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Topic: Mailing Erotica to the South?

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Subject: Mailing Erotica to the South?
Date Posted: 9/14/2008 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2007
Posts: 1
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I've received a request to send a book of erotica to Alabama. I know Alabama has strict laws re: pornography, but I'm unclear about laws regarding erotica to the state (and others). Can anyone shed light?




Date Posted: 9/14/2008 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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Alabama has strict porn laws? That's BS in my opinion. I'll look at and read what I want to read and look at when I want to read and look at it!

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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Wikipedia's entry on Freedom of Speech -- scroll down to Obscenity.  It briefly addresses obscenity and the First Amendment, what you have in your private home, and community standards.

The Miller test is the United States Supreme Court's test for determining whether speech or expression can be labeled obscene, in which case it is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and can be prohibited.

Obscenity, defined by the Miller test by applying contemporary community standards, is one exception. It is speech to which all of the following apply: appeals to the prurient interest, depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. (This is usually applied to more hard-core forms of pornography.)


Here is a section of the Alabama Obscenity Law that went into effect October1st 2007:

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly produce, or offer or agree to produce, any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

I think the law is more about "marial aides" and such, not erotica which is distinctly a separate genre than pornography and is considered to have literary merit --  think Anais Nin, Henry Miller, DH Lawrence, etc.

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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As someone who lives in Alabama, all I can tell you is to send it on, especially if it was requested. The only way a legal authority in AL will know what's in my mail is if I report it, and I'm only likely to do that if it's unsolicited.

(and no, I'm not the original requestor LOL)


Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,742
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Erotica is allowed.  The only thing not allowed on PBS is pornography, because it is NOT legal in all 50 states.  For instance, in NC the sale of pornography showing an erect penis is not allowed, but other porn is.   I assure you that you can buy erotica in the south, and it's just as popular as it is up north (or anywhere else).

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2008
Posts: 38
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Like RockStarGirl said, there are erotica books sold in the south.  I'm from Mississippi and all local bookstores in my area have erotica books.

Date Posted: 11/7/2008 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,197
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Send it! Send it! Blow the bible belt wide open! :-) (I'm in Raleigh, NC!)

Subject: erotica and media class vs first class (NY)
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2013
Posts: 6
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Interesting discussion.  Today I received a PBS package with an extra label marked postage due $0.80.  The sender used the normal PBS address mailing printout but there was no obvious signs of the original postage and no other normal signs of internal USPS package tracking.  There is an extra label attached that says US postage of $2.24 for a package weighing 6.3 ounces but it also says FIRST CLASS and postage due.  My suspicion is some USPS inspector is arbitrarily deciding that some erotica books do not qualify as media mailing. 

Date Posted: 8/15/2014 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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That might be because of the delivery confirmation but electronic DC is FREE for First Class parcels.  But 80 cents doesn't sound right for DC either, so who kows?

Date Posted: 8/15/2014 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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Or knows, as the case may be.

Date Posted: 8/15/2014 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Alabama...just send the book.  I doubt it violates local law, and if so it's the requestors responsibility to know their regulations not yours.

"...no obvious signs of the original postage..."  maybe it fell off enroute, or the sender forgot to add postage...members report both situations occasionally.  I've taken packages to the PO for postage and the clerks mistaken the PBS info in the upper right corner for actual postage and attempt to toss my package in a sorting bin.  I've had to call them back and point out that I'm there to purchase postage.

Between unknowing PBS members and untrained USPS staff, the chain of events can become confusing.

Last Edited on: 8/15/14 6:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/16/2014 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,571
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Tony did the book weigh 6.3 ounces of that was how much postage was paid and it weighed more? The book would have gone first class at that weight and not media mail. The media mail price minimum is $2.69. 

Date Posted: 8/18/2014 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,282
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if you are concerned about it send it 1st class. If you send it media mail the package is subject to opening by the p o and you never know what some p o employee might do.

Date Posted: 8/18/2014 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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To clear things up--erotica is not pornography.  There, end of discussion.  Send the book out and don't worry about breaking any laws because you aren't.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/18/2014 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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You guys know this is a 6 year old thread, right? The original transaction has long since been completed.

Date Posted: 8/20/2014 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,571
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There was a new question asked August 15th 2014 though.