Testimony from Northampton: Porn Entwined with Years of Domestic Abuse; Sex Ads in Alt Weeklies (explicit language)

Massachusetts legislators heard testimony about peoples’ encounters
with porn at a hearing on March 16, 1992. This account appears in In Harm’s Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings (p.406-407).

Testimony of S

I live in Northampton, Massachusetts.

The first incident I’d like to talk about is representative of many incidents that I experienced by the man that abused me for years. This man was an avid user of pornography: Penthouse, Playboy, pornographic videos, strip bars, and 1-900 sex calls. He came home after being out all night at strip bars, and he wanted intercourse. I was very frightened from past times that he had forced me. As he was on top of me and inside of me, he called me a “cunt, a whore.” He repeated over and over again as he grabbed at me and slapped me, “Come on, you fucking cunt, I know you love my cock.” I was crying and pleading for him to stop. I tried to get away from him. He beat me as he tried to tie me up to the bed with sheets. “I’m going to fuck you to death,” he would say. He had me face down and forced his penis in my anus. I escaped for a moment to the corner of the room, scrunched down, naked, beaten. Fearing for my life, I screamed for help. Beating and kicking me, he forced his penis in my face, saying that if I did not suck on him, he would kill me.

He forced me to watch porn flicks, insisting that I should like them, learn from them, and be like those women, so I could please him. He would always be forceful during intercourse after viewing these porn videos. He insisted that I repeat what the women did, as he repeated what the man did. He would hit me as he forced me. I felt humiliated, terrified. I was his sex slave. He showed me a picture of a woman, it was either from Penthouse or Playboy, and he said that he believed that she was me. Later, he told me that his deepest fantasy was to rape me, which he did repeatedly. After an unwanted visit from him, when he was abusive and once again insistent on sexual acts, I discovered later when receiving my phone bill, that prior to the abuse, he had made many phone calls to the 1-900 sex calls that he had [seen] in the Valley Advocate.

In addition, this man has also been harassing other women. One night, after watching a porn video at his friend’s house, he called the woman next door, and insisted that she go outside the house naked and perform sexual acts so he could watch. He told her that if she did not do this, he would kill her and her children. He was eventually found guilty for this incident.

It is very apparent to me the direct correlation of the use of pornography and the abuse that I survived. Today I am grateful to be alive. The extreme abuse I suffered was exaggerated and learned through the use of pornography.

See also:

Testimony in Massachusetts: My Experiences with Men, Porn and Domestic Abuse (explicit)

He made no secret of needing these magazines to get turned on enough to touch me. I was forced to participate in a bondage episode that he read about. He forced me to pose nude for a photographer, playing with myself, in Rhode Island for money, all of which he kept because he could not keep a job at this time. He collected these magazines religiously and hurt me if I moved, touched or acted wrongly in any way. I was beaten so severely while I was pregnant by this man that I miscarried and had internal damage and bleeding because I was no longer attractive like the girls in the pictures.

Testimony in Indianapolis: Porn Teaches, Arouses Violent Behavior in Abuse Cases

In ten years of counseling with men and women, I have had several incidents with clients where pornography played a great part in the violence that ensued in their lives… I am reminded of a case in particular in which a woman had been married for fourteen years, during the last ten years of which, pornographic literature had been a large part of her husband’s sexual arousement. He would look at the pornographic literature, then come to her, wake her up, beat her, then demand she perform acts depicted in the literature. There were times when this behavior was as violent as cutting her with a razor, slapping, hitting and kicking her, tying her to the end of the bed and requiring her to do demeaning sexual acts involving other people, as well as her mate. It may seem unusual that this woman stayed with this man, but those of us who have worked with women who have been involved [in] violent sexual encounters understand that fear becomes the main element in such a woman’s life that demeaning responses that she has had to give make her very fear filled and very much afraid to leave a relationship. There are always threats along with this, such as the “if you don’t do this, I will…” kind of thing…

Eulogy for the Alt-Weekly: Comment

Ten years ago, when I attended my last AAN [Association of Alternative Newsweeklies] convention, it was already
clear that there was nothing alternative about the business practices
of the Alt. Weeklies…

…the
weeklies have been making a good deal of their profits off the backs of
hookers for years. Publishers will say they are protecting free speech
by running sex ads, but, when it comes down to it, they’re much more
like pimps than patriots.

Seeking Adult Ads, Dailies Encroach on Alternative Turf
Editor & Publisher, 7/16/02, cited in AAN

“It’s a newspaper advertising category that for decades has been owned lock, stock, and fur-lined handcuffs
by alternative papers,” reports Editor & Publisher’s Mark
Fitzgerald. “But now increasing numbers of daily newspapers are coyly
succumbing to the many seductions of sex ads.”

Testimony in Los Angeles: Pornographers Place Recruitment Ads for “Models” in Newspapers

And she proceeded to tell me her friend, who’s on welfare, has three children, saw an ad in the newspaper. It said, “Girls, Girls, Girls.” And she brought it in and showed it to me, and it’s very typical in all the newspapers: Modeling, $300 a day. And she felt she could get money for her children for Christmas for presents. She didn’t have money.

Catharine MacKinnon: Mass Media Reflexively, Subtly Protect Pornographers

Media reports of victims’ testimony at the time of the hearings themselves were often cursory, distorted, or nonexistent. Some reports by journalists covering the Minneapolis hearings were rewritten by editors to conform the testimony to the story of pornography’s harmlessness that they wanted told. Of this process, one Minneapolis reporter assigned to cover those hearings told me, in reference to the reports she filed, “I have never been so censored in my life.”

Pasadena Weekly: “Lives for sale”, 8/3/06

…adjustments that have been made in promoting the world’s oldest profession, many of whose practitioners have moved off the streets altogether and now instead advertise their services on the Internet and the back pages of alternative and other publications. And not just in Pasadena and Los Angeles, but in communities across the country.

Two years ago, police in Tennessee arrested Nels Noseworthy, an advertising executive with the Nashville Scene, a member of the alternative newspaper association that the Weekly belongs to, after a grand jury handed down a six-count indictment against him claiming he knowingly served as the contact for people offering sex in exchange for money. Charges against Noseworthy were eventually dropped in exchange for community service.

But as a result of that arrest, the Scene no longer carries those types of ads, and a number of other members of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, most notably Boston’s Weekly Dig, have also stopped publishing those types of ads…

“They’re always a point of concern,” Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian told the newspaper. “We follow up on them fairly regularly. I have always been surprised that the Weekly underwrites the exploitation of women to some degree.”

…“Asian Lovers: Best Young Girls in Town,” “Asian Girl: Pretty Apples,” “Grand Opening, Young Asian Cuties,” read several ads that appeared recently in the Weekly…

Ivy Suriyopaf, an attorney with the Asian-American Defense League, said that if an ad is suspicious, newspapers shouldn’t run it.

“Publications have a choice about whether to run certain ads,” said Suriyopaf. “If they have any reason to believe that businesses are conducting illicit activities, they have a social responsibility to report it to the authorities or, at the very least, not run the business’ advertisements.”

Belltown Messenger – Publisher’s Desk – September 2006

During the week of Aug. 10, the Stranger and the Seattle Weekly ran
advertisements for a brutal sex slave ring that had just been busted,
one that victimized women from China, Thailand, Korea, and Laos. Both
papers make big money running ads for “escorts” but I think the time
has come for them to drop them. Boston’s Weekly Dig recently dropped
escort ads; its competitor, the Phoenix, accused it of “making a PR
play”. It doesn’t take a moron to realize that it’s probably good PR to
get out of the business of exploiting young women who are desperate
enough to sell their bodies…

…the only motivation for running escort ads in the first place is unbridled greed-and these supposedly liberal publications can’t have it both ways when defending the rights of society’s underdogs in their editorial content…

The “adult services” sections of the Stranger and Seattle Weekly are no bargain for those in the sex industry. They bill at four times the rate of the regular ads and then some.

Dallas Observer Editor Julie Lyons
Cutting back on sex ads at her alt-weekly was “the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen a publisher do.”

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