“The Red Light Library” a Comedic Glimpse into Online Erotica

The Red Light Library is a conversational comedy podcast in which hosts Jackie and Gavin read and discuss pieces of erotica:

A sex-positive podcast hosted by two fictional employees of an equally fictional all-erotica library. Join head Librarians Jackie and Gavin as they bring the irreverence and immaturity necessary to properly review the cheap self-published erotica they find online.

The setup for the show is clearly similar to My Dad Wrote a Porno, but with a few specific differences that make the shows distinct. While fans of My Dad Wrote a Porno will likely overlap in audience for The Red Light Library, the latter feels less written for jokes and has a wider breadth of work.

The Red Light Library excels most in what hardly any other comedy podcast does: even with its comedy, it feels open-minded and intersectional. Each work discussed on the show is seen through a queer feminist/feminist-ally lens, meaning the listener never has to worry about what sort of tasteless joke will inevitably be thrown around–well, at least, the listener won’t have to worry about tasteless jokes in regards to sexual/gender/relationship orientations, masculinity, etc. Plenty of tasteless jokes are made, just not at the expense of an entire demographic.

Similarly, there’s a bit more kindness exhibited towards the erotica being discussed than one would usually expect. There’s a feeling of empathy in the podcast; the stories they’re discussing are ridiculous, but hosts Jackie and Gavin also exhibit at least a modicum of respect for the authors. Most of the jokes and criticism come from a perspective of wishing the authors would treat their characters with respect versus a perspective of being grossed out or alarmed by the content. The jokes land well because at their heart, they’re empathetic; it doesn’t feel like punching down or laughing at anyone.

The Red Light Library is a great listen, but I will say that it could sometimes do with a bit more editing; it sometimes falls into the Good Conversation, Bad Podcast problem. This is something I think every conversational humor podcast is guilty of, though. Similarly, the discussions could sometimes do with more context; without having full readings of the texts, the excerpts can feel a little confusing, but given copyright restrictions, The Red Light Library does the best job of this possible.

If you’re a fan of watching The Room, reading through 50 Shades of Grey to joke about its absurdity and how poorly it depicts BDSM, or wanting My Dad Wrote a Porno to have some more authenticity, The Red Light Library is sure to supply exactly the jokes you’ll love  without being unkind.


You can find The Red Light Library on their website or on any podcatcher.

  1. […] Phenomenon, a fiction novel that has been turned into a book. I also reviewed the very NSFW Red Light Library, and I wrote about how podcasts tend to misuse silence in their […]

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