Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Greta Christina on "Can Watching Porn Be Cheating?"

Over at the Blowfish Blog, the always-insightful Greta Christina takes on the issue of porn use in relationships:
Normally I adore Scarleteen, and recommend them unreservedly as a source of sex info and advice. And I feel a bit churlish calling them out on this one, since I found out about it because they were kind enough to link to me in their “wide range of feminist views of porn” section. If their advice had been about almost any other form of sexual activity, I would have been right there with them. And when it comes to the lap dances, I think their perspective is valid.

But when it comes to porn, I think they missed the boat.

I’m going to go out on a limb here:

I don’t think anyone has the right to expect their partner not to watch porn.

Why not? Well, let me put it this way. Do people have the right to expect their partners not to masturbate? Or, for that matter, do people have the right to expect their partners not to watch reality TV or read true crime? On their own time, when they don’t have any obligations and their partner isn’t around?

And if not — then why on earth would anyone have the right to expect their partner not to watch porn?


I elaborate my thoughts on this in the comments section after Greta's post, but basically, I'm more or less in agreement with her on this for the same set of reasons she gives, with the caveat (and nod to the Scarleteen position) that its up to the partners in every individual relationship to determine what's "reasonable" to give up or tolerate from the other partner. (Within the limits of putting up with what constitutes outright abuse by a partner.) I also think that, like attitudes toward meat-eating, religion, or monogamy, attitudes toward porn are one of those issues that its best for partners to be on the same page going into a relationship.

Addendum: Greta Christina follows up on the subject further here. She also has some interesting thoughts on how this relates to the negotiation of monogamy or non-monogamy in relationships here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slight Alteration of the Blog Theme

After getting final approval from Ernest and Ren, I've went ahead and updated the blog appearance with a slightly new theme. This is probably not as radical as most expected, but one of the main constraints was that I wanted to keep the header photo at the top...and none of the newer themes that I really wanted would allow me to do that.

So what say thou?? Good enough, or should I go farther??

Juliet "Aunt Peg" Anderson (1938 - 2010) -- Presente

She was one of the original MILF's even before the term was ever popular.

She was one of the most prolific performers of the late 70's and early 80's.

And, as the world knows, she was the one who essentially launched Nina Hartley's career by producing and directing Educating Nina back in 1984.

Unfortunately, Juliet Anderson (aka Aunt Peg) is now no longer with us.

Here's a memorial courtesy of AVN.com:

Juliet 'Aunt Peg' Anderson Dead at Age 71

The legendary star appeared in 84 movies, directed three

BERKELEY—The body of Juliet Carr, better known by her adult career name Juliet Anderson, and even more frequently recognized as one of the characters she portrayed, "Aunt Peg," was discovered this morning in her residence in Berkeley by a friend. The cause of death is not yet known, but the actress suffered for many years with Crohn's disease, which had only recently been diagnosed, though she had suffered from it for most of her life.

"I found her in her bed," said her friend Kevin Fong, who became close to the actress over the last 18 months. "She looked like she was just asleep. There were no empty pill bottles, nothing out of the ordinary. There wasn't any alcohol; her wrists weren't slit; nothing."

Fong had arrived to take the former actress to a doctor's appointment for a colonoscopy that morning to help in the treatment of her Crohn's.

"She had chronic Crohn's disease, and you can only control so much of that with diet," Fong said. "She was a health nut, she was in great shape, and this was a total shock. ... In her case, it was congenital; she had it since she was a little kid, and it stopped her from even going to regular school as a child. it's something she had forever, probably all her life."

Carr's adult career was unusual, to say the least. Born in Burbank in 1938, the diminuitive blonde began acting in adult at the age of 39, when, as an employee at an advertising and engineering firm, she was discovered by famed director Alex DeRenzy, who cast her in his 1978 blockbuster hit Pretty Peaches. Her career took off quickly, and she performed in more than 80 movies over the following 10 years.

Her best-known role, however, was as "Aunt Peg," her character in the movie of the same name. "Aunt Peg" was a Hollywood agent who had an unusual method of choosing her clients and of getting them work, as displayed in Aunt Peg Goes Hollywood and Aunt Peg's Fulfillment. She also appeared in such top hits as Tangerine, Vista Valley PTA, Dixie Ray Hollywood Star, Outlaw Ladies, Taboo 1 & 2, Hustler Video Magazine 1, and in half of the first 24 volumes of the Swedish Erotica series.

Carr also took credit for discovering world-famous star Nina Hartley, having cast her in 1984 in Educating Nina, which Carr directed. However, when she was unable to find distribution for the movie, which she had financed herself, she quit the industry altogether.

"It was a huge undertaking with a strong story, talented actors and superb production values," Carr wrote. "However, this gem was a financial and emotional disaster for me. As the first woman producer of X-rated films, the men who ran that industry were intimidated by me and retaliated by never releasing Educating Nina.  Devastated, I quit the adult entertainment industry."

"This is really sad news," reflected Hartley. "Juliet did put me in the movies all those years ago and was a mentor for several years. I saw her in November up in Berkeley when I did a personal appearance there. She was in fine health; she was happy. We took a couple of pictures together, she flashed her boobs—they were still lovely—and since it has to happen to all of us, I'm grateful that it seemed to happen peacefully without other incident."

"She was the original cougar before 'cougar' was hot," Hartley added.

Carr's life was, for want of a better term, eclectic. According to her website, she followed her American lover to Japan in 1960, married him briefly, became fluent in the Japanese language and even attended the university there. In 1965, she lived in Mexico City and taught English to IBM executives there, and two years later did similar teaching in Athens, Greece. In 1971, she was a "top-ranking" radio producer in Finland, creating programs in English about Finland. Between those jobs, she worked as a secretary to a nudie film producer, an Avis Rent-A-Car employee, a cocktail waitress, a fashion model and a receptionist for the home offices of Burger King, all in Miami, Fla. Later, she managed a bed-and-breakfast in Northern California, and eventually became a massage therapist, a profession which she practiced until her death.

In 1996, Carr, already an AVN Hall of Famer, was inducted into the Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame; the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1999; and she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Free Speech Coalition in 2001. She also received an honorary Doctor of the Arts degree from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in 2007.

"She was just a wonderful woman," recalled director Wesley Emerson. "She started late in the industry, and I interviewed her about a month ago because several of her films are about to be rereleased in France—Coed Fever, Inside Desiree Cousteau and Talk Dirty To Me—and they wanted some commentaries from different people. I also talked to her about how she got started in the eight-millimeter business. She was one of the big stars of the Swedish Erotica series, and she worked with practically everybody. We talked about how she got started and all the things she did in the industry. She was talking about that film she did about older couples having sex [Ageless Desire, 1998]. I had worked with her many years ago on a film I don't remember the name of; it was one of those one-day wonders that you shot in 35mm in those days, and she was great, she was just an amazing person. She was always there on time, always ready with her lines, and I thought she was just a wonderful person."

"I heard on the grapevine about a hot new 'older' woman in the biz and was soon in her apartment interviewing her," remembered photographer Paul Johnson. "Her name was Judy Carr, later to become Juliet Anderson. We did a great shoot in a hot tub and patio that became the Connoisseur Series mag The First Time. [Juliet] was my sexy assistant the last few years I worked in the biz. Juliet had a great eye and after I taught her to use a Hasselblad she did great work when I was modeling POVs or fill-ins. I joked with Juliet that she could learn to use a Hasselblad but never could learn to flick a Bic. When Juliet and I worked together we would say that we will always be friends, seems to be true, we had breakfast together 3 weeks before her death."

"Juliet was a great assistant," he continued. "She had a great eye for dressing the set, did make-up when needed, and could crack the whip to keep the rest of us moving. And sometimes when a male was having trouble keeping it up, Juliet would lend a hand or whatever it took. Away from the biz I probably spent more time with her than anyone else."

"She was very health-conscious," Emerson noted. "When I saw her last month, her body was still pretty doggone toned and healthy."

"She was doing an essential kind of massage," said another acquaintance. "She had an amazing touch with her fingers; it would melt you. If she would just run her nails down your arm, it felt great."

"Her mom is still alive, and she spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with her mom and her family," Fong noted.

"Juliet and I talked, just in passing, about what she would want done if she died," Fong said. "She said she wanted to be cremated, and I've talked to her family a little bit, and we talked about donations to the Humane Society in lieu of flowers or any of that."

Check back to this site for information about any planned memorial services when they are announced.

A gallery of Juliet Anderson photos can be found here.
 I'm sure that Nina will have plenty more to say about Juliet's passing soon enough. Watch her journal and forum for details.

Rest in peace, Aunt Peg....you've earned it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, And Some Minor Changes to This Blog

I know that it has been quiet here for the holidays, so I have taken advantage of the down time to make some adjustments to this blog.

First off....due to the late run of spamming and drive-by trolling we have endured, I am now officially putting all comments on moderation (save for the usual posts by our founding contributors, such as Ernest, Ren Ev, IACB, or any other pro-porn/anti-censorship activist). Myself, Ren, Ernest, or IACB will now have the authority to reject any comment that we find to be offensive, trolling, or otherwise insulting to the purpose of this blog in defending sexual expression and those who purvey and produce such. Those who want to engage in meaningful debate and discussion, of course, are always welcome, but if you are only here to pick fights or to run the usual smack, then you will be banished pretty quick.

The second notice is that we are now inviting anyone who is directly involved in the porn industry -- whether it be as a performer, producer, webmaster, or otherwise, to become a contributor to this blog. This is not to solicit gossip or to promote spamming, but simply to allow those who have been mostly left out of the debate on porn and free expression to have a free and protected space to speak their mind. If you are really good enough, we will make you a fulltime contributor with all the powers therein.

Finally, on a personal blogging update: I have unfortunately been forced to move my SmackDog Chronicles blog to a new webhost due to my old domain being phished too many times...which resulted in my old webhosting company permanently suspending my domain. I have saved my old posts from that location and will be transferring all of them (including the Nina Hartley Shmate interview series) to the new blog as time permits...but it will take some time to do so given my work schedule. In the meantiime, here's the new adresss for the SmackChron:


Hopefully 2010 will be a bit more productive with less drama for everyone.

ADDEDUM: I failed to note that Ren Ev has gracefully decided to share her formerly exclusive moderator/owner powers, and have granted me full moderator rights and privileges and responsibilities. Since she was the one who originated the idea and the spirit of this blog to begin with, all of us are grateful and thankful for her efforts, her activism, and her being such a determined misantrope and a freedom fighter.