Porn: From Beneath the Bed to the Coffee Table

May 11, 2014
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Porn is no longer taboo. Before anyone gets carried away, that’s not to say that porn is in any way a culturally widely ‘accepted’ phenomenon just yet; we’re still some way off from going to the cinema on a Friday night and choosing between the latest 3D Spider-Man blockbuster or donning the magic goggles to watch some lass called Daisy Swallows takin’ it hard. But in a world in which so much is sexualized – fashion ads and fragrance ads and almost every music video are often all basically one tiny strip of cloth away from being some of the most explicit material on daily public display – people having actual, penetrative sex on film just doesn’t seem all that shocking anymore.

At the time of writing, 775,985,009 searches for porn have been made since the beginning of this year alone. Respected print and online publications such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Salon.com all regularly feature items on the porn industry and its performers, and we’re not talking predominantly negative coverage either, but matter-of-fact statistical data, as well as profiles, interviews and features.

Porn: From Beneath the Bed to the Coffee Table
University porn actress Belle Knox. Image Dave Kotinsky/Getty

Blurred lines…

Belle Knox, the Duke University student who revealed to the world that porn was helping her pay her tuition fees, is a prime example of how the line between the mainstream and the adult industry complex continues to blur, with appearances on such familiar networks as CNN, with Piers Morgan, and countless press interviews.

Coming towards the same place but from the opposite direction we might even cite the now highly ‘pornified’ Miley Cyrus, whose latest acclaimed London gig is in essence an unashamed homage to sex, drugs and money, with Ms. Cyrus herself squatting, pumping and twerking away against an invisible dick like nobody’s business. The Emperor’s New Penis might not exist in the real world, but hell, it wouldn’t make that much of a difference by this point even if it did.

http://youtu.be/zlkbmpvDUWU

When it comes down to it, whether its Knox sucking on a real dick or Cyrus skooshing down on an invisible one, it’s all the same fantasy. To pretend that porn is somehow worse because actual penetration takes place is nothing but the rankest hypocrisy. In fact, and this should, in itself, probably be the subject matter of a different article, as far as the mainstream world goes, you’d be forgiven for suspecting that it’s probably the visibility of that penis which is the real problem. While the female form – usually in the shape of naked and semi-naked women – is apparently fair game and on display ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE, the male member is nowhere to be seen.  Say what you want about the adult industry, at least it’s inclusive. And honest. It’s the mainstream that revels in gender-based, double standard misogyny, while slamming the apparent immorality of porn.

Porn: From Beneath the Bed to the Coffee Table

Exploitation?

Even the exploitation argument doesn’t cut it anymore. The adult industry now goes to great pains to ensure that performers’ rights are protected and that no-one is getting shafted – at least not for free. If the banking sector enjoyed just half the regulation the porn industry operates under, maybe it wouldn’t have been allowed to screw the rest of us so royally.

There are those that argue that the women who go into porn do so because they don’t have the qualifications to do anything else or because it’s their only way out of poverty… and therefore no choice at all. That would be an understandable stance to take if those same people also wanted to disable the military for the same reason, which they don’t (humans are one hell of an inconsistent species). Besides, it’s not true. There are plenty of examples of well educated performers and performers who come from comfortable families.

Porn: From Beneath the Bed to the Coffee Table

That’s not to deny that there is still work to be done, but the risk of exploitation further diminishes when you take into account the new wave of female producers of adult content, as well as the growing success of the feminist porn market, which makes a point of ensuring that everyone involved in the creation of sexually explicit material is respected and taken care of (employees of Wal-Mart would be so lucky).

Stories of mainstream Hollywood and music industry excess abound, with film stars and singers alike smashing hotel rooms, ingesting huge amounts of narcotics and alcohol, getting into fights and sometimes even dying. With that in mind, it seems disingenuous at the very least to point the finger at the adult industry as being what the self-appointed Obi-Wan Kenobis of public decency would call the most wretched hive of scum and villainy on the planet.

This looks like it’s becoming an adult entertainment versus mainstream argument, with one being somehow better than the other; in fact, that’s the point, one ISN’T better than the other. THEY ARE THE SAME. One does; the other pretends… but they are both equally sexual (look at anything made by HBO for chrissakes)… and both equally flawed.

In fact, the better/worse argument is spurious at best, because porn IS here. It might still be divisive, it might still invite controversy and dispute, but it is, unarguably, here. It exists in the public consciousness (as it has done ever since humankind discovered drawing materials), it is talked about openly in the press; even a Huffington post report from last year attested to the fact that porn sites were getting more visitors per month that Amazon, Twitter and Netflix put together.

Porn: From Beneath the Bed to the Coffee Table

BaDoink understands this, which is why the company wasn’t afraid to go ahead and produce a mainstream magazine. We live in a something-for-everyone world, so why not provide something for everyone. No one’s going to force you to watch porn and no one’s going to force you NOT to watch porn. It’s your choice – we won’t make it for you (unlike most music channels).

So it’s time to stop the hypocrisy; it’s time to apply some across the board consistency and simply accept that porn exists as another form of human entertainment. If someone wants to make money by being in porn, that’s their business; if someone wants to get off watching porn, that’s their business; and if someone wants to ignore porn entirely, well then, that’s their business, too… although they’ll probably need to throw away their TVs.

With its huge glitzy award ceremonies and its massive industry conventions, with its widely recognized stars and even more recognized starlets; with its brash and ballsy ‘here I am’ attitude, porn is well and truly out of the shadows and its journey – from beneath the bed to atop the coffee table – is, at last, almost complete.

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