Read the full article by Gene Zorkin at


When I first saw the title of a recent post on co-authored by Australian academics Sarah Ashton and Maggie Kirkman, only part of the work’s title displayed on the news aggregator which linked off to it: “We need a new definition of pornography.”

Ugh, I thought to myself, here we go, again.

As I read the post – the full title of which is “We need a new definition of pornography – with consent at the centre” – shaking my head with mild, anticipatory irritation quickly transformed into nodding it in full agreement.

The crux of Ashton and Kirkman’s argument in favor of a new definition of pornography is that for far too long, people have been using the words “pornography” and “porn” in connection with things which aren’t a form of entertainment, but a form of crime.

Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of different pen names) since 2002.