Melinda Tankard Reist just pointed this book review out to me and asked for a comment No taboos in Krissy Kneen’s artistic threesome | The Australian.

So here it is: The  “erotica” section in bookstores and publishers is a growing trend designed to accommodate a new genre of sophisticated pornography. The paperback format gives it a semblence of intellectual legitimacy which is an important marketing strategy for this genre. 

Publications like Kneen’s represent the logical endpoint of consumerism, where commerce has come to dictate the shape of our culture. At the expense of our collective psyche.

In a society where money can be used to satisfy any kind of desire and create any kind of sensation, directly or vicariously, some consumers find themselves needing to seek out ever more extreme things to gratify their need for stimulation. The transgression of fundamental taboos have thus now become a rich source of novel sensations for the jaded consumer- and a new area of business for the commercial publisher who can’t sell traditional pornography but can easily defend the selling of “erotic literature”.

Dressing it up as respectable literature and modern thinking enables the consumer to indulge their desire for titillation while at the same time deluding themselves that they are participating in the cutting edge of high culture and modern thinking. Logically the authors of this material are celebrated as creative forces and important agents of modern progress and liberal philosophy. It’s a common strategy used by many sectors of the porn industry and mainstream publishers have come to learn that they can do it even better than the pornographers!

I feel that the social cost of this publishing trend will be that the value of relationships with other humans will be undermined as the consumer takes on an ever more one-sided, sexualised perspective of themselves and their world. The impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the people that make up our society logically follows……