Harmless Pleasures | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Harmless Pleasures


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I would like to add my voice to that of Willie Holmes in the February 4 Reader [Letters]. I, too, enjoy erotic literature, wish to continue to have convenient access to it, and resent the efforts of do-gooder types to prevent me from obtaining it. No one speaks for the readers of erotica. Yet there are millions of us, happily spending billions of dollars on material we enjoy--and wish to continue to enjoy. We have rights, too. The First Amendment right to a free press isn't worth much without a right to read.

Note that I do not use the word "Pornography." No one, not even me, likes pornography--if it is defined (as many do) as "those materials which offend me, personally." I am turned off by some things--ignorant attacks on science, for example. I know of people who think the lingerie ads from Marshall Fields are awful smut. Who gets to decide what can be seen by intelligent adults? How about the adults themselves?

No reputable study has demonstratedly proved any kind of harm from erotica, despite a lot of looking under beds and in closets. The Comstocks among us, however, bend and stretch their scanty facts, creating injury out of cobwebs of fact, and speaking of "smut peddlers" as if they were forcing their "trash" onto innocent children in the schoolyard.

Enough! If you don't obtain physiological enjoyment (all right--arousal) from looking at "dirty pictures," don't look. But please let me and my millions of fellow erotico-philes enjoy our harmless pleasures.


Des Plaines Ave.

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