It was once the province of seedy men sneaking in to even seedier cinemas in the worst parts of cities around America. Then the VCR was invented and porn went suburban -- videos hidden in the back of TV cabinets.
But now porn is coming out of the closet. With Playboy about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, porn has established itself firmly in the center of the American mainstream.
This week porn actress Traci Lord is blitzing the news talk show. CNN was so excited about her interview Tuesday with Larry King that the self-proclaimed "trusted news leader" hyped it throughout the day.
Traci's big news? The blonde sexpot has written an autobiography detailing how she was drugged on cocaine when she made 19 films before aged 18 -- films that are now banned as child pornography.
Elsewhere on TV, porn superstar Jenna Jameson has appeared on NBC sitcom Mr. Sterling and hosted shows on the cable channel E!.
The Fox network is planning a prime time soap opera called Skin about characters in the porn industry and starring former porn actor Ron Jeremy as a producer.
Cable channel Showtime is pulling in viewers with a reality show called Family Business about the porn star and film producer who goes by the name of Seymore Butts.
Meanwhile, Vanity Fair features porn stars as models, Val Kilmer will star in the movie Wonderland as porn legend John Holmes this September and, of course, your average teenage pop star wears clothes that would put pioneering porn star Linda Lovelace to shame.
The pervasiveness of porn is not just a cultural phenomenon. With an estimated US$10 billion to US$14 billion in annual sales, over 700 million video rentals a year, the adult industry is big business meeting a surging demand from ordinary Americans, not just cliques of sexual perverts.
Companies have realized that they cannot afford to ignore this booming sector. Reputable, squeaky-clean firms like Marriott International Inc, Hilton Hotels Corp and satellite and cable operators Comcast Corp and AOL Time Warner Inc send hard core movies to hotel rooms and homes all over the US, while Web portals from AOL to Yahoo host Web sites run by communities that feature a cornucopia of sexual imagery.
"Porn doesn't have a demographic -- it goes across all demographics," said Paul Fishbein, 42, the man who founded Adult Video News, a journal that employs some 70 people to rate adult films and track news developments in the industry.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big