The Stress of simply knowing about the Obscenity Doctrine

Freedom of speech and expression is something I take very, very seriously. My entire life and guiding philosophy is built around the concept of free thought and expression, and when the ability to freely express or view something is impinged, so too is the ability to freely think about it. It’s just simple fact.

I’m not a pedophile. I don’t have any interest in children. Yet, as I’ve come to learn more about them and the distinction between thoughts and acts became more and more clear, I’ve began to realize that, so long as they’re not harming anybody or consuming CSAM or anything made from the abuse of real children, they’re no different than any other person, and their rights are our rights.

The hand of censorship is one of cruelty, that of malice. It is never guided by a protective interest. This has been the case with the anti-religious/blasphemous or atheist literature, the rights of racial and cultural minorities, and of course the LGBT community and their rights and speech.

This is why I don’t consider child pornography/CSAM laws as acts of censorship, because they’re not concerned with the suppression of an idea, but rather the means by which the media was created, hence why virtual child pornography, such as lolicon, are presumptively protected by the First Amendment. Real children must be sexually exploited in order to create real CP/CSAM, therein being an intrinsic link to the abuse. It is the commoditization of real abuse materials.

Pornography really is nothing more than the expression of an idea, like any other form of speech. It is innately artistic, expressive. To deny certain groups or those with particular interests their right to express their ideas notwithstanding the mediums or methodology by which the work is created is to undermine and weaken those protections which we depend on. These restrictions and their heinous and inhumane enforcement only serve to validate and embrace the insecurities and prejudices of those who have them, and serve as calling cards to the extremists willing to cause harm to those they merely disagree.

We can go back and forth on the ethics of pedophilia and child sex abuse, but to carve out restrictions on how it (or any sexual matter) can be discussed, for the sake of preserving those views, is a ethical and ideological crutch designed to sate unfounded, unwarranted fears of cultural disintegration.

The obscenity doctrine is a pox and the First Amendment was never designed to accommodate such an arbitrary, unjustified reach into how people are allowed to speak.

I’ve been under grueling amounts of stress, paranoia, and anxiety over simply knowing that this doctrine exists. Not a night goes by without a dystopian 1984-esque dream about some poor man or woman being flogged or grossly victimized, akin to the Salem Witch Trials, all in the name of “preventing adult/child exploitation”, despite the fact that it’s been all but empirically proven that such materials do not yield a causal relationship with sexual aggression or the subsequent commission of sex crimes. In fact, they are known to reduce them at the population level.
Not a day goes by where I’m not constantly worrying for those trying to create their art without fear.

I find myself drowned in a sea of anxiety, with my own physician telling me that my stress levels are akin to that of a person with PTSD.

I want it to stop. I want to sleep again. I want to breathe peacefully again. I want to look at my flag again with pride, not disgust. I find myself more likely to desecrate the flag than to fly it proudly or staple it to my wall, for every day that the precedent set forth in Roth/Miller is not overruled.
It begins to eat at my sanity more and more, and it needs to stop.

I ask myself “Is this what growing up during the Civil Rights era was like, or what being a part of the LGBT community was like during the years of Bowers v. Hardwick, where private, consensual acts of anal sex between two men were considered criminal and not protected by the Constitution?”

I can’t help but worry about those whose rights are violated. This is a very real example of a misjustice, and it needs to stop, for my sake and everyone else whom the law may be targeted towards.


Agreed. In truth, I have ideas in mind for certain storylines I’d like to publish, but the stress of wondering if it violates a subjective crime or not prevents me from sharing them. I have a creative mind and I can’t share my ideas because of the fear that someone, somewhere is going to try to have me arrested over them. I don’t want to hurt anyone, I just want to create art and give people comfort with my creations in any way I can.

Obscenity Laws are a relic of an older era. Not just in America but other countries as well. They’re just ripe for abuse.

The obscenity nonsense needs to be torn down. It’s just there, the ultimate legal, “Because I said so.”

To be honest, it makes me nervous too and a country has failed if the citizens are afraid of their country arbitrarily arresting its citizens.

But don’t lose sleep over it, these things usually take time and more people are becoming aware they exist and violate free speech. I hope the words of a random forum goer can help you relax somewhat.


The mere fact that the obscenity doctrine still exists today is stressful. It’s literal 1984 levels of repression and should not exist.

I’d like to actually debate someone on this. They cannot justify it. It needs to go. It doesn’t matter how offensive it may be, if it doesn’t involve the real-life sexual abuse of actual children, then it has no reason to be suppressed.

Obscenity laws were designed to satisfy primitive, unfounded and pessimistic assumptions and fears regarding cultural expression. As a matter of mere principle, it is incompatible with the First Amendment. The illusion that it is is one concocted by conservative idealists who refuse to think past their own fears.


I don’t want to sound dismissive or flip, especially as I agree that this doctrine is udderly (pun intended) without merit, but you need to chill. People have been subject to far worse problems than censorship and have survived. Sometimes getting around a prohibition brings out a level of creativity that the artist/author didn’t realize they had. But, you shouldn’t worry so much about things that cannot be changed easily. It is a goal to aspire to and not a horror to be plagued with. Otherwise you will just drive yourself to madness or an early grave. It’s just not worth your health and well being. And getting sick over it won’t help solve anything anyway. Passion should not become obsession.

It’s not in my nature to ignore issues such as these. The obscenity doctrine was very clearly a mistake in constitutional jurisprudence and its continued existence, in spite of the harm it causes both the American people and the ability to reason showcases its status as a possible failure in the American experiment.

I feel like I’ve said everything there is to possibly say about it, yet at that moment, I see something I hadn’t seen or considered something I hadn’t yet considered, and I have to say it.
It’s nothing short of exhausting, and it’ll never stop until the doctrine is affirmatively reviewed and killed off, or modified in such a way as to require an element of objective, provable harm, rather than just community standards.


There is only passion.

Well, you might want to look into meditation, it helps me with my anxiety at least. If not that, try finding something to help you relax.