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

Filtering by Category: pornography

Pelosi Tames Sexism

Kristin Battista-Frazee

This seems to be the year the men of Congress have gone wild. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Minority Leader in the House, called for another ethics investigation a few weeks ago, on the heels of Weinergate, about the sexual misconduct allegations against her colleague Rep. David Wu (D-Ore). If you don’t know, since the debt ceiling drama as hogged all the headlines, Congressman Wu is accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a friend’s teenage daughter. Throw in a wacky picture of himself in a tiger suit sent to staffers last year and you’ve got something really special. Pelosi seems accustomed to the juvenile antics of her political colleagues since these types of incidences are commonplace on Capitol Hill.  Elected to office in 1987, she’s climbed the ranks amidst the bad boy behavior of Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO), Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and their pioneering work in infidelity and sexual harassment. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), Sen. John Ensign (R-NEV), Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) and the most famous philanderer, President Bill Clinton, carried on their tradition to inspire lusty headlines of their own.

Even if you don’t agree with her politics, you have to admire that Pelosi succeeded in a pervasively sexist culture on Capitol Hill surrounded by men who appear to be depraved idiots.  I suspect she has been chased around a desk or two. Once she stated in a New York Times blog, which explored the role sexism played in Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President, “I’m a victim of sexism myself all the time.”

So what’s the secret of Pelosi’s success? She gained great power in being a woman that doesn’t dwell on the unfairness of sexism or the times she was objectified. Pelosi also said (in the article referenced above), “I myself find that I get a tremendous upside being a woman, and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about sexist remarks that people make.” This is good advice for women facing unique challenges in the workplace.

I believe women in porn hold this same type of power Pelosi speaks about. Successful porn stars have negotiated better deals, started production companies and got behind the camera to direct films. Like Pelosi did in Congress, women in the male dominated porn industry created a lucrative place for themselves in spite of the sexist nature of this business.

So it seems perfect irony that Pelosi is now charged, at times, with counseling these wayward politicians in resigning in the name of doing what’s best for their constituents and families. Her success, along with the success of so many other women, defeats sexism. Pelosi is truly one of the iron ladies of the Capitol Hill.

Put Pelosi ‘In Her Place’? Sexism Charges Fly

Pelosi Statement on the Resignation of Congressman Wu July 26, 2011                                                                     

Pelosi Calls for Ethics Committee Investigation of Congressman Wu July 24, 2011

Pelosi Statement on the Resignation of Congressman Weiner June 16, 2011

Pelosi Calls for Ethics Committee Investigation of Congressman Weiner June 6, 2011

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!

Stripping for a Cause

Kristin Battista-Frazee

Everyone who saw Congressman Aaron Schock’s (R-Ill) ripped abs on the cover of Men’s Health magazine last week immediately went on a diet and learned about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. By showing some skin this youngest member of Congress (he’s 29) launched his "Fit for Summer, Fit for Life Challenge" campaign with the political savvy of an elder statesman (although you wouldn’t want to see those gentlemen or ladies shirtless.) He used sex appeal to convey his message and borrowed a lesson straight from the porn industry: that being provocative gets attention and sells products. This is an enduring and universal trademark of our culture. Rep. Schock’s gimmick to educate us about good fitness is nothing new, and certainly notables have stripped for causes before. Adam Levine, heartthrob of Maroon 5 and judge on The Voice, showed skin to raise awareness for testicular cancer and several celebs have gotten naked for skin cancer awareness and PETA. But what’s different here is this stunt was pulled off by a Republican. This party has a long history of prudish behavior about porn, mainly because of the party’s strict adherence to “family values.” Recent case in point: Schock’s colleagues Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley recently issued a letter to the Attorney General to call for the prosecution of porn. (see last blog post).

So what’s happening here? Is Schock abandoning his GOP principles of civic virtue?  The answer is no. Rep. Schock has core Republican values despite using his boy-next-door cuteness to cross the political aisle and cozy up next to fellow Illinoisan Michelle Obama and her platform to fight childhood obesity. He is against the healthcare reform law passed last year and in favor of: the Defense of Marriage Act; tax cuts, especially for small business; and an energy-independence policy that is sometimes mistaken for protecting the environment. 

Given Rep. Schock’s stalwart stance on some core conservative issues, my guess is Republicans won’t treat him as an outcast for showing his muscles. I think they’ll welcome his attempt to teach his party how to effectively use sex appeal by walking a fine line between the titillating and the straight-laced to convey a message. His endeavor has been successful, so let’s look on the bright side and hope to see the Republicans use Schock’s hard body to raise awareness about the important issues, like truly saving the environment, ending world hunger and a myriad of other real problems. Maybe in the future Republicans won’t be so uptight about this power tool of persuasion. In the meantime, I’m going to lose a few pounds.

Fit-to-lead Congressman Aaron Schock has a plan to change America, one set of crunches at a time

Washington Post Reliable Source

Aaron Schock Shows Off Six Pack On Men's Health Cover

Is There Still a Witch Hunt Against Pornography?

Kristin Battista-Frazee

My father once said, “It’s a witch hunt and I’m one of the few people who knows what those unscrupulous, publicity seeking authorities are doing to free speech in this country.”  This was a quote of his from an article that appeared in The Inquirer Magazine in 1977 and he was referring to his indictment on obscenity charges for distributing Deep Throat.  His words are just as relevant today. Recent letters urging Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute pornography distributors have made me wonder if it’s possible to prosecute today’s porn industry with the same fervor it was subject to in the ‘70s.  The latest letter was signed by 43 Senators on April 4th and seems to echo a letter sent by Reps. J. Randy Forbes (R-Virginia) and Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina) back in February. This all comes shortly after the John Stagliano indictment and his acquittal in July 2010, which was the first serious legal action against porn in over 25 years.

Although these proceedings got me speculating about the possibility of another witch hunt going after porn, I concluded it’s unlikely we’ll see another obscenity case like Deep Throat again and here’s why.  History seems to be a good predictor of the future and in the last 35 years no one has successfully prosecuted obscenity to thwart the spread of pornography.  Not one single win.  In these types of cases the argument to protect free speech has been effective and endured because of an underlying fear that banning porn could lead us down the wrong path of limiting our liberties. I also think those who vigorously stood up against pornography unknowingly created a tipping point that made porn culturally acceptable and consequently turned it into a multi-billion dollar industry. Raising such a fuss obviously inspired everyone’s ogling curiosity.

Also, anti-porn advocates typically use incoherent arguments to state their case against pornography. They rely on unfounded claims and scare tactics to make people believe pornography inspires horrible crimes, and this obvious deceit undermines any credibility for their cause. If research were available to prove porn harms people, like the kind that proves smoking causes cancer, then this debate would be very different.  

Lastly, the Obama Administration has more important problems to deal with than America’s libido. Terrorism, the war in Afghanistan, revolutions in the Middle East, and let’s not forget the myriad of domestic problems: reducing the deficit, homelessness, lack of healthcare, hunger, taking care of the mental health needs of our veterans returning home from war.  These pressing issues crowd the top of most voters’ agendas.  The insidious danger of porn isn’t even on the list.

But the recent letters from legislators do highlight a problem that’s worth talking about — pornography addiction. There is a body of research that supports that a person can become addicted to pornography just like food, gambling, drugs, alcohol, shopping, etc. The April 4th letter notes pornography addiction will be listed in the next version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and in my opinion it rightfully belongs in this bible of mental health disorders.

Pornography addiction can be a serious problem. But I would emphasize here the word “addiction,” not “pornography” and suggest that this is truly a mental health issue and not a case of a specific type of media egging on aberrant behavior in normal adults.  To scapegoat porn will not solve the problem of addiction (which some even see as a physiological problem). What troubles me most is the fact that legislators who sign letters calling for legal action against porn could instead use their influence to provide adequate funding for addiction treatment and research. But the real services needed are consistently underfunded, and the chosen path is grandstanding to the conservative reaches of politics on this polarizing and “sexy” social topic. It’s a sad commentary about how Washington works.

I’ll always wonder why porn is still cast as such an evil in society and why we keep having these same conversations over and over again.  The “witch hunt” against pornography, I suspect, will forever remain a threat.

Senators ask Holder for more pornography prosecutions

Unforgettable

Kristin Battista-Frazee

My grandmother Maria has always been enamored with exotic wildcats. One day when I was very young she decided to satisfy her eccentric desire and bought from an exotic pet breeder an ocelot to keep as a pet, despite the fact that she lived in the very heart of the city, in  South Philadelphia.  For nearly 18 years, “Kitty” became a fascinating part of my family— she ate raw chicken, and sometimes leather gloves and collars, wrestled a Thanksgiving turkey to the ground and scared off burglars and my mother’s and aunt’s dates.

When Kitty sunned herself in the store window of the All in One Studio, the family photography business, she transformed the storefront into a zoo. People pressed their noses to the glass in shock when they realized they were not looking at a typical house cat. I was never allowed too close to Kitty. I would play with her by sliding a rolled up magazine under the kitchen door just to see her huge paws lunge from underneath the crack and would quickly touch them. I remember her gorgeous thick tawny colored coat with swirls of black markings that changed from stripes to spots. From what I could see from afar her underbelly was a rich cream color.

My grandmother’s personality mirrors Kitty’s wildcat traits in many ways. Like an ocelot, she is fiercely protective of her young, territorial and nocturnal (she used to work the night shift as a hotel operator). Also, despite an ocelot’s small size, they are strong and excellent hunters. My grandmother is small too, standing only 5 feet tall.  But she is wiry, and notorious for throwing a good punch. The legendary family stories about my grandmother hitting a large, belligerent customer square in the nose and chasing down a bike thief solidified her larger-than-life character for me. 

I was never scared of her, though, and most of my memories of my grandmother are of tickling and playful declarations like, “I’m gonna eat you up.” As I got older, she gave me valuable advice about men. She quoted from the book, The Natural Superiority of Women, by anthropologist Ashley Montagu, and agreed with its tenet that women are biologically superior to men. “It’s all about the Y chromosome,” she told me. Women were the kinder, gentler sex and men were the true savages. On the other hand, she’d ask about the latest guy I was dating and at times said, “If he doesn’t treat you right, I’m gonna hunt him down and kill him.” I would always laugh, but a part of me sort of believed her.

Given my grandmother’s strong feminist views, when my father, her son-in-law, entered the porn business and was prosecuted in the Deep Throat case, she definitely wasn’t happy about it. She had been influenced by women’s rights activists like Susan Brownmiller and Gloria Steinem who claimed that pornography encouraged violence against women. My grandmother had to know everything my father was up to in order to inform her opinion and make up her mind. She went to see the movie Deep Throat and even clandestinely visited my father’s strip club The Golden 33 in downtown Philadelphia. She trekked to the club on Locust Street, which at the time was not a nice neighborhood, and asked a man she met on the street to escort her inside because she felt it was improper and unsafe to go in alone. Hiding in her trench coat with the collar pulled around her cheeks and carrying a big umbrella (that doubled as a potential weapon), she slid into a chair at a small table to observe, to make her own judgment about what was going on.

She never revealed to my father that she made this visit. She disapproved of his career but strangely they liked each other. Maybe it was because my father was Italian or that his entrepreneurial spirit reminded her of her father, my great grandfather, who was a bootlegger and bar owner in the 1920s.

I asked my dad once, “Wasn’t she (my grandmother) a pain in the ass?” My father laughed and responded, “Yes, but that was what I liked about her. She had a lot of spunk.” He always had a great deal of respect for her strength and so do I. I only hope I have half of her guts and steely will. She is truly one of the most unforgettable characters in my book and a big part of my story and my life. This past February she turned 90. Happy birthday Grandma! There will never be another one like her.

A Night of Contradictions: AVN Awards Show 2011

Kristin Battista-Frazee

Black fishnet stockings. Check.

Knee high boots. Check.

Cute dress. Check.

I just couldn’t bring myself to look boring at the AVN Awards Show, the Oscars for the porn industry. When my husband saw my outfit he asked, “Where’d you get those fishnets? I knew it was uncharacteristic of how I dress and I responded coyly, “I don’t remember. I’ve just had them a while.” His boyish smile acknowledged he approved of the look.

To me the stockings were like going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show and dressing up like one of the characters. I didn’t really look outlandish, so it was only my small, fun way to participate in this event. At the show I knew the fishnet stockings would pale in comparison to the outrageous silliness, raunchy sex talk and drunk and stupid fans I would see.  In the end I decided that the cast of the Jersey Shore has the lock on being drunk and stupid, and while the award show delivered on some of my expectations, many contradictions emerged that I didn’t expect. 

#1 – The Porn Stars Looked Like They Were at the Oscars

We arrived early to watch the red carpet.  It was hard to get a good view as I was jostled between lines of guys shouting the names of their favorite actress to cajole them over to snap a picture or get an autograph. I got the strangest “get out of my way” glances. When I finally did get a good look, I saw porn actresses tastefully dressed and surprisingly polished. Kayden Kross, Riley Steele and Alexis Texas were a few that stood out. And while some played up the slut factor, others would have fit in at the Oscars.  Click here to take a look.  Needless to say the women at the awards show were much better looking than at the expo.  If you’re the best in the biz you’re not working the exhibit hall to cater to porn enthused fans.

#2- The Adult Industry Is Not a Fan of Infidelity

The icy reception AshleyMadison.com, a dating service for married people, received while presenting a sponsored award sent a message— the porn industry is NOT a fan of this website’s infidelity mission. Founded in 2001, AshleyMadison.com provides members an anonymous venue to find a dating partner outside of their marriage.  Although AVN founder Paul Fishbein enthusiastically welcomed AshleyMadison.com as a first-time corporate sponsor of the AVN Awards this year, Noel Biderman, AshleyMadison.com’s founder, faced an audience on the edge of booing him. I loved watching Biderman squirm. It’s clear why he is known as the most hated man in America. What’s puzzling is why the industry he’s trying to be a part of seems to hate him just like the rest of the country.

There is a perception that pornography promotes extramarital affairs. I believe the opposite: It’s an industry that gears its products to improve the sex lives of couples – established couples. AshleyMadison.com is counter to this position and the almost hostile reaction by this crowd made sense to me.  It’s a sad commentary on our world that Ashley Madison.com just signed up their eight-millionth member. Isn’t it just easier to get a divorce or not marry at all?

Also, did you miss their tagline “Life’s Short. Have an Affair.” in a commercial during the Super Bowl? You and everyone else. Fox rejected their ad, which featured adult star Savanah Samson.

#3- Porn Stars Take the AVN Awards They Receive as a Great Honor.

You would think that the AVN Awards is just a big joke, like how the MTV Awards used to make fun of other award shows.  But for these adult stars, being nominated and winning awards for something like “best oral sex scene” is a huge honor. The actors like Tori Black and Tom Byron gushed with emotion as they nabbed their awards and thanked their agents, fans and families for supporting them in achieving their great accomplishment. It was shockingly heartfelt and it certainly impressed on me that no matter what you do, you should do it to the best of your ability and be proud.

#4- The Fight for First Amendment Rights is Still a Big Deal.

Even though the cases against Larry Flynt and Deep Throat  were prosecuted more than 35 years ago, people don’t realize legal action is still being taken against the porn industry. A moment that I didn’t expect to hit home for me was when John Stagliano, “the Buttman” and founder of Evil Angel Productions, was given the Rueben Sturman Award in recognition of his July 2010 acquittal in a District of Columbia obscenity case.

I couldn’t help but think of my father since he was prosecuted under the same Miller vs. California law that Stagliano was. Miller vs. California, passed in 1973 by the Supreme Court, grants local communities the right to determine what’s obscene, but nowadays the Internet has blurred the concept of community. This law is still on the books and pulled out on occasion to prosecute the porn industry. At the award show the audience was quiet and riveted as Stagliano spoke earnestly about the importance of being able to express ones sexual creativity under our first amendment rights. He graciously thanked his lawyers and wife and said no one should be ashamed to work in the adult industry.  The audience gave a standing ovation and heartily cheered Stagliano's remarks.

The AVN Awards renewed my belief in the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover.” This industry is proving to have many different dimensions – just like how people are so surprised that my father is in the porn industry because I don’t fit a particular stereotype of how a person associated with this industry should look or act. Also, I found some true humanity at this event—a collection of people who care deeply about their work. It’s exciting to think what I might learn next about the porn industry. I’ll expect the unexpected for sure.

A Good Girl in a Dirty World

Kristin Battista-Frazee

I had wanted to attend the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo  in Las Vegas since I started writing my memoir, Pornographer's Daughter, and I finally got my chance earlier this month. It was a milestone for me in my quest to learn more about the business and the social issues that surround the porn industry. And get a firsthand glimpse of the career my father has been a part of for the last 35 years.

My father always talked about this convention in a business-like fashion, describing how he met with colleagues, discussed industry trends and learned about new products. He left out any details about naked women or how to operate the hot new sex toy. We had an unspoken agreement between a father and a daughter to never discuss these types of things and I knew from an early age that he never wanted me to be exposed to this “dirty world”.  So for years I would imagine the details of what took place at the expo.  Now I didn’t have to guess what this event was all about anymore—this good girl was all in to learn what she could about Dad’s dirty world.

Before traveling to Las Vegas, deciding what I would wear to the Expo suddenly became a serious quandary. I pulled out and tried on different outfits from my closet, packed my suitcase, then unpacked it and started all over again. My mind was spinning. It was one of those times when I wished I had a stylist who could pick my wardrobe for me. I wanted to fit in, so did I want go with the high heels and skirt ensemble to try to pull off a sexier look? Or should I stick to my typical conservative dress and just be comfortable?  I had a lot of ground to cover at the Expo, quite literally, and I needed an outfit that I could walk miles in.  I threw a pair of fishnet stockings in my suitcase but in the end my practical side won out and I settled on a sweater and jeans.

I’ve been to a lot of conventions, so when I entered the cavernous halls of the Sands Expo Center at 12 pm I expected the packed crowds and wide variety of booths. But there were some subtle and not so subtle differences. The exhibit floor pulsed with dance music to induce a party-like atmosphere and there were tons of people waiting to take pictures with the booth babes. And then of course the women weren’t exactly wearing corporate, or even casual, attire.

I was happy with my outfit selection but I definitely stood out as an anomaly among the couple of thousand people attending the expo. Though most of the attendees were men, the women who attended with them were almost as scantily clad as the porn stars signing autographs and selling products in the booths.  As I looked at the women in high heels, mini-skirts and wearing cleavage as an accessory, I realized I wouldn’t be comfortable in that sort of an outfit – even though I am a pornographer’s daughter. And for a casual, friendly observer, my sweater and jeans worked out just fine for me.

There was much to see even though the number of vendors did not fill the expansive Sands Expo Center.  I was disappointed in the smaller audience but it seemed evident a tough economy and a competing adult novelty toy show in Burbank contributed to a decline in attendance.  The imprint of 3D content was everywhere, like Hustler’s version of the movie Avatar, called This Ain’t Avatar XXX 3D, a porn parody.  By the way, there is a porn parody for just about every famous TV show or movie, like Charlie’s Angels, Top Gun, The Brady Bunch and Batman. On that note, it was comforting to see that the adult industry is again ushering in the use of the latest technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show I had donned 3D glasses at the Sony exhibit to experience crisp images jumping off huge screens and being displayed on slick new TVs and laptops. And now at the AVN Expo here I was envisioning 3D images in vivid pornographic form that would now be viewed in the comfort of people’s homes.  The porn industry is certainly ingenious at implementing trends.

There were vendors who sold everything from scented candles and massage oils to life-size dolls of your favorite porn star and pole dancing equipment you could set-up in your living room. I discovered a small movie production company who featured Muslim women and explored the taboo of having sex with women that wear burqas. You can use your imagination here. In striking up a conversation with a company representative he quipped, “If this gets more popular the Taliban might try to kill me.”  It was a strange comment and I thought if he really had experienced death threats, which I believe possible, is porn really worth inciting a terrorist attack or risking one’s life?  Well the adult industry is said to be a risky business and there does seems to be a niche for everything.  

At one booth I saw the “Sybian” in action, a piece of equipment that has been featured on the Howard Stern Show. The Sybian is an orgasm-inducing machine for women and the onsite demonstration was just jaw dropping.  A woman volunteered from the audience, with the permission of her husband, and demonstrated having an orgasm on the Sybian in front of a teeming crowd. The throes of passion this volunteer displayed seemed just a little too overly dramatized for the sake of the audience. It was clear to me she was an actress called upon to cause a spectacle, which she did, and bravo for the great marketing tactic.

As I moved through the hall taking in the technology and the products my attention soon turned to the public debate about the harmful effects of pornography. I met the ladies of the Pink Cross, a non-profit organization that helps women leave the porn industry and recover from drug addiction, disease and abuse. While their mission is admirable, the alarming statistics and the “Jesus Saves” undertones left me skeptical.  I’m just not sure the industry is the cause of the victimization of women. I can’t say it doesn’t happen, but circumstance, personal choice and judgment seem to play a big role in the fate of most women who work in this industry. It’s very hard to judge the origins of these sad stories.

I also met Pastor Craig, founder of the XXX Church.com and who works with porn star, Ron Jeremy, on the Great Porn Debate. Pastor Craig looks like a young punk rocker and he and his volunteers speak their message eloquently — Jesus loves everyone, even porn stars, because we are all the same and have all equally screwed up.  They must have noticed my visceral reaction to the mention of “Jesus” and told me they use his name only in the spiritual sense, whatever that means.  I have a hard time with the injection of religion into the porn debate.  I’m just not quite sure what the identified sin is. If the adult industry helps single people and couples in consensual relationships enjoy sex, and enjoy each other through sex, then what’s the problem?

Pastor Craig was gracious, though, and pointed me in the direction of his good friend Ron Jeremy. No porn conference would be complete without getting my picture snapped with the most famous porn star ever, which I did (see above).  It was an adventurous day for this otherwise homebody and I left the great hall with the conviction that the porn industry clearly isn’t anything like it was in the 1970s. Today the industry is so much larger and more diverse and business is conducted with real corporate flair. That said, I suspect its value to society will forever be debated.

That night it was on to the AVN Awards Show.  More details about this event in my next blog post.