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    Here's a blog that gets me where I live...Much food for thought on a regular basis!

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  • In the debauched world of INDIEROTICA, the thin bra-strap of a line between the seductive and the obscene is torn, stripped, and ripped off so often that one can have difficulty differentiating between the exploitative and truly erotic. Here to help us connect the dots is the brilliant and sexy REBECCA, author of the clever blog, PORN PERSPECTIVES. "Examining the interplay between pornography, feminism, economics, and technology", it's possibly the smartest sex on the internet.

    -Jess, INDIEROTICA.com

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« August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

Justine Joli

I'm glad to see Reverse Cowgirl giving my girl Justine a much-deserved plug. While y'all know I have respect for Sasha Grey, I am a bit curious as to why Justine Joli hasn't gotten quite the same play.

The woman is absolutely stunning--and intelligent to boot. Having seen her in person as well as onscreen, I have total confidence she is capable of becoming a big star.




From the Outside Looking In

As some readers may know, your dedicated porn bloggeur, your your Porn Baby (as known to some) recently relocated to an undisclosed location in Eastern Europe. It has now been one month into what is likely to be a year-long relocation.

During the week, I work in this Eastern Europe location, and on weekends I try to get around to see the various European cities within easy reach.

While I realize I have only been here a short time, I have begun new insights based on this geographical shift. It may be a cliche to say this--and granted, I have always been aware of the differing levels of permissiveness in Europe vs America--but for the first time I am really feeling the difference between America and Europe in their respective positions on sex/porn.

For example, I am writing this from a cafe in Copenhagen. Just down the street is a sex shop:


This is the view from the street. In Denmark, sex shops do not have to cover their windows, as they do in the US (and other parts of Europe). You'll just be walking down the street, looking for a cappuccino, and BAM!--dildos and whips are in your face.

By contrast, I'm taking advantage of being in a predominately English-speaking country to take in a little (ok, a lot) of American television. The shows' provincial plot lines, while vaguely disturbing when I was living in the US, are now shockingly conservative.

Last night, I flipped the channel to Desperate Housewives in time to catch this gem:

Lynette: Brie, the reason I came to you for help is because you always had such strong faith
Brie: I'm sorry I got upset. I should have remembered that questioning faith only makes it stronger.

And then on Judging Amy (for the record, I watch neither this show nor DW except when pathetically jonesing for American TV), a key plotline followed an artist foster mom who took black and white photos of her kids for an art book. The kids were only partially clothed in some photos, and a social worker (a character we're supposed to sympathize with) threatened to take her kids away, calling it sexual exploitation. Triumph of the system!

I look at this from my dildo-and-S&M-infused perch and remark to myself how small this all seems. Yesterday I walked past a large ad showing a topless woman on the street near the main train station.
How can Americans be freaked out about kids stumbling upon pornography on the Internet, when this woman's nipples are the size of my head? It just seems a hell of a lot easier to loosen up about this stuff. Denmark does not seem to be experiencing ill effects from being so permissive--there is no epidemic of Danish teen pregnancy, underage sex parties, or broken marriages. I don't really know what we can do in the US to help people losen up (more dildos?), but it would really be great to be able to focus on something else besides freaking out over sex.



A new documentary from Jens Hoffmann explores life in the porn industry (watch the trailer here). It looks to present a lively, unwavering view of what it's like to work in the industry. The main emphasis in the trailer are the female performers (including big names such as Belladonna, Sasha Grey, and Sharon Mitchell), which is of course how it should be.

I'm very excited to be able to attend the London premiere of the film as part of London's Raindance Film Festival in early October. I'll be sure to let y'all know how it is!

The Fall of the Behemoths

The Financial Times ran an article last week eulogizing the "porn barons"--the handful of huge porn magnates whose empires are crumbling.

Men like Hugh Hefner (Playboy), Larry Flynt (Hustler), Bob Guccione (Penthouse), and Paul Raymond (prominent British porn merchant) have seen steady and precipitous declines in revenues over the past few decades.

While there will always be a place in my heart for gentlemen's magazines, I'm really not sad at all. The products these men created were important in the history of the industry and in cultural sexual development, but in creating large companies around traditional media (namely, magazines), they also limited their ability (or is it willingness?) to innovate.

The porn industry is one of the most innovative, rapidly-changing industries out there, and if you get attached to the old ways, you are at a serious risk of getting left behind. Half-hearted attempts to enter new segments with pay-per-view channels and an online presence aren't enough when you must contend low-cost and highly-agile start-ups in a fiercly competitive marketplace.

What does it mean for the indusry when the giants fall? This could be an excellent opportunity for the next giant to rise. Think about it--the industry is highly fragmented, with small, fast-moving players taking advantage of new opportunities as they arise. Consumers don't have particular brand loyalty, as these companies bleep in and out of business overnight, and leave in their wake a slew of schizophrenic advertisement-heavy sites where users have no idea what they're getting when they click. This can't go on forever--eventually someone will start buying up the successful companies and will start building a larger brand which can provide enough flexibility in its products to compete with the start-ups. Customers will gravitate towards the brand, since it will be associated with quality and easy-to-locate content. And, contrary to popular belief, people do pay for porn, if it means getting exactly what they want.

The industry is going through a major transition, and the smartest players are going to get very rich.

The Economics of Sex

I came across an old post in the Freakonomics blog today, about the economics of "desire" (read: sex). The authors discuss applying economic theory to sex, which is just about the least sexy thing imaginable to most people--and just about the sexiest thing to me.

In my own theories about the porn industry, I use economics to describe the dynamics on porn sets--for instance, why porn is one of the few industries where the wage differential favors women, even though the job is ostensibly harder (so to speak) for men. (It all has to do with both the supply side and end-user preferences; men are willing to work cheaply, money does little to enhance male physical performance, and consumers of porn dish money depending on the actress, not the actor.)

Economics is an excellent tool, even applied to porn/sex, because it cleanly explains rational behavior; the irrational behavior of passionate, aroused, emotional people does surprisingly little damage to the basic rational principles.

Here is one example from the Freakonomics blog post:

The reported prevalence of oral sex among affluent American teenagers would also seem to illustrate price theory: because of the possibility of disease or pregnancy, intercourse is expensive - and it has come to be seen by some teenagers as an unwanted and costly pledge of commitment. In this light, oral sex may be viewed as a cheaper alternative.

This sort of economic understanding, thoroughly harnessed, is deeply empowering in helping people navigate dating and courtship. I'm still waiting for an intelligent book to come out exploring the economics of sex (sorry to say, Mathematics and Sex, despite its promising title, was deeply disappointing). In the meantime, check out the Freakonomics post.