📘 How much smut is too much smut? 😕


#1

Maybe it’s a joke, maybe it’s not, but several authors have had their eRom/Thrillers blocked by Amazon as I’ve read on other forums. Now, needless to say, I do not know the content of the books - since it’s been blocked, I can not take a :eyes: to see what’s it’s all about.

I don’t know if it’s a “holy mother of God!” or just an “eh” I’ve read worse from other eRom authors. I do agree that certain material should be banned, especially by a company as big Amazon - bestiality, incest, anything to do with children (these are beyond gross but sick! :face_vomiting:); rape (unless it’s a detective story of finding the perpetrator and has no graphic details).

If the story is just a fictional romance or erotic for adult, then I’m confused as to why. Some say only the book version was banned but the e version was just fine and dandy. :confused:

Is there more to this story? :thinking: Inquiring minds want to know.

Original Post 1: Amazon blocked my book! Grr

Original Post 2: Book blocked! Help!!


#2

Basically, $$$$ and appearances. Everyone loves smutbux, but nobody wants to be the smutbux pimp.

I’m a bit lazy for a serious reply right now (that goes into more detail w/ above), but I’ll get around to it sometime this week! The fact you’re posting about this now sounds to me like Mr. Bezos might be cleaning up a very profitable stable to get some moralizers off his back, though.

After all, 'Zon is the world’s biggest distributor of written smut known to mankind at the moment.


#3

What? I’m afraid I don’t agree. You will find all of the profane topics you mentioned in Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom. (And that’s not even a work of fiction.) Amazon is fine selling that as a Penguin Classic, though.

You’d also have to ban a few Holy books, as well as quite a few gaudy classics.

Censorship in all forms is just wrong. Like it or not, bad nasty perverse things happen in the world, and it’s important to acknowledge that they do. This is not to say that someone should write an eRom about something like bestiality. However, the minute you censor a subject, you just push unsavory matters further into the shadows.

As for Amazon overall, they are just after the $$$'s like @Locusta has said. My experience is that they go for quantity over quality when it comes to sales. However, I don’t write filth like you lot :slight_smile: and my experience is a bit long-winded to go into. I can recommend Smash Words though!


#4

God bless the world’s hypocrites :slight_smile:


#5

Well, I do understand your point of view to a certain extent. In the USA, the ‘Freedom of Speech’ is all or none. I believe you can’t have true freedom to say what you want if things were censored. If I don’t like a show, radio or internet mumble jumble, I simply turn it off. Easy, peasy! People should be able to choose.

There is a however coming here. There is also a certain level of responsibility that comes with this freedom of anything. A Government has the responsibility to ensure the level of freedom of speech does not infringe on another’s safety. A corporation, like Amazon, has the responsibility to ensure anything they sell, including books, do not cause harm to others.

I’ve never heard of this book, and have not read it, but if it is indeed as :face_vomiting: as you say it is they shame on them for selling it!


#6

It would be ridiculous not to sell Marquis de Sade’s books. They’re classics (of sorts) for a reason.


#7

This is where everyone has missed the train when it comes to freedom of speech. You get it given to you on paper and the idea seems grand. Slowly, though, private corporations make it impossible to live, work or trade without relying on their services.

Amazon killed the independent bookstore and, therefore, it now decides what you can and can’t read. 120 Days of Sodom is a prime example. Here’s a taster:

Amazon justifies not censoring this book as its a ‘classic.’ However, at the same time, it censors authors like @Locusta, who I am guessing might be filthy to the core, but not write perverse things about minors, animals, or actual gratuitous human suffering.

In short, your interpretation of free speech doesn’t manifest in reality as Amazon protecting anyone. It manifests instead as Amazon acting as an Orwellian Ministry of Truth which decides what literature and dialogue can enter the zeitgeist of contemporary culture.

Sadly, the same holds true across Western society. RIP freedom.


#8

Censoring books that contain BDSM or erotic nature between two consenting adults for adults is out of line. That goes against the freedom of anything.

Censoring books that contain rape or child pornography should is an absolute! Not because I think it is sick and no normal human being would want to read such a thing but because it does harm to a minor.

I write smut, but my books contain characters that are in their mid 20’s and up. I don’t know what name Locusta writes under but I may even have read some of her stuff. The censorship in denying her books are going too far. She’s not hurting anyone.

All “freedom” comes with certain limitation. Regardless of private ownership or shareholders, the company has to adhere to certain level of integrity to the public. All businesses are in it to make money, that token needs to be safe in the realm of the people that it represents.

In order to make sales in certain countries, I’ve read that popular singers CD cover’s are censored. Amazon censoring book cover’s are the same thing.

When rated R movies are shown on public television in the USA, profanity and such are covered up with “bleeps” or sometimes they shoot the movie in two version one with and one without.

I am 100% in agreement that censorship can go too far but sometimes it’s necessary.

BTW, weirdly I enjoy having these type of somewhat :fire: but still civil convos! :slight_smile:

Hum, everyone else is staying quiet. Maybe they are looking to eating :popcorn: ! Sorry guys and gals, but no popcorn here, just a civil discussion on what is and what isn’t.


#9

In around 2013-14, there was a bit of a craze for stepbrother and stepsister romances (among other stepromance) which was quite clearly geared towards a market that wasn’t necessarily interested in the step.

Selena Kitt (a v.v.v.v.v. successful smutwriter who hates Amazon so much she started her own smut empire) probably has the best summary of Amazon’s hypocrisy in this specific case with the linked article.

Amazon clearly doesn’t - for some. But for others, it is absolute. Just make it a bit fakey and the problem goes away. It’s worth remembering Amazon takes a nice slice of the sales pie here, and the Kindle market is likely still its most profitable. The most profitable sub-niche? It’s not people’s cruddy marketing books and self-help books, I can tell you that much. It’s vile, sordid stuff that speaks to people’s fantasies.

It doesn’t stop at Amazon, of course. What about the 2010 movie A Serbian Film (it’s rather unpleasant and touches on lots of unpleasant things. I watched it, and was suitably aghast and appalled - and I have a very high tolerance for such things!). Not censored in the USA. According to the NYT:

"At first glance—and few are likely to dare a second—it belongs in the high-concept shock-horror tradition whose most recent and notorious specimen is probably The Human Centipede . As is often the case with movies like this, A Serbian Film revels in its sheer inventive awfulness and dares the viewer to find a more serious layer of meaning.

Remember the Human Centipede? I quite enjoyed how godawful and gross that was, come to think of it.

So when people get up in arms about a few body parts being sexualized, it’s worth remembering that globally, the biggest industry is human trafficking; many of the more attractive women will end up in more, shall we say, grotesque and decidedly real versions of this nature without their consent - some may even be slaughtered on camera because, you know, there are people out there like that. The thing is, though, that they tend to have the money and even the power to do whatever they like, without bothering about freedom of speech.

I would suggest that the smut debate opens up a more interesting debate into the sheer hypocrisy of society. We’ll watch critically-lauded fictional accounts of human suffering without blinking an eye, and be shocked and appalled when it really happens - or if someone isn’t making enough money with it, just sweep it under the rug and throw them into some tidy FoS jail cell.

After all, one has only to look at cases like the Belgian Detroux Scandal to know that money, power, and sex are powerful bedfellows - and it’s very, very rare for the truth to come out (in the case of Detroux, I’d argue it’s still not completely solved).

Rules are generally made to be broken - you only need to look upward to see that. For everyone else, you either stay in the straitjacket of rules or be made to sit still and be quiet in it. As for encouraging people, the kind of people who are going to go out and do stuff like this (benign and malign) will do so anyway. Better to let them do so in the full glare of publicity and treat them accordingly and equally.

But that’s simply not the case in today’s world. Swearwords, sexy naked body parts, I don’t really care about. These just normal human things that we all say and have, and do in the case of the act.

I mostly wrote very tepid stuff with a few ventures into the crazy, and none of it was particularly good :slight_smile: Pulling this back on topic after that, I would suggest that smut can never really go too far; it’s written word, the imagination, and making someone’s day that little bit brighter in a filthy way. Arguably much better than the above mess, no?

So, why censor it? There are things in this world far more censored that happen every to people who have no ability to consent. So, as far as freedom of speech goes, I’m with Voltaire’s most misattributed saying:

“I disapprove of what you say , but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

Nobody would defend to the death the right of someone truly doing “it” - unless their behavior was so hidden and so useful that it inverted the world as we know it. So, when you get to the question of necessities in censorship and the grades in which it may be required, where does the line really stop?

/rambling discourse

EDIT I pulled the largest industry out of my boo-boo, but it was third, then second last year. It won’t be long. War and destabilization are two very profitable forces. Something that governments leverage patriotism and nationalism to make decent for the public. Personally, I’d rather just be in possession of a bit of a dirty and censored mind, rather than a filthy soul.


#10

This is my beef with censorship. Slavery is bigger today than it ever was. However, in most places, trafficking of women, men, and children, is dressed up as the foreign domestic maid market. Look at the amount of Filipino, Sri Lankan, and sub-Saharan women who ‘fall’ over Singaporean and Middle Eastern luxury apartment balconies every year and you’ll get an idea of how big the problem is.

When I was in Thailand, there was also a banned book there doing the rounds. It was an autobiography of a ladyboy. It detailed how the boys’ parents decided that he should be a she for him to cash in on the lucrative tourist trade. Think forced gender reassignment surgery and a basic life of unending ■■■■, while you are forced to smile, wave at, and intimately service fat balding Europeans every day.

Of course, Thailand couldn’t have the (possible) reason they have the world’s highest incidence of transgender people leaking out. Hence the book was only available in badly put together bundles of photocopied pages.

The problem with censorship of any kind is that it always starts out as a (supposedly) well-intentioned idea on a cultural level. Some people don’t like their feelings being hurt when exposed to opinions and ideas they aren’t comfortable with, hence upsetting opinions and ideas should be censored.

Eventually, though, censorship inevitably becomes nothing more than a political tool. Hence why you have big scandalous reveals about people like Jimmy Saville, Michael Jackson, and powerful politicians, come out posthumously. Meanwhile, of course, the corporate controllers of what is morally acceptable as far as media and entertainment are concerned, drop the morality bat whenever its convenient, like @Locusta has pointed out.

The bottom line is that actual laws which make it possible to prosecute people who make threats or incentivize violence, have already existed for a long time. As have laws which make things like certain kinds of pornography illegal etc. Whenever people argue that more laws are needed to more broadly define things like hate speech and obscenity, all they do is tear up their own freedom.


#11

This is always a shame, as having your views challenged (albeit in a constructively way rather than Internet Flame Wars style) is possibly the best way to open up the mind to new thought and discoveries.

Mind you, the BBC knew full well the rumours about Sir Jimell long before he was buried in his concrete coffin. As did the royal family. I find it a little improbable that the palace’s security didn’t do a full check on a zany oddball before they met the royal zany oddballs, but let’s stick to this slightly credulous explanation from the Palace for now - I wouldn’t like to get done for treason today.

Personally, I don’t think we have enough freedom of speech, as slowly most of our information is coming from ever smaller pool of corporate sources and conglomerates, and the great work of censoring the internet and scrubbing it of undesirable thought started a long time ago. Perhaps one day we’ll look back and wish we’d listened to some of the authors of the early- and mid-20th century who warned about technology, news, censorship, and the state.

It all starts with a ■■■■ - but where does it end up? (you’ll have to guess the vile bodypart I used, I’m afraid)


#12

Usually, you find that a single law firm called Carter Ruck, is used by people who have skeletons in the closet, to silence the media and anyone who ever dares come forward to expose them. There is (or at least used to be) some very sordid details online about a certain high-profile UK celeb (still living) who started visiting a 14 year old in hospital and taking him for ‘tips’ away occasionally.

It was the parents who tried to expose the matter when their son topped himself. However, faster than you could say Sir Jimmy, Carter Ruck was there handing out gagging orders.

I imagine that this is how it usually plays out with the BBC and the Royals. Technically, after all, the BBC could have been sued by Saville if they refused to employ him on the basis of what were just rumors. In fact, a certain UK ex-pop singer managed to get one over on the BBC using the legal wizards at Carter Ruck quite recently. Betcha can’t guess who? :wink:


#13

The same law firm was used by a couple who went on holiday to Portugal and ‘mislaid’ one of their children. You’re right - they’re very well known for gagging orders.


#14

Yeah, they are pretty well known and that case is in my opinion, evidence enough of just how abhorrently the UK media is censored. A UFO/conspiracy researcher called Richard D Hall made a 3-hour documentary about the missing child in question. It’s a long watch but I would recommend it.

What I want to know about that case is where all the blooming money keeps going that they keep funneling into ‘investigations.’


#15

I got the Portuguese couple reference! I can’t get the others though. There’s just too many dodgy characters to pick from! As for Carter-Ruck… well, all part of the wider problem.


#16

Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to let him take your kids on a Summer Holiday.


#17

Friends in high places? There were a number of very high profile friends, one of whom has since been in the cabinet who supported them at the beginning. I think a few funny handshakes might have been involved as well…


#18

I keep reading that the Portuguese couple had connections to certain American politicos, too. Naturally, all of this does somewhat tie into other things, particularly a particular Haitian connection and “charities”. I remember there was a bit of a kerfuffle about a coup there last week, but didn’t have the time to follow it up.

Eventually though, it all seems to turn into a large spider’s web of connections that are protected at all costs. This is really my issue with the whole freedom of speech debate: we barely have any when it comes to some subjects, which matter much more than a bit of fictitious naughty-work.

Oh, got that reference now. I forgot about that glorious BBC helicopter home invasion and the major storm over that. For once, I was cheering them on.


#19

Yeah, those can be helpful. However, also very disconcerting when you end up regularly receiving them in some places… :frowning: