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Has "Porn" Become Mainstream?


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#1 of 39 OFFLINE   JerryLA

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Posted January 24 2003 - 01:11 AM

After watching last nights "Prime Time Thursday" on NBC, I'm wondering if adult content on DVD, VHS,cable and satellite have really become more main stream than I think. According to Diane Sawyer and her story, this multi-billion dollar business has moved from seedy theaters to main stream America's living rooms. I'm not talking the "T&A" we've been subjected to over the last 10 years but the really hardcore stuff. When traveling, I've noticed most of the hotels offer adult viewing on certain channels in the room but had no idea it was that hardcore. I certainly would be the last person to say you don't have the right to see this type of programming, but I am quite surprised how widespread it is, according to this report. I was also shocked that some of the top Fortune 500 companies are involved in the distribution of it. Although none were available for comment, GM, Telcom,and AOL, to name a few, are some of the players making it available in your home. One executive that would make comments on the phone during this report said basically,"consumer demand has made this such a lucrative business". Does this mean we shall soon see a "WAR ON PORN", much like the "War on Drugs",& War on Tobacco?
We seem to have a pattern in this country to start a war against things we can't really control, and then behind closed doors, accept monies from these terrible things. How will they ever run a presidential election campaign without the cash from the tobacco companies? You can have as many "wars" as you want against drugs, BUT until the kid on the corner selling crack and making $500 a day, has an alternative to working selling McBurgers for $150 a week,the problem will remain.
OK, I'm up on my soapbox now so I will stop.
My question is this: Should adult programming be available in your home via cable or satellite tv? I understand most people might not step up and say they would view this programming regularly but should it be there if you choose to view it?
Personally, my television has a channel selector and if I choose not to watch it I don't have to!
To quote DM "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong"!

#2 of 39 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted January 24 2003 - 01:45 AM

Porn is mainstream, just look to all the TV shows that reference porn. It's just that nobody wants to admit it. Of course, it doesn't have the number of viewers other entertainment has, but it's no doubt very popular.

Personally, the only beef I have with it is that because of the hush-hush mentality, the cable companies can charge upp the a-- for the porn PPV. They gotta be making a LOT of money off of those things, since they're like 3 times the cost of non-porn programming.

I also think that the porn actors should be paid more. Right now it seems like the distributors take all the money.

I don't see a "war on porn" coming. How would you prove any harm done by it?
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#3 of 39 OFFLINE   Adam Tyner

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Posted January 24 2003 - 02:02 AM

Quote:
I understand most people might not step up and say they would view this programming regularly but should it be there if you choose to view it?

I wouldn't be bothered by its presence. I've never really had any interest in hardcore pornography, due mostly to fact that none of the 'actresses' I've seen are particularly attractive.

#4 of 39 OFFLINE   JerryLA

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Posted January 24 2003 - 02:16 AM

The harm done was part of the story last night on Prime Time. The unsuspecting girls who choose to go to Hollywood and become stars and end up in the porn business. I'm sorry, but you can't just accidentally end up in the porn business. It is a choice made by the people in the business. As far as I'm concerned you make choices and live with the consequences of making those choices. Isn't that what being an adult is about? The issue that kept coming up on this program was that the women and men in this industry do not have proper health care and most studios do nothing to safeguard against disease. Maybe there should be some regulation on this industry. I just don't feel sorry for the people who choose to get into this business. The story showed a two year period in one 18 year old girls life. She chose to get into the business, had second thoughts, left the business, went back into the business, her mother joined her in the business as her personal assistant, then last year won an award for being in the "best sex video" category at their equivalent to the Oscars. The girl makes $100G a year and it was all "HER DECISION"!

#5 of 39 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted January 24 2003 - 02:27 AM

What's really disturbing is the health risk vs. monetary gain angle. One of the women interviewed said that no protection was used because the market/viewers didn't like seeing that in the videos, so unprotected sex has returned as more and more of these women are willing to engage in it on video. That's the sad, scary aspect of it.
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#6 of 39 OFFLINE   DeeF

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Posted January 24 2003 - 03:09 AM

I think the scariest thing in the piece is that we want pornography, lots and lots of it, with prettier people and younger ones, and we're willing to pay for it, but.... we wouldn't want our children participating. Well, who then? I can't advocate censorship, but I do think the owner of the Omni hotel chain who removed adult movies from his rooms did the right thing. And yet, I like to watch porn as much as anybody. I've trained myself to like it so much, it's pretty hard to get much to happen without it.

I was deeply disturbed by this piece. I was disturbed by the lack of health care, but also, it seems that "performing" sex might be psychologically damaging (in addition to the inherent problems in surviving such a career).

#7 of 39 OFFLINE   RobertW

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Posted January 24 2003 - 06:20 AM

Quote:
I also think that the porn actors should be paid more. Right now it seems like the distributors take all the money.


sorta like the music business.

#8 of 39 OFFLINE   Jeff Pryor

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Posted January 24 2003 - 06:29 AM

I was really sad to see that 18-year-old that Diane interviewed break down into tears, saying that she didn't like herself, conceding that her smile was just an act. I confess that I like porn as much as the next man, but it's more of a vice than an interest to me. There's so much of it out there today that the temptation to watch it is overwhelming, and temptation is a bitch.
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#9 of 39 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

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Posted January 24 2003 - 07:14 AM

The problem with paying more is that porn is horribly over-produced, making it difficult to turn much of a profit. Mega-stars like Jenna and Chasey are really the only ones who are worth it. I'm hoping the increasingly mainstream nature of porn will help to solve this problem.

Also, porn production is already regulated. Perhaps we need more of a solid industry with unions than the current every-producer-for-themself atmosphere. As far as the lack of protection, they are rpetty strict about blood tests and last i heard, no one had gotten AIDS as a result of sex for a professional production.
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#10 of 39 OFFLINE   Max Knight

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Posted January 24 2003 - 08:15 AM

There are certain careers that entail more risks thank others. Auto racing, bull riding, professional sex, deep sea fishing, etc.

A lot of porn watchers apparently don't like seeing condoms and dental dams. So the entertainers give them what they want.

A lot of people like watching really fast cars run around in circles. So races are run.

Regular blood testing is required for honest porn producers. This greatly reduces (though it does not eliminate) the risk of disease.

Nomex suits and restraint systems are required for honest car racing. This reduces risk also.

Are there unscrupulous porn producers out there who create dangerous environments for their entertainers? Of course. There are also illegal street races which are dangerous to their participants (and everyone around them).

People like sex. They will pay to watch it, to have it, to talk about it. As for entertainers who can't live with themselves, they should just get out of the business. There are plenty of people who have woken up, looked at their jobs, and said "I don't feel good about doing this." We don't usually get prime time specials about them, and you know why? BECAUSE SEX SELLS.
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#11 of 39 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted January 24 2003 - 09:30 AM

Max: If such awards were given, yours would have received a Most Valuable Post award. Well-reasoned and calm and accurate. JB

#12 of 39 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted January 24 2003 - 10:42 AM

Quote:
this multi-billion dollar business has moved from seedy theaters to main stream America's living rooms
That happened a long time ago. Video not only killed the radio star, it killed adult theaters.

Quote:
most of the hotels offer adult viewing on certain channels in the room but had no idea it was that hardcore
For some reason, the station cut out about forty minutes in (insert reactionary theory here) so I didn't see the end, but did they really make that connection? That hardcore stuff is widely available in hotels? Because that's not what the situation has been in the past, where it was softcore, or harcore edited down to softcore (which is horrible, like watching a football game and all you can see is the 50-yard line)

Certainly, the show focused on hardcore, and followed a hardcore performer. And sure, hotels offer porn, and they covered that. But I wouldn't be surprised if the producers were more than willing let you assume that the hotels were offering that same hardcore material. Look at how they handled the porn excerpts. They couldn't show any naughty bits, but they choose to show the guy grabbing the girl by the neck and slapping her.

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#13 of 39 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted January 24 2003 - 12:06 PM

The report struck me as odd in so many ways.

The way that Diane Sawyer's narration was presented as if porn was something entirely removed from her life and the life of her coworkers. Not a single sentence along the lines of "at our office at ABC news, the interns tend to like the [name your style] of porn, whereas my older colleagues prefer the romantic kind" They acted as if they were reporting from some kind of bubble in space. So that was peculiar.

Second oddity was the way that they were examining the companies that distribute adult fare, such as hotels. The examination seemed to be (and correct me if I am wrong, but I can think of no other reason why) so as to shame them, to discourage them from providing adult content. This was odd because as I understand it the role of the press in a free society is to act as a way to ensure that freedom is maintained, whether the freedom is being attacked by the government (the primary reason the free press exists), or if freedom is being attacked by a company.

In this report, they were on the odd side of siding against the public, and were trying to get the companies to remove people's freedom. I mean, they did not say this directly, but what other conclusion could one draw? They painted companies as having a shameful secret, and hardly mentioned the public or represented the public as anything but pawns of the companies. So, a rare case of a news organization going against the public interest.

To be fair, the press also helps defend the oppressed from the abuses of big business, and so they were simultaneously trying to help the young porn stars from being taken advantage of. They had a point there which I doubt anyone would disagre with (that 18 year olds are not wise enough to know how their decision will affect them), but it is still an odd position to take because in this country, 18 (or sometimes 21) is the agreed upon age for a person to be an adult. Anything they were proposing. or insinuating should be proposed so as to regulate these people, would be problematic at best. So perhaps, in their enthusiasm, they got carried away, and carried on more as moral crusaders than protectors of free society.

One more point: Why did they not explore the actress' Mormon background? Tbey mentioned it several times, yet never touched the subject in an investigative fashion. They never dared ask if the religious oppression (oppression by the religion, not of the religion) caused them to act out. They never asked if Bella Donna's feeling bad about herself was because of the porn she did, or if it was because she had problems reconciling her strict Mormon upbringing with her adult freedom. And this omission, while understandable from the perspective of a network that would not want to loose its affiliates in Utah, is an irresponsible omission if this was indeed a news show. It is an omission that left the impression that porn is what caused the conflict, rather than ask if it was the context of the porn integrated with a person's harsh upbringing (or indeed, if the upbringing itself leads to acting-out).

Did anyone else wonder what sort of clout the adult filmmakers must have had with ABC to get this much publicity? Sales of BellaDonna DVDs are through the roof today according to adult news sources.
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#14 of 39 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted January 24 2003 - 02:27 PM

I think Sawyer needs to get her head out of the clouds. She was shocked because there is so much porn around? News flash: it has been around. I think the reason that it is in more hotels now is that there are a lot more young adults, and they want it. Also, with the hotel chains buying each other up, any large conglomerate can easily add porn to all of their chains in one fell swoop.

I didn't see the show, but I have a feeling that this girl's parents wrote ABC about their sad daughter's life and exploited it. Many women go into porn because they can get work quickly, and it doesn't require much previous experience. Posted Image

It also has a lot to do with the MPAA and their ratings system, which is so screwed up it isn't funny. Any kid can get into almost any movie these days and get an eyeful if they are young enough, but I think that if a kid from Europe were asked if he/she has seen a nude adult, they'd probably answer, yeah, so what?

I won't get into the slanted views of just about every news type show on the tube. The networks can, and often do, slant them they way they want them too.

And no, I don't feel sorry for the girl at all. Sure, she did pick that line of work on her own, but as has been said before, what made her do that? I don't want to put any blame on any one religion, but she did have parents, and who knows what went on in her home while she was growing up.

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#15 of 39 OFFLINE   JerryLA

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Posted January 24 2003 - 02:32 PM

Will,
Very good point. Maybe the strict upbringing made her run to the other side, so to speak. I've known several women who came from strict upbringing, some of them had parents in the ministry, who were wild, wild women. One in particular told me, after growing up in an environment where most everything is taboo, she wanted to experience some of these pleasures for herself. She never got into porn, but tried everything else.

#16 of 39 OFFLINE   Ashley Seymour

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Posted January 24 2003 - 03:18 PM

I saw part of the interview on GMA, but missed the whole broadcast. It makes you wonder where Diane and this network are. Can they be that far behind the curve? A few years ago there was a show on the health of performers in the gay porn industry. Maybe I should say the mortality rate of the performers. Casualties in the Eight Air Force in WWII was 67%. According to the show, the mortality of gay porn performers made service in the Eight a pretty safe thing.

The incidence of disease in the hetero porn industry is probably high regreatable and an occupational hazard. Maybe they should have tried to put it in perspective.
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#17 of 39 OFFLINE   Jason_Els

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Posted January 24 2003 - 04:44 PM

The problem with an organized porn industry is that the stars have very little clout except for the very, very, few who become big stars. Let's face it, acting schools do not teach people how to become good porn actors.

Porn is a problem in terms of the arts world. Anybody can pull out a camera and film what they like and publish it on the web. Very often the physical attributes of the performers are the key to popularity. Acting ability is, at best, a secondary concern. The industry is full of desperate people looking to make a few bucks to keep them in a habit or off the streets or whatever. Porn producers have no interest in cultivating stars because the burn-out rate is so high and because they don't want to share the profits. The lack of production quality in nearly all porn and the distinct lack of coherent scripts is all part of the producer greed. I don't know if porn is still largely controlled by organized crime but it sure seems like it is.

The true answer to fixing the problem lies with the powers that be. When gambling finally came out of the gutter and the big corporations moved in, Vegas became a boom town. On the whole, gambling has become more above-board, more honestly managed, and a more satisfying experience for everyone involved (short of the losers). There's no shame in going to Vegas or Atlantic City or an Indian casino. Legalized, regulated prostitution in Nevada has created places that are safe for the ladies who choose to do the work not to mention paying them honestly and very well. The incidence of disease is nil because of strict health policies and educated workers.

Porn desperately needs the same thing; big studios producing quality productions with good writing, acting, and of course, hot sex. Get porn out of the gutter and make it a business safe for the performers who truly bear the greatest risk. There are sex worker unions in America but none are of any but marginal forces because of exploited performers whom, through intimidation or fear, don't get what they were promised when they took the job. I fully agree, performing in porn is a choice, but nearly all performers are people who have no idea how to fight their rights or have agents who do. The social stigma attached to the job means none will see court cases.

Too often porn purchasers get ripped-off with home-made videos of very poor quality at ridiculous prices. There is no truth in the marketing and nobody is interested in producing a quality product. There is no rating system and no reviewers to protect the consumer from shoddy product.

The sooner porn becomes legit the sooner performers get protection and a fair share, the consumer gets a quality product, and the sooner the shareholders can see a bigger profit margin and dare I say, the sooner we see society become a more honest and open place. The great irony of the home video revolution is that it's cleaned-up American streets. Two days ago I was in Times Square and walking down 42nd street, what was once the heart of the American porn consumer district.

I remember as a kid in catholic school on a grade school trip to the American Museum of Natural History. The big city was a marvel to us but as we drove down 42nd Street on the bus we all gawked at the signs and read them all aloud. The nuns of course were horrified and kept telling us to stop looking and to stare at the floor until we passed by.... nobody did. Instead we nearly hung out the windows marveling at all kinds of forbidden acts going on just outside our windows. We ogled the "ladies" walking up and down the street looking for dates. We saw ALL kinds of things and talked about it until the nuns gave up.

Today there is Disney, ESPN Zone, more Disney. To the lonely blue of the area has come red and white. The few peep shows that still exist are now curiosities bordering on landmark status and the ladies have moved on or out replaced by tourists with families. Porn has left the streets and come home. If we've brought porn home and accepted that as being the place for it, perhaps it's also time we stopped denying its place in our society and make the experience better for everyone other than the scam artist producers.
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#18 of 39 OFFLINE   Larry C

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Posted January 24 2003 - 06:49 PM

Hey lets face it.... Most of these women are not intelligent, not educated or just plain LAZY! Many of them have been molested by their parents. Sure there is a percentage of them that do not fall into this category, but its minimal.

Where are the parents in all this and what the hell have they been doing through the duration of their childs life?

I for one believe we all should watch whatever we want. For those that object to it, and thats perfectly ok, just don't switch to that channel. I don't know what the big fuss ia about?????

#19 of 39 OFFLINE   Gary King

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Posted January 24 2003 - 07:49 PM

Quote:
Most of these women are not intelligent, not educated or just plain LAZY

No more so than the buxom news anchors populating network affiliates, most of SAG, the vast majority of sports journalists, or a sizeable portion of the population-at-large.

I didn't see the Prime Time special; however, given the huge slant most TV news rags have on any issue, it's worth getting the other side directly from the horse's mouth... in this case, everyone's favorite Mensa member :

http://www.asiacarrera.com/faqs.html

#20 of 39 OFFLINE   Scott Leopold

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Posted January 25 2003 - 12:38 AM

While watching it, I felt the report was even more biased than normal. I then read yesterday that the girl featured in the piece, prior to seeing the final product, didn't think she had said anything negative about the porn industry. I'm sure ABC would never air a slanted, one-sided piece with fuzzy editing that supports their point and no other, though.

I thought it was amusing that they cast such a large amount of negative attention on GM, basically trying to give the impression that they're making millions off the wholesale distribution of porn. When you look at the facts, though, GM simply owns DirecTV, which allows subscribers to make a choice about purchasing adult programming. The same logic could easily be used to negatively portray any ISP as being a purveyor of drugs and child porn. They may not produce it, but they allow you to make a choice to bring it into your home by utilizing their service.

I knew going into it that it wouldn't be an open-minded, objective piece of journalism, but I was a bit surprised at just how biased the whole thing appeared to be.



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