After the launch Playboy in 1953 a deluge of adult entertainment magazines spilled across America. A “flood tide of filth” as one critic described it. Magazines like Adam, Dude, Rogue, Gent, Torchy, Candid, Twilight and Sultry filled the magazine racks. These girlie mags were blamed for the “promulgation of decadence” intended to corrupt America’s youth and make it impossible “for men to revert to normal attitudes in regard to sex.”
Adult magazines were deemed as great a threat to the American way of life as Communism.
Compared to today’s porn industry—these jazz mags are tame. Codes of censorship meant models were more artfully photographed. Full nudity was forbidden—well, until Penthouse broke that ban in the late sixties and Playboy followed with its first full-frontal centerfold in 1972. The focus was mainly titillation or T & A.
There was always some moralizing religious do-gooder (like future financial felon Charles Keating, see below) who claimed these images encouraged perversion, fetishised breasts and were intended to “appeal to the sodomist.” With all this in mind, it’s quite remarkable that our baby boom grannies and grandads grew up to be average, run-of-the-mill, suburbanites.
Or did they?
More from this ‘flood tide of filth,’ after the jump…
On April 19, the state of Utah resolved that “pornography is creating a public health crisis.” There’s definitely a hinky stank to that resolution, as Jamie Peck explained after the resolution’s passage: “The resolution is based partly on pseudoscience and takes for granted that the only ‘healthy’ channel for sexuality is a non-kinky, heterosexual, child-producing marriage.” So if you are queer or trans or pansexual the state of Utah just might pass a resolution stating that your private sex life is “creating a public health crisis.” Utah. Land of Republicans, Mormons and… more Republican Mormons.
Either way, some law enforcement officers in the state have taken the hint. Abutting the state’s famous Great Salt Lake, the municipality of Weber County, which contains the city of Ogden, has acquired a dog to help with the struggle against demon porn.
You might think that sniffing for porn is an impossibility, because you might as well be sniffing for old copies of Newsweek or the L.L. Bean catalog, right? But you’d be wrong! It’s 2016, when was the last time you held a copy of Penthouse in your hands? Nowadays, porn = internet = computer technology, nobody’s looking for printed smut anymore.
The dog’s name, URL, is a hint as to the skills that are being brought to the task. From the same trainer that produced the doggie that helped snare vile pedophile and TV fast food spokesman Jared Fogle, URL is “trained to sniff out electronic storage devices such as thumb drives, cell phones, SIM cards, SD cards, external hard drives, tablets and iPads.”
So URL is also sort of an “office work product”-sniffing agent as well.
Weber County introduced the dog to the public on its Facebook feed on Tuesday. Here’s the text that went along with the post:
A NEW DOG IN TOWN
Say hello to “URL!” Utah’s first Electronic Detection K-9, or what some may jokingly refer to as Utah’s first “porn dog.” URL is a 16-month old, Black Lab, recently acquired from Jordan Detection K-9 in Greenfield, Indiana. He is only one of nine certified ED K-9s in the country, and the only one in the western states region. URL comes from the same trainer as Bear, the ED K-9 who played a key role in the arrest of Subway pitchman, Jared Fogle.
Specially trained to sniff out electronic storage devices such as thumb drives, cellphones, SIM cards, SD cards, external hard drives, tablets and iPads, URL offers a unique set of skills to aid investigators in fighting crime. Whether it’s child porn, terrorism intelligence, narcotics or financial crimes information, URL has the ability to find evidence hidden on basically any electronic memory device. He will assist our investigators on these specific types of cases, and he will also be used in our correctional facility to seek out contraband such as cell phones.
Now we realize some of you may be skeptical and wonder how is this possible? URL does not actually search for illegal materials, but rather his highly sensitive nose has been trained to detect the unique chemical compounds found in the certain electronic components.
Rescued from a shelter when he was a puppy, URL went through six months of training in Indiana before becoming certified. His handler, Detective Cam Hartman, also received nine days of expert training and the pair will have to be re-certified on an annual basis.
URL’s purchase was made possible through funding from the Weber Metro Narcotics Strike Force, and his acquisition has been strongly supported by the Weber County Attorney’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for his care and deployment as he serves the Northern Utah area.
As the good people of Weber County admit, URL may be known as a porn-sniffing K-9 officer, but he can also be used to detect “terrorism intelligence, narcotics or financial crimes information” because we all know that Utah is a hotbed of that shit.
Last year the “dad bod” became a full-blown cultural phenomenon, and there’s a company called Film911 that caters to a set of fetishes that’s completely in the same ballpark.
Film911 specializes in “male gay fetish videos,” which mainly presents men engaging in activities that are not traditionally considered “masculine,” like stuffing their faces with food, tickling each other, receiving CPR, and, most intriguingly, giving birth.
This footage is apparently getting a few people off, but it’s not even clear that these videos qualify as porn, because, as Brian Moylan at Vice astutely observes, the scenes generally feature “no nudity, no dongs, no anal, and no money shots”—indeed, no sex at all.
At Film911, the male pregnancy videos fall under the category MPREG, and they feature men behaving in traditionally “feminine” ways that transcend the mere act of giving birth. In the MPREG video embedded below, “Connor” is shown at home, and he’s definitely showing. He’s at the kitchen sink describing his day on the phone to his unseen mate, as he demurely relates that he’s been cleaning up the house and that he can’t wait for his mate to come home so they can be together again. Before long, he’s in an OR experiencing painful contractions.
This is a man who speaks in hushed tones, who would seldom raise his voice or insist on getting his way. And maybe therein lies one of the secrets to the power these MPREG videos hold for some.
Film911 makes movies in several other genres that have little to do with the familiar porn categories of bondage and creampies. For instance, there’s the “Vore” category, short for vorarephilia, which denotes the sexual desire to be eaten—not in the sexual sense but in the culinary sense.
In the Vore videos, one man will devour another man, only then to regurgitate him so he can ask him how it felt. The descriptions of these videos are quite amusing. “Jonny is hungry for more,” a preview of which is embedded below, comes with the following synopsis:
1. Jonny comes home and Connor at his pizza so he turns and eats Connor.
2. Jonny is working out and needs more protein to get larger so he eats Connor.
3. Connor and Jonny are in bed when Connor decides to eat Jonny. Connor gets sicks and throws his boyfriend back up.
4. Connor is doing laundry when Connor knocks him down, drags him into the bathroom, and chows down.
There are also videos dedicated to men stuffing their faces with a table full of food and then moaning about the burrito babies now inhabiting their bellies (those are coded “Stuffing”). Some show men blowing each other up like balloons (“Inflation”). As you can see, imagery of men with distended tummies is one of Film911’s main stocks in trade. None of these genres have a large following as such, but the site still turns a tidy profit.
The founder of Film911 goes by Jay in Vice’s article (last name withheld); he started the company when he realized that “there was no content out there catering to what I’m into. I own a production company, so why don’t I produce content geared toward what I’m into?” He uses friends of friends as well as guys who he finds on Craigslist. One advantage of keeping matters so un-explicit is that he can get attractive and fit straight guys to appear in his movies, in which everyone keeps their clothes on and there’s no genital play.
As Jay says:
“When people told me what they were into, I was like, ‘Wow that’s different.’ There are certain people who tell me their ideas and send me their scripts and feedback all the time. I’m very connected to them and they’ve driven the business in the right direction.”
I Modi or The Ways was a book of engravings depicting sixteen sexual positions. Think of it as The Joy of Sex for Renaissance times. The book, also known as The Sixteen Pleasures, was published by the engraver Marcantonio Raimondi in 1524. Raimondi based his explicit illustrations on a series of erotic privately owned paintings by Giulio Romano. The book was widely circulated. It led to the first prosecution for pornography by the Catholic church. Raimondi was imprisoned by Pope Clement VII. All copies of the book were destroyed.
Our story doesn’t end there, as the poet and satirist Pietro Aretino heard of the book and wished to see Romano’s original paintings. Interestingly, Romano was not prosecuted by the Pope as his paintings (unlike Raimondi’s book) were not meant for public consumption. Aretino decided to write a series of erotic sonnets to accompany the paintings. He also successfully campaigned to have Raimondi released from prison.
In 1527, a second edition of I Modi was published with Aretino’s sonnets. Once again the Pope banned the book and all copies were destroyed—only a few small fragments of I Modi or Aretino’s Postures survive which are held at the British Museum.
In 1798 a completely new version of I Modi was published in France under the title L’Arétin d’Augustin Carrache ou Recueil de Postures Érotiques, d’Après les Gravures à l’Eau-Forte par cet Artiste Célèbre, Avec le Texte Explicatif des Sujets (The ‘Aretino’ of Agostino Carracci, or a collection of erotic poses, after Carracci’s engravings, by this famous artist, with the explicit texts on the subject) based on engravings by Baroque painter Agostini Carracci was published.
These 18th century engravings mixed classical myth and history within a contemporary setting—though their intention is still the same—to arouse and “educate” users to the joys of sex.
The frontispiece to the book the goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility Venus descending on a chariot.
Husband and wife Paris and Oenone try out penetration side-by-side.
Angelique and Medor—two characters from the opera ‘Roland’—perform the ‘reverse cowgirl,’ although they probably had a different name for it back then.
More sex positions of the 18th century, after the jump…
I was once on a porn set. It wasn’t how I had imagined it would be. I was part of a production crew making a documentary about online porn. We were in the upstairs bedroom of a small terraced house in the north of England. Outside all the houses looked the same: red-bricked back-to-backs with cobbled lanes. Quiet streets, half-net curtains hung in windows. In a small bedroom a man who looked like Benny Hill wearing a blonde Beatle wig was directing two young girls in bikinis to cover their bodies with various food products. He was filming their antics for his web channel, telling the girls to squirt more mayonnaise down their cleavage, splatter more beans on their bottoms, get that ice cream all over their chins and so forth. Downstairs Benny’s wife sat by a coal fire patiently knitting, and sipping weak sweet tea.
Behind the fantasy set of latex curtains, paddling pool, ketchup bottles and assorted props was a small dingy room—the kind seen in Britain’s black & white kitchen-sink dramas of the 1960s. The smell of congealing food was nauseating but the girls who were smeared with it were laughing and joking and egging each other on to be more outrageous. Their onscreen activities seemed very unsexual. I was seeing the whole absurd scene—the bare floorboards, the peeling wallpaper, the small tripod lights—not the close-up titillation being broadcast to an excited online audience paying by the minute.
This dissociation between the pornographic image and its creation—between location and use—form part of Jo Broughton’s photographs of empty porn sets.
Broughton was studying a foundation art course at Thurrock, Essex, when she was sent for work experience to London, as she explained in an interview with Jean Wainright.
I thought what I was being sent to was a glamorous fashion shoot when in actual fact I walked into a studio in Hoxton to a nurses set being set up and a girl walking out of a changing room wearing suspenders and stockings, the full monty kit. Quite an abrupt Yorkshireman approached me and asked if I’d ever seen a “fanny up front” and I squeaked “No” and he replied “Well today’s your lucky day”.
[Fanny is British slang for “pussy” not rear end—the difference of meaning once disconcerted English jazz singer Cleo Laine when her American doctor said he was going to give her “a jag in the fanny.”]
Jo was supposed to be doing two weeks work, but dropped out of college and stayed with the studio for two years.
For a long time I had quite a problem with what was going on there, I was quite conflicted. I was green as grass; I’d never ever walked into something like that before…
..It was very contradictory in some respects to have this space where I was safe and had a connection to people that were “family” and yet it’s perceived as very unsafe to other people: it’s a safe industry because they work very safely but it isn’t your desired environment, I wouldn’t desire it for my child to work as a pornographic model. My conflicting emotions stayed with me and I hid it very well, where I’d been and what I’d been doing, for a long time.
She worked as a studio assistant.
...my job was to paint the set, make lots and lots of tea and to sweep up. I was just the dogsbody, to put up the lights; always give Steve a “pop”, meaning I’d have to dump the power on the light packs for him to do the light test. I had to put up the poly boards and all the normal stuff you do in a studio with the content of a sexual nature, which actually was very tame and quite tongue in cheek now.
Having left college and finding herself temporarily without a place to stay, Jo started sleeping on the studio sets at night. During the day she was working as a photographic assistant at major Sunday broadsheet the Observer. Because of how people perceived porn, Jo could tell no one what she was doing or where she was staying.
When I was working as an assistant we would get phone calls all day, somehow people had got hold of the studios number and they would scream obscenities down the phone and make threats. People were repelled and absolutely disgusted by the subject of porn; you just didn’t mention that you worked in the porn industry. So in order not to be tainted by that brush, I didn’t dare mention it when I was at The Observer because you just didn’t knew how people would take it, take what you did.
Then Broughton enrolled at Royal College of Art. She also continued visiting the studio every week and began working as a cleaner there.
I’d had these conflicting issues about these models seen as meat and I was doing all this feminist work and then I became Steve’s cleaner every two weeks. I became this… I don’t know how to describe it, this Igor character, cleaning up after someone. But also, I felt more humanistic towards the models, the industry and suddenly I started becoming more comfortable with it myself. I started to see this more human aspect because I’m seeing bodily fluids and I’m washing things and I’m in contact with almost what the untouchable is. You know, washing dildos and whatever, you’re there, at that point. And suddenly I started to laugh and see the funny side of it and going in and putting the radio on and seeing the set week after week after week, it would change. It made me laugh because you see the set, there’s so much work that goes into those sets and yet it’s still the same subject; tits and arse.
Broughton started photographing the sets at night. She was interested in revealing the reality behind the artificial glossy sex of porn mags.
I’m letting the audience in to see what I saw and also to take the power out of it almost. It is to say this is false, which I suppose pornography is, it’s false. I like the fact that there’s a brick holding up the poly-board that reflects the light, the ambiance coming in, the floor boards coming in. For me it’s really important to have those elements, also it shows humanistic elements of imperfections. Because in the magazines that its published in that would all be cut off and straightened and it would all be very glossy, so that was important. Also, I wanted to show the space I had this relationship with, that was important to me as well. This space doesn’t really know what’s going on, a table doesn’t know it’s a table, a porn set doesn’t know it’s a porn set and that’s almost what I was trying to do.
Each of Jo Broughton’s photographs was taken on a porn shoot. The bed sheets are crumpled and stained, stockings and shoes lie on the floor, discarded sex toys and lubricant are visible. The frame is devoid of people, only the evidence of sexual performance and the illusion of passionate intimacy remain.
Golden Girls is one an unlikely show to have cross-generational appeal to both women and gays. Just as likely to be seen on Logo as Lifetime, the campy sitcom featured sassy broads of “a certain age”—all divorced or widowed—living together in perfect harmony with the aid of canned laughs. Some of the appeal may have been in the frankness of the show, with serious issues like gay rights and drug addiction discussed—and those women had sex,lots of sex. That may be why Hustler chose the show for its latest porn parody, This Ain’t The Golden Girls XXX. The film even features such grand dames of the smut genre as Nina Hartley, Luna Azul, Karen Summer, and Darla Crane!
My theory is that not a lot of straight guys are going to watch this. Don’t get me wrong, Nina Hartley looks fantastic (girl is 56!), but this smut is purely for “the fans”—a pornographic homage, really. The trailer below is so UNsexy I think you can probably get away with watching it at work—unless someone is paying very close attention, they’ll just think you’re watching Golden Girls!
Porn was a different beast in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Often times, actors, looking for their “big break,” would do adult films under assumed names to make rent while struggling to land legit roles. In the history of porn, only a small minority of stars, such as Jenna Jameson, Traci Lords and Ginger Lynn, were actually able to make the transition from “blue movies” to the “silver screen.”
The Rialto Report is an online historical archive of information related to “the golden age of porn” (mostly ‘70s and ‘80s) in New York. It’s an excellent, exhaustive source of interviews and articles related to the subject. If the topic holds any interest for you at all, you’ll want to check them out by following the previous link.
Prior to the shot-on-video, amateur quickies of today, it could be argued that porno flicks in the ‘70s—especially in New York—made some attempt at “real movie” production value. Indeed, many of the actors in these films were poor souls who had come to the Big Apple seeking fame, but were struggling in bit parts for little-to-no money. As Deep Throat star, Harry Reems, told Rialto Report:
In the beginning, I could get $150 for a few hours in a sex film – compared to next to nothing for appearing for weeks in an off-off-Broadway play. These X-rated films helped prolong my existence as a struggling actor, and therefore increased the chances that I’d eventually get a big break.
Rialto Report has tracked down several headshots of these struggling actors “before they were porn famous,” for a two-part series.
I have to admit some amount of ignorance when it comes to many of the actors featured there, as I’m no expert on ancient porn loops—but a few of them were instantly recognizable, even with my personally limited knowledge (basically limited to woods porn and 10th generation VHS dubs at teenage friends’ houses). Maybe it’s because the male actors “worked” more, but I recognized far more of the men than the women. If you ever watched any porn from the ‘70s or ‘80s ever, then you are bound to recognize some of these.
Here are the ones I found instantly recognizable:
Jamie Gillis. Real name, Jamey Gurman. Shown here as “Jamey King.” One of the most prolific male porn stars. His interview at Rialto Report can be found here. Gillis played “Burt The Enema Bandit” in the unbelievably sleazy 1977 film, Water Power.
Joseph Nassivera, better known as Joey Silvera got his start in adult films in 1974. He currently is a leading director of transsexual pornographic films.
Sue Rowan, better known as Bree Anthony, who appeared in many adult films in the mid-1970s. As “Sue Richards,” she was also the editor of High Society magazine for a short time.
Taija Rae entered the adult film industry in 1983. According to Rialto Report, the first part of her stage name, came from an Asian cocktail waitress with whom she worked before porn. The last name, Rae, was a tribute to Fay Wray.
Ronald Hyatt, better known as Ron “the Hedgehog” Jeremy—for better or for worse, he is the most recognizable male porn star of all time. He has an unbelievable 1,405 (both porn and “legit”) film acting credits to his name.
During the Qing Dynasty (the final imperial Dynasty of China, 1644 to 1912), smoking tobacco was illegal, but the use of snuff was permitted for medicinal purposes. As the habit became pervasive throughout the country and across every class, beautiful little snuff bottles were produced, made from materials like jade, bone, ceramic, glass and ivory. Many of the bottles depicted pastoral scenes or images of nature. Others—like the ones pictured here—were hardcore and would make pervy potter Grayson Perry blush!
If you’re in the market for a tiny antique porn collection from China—or you just want to do bumps from a smutty little snuff bottle—you can find them for around $50 on eBay or Etsy (much cheaper if they’re missing the stopper-spoon). If you’re really looking to drop some serious dough, Sotheby’s and other high-end auctions sell Qing snuff bottles that will run you thousands of dollars. It can be difficult to tell a reproduction from a legitimate Qing, but a little research will help you find the real thing (and for a reasonable price). For instance, many knockoffs are made of light-weight resin, and real Qings are often dated on the base.
There’s something so charming about these itsy-bitsy explicit tableaux—how could you resist?
More smutty snuff bottles of imperial China after the jump…
First up, a “trash compactor” cut of the incredibly earnest Christian anti-porn film, Every Young Man’s Battle.
My favorite part comes when the fat kid invites the guilty ginger… er, wanker (not that he seems like a bad person, I’m just being descriptive here) over to his [most assuredly no girls allowed] porn-watching party and then excuses himself to pick up “some special buzz juice, if you catch my drift...”
Oh, but we do.
If that taster wasn’t enough for you, please feel free to watch the entire thing below. Dig the football coach guy explaining to the boys how to go on the defense against yanking their cranks. And that sublime Ted Bundy interview conducted by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, on the very day before he was executed in 1989.
Porn leads straight to death row! Heavy-handed much? Nah!
Every Young Man’s Battle was produced in 2003, but it’s so dated that it seems like something made ten years earlier. It’s worth mentioning that many Bundy biographers cite multiple instances of him saying that he had almost no interest whatsoever in pornography. The Dobson interview is considered by many to be Bundy’s final chance to manipulate the public’s perception (and why Dobson, specifically, was granted the interview). Bundy also blamed alcohol and brainwashing by the TV as reasons why he became a serial killer, so take his confession here with a hefty dollop of salt.
Brian Eno’s reputation as an aficionado of rather extreme pornography is by now well-known, but at the time of future Pretender Chrissie Hynde’s 1974 profile in the NME, he was just letting the cat out of the bag. What an extraordinary thing for a pop star, even one with Eno’s avant garde pedigree, to admit to in 1974!
But what’s even stranger is the casual reference to Eno being an “elite” film star. What the hell does that mean? Is he referring to actually being in the films himself?
“It’s a burning shame that most people want to keep pornography under cover when it’s such a highly developed art form - which is one of the reasons that I started collecting pornographic playing cards I’ve got about 50 packs which feature on all my record covers for the astute observer.
“There’s something about pornography which has a similarity to rock music. A pornographic photographer aims his camera absolutely directly, at the centre of sexual attention. He’s not interested in the environment of the room.
“I hate the sort of photography in Penthouse and Playboy which is such a compromise between something to give you a hard-on and something which pretends to be artistic. The straight pornographers aim right there where it’s at.
“Which is analogous to so many other situations where somebody thinks one thing is important, so they focus completely on that and don’t realize they’re unconsciously organizing everything else around it as well. I have such beautiful pornography - I’ll show you my collection sometime.
The last guy invited me up to see his etchings.
“One theory is that black-and-white photography is always more sexy than colour photography. The reason for this is provided by Marshall McLuhan, who points out that if a thing is ‘high definition,’ which colour photography is, it provides more information and doesn’t require participation as much as if it is ‘low definition’.” I.e. a horror play on the radio is always very, very frightening because the imagery is always your own. If youUre choosing your own imagery, you’ll always choose the most frightening, or in the case of pornography, the most sexual.
“The idea of things being low definition has always interested me a lot - of being unspecific - another thing which is a key-point of my lyrics. They must be ‘low definition’ so that they don’t say anything at all direct. I think the masters of that were Lou Reed and Bob Dylan (on “Blonde on BIonde”). The lyrics are so inviting.
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT ‘burning shame’ is by the way? It’s a pornographic term for a deviation involving candles.
“Very popular in Japanese pornography. They’re always using lit candles because Japanese pornography is very sadistic, partly because of the Japanese view of women, which is a mixture of resentment and pure animal lust.
“In the traditional view, a woman is still expected to be at the beck and call of her husband, so that manifests itself in that kind of pornography. Of which I have a few examples, of course.
“Mexican pornography is an interesting island of thought because they seem to be heavily into excretory functions. The traditional American view is that anything issued from the body is dirty. It’s incredibly puritanical and it resents bodily fluids, so if one is trying to debase a woman, you cover them with that and hence you get the fabulous term ‘Golden Showers’ - the term for pissing on someone, which some well- known rock musicians are said to be very involved in . .
“Here come the warm jets?”
“That’s certainly a reference.”
That he’s considered to be a film star of sorts in a few very ‘elite’ circles. - Any chance of him making a comeback to the Screen?
“Some of the movies I did were very funny - they had to pretend to have a plot. Ha ha. [Emphasis added]
“Can I show you my pubic area?” (! ! !) He exposes his stomach down to his, ah - about six inches below his Navel. “Absolutely bare! Now I’ve got this beautiful bare belly! I’ve got this new Japanese thing, you see and the Japanese don’t have much hair on their bodies ‘Japanese culture I tip as the next big thing.”
I glance nervously over at the flickering candle on the windowsill. Out of nowhere, Eno produces a very extraordinary looking object which he explains to be the ‘Double Punkt Roller’, a massage device used in Victorian times. I marvel at its aesthetic qualities and he assures me that it can only be fully appreciated when used on the bare buttocks. We conclude that art which demands participation holds the greatest appeal.
I have a friend who swears up and down he once saw Eno in a sleazy mid-70s porno loop, in a big “daisy-chain” orgy scene (“Who else had such a hairstyle back then?” he’d ask). I always dismissed this, but maybe he was right?
WOW this film looks AMAZING! And NOT in the way that the creators intended!
Fuck For Forest is a new documentary following the titular eco-activist group FFF, who have a simple modus operandi: convince strangers on the streets of Berlin to film gonzo porn with them, which is then sold with all profits going to help save the Amazon rainforests. The movie makers travel with FFF to the wilds of South America to meet the people they aim to ‘help’, only to discover, unsurprisingly, that the locals are not enamored with their unique brand of spirituality (which seems to entail a lot of nudity.)
It sounds like it came from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, but alas, it’s real. Here is the Fuck For Forest group’s Wikipedia page, which states that they are the world’s first ‘eco-porn’ org.
In its first year of existence,[when?] the organisation’s website netted over $100,000 for rain forest protection through the sale of paid memberships. In their first six months of existence the group received seed funding from the government of Norway. They are the world’s first eco-porn organization.However, the organisation’s unorthodox methods have made it difficult to distribute the money it makes. The Norwegian chapter of the Rainforest Foundation Fund as well as the WWF both in the Netherlands and in Norway have refused to accept donations from FFF. As a result, Fuck for Forest is working on a project to work directly with indigenous communities in Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
The film has just gotten a very limited cinema release in the UK, and the reviews have not been good. In fact, it was a damning review by the Guardian that seemed to imply unintentional hilarity that really piqued my interest, making me seek out the trailer and to place it immediately on my “to see” list.
Seriously, check out the additional footage in that Guardian video review after you watch the trailer, it has me wondering if Fuck For Forest is the damning, hilarious portait that this “eco-punk” (or neo-hippy, crusty, whatever you want to call it) scene has always needed?
Over a decade ago, I directed a piece for television about “extreme” pornography and the societal effects it would have on a generation of young men who were but a mouse-click away from “Anal Armageddon 3,” “Barnyard Fun” and midget gangbang videos. They didn’t even have to suffer through the hang-dog wanker’s ignominy of dealing with a frowning video store clerk, it was just there already, right in their very homes.
For many young men coming of age in the past decade, probably more than anything else, the Internet represents a Pandora’s Box of digital perversions that can often be quite specific. 12% of all websites are pornographic in nature and 25% of all Internet search terms are for porn. Around the time that modems got fast enough to allow for video streaming, there seemed to be a corresponding spike in how sick, twisted and violent porn could get, each fuck film auteur trying to outdo the rest of them and raising the bar little by little, one fucked-up “gonzo” scene at a time.
Surely having such violent and dehumanizing images seared onto one’s retinas at the point of orgasm, I don’t think could ever be considered a healthy thing... Certainly it might at least prove to be, well, confusing, if not far, far worse, when a generation of men are getting their sex education from the likes of Max Hardcore. One of the interviewees I talked to, Australian writer Luke Ford, said that pornography was for the soul what cigarettes are for the lungs. Author Anka Radakovich, who was also in the program, mused that it might take ten to fifteen years before the full data was in and to get back to her with the same questions then.
It’s been thirteen years now since that TV piece and “Did Porn Warp Me Forever?” a brutally honest essay about growing up with unlimited access to smut from 23-year-old Brooklyn-based writer “Isaac Abel” (not his real name for obvious reasons), I think, has some answers for us:
With a teenage sex drive only inhibited by a vague shame, I quickly fell down a “kink spiral.” After all, we’re talking about reaching climax — when the overriding thought is often just “more!” The unknown, the unseen, was sexy to me, and I pursued novelty with vigor.
I found myself rapidly desensitized to online images. If a threesome was kinky last week, then I’d need something wilder this week. To reach climax, I had to find that same toxic mix of shame and lust.
By my sophomore year in high school I felt torn. Even though I was fairly certain that most guys my age were regular porn watchers, I felt ashamed about the type of porn that I was watching (not something that even the son of psychotherapists was eager to share with friends).
These questions continued to bother me. I worried that real girls wouldn’t do it for me. So my senior year in high school, I decided to quit. Cold turkey. For five months. I actually decided not to masturbate at all, and I had few sexual encounters. It was refreshing, and I definitely became more easily turned on by “traditional” things — including the women around me.
But when I started having sex, I realized that I had far from cleansed myself, even though I had continued (and continue still) to keep up my boycott on pornography. I had trouble getting and maintaining an erection with the first three women I slept with. This didn’t feel like a small matter. It seemed like all the schoolyard jockeying ultimately came down to that moment of phallic power, and I just couldn’t do it. Was I more turned on by porn than by real women? What did that mean about my sexuality?
I starting seeing a young woman regularly, and some confluence of alcohol, weed, no condom, and the trust, comfort, and affection I felt with her allowed me to start enjoying sex — to an extent. I wouldn’t acknowledge it, but the majority of nights I had “good sex” I was intoxicated. And, what’s worse, I was fantasizing about porn during sex.
It was a dissociative, alienating, almost inhuman task to close my eyes while having sex with someone I really cared about and imagine having sex with someone else or recall a deviant video from the archives of my youth that I was ashamed of even then.
I’ve talked with other millennial men who’ve experienced this, and it’s not particularly surprising. A decade before we were having intercourse, our neural pathways associated ejaculation with an addictive, progressive perversity that demanded a superlative overstimulation — skipping from climactic scene to climactic scene so that it’s always the most novel, deviant, kinky.
You get the picture and it’s not a very pretty one.
It was then purchased by what is now Syfy, who never aired the series (for reasons you won’t wonder about, if you’ve seen it) despite them paying a fair whack of money for it. Eventually it came out on DVD (Netflix also has it).
In any case, this segment, “The Best of Both Worlds” was going to be the first thing viewers would have seen in year two, but I ended up shuffling that around a bit after several people warned me not to come on that strong and that I might want to ease into it with the C4 lawyers, so it ended up airing towards the end of the second series. When that episode did air (dealing with themes explored in Adam Parfrey’s Apocalypse Culture II book) there were tons of angry letters and viewer complaints. One memorable letter accused me of trying to “create mass social deviation” using the airwaves (the best compliment I’ve ever received, btw). I was later told that criminal fines were levied on a broadcaster who showed that episode in Thailand due to the piece on transsexual porn.
The thesis of the piece—and it’s something that was also written about by George Petros (who you’ll see in the segment in an interview that we shot in my then apartment in the West Village) in a provocative essay titled “The New Hermaphrodite”—is that what seemed to then be an eye-popping explosion of “chicks with dicks” porn, was not really something being marketed towards gay men at all, as might be expected, but at straight men, as a sort of “kink.” Gia Darling, a well-known director of transsexual pornography who I interviewed says this explicitly to me, that gay men are not even remotely interested in seeing depictions of femininity—especially the sort of hyper-femininity associated with transsexuals—in their porno. So who was renting all of the shemale porn that started coming out in the late 1990s then?
When the answer to this actually dawned on me—before I knew there was a question, I should say—I was walking around lowlife XXX video stores on “The Block,” Baltimore’s sleazy red light district at 7 am on a Saturday morning in 1998 (it’s actually two blocks long and at the time, still a pretty seedy spot). Perhaps a little explanation is necessary: that very weekend was one of those times in my life where my bank account went from having like $200 in it, to having quite a bit more by the following banking day. But this was the weekend before that money got deposited into my account and I found myself staying in what might be charitably have been described as a “crack hotel.”
I had taken the train to Baltimore to see Joe Coleman do a lecture (Hasil Adkins also performed) and I think I had an overly optimistic idea of what sort of reasonably priced accommodations I might find in the downtown area. The shithole I stayed in didn’t even have towels and the bed sheets (which I used as towels in the morning) smelled strongly of Pine Sol. Two morbidly obese women with their hair in curlers sat outside the place on the sidewalk on lawn furniture watching a B&W TV and chain-smoking. The clerk who checked me in did so from behind a two-inch thick bullet proof window. It was a fucking dump. The worst.
The second I woke up, I made to get out of there, but there’s not a whole lot to do in downtown Baltimore in the very early morning hours (at least not that I knew of) and so I ended up getting coffee at a 7-Eleven and wandering around until the bookstores and record stores opened. Then I bumped into “The Block.” Having read about it in one of John Waters’ books, I knew exactly where I was when I laid eyes on “it.” So I walked in—and then rather quickly out—of the stores and the strip bars that were open at that time of the morning. “The Block” lived up to its depraved reputation, but there was something I noticed that, at the time, seemed quite remarkable…
In every Baltimore porn store, there was a disproportionately high percentage of the floor space—25 to 40%—devoted to “shemale” DVDs. Mostly straight porn, then the transsexual porn and only then a very small amount (5-6%) of gay porn. Baltimore, if you’ve never been there, is more or less a hillbilly and poor black city (that doesn’t describe the entire city, no, but it will suffice). Even at that early hour, these places were pretty crowded. The men who were perusing these wares were all working class guys, the sort of dudes who carry lunchboxes to work with them. As “normal” as you could get. Why all the interest in “chicks with dicks” (at 7am) and yet the apparent disinterest in the “regular gay” DVDs?
It seemed to me that the answer to that question would make good television.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning about this piece is a sort of “oh duh” epiphany I had when I was doing some interviews at Gia Darling’s apartment. Alyssa, Gia’s downstairs neighbor (who I assumed, until I was told otherwise, was a biological female and Gia’s zany “fag hag” friend) was trying to explain something to me about the difficulty for her to find a straight boyfriend because she wasn’t herself interested in being with a gay man (in fact, she seemed to look down on the idea with great disdain).
Later, when we were editing the piece and I was watching the raw interview footage, I could hear myself not quite getting what she was trying to communicate to me, like it just wasn’t computing in my brain, and Gia can be heard off camera trying to patiently explain it to me. It seemed to make a lot of sense to cut it around Alyssa’s poignant remarks because I didn’t want the piece to seem lurid or unsympathetic (For the record, I wholeheartedly agree with what Gia Darling says towards the end about the daily heroism of a transgender person. It made me happy to be able to include that part).
When the show aired and I sent videotapes to all the participants, I was pleased to see how positively Gia, Alyssa and everyone else felt about the piece and how jazzed they were to be able to say the things they got to say on network television.
Shot and edited by Nimrod Erez, music by Adam Peters and Chris Brick (Family of God). (Don’t blame me for the distorted audio or the typo, it’s not my upload).
Democrats should pay close attention here. The Republicans may have the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove in their corner, but this is surely more deviously creative than anything a reichwinger could ever come up with.
Now the merry pranksters of reddit /r/politics want to organize banner campaigns across various online porn sites to advertise Romney’s stance on pornography.
What better way to turn off potential Republican male voters in pr0n-crazy red states. Even the 20-something males who are the most impervious to politics might decide to register to vote over this issue. Hit ‘em where they live…ten plus hours a day!
Here’s a representative sampling of the reddit community’s reaction to the proposed stunt:
This November, don’t let Romney kill your boner forever.
These ads would be going against “The one little trick to get a 9 inch dick”, it doesn’t really matter how easy to pick apart it is.
Taking out ads on porn sites is a marvelous idea - it would likely result in subconsciously associating an orgasm with whatever the message of the ad is.
I seriously LOL’d at this. My room mates had to ask what was so funny. They think it’s awesome, too.
I’m going to start stockpiling porn.
Nobody votes for a boner killer.
I’d think that porn websites would be advertising this freely on their own.
Hi, I run fastjizz.com—if somebody wants to design us a 300x250 i’ll throw it on our homepage for a week!
Where do I donate?
‘Romney can take my porn from my warm sticky hand…’
Nice try, Obama. That said, I’d pitch in a few bucks.
“This November,when you go to the polls, think of your pole.”
This must be done
I work at an ad:tech company, specifically in the business of placing banner ads across the web. If someone is seriously interested in getting these run, I can help.
So he wasn’t happy just pissing off women huh? This is going to be the biggest landslide in the last 50 years.
The hypocritical, angry, white males who feed the tea party have finally painted themselves into a corner. They have to appear to disdain porn for their morally prudish wives, when in fact the porn industry caters almost exclusively to (such) men.
The Republicans have already lost the female voters. This could cleave quite a few males from the GOP fold, too!