define pornography

In a previous post, I claimed that I write pornography online for a living, but the truth is more complicated—I don’t think it’s pornography.

I don’t think the images I post in my scrapbook are pornographic either, although there are those who might differ in that assessment.

I mean, sure, it’s in that ballpark, but before I add “distributer of pornography” as my profession on my taxes, it’s worth a moment to consider the word and its implications.


Cambridge Dictionary defines pornography as “books, images, magazines, films, etc. with no artistic value that describe or show sexual acts or naked people in a way that is intended to be sexually exciting.”

So, let’s see… books, images… that describe or show sexual acts… or naked people.  I’m on board with all of that. Which means, I write and post books and images that describe or show…. wait, wait, wait….

I write books that describe sexual acts. I post images of naked people. They are probably meant to be at least in part sexually exciting. That’s all okay with me.

But I take offense at the notion that they have no artistic value.

Furthermore, I don’t post images that show sexual acts. At least not how I would define it.

The images I post in my scrapbook were originally on my Tumblr account before they banned all adult content.  I have a couple rules that I follow: no penis or scrotum, no vulva or vagina. Pubic hair is fine. Boobs and bare chests are too. But no penetration, no bodily fluids, no gynecological explorations. Because that truly is pornography, to me.

Of course, there is thrusting.  Quite a bit of thrusting. I think about an interview with Robert Pattinson where he stated…


So let’s take a trip through my scrapbook and find the most thirsty thrusting takes. 


Nevermind, I forgot the question.

I just think that with all the words that we have at our command, including ones we make up out of thin air like defriend and manscape, we ought to be able to come up with a word for what I do that isn’t the same as what Penthouse does, for example.

Which brings me, I suppose, to the real point of this post.

I read a fascinating article the other day about how the “citrus scale” used in fanfic during the late ’00s and early ’10s (my Twific hey-day) is making a comeback on Tumblr as creative folks try to circumvent the adult content ban.


For those of you unaware of the citrus scale, it starts with the orange which is basically PG with kissing and holding hands, maybe some network television level of swears.

Then there is lime which is basically PG-13 with making out and some removal of clothing, open-mouth kissing and a couple uses of the f-bomb.

I would also include in this category all the non-rated foreign films with full frontal male nudity and extensive amount of naked breasts, plus heavy breathing and sexual thrusting that by all rights should be a soft R.

For example, A Room with a View is one of my favorite movies in part because it does an excellent job of combining the sensual and earthy with uptight British parlor culture. And it has naked men running around a pond, dangling their ding-dongs.

As an American, thank you so much to lowered European standards of prudishness.


Next is the lemon which runs the gamut from R to NC-17. There can be ample description of genitalia and the insertion of this into that, and fucking fuck that fuck fuck fuck.

Lastly, there is grapefruit which is a whole lot of weird crazy.  Fetishes and furries and fisting and fish-slapping.

I personally think that lemon is too wide a category and needs some subdivision, which is why I would define my own writing as “lemon-lime in the tradition of le cinéma”.

So, now you know, there are different words to describe what I do other than porn.

I am also okay with calling it a “Lime Drop Martini” as seen below.



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