Local Buzz: “The sex talk”

This month’s Local Buzz, a sister publication of The Republican, publishes “The sex talk: The Valley’s struggle with porn, the left, elitism, and an industry leaning local”. Reporter Bill Peters talks to various personalities around the valley about their experience with the issue.

Peters speaks with a few former porn performers who have had relatively positive experiences with the industry. The hazard of this approach, which reminds us of a pro-porn paper by Penn State Law Professors Clay Calvert and Robert D. Richards, is that it obscures the fact that for the majority of performers, their careers are nasty, brutish and short, with a low chance of wealth and a high risk of disease. It’s no surprise, however, that it’s easier to find and interview people who had positive experiences rather than bad ones, especially since performers who turn against the industry can experience vicious harassment.

To his credit, Peters does quote “Sam”, a former performer, as saying that only about 20% of talent agencies “looked out for their employees”…

Competition between agencies often prevents performers from signing with better management. As a result, according to Sam, the remaining 80% of the industry dwell among the myriad tiers of the underhanded: from porn kingpins putting company payroll on their credit card all the way down [to] the low-rent workers who live nowhere and are recruited by pimps.
Often we hear from our opponents that we haven’t proved our case. More and better evidence! they cry. Others, aware of the hundreds of articles on this site, actually try to make the massiveness of our evidence a strike against us. Bill Dwight tells Peters,

“Adam Cohen has probably seen more porn than any person in this town,” says Bill Dwight, former city councilor / current radio host. “But what he’s saying to us is that he’s able to use it because he has a ‘critical mind,’ and he’s above being manipulated to do bad things.”
We can’t win. When we provide the evidence our opponents say they want, we hear that we’re sick, elitist, overwhelming them, or have some problem with our “love map”. Merely caring about this issue invites charges of being a pedophile.

Peters frames his article as if we and our opponents are on equal footing in terms of tactics. This is not accurate. We fight fair and stick to the facts. Many of our opponents don’t, preferring the lazy route of rhetoric, logic games and personal attacks. This has plagued the debate since porn emerged as a major issue about fifty years ago.

What Dwight characterizes as casting “around until he finds a language he can use” we call drawing upon arguments and evidence from a wide variety of sources. Adult entertainment lawyer Marc Randazza dismisses this open-mindedness with the following fine-sounding but baseless swipe: “when you find the extreme right and extreme left meet, it’s probably wrong.”

We have no desire to restrict ourselves to narrow ideological frames of reference. The goal is to present a nuanced, comprehensive picture of reality. If people have a hard time figuring out how to pigeonhole us, too bad. Meet us on the field of the evidence itself, rather than trying to find ways to dismiss the facts out of hand.

Randazza tries to play the elitism card with respect to adult-use zoning. He claims that zoning herds adult enterprises into poor districts. While this may be true for cluster zoning (e.g. Boston’s former Combat Zone), we have seen no evidence that it’s true for dispersal zoning, the kind we advocate. Wealthy communities have less need of zoning to protect themselves. These neighborhoods are full of rich citizens and lawyers with plenty of political connections. Dispersal zoning gives poor neighborhoods a fighting chance to keep adult enterprises, and the crime and blight that often come with them, away from homes.

In Northampton, are poor people clustered downtown or in the outlying areas? There’s no obvious answer. Dispersal zoning is the best tool available to keep porn shops away from everyone’s home.

Crucial voices missing from Peters’ article are those of victims of domestic violence and child molestation, many of whom, if asked, can describe in detail the role of porn in their abuse. Considering that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this would have been timely.

While the article mentions glory holes several times, the role of commercial sex enterprises in the spread of disease–notably AIDS–merits more discussion. Porn shops with viewing booths are not just matters of personal taste. Springfield has the second-highest rate of HIV infection diagnosis in the state. Holyoke is number four.

Peters notes how we pressed MassLive blogger Andrew Shelffo to disclose if he was being compensated by Capital Video. Shelffo eventually asserted he was not. We made a fuss about this only because Shellfo stonewalled on the question for days, giving us one incredible excuse after another about why he would not answer, despite his association with MassLive, a major journalistic enterprise. After a certain point, issues of transparency and accountability came into question.

It may be possible to use porn to enhance a relationship, as claimed by Buzz sex columnist Emily Darling, but considering the abusive nature of today’s bestselling porn and the findings of researchers, this is a risky strategy.

See also:

Renegade Evolution: “Now then: Pornspeak, Part One.” (explicit)
[RenEv describes herself as “a stripper, Internet porn performer, swinger, gonzo fan, BDSM tourist, blogger, history buff, feminist expatriate and all around gamer geek”]

I asked other women what they thought about [pornspeak]…

They were also almost all universally bothered by the use of pornspeak by anti-porn factions. Especially when done in a monotonous, over the top, barrage like way-, which seems to be common. They wonder if the anti-porners are masturbating while writing it. The anti-porners say they are doing it to expose the degrading nature of pornography when they do it. Common thought seems to be it is used as a shock tactic- that the anti-porners go for the absolute worse and dirty it up even further. And it comes across as very…creepy. The idea that people against the degradation of women, seeing them called sluts, whores, fucktoys, whatever else, would then use those words, and in a salacious, lurid manner describe the acts that these women are engaging in while making pornography.

I sort of agree. I am jaded to pornspeak, but when anti-porners use it, I too am wondering if they are playing with themselves while writing about it, and I also wonder just how many times they have watched whatever various porn movies in order to be able to describe the vile, hideous nature of AtM, throat fucking or dp in such graphic detail. It is creepy, and frankly, as a jaded porn person, it squicks me out far more when they use pornspeak and describe acts in pornography than, well, using pornspeak and having it used on me and doing the actual acts. In life and such, I get off on that sort of thing, out of anti-porn folk, it is just… icky. I also really dislike how some anti-porn folk, using the pornspeak, then assume they know how the performer feels about it, almost attempts to a
ssume the role of the performer, so while reading their graphic, lurid account of “a hot, big-titted whore getting fucked senseless” we are supposed to feel for them, as they understand the performer, as much as we feel for the performer…assuming we feel for the performer at all aside from seeing her as a person doing her job.

I mean, frankly, the idea of someone the likes of Bob Jensen attempting to “empathize” his way into my head and tell the world how I must be feeling while being degraded and assfucked? Oh my fucking god that grosses me out and offends me more than any amount of degrading pornspeak and assfucking ever could. It feels way more like being used and violated than any real porn stuff does, at least to me.

Shudder. Gah. Huge squick. Because in no way is such a thing a consented to context. None whatsoever.

I find the whole thing very, very creepy.

I’ve asserted several times that anti-porn types, while claiming to be against porn and all about helping the women in porn, end up ignoring and exploiting them for their own ends, and to me, this is just another example of that.

Video Presentation: A Content Analysis of 50 of Today’s Top Selling Porn Films (explicit language)
Ana Bridges: “…I’m going to begin to talk about what it is that we found after looking at these 304 scenes in these 50 top selling pornographic films. In total in the 304 scenes we coded a total of 3,376 acts of aggression. That ends up averaging…to an aggressive act every minute and a half. The scenes on average contained eleven and a half acts of verbal or physical aggression…

“So how many scenes didn’t contain aggression? About 10%…

“For verbal aggression, by far namecalling and insulting were the most common types. They were seen in almost half of scenes…

“Gagging and choking were much, much more common than any of us thought when we first walked into this project…

“Slapping happened 30% of the time… Most of the aggressors in these films were men…73%. By far the most common recipient of aggression was a woman. Even when women were aggressing, they were generally aggressing other women…

“…Less than 10% of the videos showed any kind of a positive act, and that included kissing… caressing happened maybe twice. Something like a verbal compliment, ‘Gosh, you look pretty’, not, ‘Slut bitch, come over here,’ that happened maybe five times in the 304 scenes. So we have a ratio of positive to negative behaviors of 1 to 9, which is not a sustainable, happy relationship.”

Hustler Cartoons: Racism, Misogyny, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, Pedophilia, Incest, Ridicule of Disabled People… (explicit)

A man watches TV while a woman looks on. On the wall, there’s a baseball bat in a case with this sign: “In case the bitch gets mouthy, break glass”.

Businessmen at a meeting discuss a new doll product, “Baby Kick and Bleed with Bandage and Crutch”. The child is shown saying, “Please no!” The caption reads, “…And we pitch it toward the battered-child market!”

The police are called to a home with domestic violence. On the wall are portraits showing women in bandages and smiling men. One cop says, “Yep, it looks like another family with a history of wife abuse.”
Rick Porras, Capital Video Executive, Would Rather You Not Know He Is a Pornographer (explicit language)
We can understand that if you’re promoting your ability to maximize sales, you might not want it known that you were maximizing sales of
A Caning for Miss Granger
My Daughter’s Fucking Blackzilla
Hot Pho King Asians
Please Help Me Pay For College #18: Graduation Ass Of 2007
Ass 2 Mouth #11
Broken China Dolls
Mexicunts #5

Ashley Blue Aka Filthy Whore
Barely Legal: School Girls #3
“These sweet and oh-so-studious school girls can’t wait to have their perky titties peaky titties and most holes corrupted!
You might be uncomfortable with the fact that your marketing strategies include battling municipalities for the right to put porn shops next to homes, such that neighborhoods become festooned with used condoms and prostitution.

Considering the role of commercial sex enterprises in the spread of HIV, you might feel uneasy about the frequency with which Capital Video clerks look the other way while patrons have high-risk sex on the premises, as long as money keeps going into the video machines.

Considering the role of porn in domestic abuse and child molestation, you might not be proud of some of the magazines sold by Capital Video, which include such material as:

Magazine: World of Black Bondage

Article: ONCE A Slave…

“Because this babe has a submissive personality and a heart-shaped behind, she makes the perfect slave. Be that as it may, she got the notion into her pretty head that she wanted to play dom.

“Well, her man quickly disabused her of the idea that she could dominate him. He got rough, took away her leather paddle, threw her onto the bed and tied her into a series of strict positions.”
Photo Caption: “The look in her eyes tells us that she would like this bondage session to end pretty soon. Forget it, girl!”

Photo Caption: “Her Master has told her, ‘Don’t you dare move.’ She’s finding that immobility is in itself a form of torture.'”

Photo Caption: “Because her body is beginning to ache, she writhes on the carpet. It makes watching her even more arousing.”

Photo Caption: “Tied to the post, Tracy takes a fearful whipping.

Story: My Father, The Hero
First He Protected Me, Then He Porked Me!

Story: Getting Gooey With Uncle Louie
His Huge Cock Made Me A Woman!

Story: Portrait Of A Hot Pussy
My Brother Painted Me Nude, Then We Got Lewd!

Story: Two On A Tool
I Gave Both Of My Daughters A Good Fuck!
Any feelings of discomfort or embarrassment would be completely understandable. Fortunately, there is a simple way to ease them. Quit. Today.