Gray)
America’s Prudish Literary Morality (Salon.com Article)