John Lucas is a novelist and stringer for a number of high-profile online magazines. He covers the alternative lifestyle scene and fetish parties in and around London. John joins us for a discussion of his work, his view on sex parties and the true nature of jealousy. We end on a discussion of Pornography versus Erotica. Recently, three UK magistrates were barred from practice when it emerged they had looked at pornography on their computers. Women, however, can publicly consume erotica with impunity (think Fifty Shades of Grey). Why is one punished and the other tolerated, even celebrated? Is it a double standard, or is there something inherently more permissable about arousal by the written word? The men discuss.

  • Steve

    Regarding the magistrates who were removed from their posts….the key element here is that they viewed the pornographic material on government owned equipment that was attached to a government owned network. Most companies and government entities have rules and regulations as to what you can view or download on company or government owned computers. It’s not YOUR computer, it’s THEIR computer and THEIR network. In addition to the inappropriate nature of viewing such material during work hours, many pornographic websites are laced with viruses, spyware, malware and all sorts of things that can screw up a computer network. This is why many companies ban such sites. It’s a network security issue. The girl who is reading Fifty Shades Of Grey in the company cafeteria while on lunch break is a completely different situation. For one thing, it’s her own book. Where Paul is correct about the double standard is when these things happen away from the workplace. If my girlfriend is reading Fifty Shades of Grey, why is it more acceptable for her to fantasize to that than for me, as a guy, to fantasize to an adult site featuring S&M? That’s a total double standard. One medium is words, the other is video. Same content. In fact, the book is worse in some ways because its eroticism clouds the fact that the male character, Christian, is by every definition an emotionally abusive, narcissistic relationship partner outside the bedroom and dungeon. And anyone who says Fifty Shades is “literature” has no conception of what real literature is. Most literate women I know who have indulged in the book acknowledge that it is a poorly written.

  • Nicola

    I would never judge anyone on their life choices, ever. What gives anyone the right to do so? If it’s legal, it’s not hurting anyone else and they are happy then who cares? I didn’t realise that married people still had the capacity to judge single people in this day and age, I am quite shocked that anyone does. Feel sorry for yes, feel better than yes, but actually judge them? I can only imagine it comes from a place of bitterness and jealousy. Sadly I am aware that people are still judged for not having children, which I find more baffling, surely it is more selfish to reproduce given the limited resources and the growth of the population? People are just looking to validate their own choices which often means putting other people down.
    Finally I want to point out that not everyone has made an intellectual choice to be single, sometimes that is the hand they are dealt. I assume they are not to be judged for that?

    • Nicola,

      I think you’re right – it’s unfair to judge others.
      But, the reality is most of us do make some snap judgements of other people, but often we don’t voice them.

      What I think is interesting (and surprising) is that I have developed a slight superiority complex now that I’m married. I know it’s silly and unjustified, and that’s why I shared it on the show. But, I do think many of us have a deep need to defend/justify our own life choices and sometimes that leads us to judge others who’ve chosen differently.

      Very interesting, indeed.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Paul

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