Interesting News (6/13/12)

Two very interesting, all be they dense, bits for today: one badass woman (Juicy Pink Box’s Jincey Lumpkin) interviews another badass woman (Pink Visual’s Allison Vivas) and another filmmaker/reporter (reporter?) attempts to document the decline of the US adult production industry. It’s a moderately annoying article, but AVN’s Anna Oui had more than plenty to say in response.

It’s super interesting news!!

1. Jincey interviews Allison in HuffPo!!

Not to get too gushy here, but I gotta tell ya – I just love Allison Vivas and Jincey Lumpkin. Both are classy, educated, strong, respectable women running shit in the adult business. They seem to come from very different worlds and they work in fairly different corners of the adult industry, but both women are great examples of out-of-the-box thinking and leadership – we could all learn a lot from these two.

Anyway, Jincey (who has a regular column in the Huffington Post) recently interviewed Allison about a number of things in a bit called “Mommy’s Producing Gay Male Porn: An Interview With Allison Vivas.” They discussed all sorts of things including production, piracy, family, gender, and sexual politics. Here are only some of the questions Jincey asked Allison:

– Do you consider yourself a feminist?

– I have a no-fake-boobs policy. How do you feel about breast augmentation?

(this question simultaneously aggravated and amused me… because you all know how I feel about the tendency to see breast augmentation as THE dividing line in the sand of “acceptable” versus “unacceptable” body modification… if not, see my review of Girlfriends Films’ All Natural Glamour Solos here and Elegant Angel’s Natural here)

– In 2008 you opened a division for gay male porn. What has it been like to oversee other markets? A lot of people do not realize that lesbian porn is grouped in with straight porn, while gay male porn is a completely separate world, complete with its own awards show. What are the challenges compared with the straight market?

(this is a wonderful, complex series of questions!!)

– Would you consider yourself sex-positive?

– Have your feelings changed about the industry since you became a mother?

– What is your advice to young businesswomen?

It’s a really sharp interview – a great back and forth between two ladies who know their stuff and are not at all willing to mince around their own perspectives – you gotta read the entire thing here!!

2.“How the internet killed porn” – yes, yes Guardian, you always publish the best bits about adult content. This one does not surprise…

After tracing a typo-infused, fact-checkingly lazy history of the industry over the past 10ish years, Louis Theroux asks: “…[D]o those who use porn not, perhaps, owe it a little something? Should those who download it not be ready to pass on a little cash incentive to the business? And if not, why not? Does the stigma attached to porn make it OK to steal it? These questions underpin a much bigger dilemma being faced by all media: how do you sustain an industry that provides a certain standard of product – be it journalism, music, or mainstream movies, or X-rated movies – when more and more consumers are in the habit of downloading content for free? In the world of porn, the answer is: you can’t.”

Hmmm… not an unfair series of questions, but Anna Oui had many issues with a grander scheme that umbrellas Louis’ work. Accordingly:

“In terms of pure epistemological weirdness, it doesn’t get any better than the specter of Gail Dines and Louis Theroux duking it out over the state of porn, but God forgive anyone who takes the colloquy as anything but an Oxfordian pissing match. The fact is, each of these pompous prudes sees sex through the prism of their own highly developed (and privileged) prejudices, and each, despite having contrary views on the state of porn, wants the state to step in and put porn in its place. They are both British, of course, which means they are inescapably wedded to the belief that it is their birthright to elucidate Truth for the riff-raff and then impose it upon us, but let’s at least not confuse this ‘debate’ for anything other than what it is—elitist and secular social engineering with an accent.”

Bahaha!! The sassy smart – it’s almost too much!!

Anna then summarizes his bit, points out some silliness, and juxtaposes Louis’ work with commentary from another British person who loves to talk about porn – the aforementioned Gail Dines. Accordingly:

“…Britain’s preeminent anti-porner, Gail Dines, in a Guardian response to Theroux co-authored by Dana Bialer, titled ‘Porn is in rude health,’ was able to recite a more viable picture of porn’s recent devolution, if you will, than the documentarian. Though wrapped in an overall message that is as equally self-serving as Theroux’s—that the internet made porn mainstream, and has not killed it—the Dines narrative is more accurate in detail while drawing the wrong conclusions…”

Anna’s deepest insights come toward the end though, when she sums up what’s wrong with this entire scheme and scene overall:

“As with Theroux, therefore, there is much in the Dines article that rings true, at least as far as the basic outlines of her argument goes, but again like Theroux, the take away, though generally correct—that a few at the top now control what a thriving middle class used to produce—her conclusion is shoehorned into a narrative that (surprise, surprise) supports her underlying world view of porn’s influence on the culture and the reason why governments need to intercede.

‘Indeed,’ she writes, ‘the rules have changed, and now the industry that trades in the debasement and degradation of women is being taken seriously by Wall Street, the media and the political establishment. Rather than an industry in crisis, this is an industry that has reached a level of mainstream acceptance that Hefner and the old gang could never have dreamed possible.’

One could just as easily say that Dines has taken a macro view of the industry and Theroux a micro, and that in doing so each has thrown a small spotlight of truth on the industry, but that would miss the real point, which is that neither of these people cares about the industry, or appreciates the real story of the rise and fall of online porn. Each presumes to declare a resolution for porn—one says it’s dead, the other says it has reached a new high—but neither can entertain the possibility that the story is still unfolding, or that the end has not yet been written.” [emphasis mine]

Anna’s entire piece (and Louis’ and Gail’s… I gueesss) are definitely worth reading.

Read Louis Theroux’s “How the internet killed porn” here.

Read Anna Oui’s “I Almost Theroux Up in My Mouth… but then Gail dropped a Dines on Louis and the fight was on. May the best prude win!” (hehe)  here.

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Interesting News – news that’s interesting!!

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