[Edit: Alrighty, so I was a bit pissed off at these folks. That feeling has passed. I'll leave the post intact. I wanted to mention the fact that a private company certainly has the right to decide what they are willing to sell, and there are plenty of other outlets for the hardcore erotica writers to use.]
I’ve been taking a gander at all the “new morality rules” for some of the various publishers who have been intimidated by Paypal into censoring what they allow on their sites.
The following section is designed to illustrate the idiocy of this new round of censorship. Anything that the retail ebook sellers have defined as “objectional” is paired with either an example of their hypocrisy or a common sense statement that shows the idiocy of their objection.
*No Adultery! Funny, this rule is touted by the same company whose in-house works appear to have menage a’ trois where the wife is penetrated in multi-holes by various penises not belonging to her husband. My question then becomes this, “Is it adultery to have sex with someone who is not your spouse whether or not the spouse is in the room with you?” Are they really trying to test the boundaries of the definition of adultery? I’m not exactly a big fan of adultery, myself, but I must say that this rule would be very funny if it were simply nothing more than a joke being played on the authors of erotic FICTION. By the way, it’s not adultery at all if the characters don’t actually exist. In fictional works, you are free to play around with themes that are generally unacceptable in reality. Maybe someone should call Paypal and advise them that some scientists are now saying that there might actually be a difference between written fiction and reality. Just a thought.
*Twincest (sex between blood-related twins) is acceptable for their in-house authors to write about, but sex between step relations (not related by blood) is abhorrent, especially if written by indie authors.
*Bondage is rape! Uh, what? How exactly is bondage equated to rape? Whether male or female, if you like being tied up and whipped before you are brought to orgasm, that’s called a kink or a fetish (depending on how much you need it in order to “get off”). It is more than consensual; It is hungrily desired. Some of these ebook retailers are now calling it rape. Oh? Let’s examine it a little more closely: If only one hand is handcuffed to a bedpost, is that rape too? How about when both hands are bound? How about when the legs are bound but the hands are not? Where is the line for when consensual bondage becomes rape? Who the fuck are these idiots that are trying to impose these rules on writers of fiction?
*Fictional stories about sex between animalistic paranormal shape shifters are acceptable; however, fictional stories about bestiality are unacceptable. So, as long as your fiction is about paranormal animals rather than about non-paranormal animals, you’re fine. Granted, I have no interest in writing about bestiality, but it seems to me that fictional sex between shape shifters where one of them is in animal form is no different from other fictional bestiality stories.
*Sex with “barely legal” (just turned 18) females is totally objectionable; however, sex with a barely legal male is perfectly okay. Sexism much?
*Surprise Sex with a willing partner is sick! It’s just pure rape! Well, that’s not true at all. If both partners are consenting, and a safe word is established beforehand, then who are you to say that it is inappropriate? The thrill of surprise sex, both for the “supriser” and the “suprisee”, can be fairly intense to write and read about. It is not illegal nor is it immoral. This does not cross any social lines except perhaps for an uptight, prudish protestant who probably has never had a decent orgasm.
*Homosexual sex between two men is objectionable while lesbian sex is acceptable. Well, okay, so this isn’t actually something that they’ve said…yet, but doesn’t the strange hypocrisy of this rule sound very similar to the hypocrisy of the other “real” rules that Paypal and their eBook retail clients are passing off on indie authors? Censorship is a slippery slope. How long before you get a die-hard conservative whack job running the board of Paypal? Isn’t that all it would take to slide further down the slope of censorship? I suspect that such may already be the case being that this is how censorship starts. Like the Nazi’s, they started attacking something that no one else would stand up to defend. Watch out, you hard-core writers of gay themed erotic fiction, they’re coming for you next. How can they not?
These are but a few examples. I will add more when I get the time.
The fact that a mega-corporation has decided to use financial pressure in order to limit, on the basis of subjective morality, what can be sold by other companies that use their service is sickening. This is how it starts. Someone in a board room attempts to decide what is and is not morally acceptable for the rest of us.
Fuck you, Paypal. You and your subjective morality.
Bookstrand has now stated that opening their doors to indie authors was a mistake. Oh? How much money did they make off of their indie authors before getting hit by Paypal? I would wager all the tea in China that Bookstrand would still have an erotica section for indies if Paypal had not gotten involved.
I’m afraid that the rabbit’s out of the hat. It’s too late to destroy the hopes and dreams of indie authors. We’re not going to bow to the pressure of the “Big 6″ publishing houses. We’re not going to be pushed around by the subjective morality of Paypal. We’re not going to crawl back under the rock from whence we came. We’re here. Deal with it. I know for a fact that tens of millions of dollars have been made off of indie authors. If you don’t want to make money off of us, someone else will.
Let me repeat that for you: If you don’t want to make money off of us, someone else will. Welcome to the free-market, indie style.
Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes have an incredible opportunity right now. They’re already filthy freakin’ rich; however, we all know that filthy rich corporations love one thing: More money! Amazon could easily continue its upward trend as being a powerhouse in the indie community. If B&N and iTunes really stepped up to the plate, things would be absolutely perfect for indies, in my opinion.