Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's been a long time....

Obviously, I have been away...I regret that in some ways, but I have, in many ways, had a great deal of other shit to handle...

But I see how things are going in the world, and with that, something I put up over at the GER blog which I think is oh so fitting....-Ren

Ozymandias: It doesn’t take a genius to see the world has problems.

The Comedian: No, but it takes a room full of morons to think they’re small enough for you to handle.

Fitting, I think, in oh so many ways.

It’s late, or rather early, for those of you who sleep like normal human beings. For me, it is late. And as of late, as I have been sitting back, watching, reading, seeing how things are progressing in the world part of me wants to stand up and scream “No, can’t you idiots see what you’re doing?” The other part, well, the other part of me wants to sit back, light a cigarette, smile that smug, grim smile of mine and say “Well, look, you got what you wanted, your biggest wishes and dreams came true! Now there is blood running in the gutters and you are standing knee deep in it so how does it feel to try that on for size? How does it feel to know you had a hand in that?”

At this point, you might be asking what my grim, insomnia rattled self is talking about. Well, I’ll give you a hint: what I always talk about. The Sex Industry and people who think they know what is best. They do that a lot, you know…people. They, oh, envision utopias and get into causes and picture a nice pretty clean world and think they can actually pull that shit off? Clue here, people. It ain’t happenin’. Not in this lifetime or any other.

But yeah, some people are on the verge of victory, you know, getting the things they’ve always wanted? Reaching their big time goals? Anti-sex industry people should be patting themselves on the back right now. I suspect they are, actually. Countries all over the world are looking into the Nordic Plans for prostitution. Even here in the good old US of A states where prostitution was not illegal (all two of them) are moving towards laws more like those in the rest of the country. Porn? The porn industry is in serious trouble. Obscenity laws, the AIM/Cal-OSHA wars, all kinds of shit. Look, anti-industry people? You are getting just what you wanted. A crack down on selling/buying sex. Porn companies folding or in serious financial straits. You’re winning!

But, she says, lighting that cigarette and smiling that grim smile, at what price? The people you worry about the most? Claim to care about the most? The poor women, the trafficked women, the drug addicted, un-educated women? The young women, the children? Well, Ozymandias, whom do you think all of this is going to hurt the worst? Need I remind anyone that we are in a world wide mass recession? Jobs are scarce. People who were formerly middle class are now fighting to keep their jobs, their homes, and their lights on? The exact sort of conditions- poverty and desperation- that lead or force the unwilling into the sex industry in the first place? The types of things that prompt a family to sell a child into sexual slavery? The types of things that make it easy for traffickers to trick women into forced prostitution after promising them better lives in far away lands? And it is not as if our world governments have swept in to pick up the slack here, dear readers. There are no government funded, state supported, fully functional programs for former forced sexual laborers. No medical care. No educational or job training. No day-care. No living quarters. No roof over the head, three squares a day promise of a better life. The closest thing we have is…prison. So where are these most unfortunate of people to go? Just back to what they were doing, in more dangerous conditions. If you think in your pretty new world there will not be forced, coerced sexual labor then you are a fool. Ruthless people bent on profit do not let things like nice sounding laws get in the way of their businesses. The willing and the unwilling will still be fucking for money no matter what the law says. It may not be on your corners anymore, but it will still be happening, and the worst of it will be happening to the most vulnerable people of all. Your vaunted models will not end supply or demand, it will just make things uglier and worse. And if you think it will actually cut down on trafficking? Ha. I will call you either a stupid or na├»ve fool. And I will be right. Selling sex is illegal here in most of the USA, but it still happens every day, and in every way, 24/7-365…even on Christmas.

As for porn, do you honestly think hamstringing the legal porn industry in California will stop porn from being made? Fact here, aside from in Ca, it is illegal to make porn anywhere else in the US. Guess what? It still gets made. Tons of it. Some of it is made with Ca standards in place: legal age, testing, contracts, release forms, payment, so on, so forth. Some of it is most certainly not. And why yes, so long as there is a demand for porn (which there has been, for a long, long time) it will get made. Would you prefer the porn that is made to be made by people who abide by the Ca standard, or not? Because sure enough, so long as someone is willing to spend money to watch people fuck, someone will profit from it. It will get made, and lawlessness and disorder in porn is not a good idea at all. Proof of age, testing, contracts, release forms, payment, or…. any asshole with a drunk, drugged out person and an I-Phone? You pick. Choice two is what you are actually asking for by calling for the proverbial head of the Ca industry on a pike. You think women in porn- you know, those helpless hapless ones- are abused now? Just you wait. Only a great many of them won’t be in porn anymore then. They will find other jobs, better or worse, and no one will have any idea if the people in porn are there by choice or not…because it will be illegally made and considering that, no reason for proof of age or consent. Yet it will still be watched. There will still be a demand, and a supply to fill it.

You think these laws, these victories, will put a single dent in trafficking, or sexual labor brought on by poverty, unemployment, lack of education, or force? These huge, global problems?

Well, to you and the rest of the morons in the room…those are things you cannot fix.


  1. One should observe also that to the anti-porn people's hamstringing the existing porn industry cannot but incentivize the creation and use of decentralized DIY porn creation and sharing tools. That could mean a cornupcopia of kink in our future. Well done, morons in the room!

  2. Ren,

    Thank you for this. As always, your voice expresses the hard truths of complex situations in their essence.

    It is indeed a very hard time in the world of porn, and the the various "abolitionists" and "reformers" with all their prattling have made it worse. They can certainly congratulate themselves for the additional hardships porn sex workers now face that you describe so well.

    But some of the bad news originates closer to home. Too many greedy fools made too much bad porn for too long, and when money got tight, their weak products stopped selling and production went from boom to bust in a matter of a year or so, leaving a couple of thousand legal sex workers who had enjoyed the safest, most professional conditions to be found anywhere with very little work to do. Most of them, as you say, will end up doing more dangerous work for less money as the great porn diaspora scatters them to the often shady Web content producers operating underground all over the world.

    And there was that piracy problem we more or less ignored until there was so much free, if crappy, porn available that hardly anyone cared to pay for the good stuff that makes for optimal working conditions and shows worth watching.

    But there's no doubt that self-promoting hacks like Shelley Lubben and Michael Weinstein have played a role in creating the current mess. We have in place a comprehensive and extremely effective system for protecting performers from STDs and universally accepted standards regarding proof of age and detailed, written consent. These things are all threatened by the effectiveness with which these ass-clowns manipulated a hostile local press into creating an atmosphere of crisis where none existed.

    Now there is no doubt that Cal-OSHA will be regulating the porn industry, though it will take two years for the recently established advisory committee to promulgate those regulations. Porn people, including performers, will have seats on that committee, as will the fools who pressured the leadership of the agency into creating it. The results will satisfy no one, although I don't think they'll include either mandatory condoms or goggles, but they may not be able to preserve the universal voluntary testing program that's worked so well until now, what with County Health and AHF lobbying furiously to take over and impose their own lame-ass approach under a lucrative state contract.

    But the successful experiment of the past ten years in letting sex workers regulate themselves is a certain casualty however this thing shakes out. Those who believe sex workers can't take care of themselves and must be protected by outsiders who hate what sex workers do for a living seem to have carried the day. All I can predict as a result is misery for women, which is what these people really want to see, whatever they may claim.

    The DIY thing? Yeah, great, a license for performers to starve and sleazebags to take advantage of them as the business slowly slides off the radar screen and goes underground, which it already has far more than most people know. I suppose some folks think, in their ignorance, that this will break the monopoly of so-called Big Porn, but what will replace it won't be for progressive types. It will be Max Hardcore with no protections at all. Exploitation? Trafficking? Coercion? These things thrive underground, along with lousy pay and vile working conditions.

    We built something remarkable here, and some very unremarkable people have done a pretty good job of demolishing it.

    When the bill for that destruction comes in, you can believe I'll do all I can to make sure it is delivered to the correct parties.