Interesting News – your Tuesday morning readings… (2/21/12)

…all of which invoke a few things we have been talking about lately – TS performers, women leaders in adult, and sex education (or the lack thereof).

I love it when the circle comes back around, so read up bebes – you’re going to be tested later!!

1. Recently, the Boston University (BU) School of Public Health sponsored a showing of the film The Price of Pleasure, which was followed by a debate between anti-porn activist and sociology and women’s studies professor, Gail Dines, and sexologist and part-owner of San Francisco’s Good Vibrations, Carol Queen. A write-up of the event from a BU affiliate can be found here –> “Is Pornography a Public Health Issue?

Many students attended and many BU professors weighed in on the issues, so I’m going to too!!

– once again, we get a biased and imbalanced debate – the event started off with a film that is extremely anti-porn and pits a “scholar” against a sexologist. Why not scholar-for-scholar, and/or sexologist-for-sexologist? This is a logic, logistics, and event planning fail.

(this is not to suggest that Carol Queen can’t hold her own against Gail Dines, because she totally can – having direct informed experience about the community and phenomena one’s discussing makes this fairly easy, but I can’t get over event organizers’ decision to imbalance the debate by their own standards from the get go)

– I think a lot of the BU professors are very well-meaning in their query: “Is porn a public health issue?” That’s a legitimate and important question. But in this instance, we see well-meaning academics discussing a topic about which they are almost completely in the dark (see video below… and good god, again with this gonzo issue – gonzo is a production form, not a monolithic genre!!), while simultaneously being informed by a “scholar” (Dines) who’s methods alone render her “findings” (opinions and mission) moot.

– I found it interesting that a lot of the players and topics discussed here got at something I recently explored in-depth: Emily Rothman’s work on adolescent sex behavior, sex education, technology, and engaging the changing social world. Long article (“A troubling trend, but what does it have to do with porn?“) here, with great discussion in the comment thread.

Enjoy (and/or rip your hair out over) this breakdown from BU Public Health professors!!


2. Recently, I alluded to some controversy around TS women porn performers and this year’s AVN Awards. I included some links outlining the issues, debate, and discussion here –> “Genderfucking Hollywood” and “The 4th Annual TS Awards

This bit from Salon hits on many of the same issues and is pretty interesting – enjoy!! –> “Porn’s Taboo Transsexual Stars

(pictured: collage of women TS performers originally from Salon here)

 3. Loved, loved, LOVED this bit in Salon about Lux Alptraum, CEO of Fleshbot. To quote:

“Lux Alptraum is not your stereotypical adult-industry executive: She’s young, female, queer, Ivy-educated and based in New York. As the newly minted CEO of the porn blog Fleshbot, which until recently was part of the Gawker Media empire, Alptraum is proof of how the Internet is changing the face of the adult business.”

And: “[The] biggest thing setting Fleshbot apart from other porn blogs is that it publishes straight and gay content side by side. ‘From a marketing perspective, that’s a real departure from the industrywide tendency to categorize and segregate content starting with sexual orientation as the first point of separation,’ says [Quentin Boyer, who has been in the industry since 1997]. Instead, Alptraum sees the site as a collection of ‘anything that we feel could be hot.’

It’s a decidedly Internet-era mindset of plurality and pansexuality. ‘The reason why I’m able to run Fleshbot, and the reason why Fleshbot is in ascendance, is the same reason why alt porn became popular: the Internet is dramatically transforming the adult industry,’ she says. ‘It’s not so much of a top-down dictation thing anymore.’”

(read the entire article “A New Breed of Porn CEO – Female” here)


As this article articulates, Fleshbot is awesome for many reasons: Fleshbot breaks boundaries, marches to its own beat, and is a shining example of powerful dimensions in adult – socially progressive and woman-led. Though I would have to disagree with the author of this Salon piece regarding the “newness” of the female breed (female breed?!!) of adult CEO – this is not new at all, which I’ve been talking about a lot lately – I couldn’t be happier for Lux and Fleshbot.

(pictured: photo of Lux by Adam Courtney, originally here)

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Interesting News – news that’s interesting!!

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