The Lushest Links of May

The month of May, 2021, is drawing to a close. And with it, I’m rounding up the lushest links that came across my radar in the past month. They mostly have to do with the moral panic and righteous crusade of the anti-smut movement. And. Well. Just read ’em.

The Campaign Against Secks Work in the United States: A Successful Moral Crusade

A 2020 study by Ronald Weitzer concluded:
“The campaign has all the hallmarks of a moral crusade [including that] its discourse makes bold assertions about the magnitude, severity, and nature of the problem—claims regarding sex trafficking that are disproportionate to the available evidence and claims regarding sex work that are based on the essentialist axioms of the oppression paradigm.”
Read the rest of the paper here.

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Trump’s DOJ Awarded $240,000 To Anti-Porn Group NCOSE

Speaking of anti-smut moral crusades… Remember that article I wrote last month about Patrick A. Trueman, president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and the architect of the “public health crisis” moral panic over smut? Welllllp, as reported by Michael McGrady for YNOT:
“While it is unclear how the grant has contributed to the organization’s anti-porn efforts, the point is that the United States federal government awarded funds to fight ‘trafficking’ to a group that considers legal and legitimate industrial activities to be contributors to be ‘trafficking,’ absent the lack of evidence confirming such a theory.”
Read more over here.

Laila Mickelwaite, Exodus Cry and their Crusade Against Porn

And, hey, now that we’re on the topic of the crusaders themselves, here’s a piece I wrote for YNOT at the beginning of May about their current queen.
“There’s a lot more going on here than one woman’s righteous quest to save innocent victims from the ignominy of appearing on Pornhub without their consent. Mickelwaite is the tip of a sprawling iceberg of far-right Christiam activism aimed squarely at taking down the adult entertainment industry—and if doing so involves taking up the anti-sex-trafficking mantle, so be it.”
Read all of it at YNOT.

The Crusade Against Pornhub Is Going to Get Someone Killed

While we’re on the “moral crusade” topic, let’s take a look at just how the anti-Pornhub crusade is going, as reported by Vice’s Samantha Cole:
“Posts by extremists viewed by Motherboard use these anti-trafficking organizations’ branding and language. More importantly, they agree with the substance of the ideologies that these anti-trafficking organizations peddle—that all sex work is trafficking, that the porn industry needs to be eradicated, that massage parlors are dens of criminal activity. They believe that Pornhub is as evil and dangerous as Traffickinghub says, and if the government is not going to stop it like Traffickinghub wants it to, they threaten to stop it themselves by violent means.”
Read the article here.

Hunt for the P//rn King

Meanwhile, however, there’s blood in the water, and the news media is going into a feeding frenzy. Last week, Tortoise’s Alexi Mostrous, who moderated the panel I sat on earlier in the month about Pornhub, revealed the results of a long-term reporting project to unveil the hitherto-unseen face of Bernd Bergmair, the primary owner of MindGeek. The newscast, alas, uses language and sound design that adds to the sense of looming danger around the dreaded topic of online porn, and borrows quotes from Exodus Cry’s own Laila Mickelwaite. I can’t really condone its alarmism. But this is clearly also an important part of the puzzle that is “Big Porn,” as the anti-smut zealots like to call it. Listen if you wish, over here.

(As a side note, since my appearance on Tortoise, I’ve noticed a growing trend in their coverage toward the anti-porn side of the debate. While I attempted, in my participation, to highlight the negative effects of anti-porn zealotry on the ethical producers of adult content, I’ve seen them cherry-pick and even outright misrepresent my words on Twitter. It’s disappointing, but I hope that my contribution to the conversation nevertheless may have reached some ears that needed to hear it.)

How DOES P*rnhub “Get Away With It”?

On the topic of that panel I sat on, I published my quick take on it a few days after it went down, plus video of the entire live-recorded Zoom panel. You can check it all out over here.

P(o)rnhub tycoon’s wife wants him to cut ties with the company

On a much lighter note that still, sadly, speaks to the “sharks are circling” aspect of this news circus… Before the newscast above even went live, the New York Post had already published this gem: “The wife of the billionaire owner of Pornhub’s parent company wants her husband to cut ties with the smut platform that has been mired in controversy.…’To be honest, I never knew of this. I was totally out of this … The only thing he told me is that he wishes he was not in this, and I think he will not be very soon,’ she said.”
Read the whole, ridiculous, article over here.

British Media Takes Aim at OnlyFans

Yes, the moral panic is alive and well, and now it appears the news media is spreading it to OnlyFans—one of the best ways for consenting adults to profit on their legally created adult content to still get paid.
“In an exposé published on Wednesday, BBC reporters Noel Titheradge and Rianna Croxford revealed that they had uncovered instances of underage models using OnlyFans to sell photos and videos for profit. The article (whose title, appropriately enough, mirrors the December New York Times column that launched anti-Pornhub sentiment into the mainstream consciousness) alleged, ‘British subscription site OnlyFans is failing to prevent underage users from selling and appearing in explicit videos.'”
I wrote all about for YNOT.

Okay, okay. Maybe these weren’t the lushest links. But, look, May has been kind of a shit show for the adult entertainment industry. But who’s going to read a blog post with a title like “Doom and Gloom in May”?

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