Violet Blue is an American journalist, author, editor, advisor, and educator.
Blue wrote a weekly sex column for the San Francisco Chronicle until 2010. In her podcast, Open Source Sex, she reads erotica and discusses topics such as fetishes and oral sex. She also has a video blog. She lectures at San Francisco Sex Information on the topics of oral sex and fetish. Blue is the author of several books on sex and has edited several volumes of erotica anthologies. Her first book, an erotic anthology she edited, was titled Sweet Life: Erotic Fantasies for Couples. It was published in December 2001 by Cleis Press.
In October 2007, Blue filed a lawsuit against adult actress Ada Mae Johnson, who had performed as "Violet Blue" since 2000, alleging that Johnson had adopted Blue's persona, and her recently trademarked (in 2007) name, "Violet Blue." She said she had been using the name in writings since 1999. The lawsuit alleged trademark violation and dilution, as well as unfair business practices. Pursuant to a preliminary injunction and court order granted in 2007 to cease using "names, trademarks and Internet domains confusingly similar to, or identical to, Plaintiff's trademark VIOLET BLUE," Johnson changed her stage name to Noname Jane. The lawsuit was settled in October 2008.
In July 2008, Blue sought restraining orders against online critics David Burch (aka Ben Burch) and Nina Alter to prohibit them from e-mailing her, editing her Wikipedia page, or writing unkindly about her online. Both motions were dismissed but she is allowed to file again.
Around June 2008, there was controversy in the blogosphere after Violet Blue posted on her blog claiming that the blog Boing Boing had removed all posts referring to the author (estimated by a Los Angeles Times blogger to number at least 70) from the site. A heated debate ensued after a brief statement on the Boing Boing site regarding this action stated: "Violet behaved in a way that made us reconsider whether we wanted to lend her any credibility or associate with her. It's our blog and so we made an editorial decision, like we do every single day". Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin said that she hoped she would not have to make the reasons public.
In August 2009, Violet Blue and Ben Metcalfe launched a URL shortening service with the domain namevb.ly, which was described as "the Internet's first and only sex-positive URL shortener." The site was hosted on the .lytop-level domain, and the main page showed Violet Blue holding a bottle of beer. In October 2010, the site was shut down following a letter to Violet Blue from Libya Telecom & Technology, saying that the site was contrary to the principles of Sharia law and stating: "The issue of offensive imagery is quite subjective, as what I may deem as offensive you might not, but I think you'll agree that a picture of a scantily clad lady with some bottle in her hand isn't exactly what most would consider decent or family friendly at the least." Ben Metcalfe responded by stating, "We're very clear that the site did not have pornographic or adult content hosted on it; but even if we did, my bigger concern is that the domain registry is trying to regulate against the content of a website. A domain and a website are two extricably decoupled and separate entities."