As June draws to a close, it’s time for my monthly round-up of secks- and pr0nz-related links from around the web! This month, there’s a lot of deep-thinky links. They range from deconstructing virginity to how deepfakes are all about smut to adult industry BTS revelations. There are also a few things I wrote at YNOT…and a quick announcement about a project I have coming up! Well, what are you waiting for? Get in there and check out these LINKS!
My first and favorite of June’s links? This long and complex look at the concept of virginity… And how we’ve outgrown it. Lee Phillips writes for Spectrum Boutique: “The concept of virginity is laden with thousands of years of toxic and oppressive stereotypes and stigmas and you know it.
“Unfortunately, the definition of virginity has not evolved as fast as our definitions of sexuality, women’s liberation, understandings of consent, and work to dismantle heteronormativity. That’s because it was created to uphold patriarchal and hetero hegemony, and there are still people who benefit from that.”
YNOT’s Michael McGrady writes: “Since the law isn’t being used like it was intended to, it also begs the question of whether FOSTA-SESTA was ever an effective law in the first place. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have questioned the law, with some even advocating for it to be entirely scrapped because of the damages done to sex workers and legitimate adult content creators.”
I found a deep dive into the UK’s 2020 smut habits for YNOT: “If idle hands are truly the devil’s playground, then it’s a good thing there was so much online porn to keep those hands busy in 2020—especially in the UK. According to Ofcom’s new Online Nation report, half of the adults in the United Kingdom viewed online porn last year as a way to cope with numerous COVID-related lockdowns.”
Adult performer Alison Rey is doing good work, people. She’s revealing trade secrets from the adult industry on TikTok. She told Buzzfeed’s Krista Torres: “So many of us started watching adult movies far too young and it gave us unrealistic expectations of sex and our sexual partners. My goal is to educate people about what is normal and what is done for aesthetics. Sex education in America is embarrassingly subpar, and too many minors learn about it from inappropriate platforms.…I think it’s about time we change that.”
The next phase of what I’m calling the Pornhub Debacle has landed! According to Moira Ritter at CNN: “The civil complaint alleges that Pornhub parent company MindGeek, one of the largest online pornography companies, is a “classic criminal enterprise” with a business structure created to monetize nonconsensual sexual content — allegations Pornhub denies.
“The suit was filed by Brown Rudnick LLP on behalf of 34 alleged victims of sexual exploitation, including minors, rape and human trafficking, and is seeking damages and protection for plaintiffs.”
Speaking of the Pornhub Debacle… More links about what went on after that New York Times article went live back in December. A prominent anti-p//rn activist (and far-right Christian cruaser, ugh), said: “Bill pulled the leverage of the Mastercard relationship, and he called out Visa and Discover. And then, suddenly, there’s reaction from the card companies, and Pornhub deleted 80 percent of their website.” It’s both chilling just how much influence one misguided dude with a lot of money can have on the lives of thousands of people. Ackerman may have meant well, but his actions have far-reaching consequences for sex workers. Now his actions are being called “ethical,” even though they’ve hurt many.
I’m not a fan of the fear-mongering aspects of this opinion piece from Peggy Orenstein for The New York Times. However, it nevertheless makes some salient points. “‘Porn literacy’ may sound salacious, and it certainly makes for sensationalist headlines. But like other media literacy courses…when they’re done right, the aim is to reduce risk, help identify and question the incessant messages that bombard teens, encourage them to hone their values and give them more agency over their experience.”
Inimitable adult industry journalist Tracy Clark-Flory interviewed Heather Berg about her new book, Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism for Jezebel: “Authenticity sometimes matters to workers, which is why so many of us come to these industries in the first place. For autonomy and also for a sense that you can bring some part of yourself to the job, that the job doesn’t feel alienating in the classic sense. I want to take that seriously too. These glimpses of connection between costars and pleasure on the job, they’re not just disciplining, they don’t just get more work out of people but they can also be a foundation for organizing and community building.”
I looked into a minor victory for the adult industry at YNOT: “‘Sex workers have gained the backing of a small group of Democratic lawmakers after largely being shut out of the policymaking process,’ wrote Rodrigo, who spoke to a number of pro-industry activists and entertainers, as well as a small but hopefully growing cadre of United States lawmakers who are taking the perspectives of sex workers and their advocates seriously.”
A fascinating piece of June links from Maggie MacDonald at The Walrus. This one’s about how folks are using deepfake technology—predictably—for p*rn. “The breakneck speed at which deepfakes are improving—often in disturbing new directions, including cloning voices—make it possible that they will be successfully weaponized politically. For the moment, however, they are not being used as feared. In warning about a crisis that doesn’t yet exist, headlines are erasing the damaging way the technology is actually being deployed: almost entirely to manufacture pornography.…But this crisis is bigger than porn. If porn performers can have their content brazenly stolen and modified, anyone’s images are fair game.”
An informative and refreshing read from Olga Khazan at The Atlantic. “Porn makes for an easy target. But legislators focused on labeling it as a public-health crisis should consider what problems they are actually trying to solve. Many researchers and adult-entertainment workers support measures that would reduce kids’ access to porn, ensure that porn videos portray only consenting adults, and mandate fair wages for sex workers. Calling adults’ legal use of pornography a ‘public-health crisis’ doesn’t do any of that.”
The last of this month’s links has nothing to do with the adult entertainment industry. Sorry! But it does have a lot to do with ya girl! The third issue of my comic book series about 6 tray dogs and 1 stray man is launching in a month! If you could spare a button click, a quick follow would mean the world to me. You’ll be under zero obligation to back the project when it launches. But you’ll be doing me a huge favor by signaling to Kickstarter that this is a comic people are excited about! Thanks so much for your support!
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