Well, it’s September, friends. That means that, in the northern hemisphere, it’s autumn now. And, as the weather turns crisp and cool, I’ve baked up a list of piping-hot links about sexuality, adult entertainment, technology, and more. It’s all just for you! Enjoy!
Links from Around the InterWebz
Pornhub Is Collecting Your Fap Data (and so are others)
I’ve spoken quite a bit about P0rnhub and other free streaming p0rn sites like it in the past. It’s a model that hurts many people who are trying to make a living on creating great adult content. So I encourage people to pay for their p0rn whenever possible. Yadda, yadda. But here’s a new reason to be careful with your intake of free streaming smut: They’re keeping a very close eye on you and your most intimate proclivities.
From Sebastian Meineck at Vice:
“P0rn sites are selling the makeup of our sexual desires and automatically collecting data that could potentially be used to track individual users over time.” So much so that, says Meineck, “you could create a hyper-specific ad that is only seen by people watching gay p0rn in Bristol who are browsing in Spanish between 6 and 7AM, looking for content with the keywords ‘threesome’ and ‘outdoor.'”
Wow. Read more about this huge investigation over here…and watch out for those tube sites.
Vimeo Is Not Safe, Even for SFW Videos
Speaking of free streaming entertainment, the world of “mainstream” video streaming has long been hostile to adult content. That’s no news to anyone trying to promote adult content by way of SFW promotional videos like trailers, interviews, and the like. But Ms. Naughty, a long-time indie, feminist porn-maker based in Australia, got a terrible reminder of just how oppressive the rules on Vimeo can be recently when her multi-million-view account was summarily shut down recently…again.
From her blog post:
“The decision as to whether a film is “primarily focused on sexual stimulation” would surely be in the eye of the viewer and that may be different from person to person. In Vimeo’s case, it seems that you are at the mercy of your reviewer’s arousal level. Do they get a boner easily? Too bad, account deleted.”
Read the details here, and take heed, adult content producers: Vimeo is not safe, even if the videos you’re uploading are.
Cindy Gallop Tells Ad Industry to Step Up and Play Her Ad
Cindy Gallop of MakeLoveNotPorn.tv—the pioneering force aiming to normalize real-world sex—is at it again! This time, she’s calling on media outlets to be brave enough to run a new ad for her website that seeks to normalize a new “Language of Love.”
“Now Gallop is throwing down the gauntlet and challenging media agencies to step up and donate air time. She wants “The Language of Love” to run as a TV spot. She wants it to run online. And she wants it to run in the cinema “because it deserves to be there—it’s cinematic.”
Learn more, and watch the ad, right here.
Wait, What? Magic Condoms on Bareback Sets?
Here’s a really interesting read about how condoms are being used on “bareback” p0rn sets—then artfully hidden from view. And, of course, why on earth anyone would do such a thing.
Slate’s Matthew Terrell writes:
“If the maneuver is executed successfully, most viewers will think they are watching an instance of real, and preternaturally effortless, bareback sex.”
Read more at Slate!
I Didn’t Buy that Smut! My Dog Did!
In absurd smut-related news, Thomas Barnes of North Carolina recently made a stink over being charged $115 for pay-per-view porn, claiming his dog ordered it. It seems that DirecTV, where the pup supposedly “mistakenly” ordered the smut from, has offered to refund his money, but Barnes felt so wronged he went to the media with his story, and it caused a hilarious stir as far away as New Zealand. “Barnes claims that Marino leaped on his bed and stepped on the TV remote, selecting the lewd entertainment with his paws,” wrote the New Zealand Herald. And yeah, yeah, sure, sure, it could easily have been his dog. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Lynsey G.-Adjacent Links
A Note on Erika Lust
Last year, I wrote a piece for Rolling Stone about feminist p0rn maker Erika Lust. The editors at Rolling Stone approached me about profiling her. So I got to work interviewing folks from around the adult industry who had things to say about her and her work, as well as Lust herself. During my research process, there was much adulation of both her oeuvre and the attention she’s drawn to feminist ideals in p0rnography. But there were quite a few criticisms, as well. I tried to give the piece I wrote the same flavor: lots of complimentary words, but also a smattering of not-exactly-glowing reports.
One of those reports came from a performer who, at the time, was going by Rooster. In our interview, they told me that they had had some less-than-ideal experiences on Erika Lust sets at the hands of a guest director. “On the productions I’ve done with guest directors, I, as an experienced performer, had to teach them how to do things ethically, because maybe that might be the first p0rn they’ve ever shot, or the first nude scene,” they told me at the time. When I asked for more information about what had happened, Rooster preferred not to go into detail. But, they said, “Ultimately, they’re looking to achieve the thing that they’ve written. And that’s where it maybe falls apart.”
In the time since my article was published, Rooster has gone public with allegations that they were assaulted by the guest director. Once on a remote set, and once in the presence of Erika Lust herself. I don’t know all the details, and I don’t pretend to. But I’ve been concerned about these allegations—and the silence that Lust has answered them with. Until recently.
In a statement released on her company’s website late last month, Lust wrote, “It can be argued that this incident was not a good example of best directing practice in the production of a film set. But it is certainly not sexual abuse nor assault.” She also wrote that her team “concluded that sexual assault didn’t happen on that set.”
Since then, Lust has taken down the short film in question as a concession. Still, the above statements frankly gross me out. It’s one thing to do lots of soul-searching, investigating, and working with someone who says they’ve experienced abuse on your set…and draw your own conclusions. But it’s another thing entirely to tell the world at large that you know what happened to someone else. Nobody but a victim of assault gets to decide what constitutes assault. Full stop.
I spoke with my editor at Rolling Stone who said that, for a number of reasons, the story I wrote last year can’t be taken down. And, until there’s a bit more solid evidence on the table to work with, a new story on the subject isn’t going to happen. But we did discuss it in detail with the hopes of coming back to it later. And we also put a note in the article to acknowledge what’s happening. It’s not much, but it’s something.
Furthermore, I asked that Erika Lust be stricken from my upcoming audiobook version of Watching P0rn. I’d recommended her work in the back matter in the printed versions. But I can’t, in good conscience, let that recommendation stand in new works.
To be clear, I am not absolutely clear on what did or did not happen on the sets in question. But I am clear that there are empathetic, helpful, ethical ways to handle allegations of assault. And there are also are gross ones. And I think that the one in question here is pretty far on the gross side. For someone who makes her name as an ethical p0rn producer… Well, you get the idea.
Conflation Is Bad, Mkay?
I wrote a quick piece for YNOT today (where I’ve been writing about once a week on topics around pr0nz—you can read all my work here). It’s in response to “Brain Heart World,” anti-p0rn organization Fight the New Drug’s documentary series. Unsurprisingly, it conflates a lot of really important issues…And then blames them all squarely on adult entertainment. UGH. So, I wrote about why the separation of these issues is important. (Full disclosure: This is not a review. I didn’t watch the documentary series. That’s because they wanted me to register my name, age, and contact info before I could watch it! Noooope.)
Here’s a nibble:
“It’s consumer behavior—namely the inability to regulate p*rn use (often called “p0rn addiction”) and the unwillingness to pay for it—that has created the monster of free streaming p*rn online. Not the p0rn industry…And it undermines real efforts to stop real sex trafficking when people who are creating legal entertainment for paying customers are lumped in under the same umbrella.”
I’m Huge in Israel
An interview with yours truly was published in Israel’s Haaretz Gallery column a while back! Alas, I didn’t hear about it until recently. But nevertheless, here’s a link to the article! It’s in Hebrew. And you need to be a subscriber to read the whole thing. Soooo, I guess there aren’t too many of you who will be able to read it. But here’s the general idea: We talked about many of the myths about the p0rn industry and how, in my experience, they’re just that—myths.
Dame Products Cofounders Are Closing the Pleasure Gap—And I Helped!
I wrote about Alex Fine and Janet Lieberman, the cofounders of feminist sex-toy company Dame Products, for Playboy. We talked about their toys for vulva-havers, their goal to equalize orgasms across sexes, and how crowdfunding is feminist. Plus many other things, natch. Read it here!
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