Written in 1901 by prolific children's writer L T Meade, this is a moralistic tale about an orphaned heiress who goes to live with her stiff English relatives and learns important life lessons about not lying and thinking of others and stuff. Nothing sexy happens anywhere. Unfortuantely due to some confusion in Amazon.co.uk, it was categorised under erotica for a while. This led to a number of disgruntled reviews. "Was expecting a saucy read, on the sly, was very disappointing. Don't bother with this 'Sexy' book. Could do better myself" said one reviewer, clearly under the impression that Meade had intended to write a sexy book and had failed miserably in her attempts. Another reviewer described it as "about 4 shades of grey" I'm amazed she felt like she got even 8% of E L James' kinky fuckery count. Others were more sanguine about it: "This has found itself in a soft porn category. It is nothing of the sort. Almost written as a mid ages fairy tale. Full of moral value . Different and I enjoyed the read." That reader sounds like she was looking for soft porn, got A Very Naughty Girl and unexpectedly enjoyed the 'Moral Value' anyway. L T Meade would have have approved of the reviewer's virtuous redemption.
Of Human Bondage
Unfortunately for fans of BDSM, all the bondage in W Somerset Maughan's classic novel is purely metaphorical. Protagonist Phillip Carey suffers his way through existence making himself and everyone else miserable along the way. Still, if you had thought otherwise, you'd be in good company. In an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a fellow student asks Buffy if she's ever read it. To which she replies "Oh, I'm not really into porn. I mean, I'm just trying to cut way back."
1999 Australian comedy about a group of Italian Australians setting up a cafe in Adelaide. The guys for some reason decide that 'Spank!' is the perfect name for their cafe. You'd think that would rather depend on the sort of customers they were planning on attracting.
Another ridiculously prolific writer. Catherine Cookson wrote 'It's grim up North' tales of young lasses trying to survive hardships and find true love. She was the most borrowed author from public libraries for years and years until well after the death. Because, let's face it, 99% of library users are grannies and grannies love that shit. None of her books contained any sexy BDSM whip action and the promisingly-titled "The Whip" was, sadly, no exception.
Esther Freud's autobiographical novel was turned into a film starring Kate Winslet in 1998. The words of the title are a snippet of conversation that the young girls in the story have overheard, liked the sound of and incorporated into a game. Given the odd grammatical coupling of the words, if you had expected this to be porn, you probably weren't expecting it to be very well-written porn.
I don't think this even sounds particularly porn-y to Americans. Whale's name is Willy, what's your problem, you might think. Well, not only is it euphemism for the male sexual organ, it is the one I am most likely to use if I find myself having to refer to one. (In real life, obviously, not in my books. There they all have 'throbbing manhoods' and 'impressive rods'.) They might as well have called the film "Free Penis" and be done with it, as far as I was concerned. How far would you go for a friend, indeed?