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Publishing/Production: Down There Press: Press Releases: Banned in France and Flying Off the Shelves

For Immediate Release

August 16, 1999

For more information:
Leigh Davidson
(415) 974-8985 ext 205

Banned in France and Flying Off the Shelves

Down There Press' popular Femalia has been seized and banned by French Customs officials. Erick Gilbert, foreign sales representative for San Francisco independent publisher and distributor Last Gasp, told Publishers Weekly (July 5, 1999) that officials have "arbitrarily seized and banned 39 U.S. titles since 1996" imported by Last Gasp -- including Femalia.

At the same time, France is allowing the same books through Customs when they are distributed by larger wholesalers, such as Ingram. According to Gilbert, France has no official policies on censorship of literature that deals with "body piercing, tattooing and alternative sex," yet they continue to seize and ban books dealing with these subjects. French law only bans books that promote narcotics, Gilbert states in Publishers Weekly.

While France is tipping the scales in favor of larger wholesalers, Femalia is going into its fifth printing of 5000 copies for an imprint total of 30,000. First published in 1993, Femalia became an instant hit among health care providers, therapists, health educators, and women and men all over the world. The unprecedented and elegant full color photo book, which provides a straight forward, diverse view of women's genitalia, is edited by Joani Blank, founder of Good Vibrations and an expert on women's sexuality.