No Sex on Goodreads, Please…

Goodreads has banned sexual roleplay

I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you! There were groups on good old Goodreads where people were partaking in sexual roleplay scenarios . We’re not talking about isolated incidents, obviously, because Goodreads has gone so far as to ban it from the site. I mean, what the hell? Goodreads? Really?

Apparently this activity came to light at the end of January when Stop the Goodreads Bullies posted a guest post by one Carroll Bryant, a YA author already banned from Goodreads “for some pretty sordid behavior” of his own. In this post he alleges that adults and minors are indulging in sexual roleplay in the groups on Goodreads, complete with screenshots as backup. He followed it up with a blog post a few days later called “Goodreads: Or Good-Pedophilia?”, also including a raft of images of open groups. Putting aside the “rhetorical wailing and gnashing of teeth”, Bryant had a good point: Goodreads has a duty to protect minors on its website.

To give them credit, Goodreads did update their guidelines shortly after his post:

Romance is permitted in role-play games, but pornographic content and explicitly sexual content or scenarios are not permitted. We’ve made the decision that this is not appropriate for our site.

How’s it work, you ask? Well, as Dustin Kurtz commented in his post on Melville House, “…slowly, sentence by sentence, on a message board. It feels like 2002 in there.” I had to laugh just thinking about how long ago that was and how immediate it all seemed.

For some reason, I keep thinking about naughty-librarian fiction even contemplating this kind of roleplay on Goodreads — maybe that's part of why it's taking place on Goodreads... Is it just me?

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Zackery Olson's picture
Zackery Olson from Rockford, IL is reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on February 20, 2013 - 11:50am

I completely agree that Goodreads should not allow this kind of stuff. However,this guy saying that people who aren't "outraged" by it are somehow supporting pedofiles, and that your children might be in more danger from sexual role playing on Goodreads than if you have a pedofile living next door, are two of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. The guy sounds like a complete tool.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine February 20, 2013 - 1:46pm

Oh man, the info on that blog post is hysterical. A TEEN PREGNANCY roleplay group? Also, this:

I want you to meet Dan. According to his profile, his interests includes, "spanking", "voyerism", "keeping girls panties as a trophy", "potential incest" and "domination". Wait! What? Potential incest? Keeping girls panties?

I guess actual incest is out of the question, but the potential of incest? That's A-Okay. Brilliant.

Carroll Absolom Bryant's picture
Carroll Absolom... February 21, 2013 - 1:36pm

Really? There is (was) sexual role-playing going on between adults and minors on Goodreads and all you (Zackery) can focus on is bashing me? Really? Forgetting of course that none of the allegations made against me by "The Rex Files" report has ever been proven. And I plan to "rip" that post apart in a future post on my "Looking Glass" blog.


What's wrong Zack? Are you an adult who can no longer role play with kids on Goodreads because I broke the story and now you're angry with me? Well Boo Hoo.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig February 21, 2013 - 9:38pm