Adult industry advertising isn’t limited to alternative weeklies like the Valley Advocate. Amazing.net, the porn chain operated by Capital Video, just placed display ads in the December 26 and 28 editions of The Providence Journal. This is the “#1 newspaper” in its market.
The ad promotes Amazing.net’s locations in Providence (3), East Providence, Johnston, North Kingstown, Middletown and Warwick. We hope Projo’s reporters will visit these stores and investigate the conditions there:
Comments on Squirt.org about Amazing Express/Video Expo of North Kingstown, RI – explicit language
Cruising tips: “Staff is cruiser friendly, never a hassle! Booths in the middle on left have peep windows between them…just press the button. “
Description: “Adult video store with preview booths in back room. (Nicely sized parking lot behind building, view blocked from the road…great for, well…)” [emphasis added]
12/28/06: I’ve been going to this place on and off for years and had never met this fellow until one day last week. At least I think that it was him. A rather fat, unwashed, late 50s looking individual. . .probably uncut with an entirely new brand of cheese growing under the hood, and a nasty, unwashed, brownish bandana sticking out from under an equally dirty baseball cap? If it was him, he followed me out to my truck and tried to convince me to return to the store with him. Ich!
1/11/07: I used to frequent this bookstore for years. Back when it was a quarter of the size and only had one entrance in the front of the building (late 80’s). There were only 4 booths in the back. Had some hot times there. The clerk used to lock the store and lay me down for some awesome head. Shit, he could suck some cock! He also introduced me to poppers. He would pop a new bottle everytime we hooked up, about twice a week…
3/22/07: Stopped by NK..of course Bandana Johnny was there, truly with a stink on…its disgusting. I wonder if its a heath issue with him being there. Would Amazing be liable? Afterall, they do let him loiter all day knowing his dirtiness. That day he went into a booth…rapidly followed by 3 men, one at a time. It was disgusting to hear him spitting on the floor multiple times. I’m thinking his spit could pass a disease. I wish I was a lawyer.
4/3/07: This place is disgusting. Today there were several gross and dirty people cruising the bookstore. There were all in their 70’s and smelled like they haven’t showered in weeks. I had to leave it was so bad. In addition, they rattle the doors and open them several times even after being told that “I am all set”…
5/15/07: This place hasn’t had GH’S [glory holes] in quite a while but that shouldn’t stop you. Sometimes there are just older gents hanging around rattling doorknobs and the infamous dirtbag “Bandana Johnny” is always lurking but for the most part it’s a great place to give or receive some great head. Booths are a bit small for a good fuck but it can be done…
Selected Comments on Squirt.org about Amazing Express of Providence, RI
Cruising tips: “Grab a booth, only takes a minute before… “Description on Squirt.org about Amazing Express of Johnston, RI
7/6/06: This used to be a pretty nice place. I was there today [briefly] and the booth area downstairs smelled like a port-a-jon…
7/18/06: …The last word that comes to my mind when I think of this place is “clean”. And the booths are really small, except two VIP booths which takes nothing smaller than a $5.
My experiences there have been…walk down the steps, and see what appears to be every homeless crack addict and hustler lining the walls… Finally I leave, only to be approached in the lot by yet another hustler “hey, what’s up…wanna hang out?”
I’ve been there three times in my life, and had similar experiences each time.
7/19/06: wanna hang out means –“i’m a ho, how much do you want to give me so i can support my drug habit” and who in there right mind would want to get off with one of those guys, they look like they are in some state of a walking comatose, not to mention they are filthy looking
Cruising tips: “If nobody picks you up before you enter a booth just leave the door unlocked and you’re sure to meet new friends. “
Description: “I’ve never even made it into a booth alone. There’s always someone ready willing and able. “
Viewing Booths and HIV: An Open Letter to Thomas Lesser of Northampton, Attorney for Capital Video
We understand you have engaged with Capital Video to defend the license for their viewing booths in Springfield. We would like to call your attention to the role establishments like these play in the transmission of HIV. During 2003-2005, the most recent data available, Springfield had nearly the highest rate of HIV infection diagnosis in our state, second only to much-smaller Provincetown. The fourth-highest infection rate is found in Holyoke. Male-to-male sex is the leading cause of HIV infection in Massachusetts, and increasingly so in recent years.
As you may be aware, Capital Video’s stores in Springfield, Kittery and Meriden have featured prominently on the ‘cruising’ website, Squirt.org. Comments on the Internet may be hearsay in the eyes of the law. Nevertheless, they describe the reality that these stores cater to a group of people who are cavalier in the extreme about their personal health and the health of their sexual partners. Capital Video sells media that encourages promiscuity and heedlessness, and realizes increased profits when it turns a blind eye to patrons’ activity on its premises. Despite Capital Video’s protestations that it discourages sexual activity in its stores, in an era when pornographic content of all kinds can be accessed directly in the home, the unique selling point of viewing booths is to facilitate physical sexual contact between two or more people.
We find it telling that Capital Video’s Springfield store experienced the problems that it did mere months after the company endured a highly public controversy over conditions in its store in Kittery, Maine. In January 2006, Capital Video general counsel Lesley Rich promised Kittery Town Manager Jon Carter that the company “is very sensitive to the needs of the communities in which we do business… It is a strict policy that our employees consistently police the property surrounding (Amazing.net), and we will double our efforts to (ensure) that this is done on a routine basis.”
If Capital Video sincerely cared about store conditions and customer activities, we doubt the Springfield police would have found what they found last fall. Alternately, it could be that the nature of Capital Video’s business is such that it is simply not possible to maintain healthy conditions over time in the face of its customers’ desires. Either way, the people of Springfield have little basis to trust that Capital Video can or will permanently improve the conditions of its viewing booths at Apremont Triangle.
On Squirt.org, Capital Video’s Apremont Triangle store gets the most comments of any location in Springfield. It is plausible that it is one of the leading centers for HIV transmission in the region…
Full Text of Springfield’s Decision to Revoke Capital Video’s Viewing Booth Entertainment License
…the undisputed facts in this matter show that the video booths on the Capital Video premises have been used for prostitution, assignation or lewdness, sexual assaults and are connected to drug activity and therefore, the video booths are deemed a nuisance and there are substantial grounds for denial or revocation of the 2007 license…
Ms. Walch [immediate past president of the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association] testified the situation brings an appearance of “lawlessness” to the city. Her family [and] friends are bothered by the condition of her neighborhood and sometimes do not want to visit her home. She believes the current situation keeps people and businesses from locating to the area.
…the testimony shows repeated and persistent evidence of illegal activity and complicity and reckless disregard of Capital Video’s management over a long period of time which is sufficient to constitute a nuisance.
Moreover, viewing the evidence as a whole, there is absolutely no basis to credit any assertions or representations that Capital Video has, can or will permanently improve the conditions of its viewing booths and the open, repeated, pervasive and notoriously lewd and lascivious behavior associated with the booths…
Based on the evidence presented, this store caters to a group of people who are reckless about personal health and, by inference, the health of their sexual partners, and Capital Video’s blind eye to this activity encourages promiscuity on its premises. Such conduct has been recognized in other Massachusetts case law as a cause of HIV infection…
Call to Action: Ask the Valley Advocate’s New Owner to Drop the Sex Ads
Congratulations on your recent purchase of the Valley Advocate. I hope you will take this opportunity to free the Advocate of the ads for escort services and adult enterprises that compromise its progressive mission. New York Press took a similar step this summer after being acquired by Manhattan Media…
In New York City, the National Organization for Women has persuaded over a dozen publications to refuse sex ads. I hope you will follow suit.
Testimony in Los Angeles: Pornographers Place Recruitment Ads for Models in Newspapers
Catharine MacKinnon: Mass Media Reflexively, Subtly Protect Pornographers
Until the publication of [In Harm’s Way], the public discussion of pornography has been impoverished and deprived by often inaccurate or incomplete reports of victims’ accounts and experts’ views. 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.” Thus weakened, the victim testimony became easier to stigmatize as emotional and to dismiss as exceptional. Its representativeness has been further undermined by selective or misleading reports of expert testi
mony on scientific studies…
Testimony in Minneapolis: Prostitutes and Porn (explicit language)
It is very amazing to me what happens when a group of ex-prostitutes get together in one room and tell stories. One of the things we discovered was that the men we had serviced were very powerful men in this community. Especially interesting to us are the amounts of men involved in the media in this community that use prostitutes and pornography.