Latest controversy to grip the netizens is a dick soap. Not a soap for your dick but a penis-shaped soap (just clarifying). It became a hot topic on Young Adult Twitter this Wednesday, after the dick-soap was delivered to readers in a gift box for Sarah J Maas’ novel A Court of Thorn and Roses. The delivery box wasn’t official merchandise from the book’s publisher but a fan-made equivalent of subscription services. The subscription service delivering dicks is ‘Book Boyfriend Box’ and its goal is to bring subscribers ‘bookish boxes with items inspired by your favourite book boyfriends and girlfriends’.
Book Boyfriend Boxes are aimed at fans of popular paranormal romance novels, offering fan-made merchandise, cosmetics and in this case erotic fanart and fanfiction. Once photos from the subscription service arrived on Twitter, the dick soap went viral. Many of the books featured in the Book Boyfriend Box are by Mass, who is often thought as a YA author but might be more accurately called NA (New Adult). New Adult novel is aimed at college-age readers and above. It also has explicit sex scenes, so it’s clearly not aimed at the YA market of school-age teens.
Penis-Shaped Soap Stirring Controversy on Twitter
me joining YA twitter in 2012: wow I love reading books and need more recommendations!
me on YA twitter in 2018: let me tell you why the soap dick is problematic
— Michael Waters (@ABoredAuthor) August 15, 2018
acotar stans making dick shaped soap for book boxes... you are freaks and this series is marketed as YA can you not
— alexis 💙⚔️, buy A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (@laceliteracy) August 14, 2018
omg I'm SCREAMING. It turns out a subscription book box had dick soap in it. I thought it would be phallic soap, but it is LITERALLY dick soap. As well as other assorted smut. (I thought this series was YA????) pic.twitter.com/G9JvBQx9vc
— Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) August 15, 2018
To complicate matters, A Court of Thorns and Roses was published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in the UK. In response to the dick soap tweets, the subscription box creator Yaira Lynn published a statement reminding everyone that the book already included explicit sex scenes and the box was adult-rated. It won’t be surprising if this subscription business attracts some legal trouble for selling fanfic on a commercial basis. Profit fanfic is generally viewed as copyright infringement.