Women turning to their library card for erotic fulfilment

From The Sunday Times July 12, 2009, by Daisy Goodwin. "This is better than real sex: A survey confirms my belief that most women of a certain age are better off turning to their library card for erotic fulfilment." According to a survey of women between the ages of 45 and 60 by the maker of Astral moisturiser, a good two-thirds of us like books “with plenty of sex scenes” because we find them “titillating”. And a raunchy 10% actively seek out books with sexual content. There is only one explanation for this and I am afraid it has something to do with middle-aged men... I worry that I am falling prey to romantic novelist syndrome, in which fiction looks altogether more enticing than fact. Jilly Cooper, queen of the bonkbuster, once told me her husband had complained that every night he went to bed with Jilly and Rupert Campbell-Black, her devastatingly priapic hero. There were many headlines last week suggesting that since scientists are close to being able to manufacture sperm, men are no longer necessary; I would suggest that for novel-reading women of a certain age this has long been the case." Read more about it at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/article6688823.ece


Leave it to the mainstream media to freak out over women's taking a little control of their sex lives and their desire--without it requiring that they service an actual man. Men, of course, have been creating and consuming pornography in devastating quantities for centuries, but nobody in their right mind thinks that's newsworthy.

Sorry but you've misspelled fulfillment...
I hate to be that person, but I don't want you to embarrass yourself in the library world.


The article is from the UK and "fulfilment" is the correct spelling for them. There's no reason for them to be embarrassed.

"I worry that I am falling prey to romantic novelist syndrome, in which fiction looks altogether more enticing than fact."

We don't need UK papers to say this. Let's look in our own backyard, say, Brigham Young University, where it's not so benign: Moving Porn at BYU is Censorship?



If you want grown-ups with jobs and degrees to take you seriously I would strongly advise NOT stating, publicly, the view that romance novels can cause psychological harm.

And maybe the campus that outlaws men kissing and skirts above the knee is not the best barometer for anything, no matter how much it sounds like paradise to you.


I did not say that.

I am merely pointing to another source. That source is the source, not me.

My only interest is in the false claim of censorship by the BYU library, not the subject matter of the material, except to the extent it is relevant to the false claim.

At BYU, the library made the false claim that returning books on display to the shelves from whence they came was censorship.

Speaking of not being taken seriously, why should people take the ALA seriously when it argues keeping inappropriate material from children is censorship, while at the same time returning soft porn to the stacks is considered censorship at BYU?

Neither you nor the blog to which you point provide any documentation about the situation at the BYU Library. I would like to have more than just your word about what happened. Can you offer anything else? Thanks.

Thank you, Martin, for commenting.

Martin, I believe I have an interesting blog. I know it is unique. Please consider subscribing.

My blog posts usually, but not always, address issues I find reported elsewhere. Then I make a few comments based on those reports. I rarely have the time to delve into a story to root out and report my own facts.

It is fine with me to not take my word for what happened in the stories I present. You know and I know that media reports are not always perfectly accurate. But that is precisely why I either link to or reprint the full or relevant portions of the story, precisely so you can make up your own mind.

My blog posts link to story after story, sometimes dozens, and sometimes I add comments with updated or related stories. I try my best to provide the best sources possible. Should further research be desired, please consider contacting the sources directly. Perhaps simple Googling might help.

In light of the above, please understand why I have not "provide[d] any documentation about the situation at the BYU Library," other than the linked sources provided.

Thanks again for commenting.


I tried looking for further information on the Web. I found only two relevant hits (on the first few screens) and both were simply notes from the SafeLibrarian blog owner saying "read my post about this" with a link to the same source as you provide.

This is why I am not a fan of blogging. People are so busy posting and re-posting and flooding me with commentary and opinion that they too often neglect to check facts or point to reliable sources. So I just ignore most blogs. I'm too old to go so fast. I prefer fewer postings with more information and greater time for reflection.

And since I found nothing else about this indicent through my Web searching, I remain doubtful. Did it really happen the way it was described? What facts am I not being given? How much of a complicated situation can be communicated in a few sentences?

Well, if it were me, what would I do to investigate this. Mind you, I have asked people to contact me, but nobody has. At least I made the effort.

I would do this. I would call the library director. I would call the student's doctor. I would call the students. I would call the librarians. I would see what everyone has to say. Then I would prepare a report. Then I would call them all back to be certain I got everything straight. Then I would have the research I wanted.

Personally, I don't make that kind of effort for a single blog post. If I were writing a book, absolutely. But not for a single blog post where I'm just using the media report as a given and presenting it largely as is.

Let me say this. If you happen to take further interest in this matter and happen to gather relevant facts from reliable sources, I will be happy to publish your findings. Or you can just add a comment directly on my blog post on the subject.

Whatever you do, good luck, and thanks again for writing.


OK. I called the library director but he is still at ALA. I gathered information from other unofficial sources and learned the following.

The items in question are part of the "Sampler Collection" of popular reading -- westerns, sci fi, etc. -- including romance novels. The library uses a "hotness" scale of 1 to 5 to rate the romance books. 1 is barely warm, 5 is flaming hot. Their policy has been to buy nothing warmer than a 3. (This scale is derived from several review sources, Web sites, etc.)

One student has been on a crusade about books that are "too hot." She has submitted hundreds of requests for romance novels to be removed. Apparently she does little more than read them, take detailed notes and complain about them.

Whatever information is Out There probably comes from her personal blog, as there has been no official documentation from the library. I believe that, in light of the barrage of requests, the person in charge of the collection has decided to collect nothing warmer than a 1. This means even some "Christian Romances" will not pass muster.

In some meeting along the way someone probably mentioned the word "censorship" in connection with this situation. That was all the student heard, so that is what she has used in her blog.

Hope this helps. Remember: I am not an official voice for the BYU Library. Take whatever I say here as possibly true but not verified. But at least I took time to check for facts before simply passing along rumors.

Many times as a youth my father told me to "believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." The Web, blogging, Twitter et. al only make this advice more important today.

Martin, I'm impressed. I really don't want to report things incorrectly. I didn't, but you have gone further and and, from "unofficial sources," seem to have found alternative/contradictory information. Very good. Please go and post it (even if it's just a cut and paste from your comment here) to my blog post so people there can see it as well.

Really, I have no interest in misrepresenting things. Things are strange enough without me having to add anything.

I hope that student sees your comments and responds.


I dislike his site, writing and posts because there are these wispy clouds of rumors and allegation that, when pressed upon, safe says something like "Yes, well what I meant was that ALA ... "

What is written and what is "meant" are always different. The written is some salacious bomb or accusation that ALA is making children watch kiddie porn for credit in Islamic madrases, etc. The "meant" is that ALA censors something or other.

Chuck, that's why I provide so many links, or reprint actual text from media sources. I think you just don't like what you are seeing because you don't want to believe it.

Further, what with the one-sided media blitz, news from the other side seems so out of place, so few and far between. I wish I had the resources of the ALA so I too can organize thousands of people to perform a similar function.

Chuck, I'd like to meet you. I bet we'd be good friends.


If your assertion is that the press releases of an advocacy organization are "one-sided" then I'm afraid you have me there.

I'd like to meet you as well. I imagine I'd have to talk a lot slower, but still. Fun all around!

No, not the press release. The entire effort, quite normal, mind you, to reach out to the media. Never is there a similar effort from any other point of view. Like a library director in Holyoke, MA, just aided and abetted child pornography, in my opinion. That does not get the press attention it truly deserves. Some things often don't even make it into ALA publications. Sometimes things that do make it are whitewashed, like the library rape in New Bedford, MA, the ALA whitewashed until I caught them and exposed them and they changed their reporting likely as a direct result.


romantic novelist syndrome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the ALA and its publications should be a clearinghouse for info on crimes committed in libraries. In spite of the fact that that isn't why they were created and that's not what professionals use them for. Isn't that sort of what the police, state police, sheriff, FBI, Bureau of Crime Stats., DOJ, newspapers, the Internet and others are for?

Or is it that the ALA should find other viewpoints and then make media outlets publish those viewpoints, like some kind of unpaid PR firm that works for you?

Further, is it your assertion that changing the word "rape" to "molest" is a "whitewash" instead of a poor choice of words? Or bit of editorial insignificance?

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