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Author of The Pornographer's Daughter providing commentary on pornography, life and much more.

Filtering by Tag: pornography

Dadisms

Kristin Battista-Frazee

Dad_beach.jpg

We have all received sage advice from our fathers, referred to sometimes as dadisms, whether it was welcome or not. As teenagers we probably rolled our eyes and placed our hands over our ears when he started a sentence with, “when I was your age…” But as we grew older we appreciated the advice and the earnest efforts of our fathers to share lessons learned.  We reflect on this advice years later, most often today, and realize maybe dad had a point.   Here are some things my father has shared with me over the years and memorable quotes unique only to him.

"Going to college teaches you how to think.”

I heard this often in conversations about the importance of college and when I was deciding my major.

“As long as you tried your hardest nothing else matters.”

When I failed miserably, despite my best effort, this always made me feel better because I did try my hardest always.

“Being too trusting can sometimes be a bad thing.”

It’s a harsh reality of the world that being too nice or trusting can come back to bite you. A healthy amount of skepticism can go a long way.

“If the government wants me to be a pornographer then that’s what I will be. And be damn good at it, too.”

After my father’s arrest for distributing Deep Throat, he resolved to move forward in any way he could to support our family. This was my version of the saying, “when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.”

“The difference between selling stock and selling smut, is the hours. Also I don’t have to wear a tie anymore.”

I love this quote and it was featured in the Today Magazine article, “Stockbroker to Pornbroker” in May of 1977. It’s quintessential Dad in which he states the obvious and in practical terms anyone can understand.

“He/she is an empty suit.”

Dad’s description of a dumb politician or corporate executive.  He says this often about Republicans, but also some Democrats who deserve that moniker.

“That is why there’s chocolate, vanilla and heavenly hash (ice cream).”

Dad’s way of acknowledging of our very diverse world.

 “I have more years behind me than in front of me.”

Lesson learned: it goes by fast kid enjoy your time now.

So remember fondly today the advice imparted by our fathers. And for those of us whose fathers have passed, they are never forgotten and loved always. We’ll always remember their dadisms.

 I’m also linking to a cooking lesson from my dad on how to make spaghetti and clams. If you make this recipe, I hope you like it! 

Happy Father’s Day to fathers everywhere.

Pre-order The Pornographer's Daughter today. In bookstores September 1.

Interview with AIP Daily

Kristin Battista-Frazee

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Hello Kristin; for those who might not know you please let us know you are and please describe yourself? I’m an author, a contributor to The Daily Beast and a marketing professional in the Washington, DC area. I love college football and on Saturdays you’ll find me watching ESPN College GameDay and cheering on my alma mater the Florida State University Seminoles. I am finishing my memoir, The Pornographer’s Daughter, about my family’s experience when my father, Anthony Battista, was prosecuted by the federal government on obscenity charges for distributing the movie Deep Throat in the 1970s.

Read the full interview.

My Interview with Joanna Angel

Kristin Battista-Frazee

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JoannaAngel-2

For the 40th anniversary of Deep Throat article I wrote for The Daily Beast I was lucky enough to secure a spot in the crazy-busy schedule of one of the leading ladies in the adult industry, Joanna Angel, 2011 AVN award winner and mogul of her own production company and website www.BurningAngel.com. As a young business person (and college grad, I might add) Joanna’s take on the adult industry and her success weaves a common thread  found in the lives of many entrepreneurial women – work ten times as hard, be innovative, secure a great team, and stay true to your brand.  Read on for highlights of my interview with Joanna as we talk politics, the woman's place in business, and the future of pornography. Kristin Battista-Frazee (KBF):  Do you think there are any parallels between the way Deep Throat launched porn and the way Burning Angel changed the industry? 

Joanna Angel (JA):  I do know that Deep Throat did gain this level of legitimacy where everybody knows about it, and everybody saw it, and it stopped being looked at as just porn. When I started Burning Angel, I definitely wanted to cross over and be sort of a piece of pop culture and be a place where people were comfortable and it celebrated sexuality. I wanted to take something that was supposed to be secretive and bad and dirty, and turn it into something cool, as something that people could talk about and relate to one another and not just be this dirty kind of disgusting thing. 

KBF:  She [Linda Lovelace] gained a lot of fame and tried to capitalize on that as much as she could when she needed money, but then the other aspect is that she was taken advantage of. What good things about Linda Lovelace, do you  see in yourself? Specifically building a career, making something special and doing something different 

JA:  This is tough world for women who want to be in charge of anything.  You have to work ten times as hard to get half as far as everybody else, no matter what you're doing. If you wanna be a CEO on Wall Street or you wanna be a doctor, you kind of have to be the best doctor and the best CEO because everyone’s waiting for you to fuck up, you know?  And being a woman is hard.  Women are more emotional than men.  Women do go through a lot of things that men don't go through and it does make it hard to be a woman in a position for power, and part of what our weaknesses are is what gives us strength, the fact that we are more emotional than men and the fact that we do have a lot of feminine qualities.  It's what hurts us and it's what makes us amazing at the same time.  We're able to be intuitive and, and I think we're able to work with people on a different level than men can because we just have this level of sensitivity that men don’t necessarily have. The fact that we’re a little more vulnerable is what makes us weak and what makes us strong.  I'm not Sarah Palin's biggest fan or anything but the second Sarah Palin stepped in… if everything she said was said by a man then she wouldn't have been nearly as scrutinized. She would have just been another stupid politician, you know?

KBF:  Right.

JA:  Rick Santorum and George Bush have said stuff that is a million times worse than what she said and they don’t get scrutinized as much.  Everyone was waiting for her to do something stupid because she was a woman and she wasn’t ugly. 

KBF:  This notion of feminist porn, which is talked about a lot in conjunction with Burning Angel and the launch of your company, I'm curious about your perspective of how Deep Throat and early porn may have influenced women’s rights  or the basis for creating this feminist porn?

JA:  I don't know if you'd call those movies feminist or not, but I think just having porn be so out there and so mainstream for everybody to look at and everybody to watch and to make their own judgments on, I think that is more of what opened up the door to women having an opinion.  And maybe just women watching the movie, because those movies were marketed for everyone to watch. They weren’t just marketed in adult video stores or in a small section of a store for a few horny men to watch.  They were marketed for everybody over the age of 18 to watch, just having porn be so mainstream at such a controversial time. I don’t even think that before those movies women even thought about having an opinion about porn.  I think it opened up the dialogue.  For women to watch it and to be like, "Do I like this?  Do I not like this?  Is it for me? Is this not for me?" "Is this making me horny or is this degrading?” “What is this doing?" Having something just be so out there where everybody had to have an opinion on it is what opened up the door to all women.  There are women who call themselves feminist or not feminist. I think you kind of had to have an opinion on it, so just the fact that the movies were so mainstream is what gave women a voice.

KBF:  Are people really surprised you have a college degree and work in porn? 

JA: People in porn aren't that surprised.  It's more people out of porn and it's sometimes weird. I do all these interviews and I do all this press for people and… “Wow, that's crazy, you have a college degree, that must be rare in porn."  And, I'm like, "I don't know, I own a company. How many people do you know that own successful companies but didn't finish college?"  I sometimes feel bad because I do a lot of press and I feel like I get all this credit for being a girl in porn with a degree like it's this super-rare thing and it's not so rare, particularly if you want to pick out every single person who owns one of the porn companies, most of them are gonna have college degrees. Or, if they don't, they just are very, very good at business.  To run a business it takes skill no matter what you’re selling. It takes patience, and it takes a lot of things that you do learn in college, or you have to be one of those super-geniuses that’s able to learn things on your own.

KBF:  I saw your blog, and I actually wrote an article for The Daily Beast in response to what Rick Santorum said about banning pornography.  You know, for me, it kinda came out of the blue, and yet it didn’t. 

JA:  It's so ridiculous and it's so stupid. I feel like around election time everybody will just come out and say something really radical, either to the left or to the right just to get a bunch of votes right away because they know anybody who agrees with that is gonna vote for them.  Especially in these tough times, the state of the economy has never affected me as much as it does now.  When you run a business and you're selling a product and your livelihood and other people's livelihood who work under me depends on whether people have extra money in their pocket to pay for the type of entertainment that I produce.  It's kind of like… can we just have an election right now that focuses on money and the economy?  Which is ultimately I really think what everybody in America cares about.  Can we just not have an election that's all about abortion and whether gay people should get married?  Who gives shit whether gay people get married or not? It's not gonna affect the amount of jobs in America, you know?  Just stop it! Can we just stop talking about these religious issues that should have nothing to do with the election and let's actually figure out what president can help the country.

KBF:  You’re called a pioneer of alternative porn. Do you still feel like this transformative figure in the industry? 

JA: In the beginning it was more like this huge deal, "Oh, what is she doing, it's different, it's this, it's that," and now things have kind of settled down and it’s just like, "That's Joanna Angel and she does her thing."  I’m focused on growing my company. I don't know what I've done for the industry as a whole. I meet girls with tattoos have told me, "Oh, it's all because of you that I'm able to... " or "I didn't think I could get into porn because I had too many tattoos," or this or that, and "I didn’t think I looked like a porn star and because of you I’m able to work and I'm able to do this." I didn’t spawn the creation of a hundred companies like me for girls to go, so I don’t know how much of a change it's able to make. But the fact that my company has won awards, the same awards that big porn companies, your typical mainstream stuff... the fact that we’re always considered among them, the fact that CNBC lists the top ten porn stars and my name is included. The fact that Burning Angel and my name has been able to be considered as one of the top is  a really big thing because ten, fifteen years ago there was nobody who did anything like us, or even anything a little bit different, it’s considered amongst the top of the game.   

KBF:  Where do you think the porn industry will be in 40 years? 

JA:  40?? 

KBF:  I'm saying 40 because this is the 40th anniversary of Deep Throat and you look at everything that's happened, and you just wonder what will happen in the next 40.

JA:  Yeah, I know. I have no idea. I don’t know!  Porn has gone in a whole bunch of weird circles. It’s gonna depend on what kind for technology comes out.  I hope it's in a good place.  [laughing].

On the Porn Film’s 40th Anniversary, a Thank-You to ‘Deep Throat’

Kristin Battista-Frazee

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daily-beast

It was more than 15 years ago but I still remember feeling the heat of the asphalt under my sandals as I walked across the parking lot to my father’s Florida porn shop, The Premier. I had heard about this place my entire life, yet I had never visited until that day. I was a 25-year-old social worker living in New York City. My life was far from anything associated with the porn industry, but I was eager to get a glimpse of this side of my father’s life.

He had never planned on being a pornographer, but while working as a stockbroker in Philadelphia in the 1970s, he distributed Deep Throat and invested in adult businesses. In 1974, he was indicted by the federal government on obscenity charges for distributing Deep Throat. His career as a stockbroker abruptly ended and his full-time job as a pornographer began. As a child, I remember my father’s federal prosecution in the case and the tumultuous transition to his new career. There were long absences while he stood trial in Memphis, Tenn., alongside porn star Harry Reems and producers and distributors of the film in 1976, and then again in 1978. I saw him on TV when neighborhood residents picketed his Philadelphia strip club, The Golden 33. Deep Throat affected my life in a direct and personal way, but it’s worth remembering how the film changed our culture and the lives of women, 40 years after its premiere in New York’s Times Square.

Read the full article

Rick Santorum’s War on Pornography Stirs Up the Same Tired Arguments

Kristin Battista-Frazee

Rick Santorum’s crusade to save America from the pandemic of pornography may seem like an out-of-the-blue call to action against smut—the kind of campaign rhetoric that supplies comedians and late-night talk-show hosts with good material—but for the last 40 years my family has lived this culture war. In the 1970s my father was prosecuted by the federal government for distributing Deep Throat, and today owns adult erotic retail stores. Read my full article.

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Kristin Battista-Frazee

My nine year old daughter asked me, “Do boys like that?” pointing to a picture in a magazine she was reading while waiting to get her hair cut. I glanced down and it was a photo of a young girl in a short skirt being ogled at by a guy. I immediately thought the picture was borderline too sexy and felt guilty for not being more careful about what she was reading. I said, “You shouldn’t try to look or act like this to get attention.” I further explained my expectations about how girls should dress and what the appropriate age was to date.  Watching her think about what I said, I hoped it would become a part of her conscience.  She has a crush on a boy her age who lives on our street, so naturally she is figuring out what boys like. I see my daughter and this boy whispering and laughing together when all the children in our neighborhood are out playing. The mutual infatuation they share is sweet and pure and the boy’s parents and I muse about the prospects of a future budding romance.  My husband hears about this crush and dreads my daughter’s dating future. It’s cruel revenge for a father to have daughters.

I’m encouraged that she got my message that day because she has many of my sensibilities. She’s cautious, observant, and not a thrill seeker. Given her personality and my husband’s and my involved parenting styles, I hope the values will protect her from the negative influences  that lead some kids to experiment with drugs or premature sex, and that she’ll have good judgment about resisting peer pressure.

But I also won’t assume just because I see much of my personality in my daughter that she will think or act in the same way that I would. We are different people. She’s very outgoing and I’m not. She’ll smile at anyone and says “the best way get someone to smile is to smile first.” She also has a flare for the dramatic, which is a part of her temperament I really don’t understand. I’m puzzled as to her reactions when I tell her no. She sometimes will scream, “You’re ruining my life!” (yes, she’s only nine) And with that I leave the room and shake my head. I’m just not like that.

She’ll also have many outside influences that will play a role in shaping her ideas. We hear all the time how girls are growing up too fast and how pop culture is the culprit in shaping unhealthy attitudes about sex and relationships in young people. It’s undeniable that porn has indirectly (or directly) influenced our culture making it customary to see provocative imagery everywhere. I sometimes think about how my dad had a hand in making these types of sexy images more readily acceptable given his pioneering work in the porn industry. And yes, this makes parenting more challenging, but with all these challenges there are opportunities. After all, would my daughter have asked the question about boys if the picture wasn’t there? 

My parents may have not had to worry about what I watched on TV or read when I was younger but I don’t think this made it easier to raise me. I didn’t have talks with my parents about sex or relationships even though my dad was in the porn industry. There was an unspoken expectation about behaviors but I didn’t have influences like Katy Perry, Rihanna or Ke$ha to inspire as many questions about sexuality.

So while many believe the existence of pornography is to blame for the problems of today’s youth, I don’t feel contempt or outrage for the way our culture has been influenced by porn. I feel grateful that today we talk more openly with our children about sensitive issues and that we are forced to be more vigilant and discuss what was once taboo topics.

Ultimately I don’t believe the images or advice dished out in fashion magazines or anywhere else will ultimately dictate my daughter’s ideas and perceptions. I will be the one to do that. That’s my job as a parent. My involvement in my daughter’s life will be more effective than censorship. I’ll never stop being involved in shaping her thoughts about boys, sex, dating or anything else.

Sex, Drugs And Alcohol: Parents Still Influence College Kids' Risky Behavior, Study Shows

Bin Laden Couldn’t Escape Porn

Kristin Battista-Frazee

As funny as it was that pornographic movies were discovered at Bin Laden’s compound, it should be no big surprise— a lot of people watch porn.  I wondered if Bin Laden had watched the type of porn that explored the taboo of having sex with women that wear burqas (I discovered this at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo) or maybe he secretly had a thing for “decadent” Western women. We may never know for sure. What’s more interesting to me about Bin Laden and his fellow terrorists stashing porn is that porn is a powerful symbol of American civil liberties.  Al Qaeda consistently denounced and sought to destroy western culture, and Bin Laden blasted how Americans “plastered our naked daughters across billboards”.  His words were insincere and he was like so many others who watch porn and try to hide it. As my dad says, “people don’t practice what they preach.” In the end Bin Laden couldn’t elude America’s cultural impact or our devotion to seek justice.

But beyond being curious about Bin Laden’s porn preferences or hypocritical proclamations against western culture, I couldn’t help but draw the conclusion that porn exists in this country, as such a thriving part of the economy no less, because we have access to unique liberties. Dare I say porn is a consequence of our American way of life? I think it is and how we choose to regulate its access in the future could impact the freedoms we enjoy. Let’s not end up like China, blocking Internet access to porn along with news and information considered to promulgate ideas of freedom. I’m glad we can continue this conversation and debate about porn in a free and open society.

Happy Father’s Day to the Pornographer

Kristin Battista-Frazee

I know my life is too busy when I just realized today is Father’s Day. There was no card in the mail for my dad, so feeling very guilty, I sat down and wrote this blog.  As you may know, I’m writing my book, The Pornographer’s Daughter, in large part because of my dad’s incredible story about distributing Deep Throat in the 1970s.  But apart from his 35 year career in the porn industry, he’s just my dad. I learned a lot from him about persistence (he fought his case to the Supreme Court) and about social justice (which prompted me to earn a Masters degree in Social Work). And a million other little things that positively shape my political views, work ethic and parenting philosophies. So for this, I thank him today.

I also wanted to give you a glimpse of the eccentricities and qualities about him, besides his job, which make him so unique to me. Like how he thinks going to the grocery store is an exciting outing and that he has a strange concern about whether or not I have enough plastic containers for leftovers. He makes great pancakes and gravy and meatballs.  Every election he drives people to the polls to vote who can’t get there themselves. Of course he only gives rides to Democrats since he says he wouldn’t want the Republicans to have any advantage. He lives in Florida so every vote counts. On Election Day in 2008, he volunteered for the Obama campaign office in Philadelphia. Like so many others, when the results came in declaring Obama would be the next president, he gleefully took to the streets like a teenager to celebrate. 

My dad has to wear shirts with a front pocket so he can carry a pen. I have no idea what he might desperately need to write down, but any shirt given as a gift without a pocket is promptly returned.  He hates the bright sunlight, but as previously mentioned, strangely he lives in Florida. He loves big cities, Broadway plays, and he thinks becoming a grandfather is his greatest achievement. He loves his Gracie girl! He is generous to a fault sometimes, and takes great joy in gathering his friends and family together by planning a huge reunion party in South Philly every year.  My dad is a hard worker, yells at the TV when he is watching political shows and reads stacks of newspapers every day. I’m so proud to call him my dad. Happy Father’s Day!