EDIT – Economically Exploited – porn stars dispensable?

Here is my edited version of a post by Steez.  I think the points they brought up were interesting. I hadn’t posted anything regarding this topic, so I thought this was a good choice. Click here for the original post.

Economically exploited is not a term I would have thought to use when describing porn stars.  I always thought they made a lot of money.  For a few scenes they are paid thousands of dollars. However, they get no residuals from their performances.  They get paid once and that is it.  The real people making the money are the producers and distributors.
A porn star may perform in a few movies and make a nice living during the year.  However there is a lot of competition out there and they are dispensable. There are a select few individuals that are “contract players” such as the Vivid Girls.  Like the name states, they are contracted and have a set schedule with some benefits and perks. These ladies can also call the shots.  They have their dos and don’ts and may even be able to select who they perform with.  This is not the norm however.  They are in the upper echelon of the industry perhaps making up a small percentage of total performers. One Vivid girl, Savannah Samson even stated, “It’s like the girls are respected”; which may give the connotation that if they aren’t contract players they are not respected.
Looking beyond the “contract players” porn stars are easily replaced.  If a girl refuses to do a scene according to direction, she will be fired and not be able to work in the industry again.  In a sense she is forced to do what is asked or she will be replaced. In addition, as woman age and their bodies deteriorate, a younger woman is right behind her to take her place. Due to the amount of young women who are willing to act in porn, wages cannot rise because there will always be new talent to replace an actress who may be demanding more.
Contract and non-contract players need to supplement their income from video in other ways.  Most women go into selling their own line of sex toys and products, to becoming an escort or stripping at a local club.  Some get parts in mainstream film, but consider that a stepping stone or a boost for their “adult” career.  In other words, it looks good on their resume.  When they are seen by all viewers, it gets their name noticed and will attract more fans to their main career.
In conclusion, I always thought porn stars made a lot of money when in reality their salary per year or per career is not that large.  Like most people in America, with the cost of living rising, they are finding themselves in need of another job to make their ends meet.  This is unfortunate.  They are being exploited by the industry. Whether you agree with their line of work or not, the producers and the distributors should not be the only one reaping the benefits from the performers work.
 

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An apology if I offended anyone

This is a direct response to Jessie‘s post about ignorance. 

I commented directly to him, but I feel I need to address the class as a whole too.

First off I would like to apologize if you think I may have offended someone in this class and if indeed I did I apologize to them as well – I apparently offended you.  I did not intend for either of my post to do that. 
I do not agree wholeheartedly with what ICE said, just some parts.  As far as what I said you misunderstood me tremendously. 

I DID NOT CALL THESE MEN TRASH –  I said that the reason was trash.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have used such a strong word.  I simply meant, I was not buying their reasoning, and I don’t think many people in society would either.  I am far from homophobic, I have many different freinds from all walks of like, as does my husband.

Second, I am not ignorant and if you use God’s name again, please capitalize it.  You and everyone else who types God’s name offend me when it is not capitalized and I am not a fanatic Christian. I would capitalize your name if I knew it.

Third, free will is stated as a gift from God, it is true that some societies do not allow their people to exercise free will openly without repurcussions. However that is FREEDOM, not free will. 

Fourth, yes I do feel the same way about woman in porn movies.  I do not share their same values.  I am someone who believes in a committed relationship and no amount of money in the world would make me deviate from that – and that is my belief not some brainwashing done by Christian values.  BUT I do not think they are evil, beneath me, or in any way less valued as an individual. 

I  love my neighbor as myself – I would never intentionally hurt anyone nor would I put anyone down either.  What people do in their lives is their business, and who am I to judge.  And who are you to judge me?

My husband agrees with you!

As soon as I read this post I knew my husband would appreciate it.  So I had him read it too!

I agree with the message as I stated so in my post a few days back! Your presentation was humorous although it is rough around the edges, but my husband got a kick out of it.  He wanted to know what you were doing tonight, he’ll have a few beers with you!  I made him laugh when I told him to be careful, you may think he had ulterior motives!

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I’m not gay, I just love the pay!

If you are a Christian you believe you were born with Free will and with free will you were given the power to make choices.  We all have choices.  We often use the phrase “What choice do I have” or “What choice did I have”, when defending the choices we made. 
But the fact that we indeed have choices resonates in my mind.  The Nigerian young woman we saw in lecture 12 was given a choice.  She chose to go with the men even though her family urged her not to.  Of course she saw the promise of a better future; that is what drove her to trust these individuals and take them up on their offer.  What followed was anything but that.  (Always remember what’s too good to be true, usually isn’t!) She was part of the human trafficking of sex slaves and was brought to the streets of Italy.  She then faced the choice to stay or to run.  Being frightened, I imagine, and the fact that she had no idea where she was or how to get help kept her hostage there.  She chose to stay and suffer the consequences.  When she was picked up by police and brought back to her home, the men were soon to follow.  The family was given an ultimatum, $10,000 or you will be killed.  Obviously, they could not pay that sum of money.  Again she was faced with another choice.  What would I do in that predicament?  I would go.  If it meant my family would be harmed in any way, I could not help but to go back.  This woman’s choice was a difficult one to make, get beat and tortured on a daily basis or have this happen to my family.  
Now let’s move on to the adult male porn stars.  Please, comparing them to this woman is an insult.  The men chose their profession.  They may have certain characteristics that seem to appeal to the industry such as a sexy voice, chiseled body and the ability to last a long time such as with Jeff Stryker.  He is one of the highest paid performers in the “gay for pay” industry.  “Gay for pay” is what is described as heterosexual men performing in gay movies for the money.  Straight male porn actors are paid $300 to star in adult films with woman.  Men who star in gay porn are paid $3000.  Another male example is Ben Campezi, who claims he is straight but the money is phenomenal.  He has his wife on set to “coach” him.  I don’t believe any of this trash.  Come on, he wants his cake and eat it too.  I believe these men are either gay or bi-sexual and so far in the closet, they can’t reach the door.  (And you mean to tell me there is a shortage of gay men willing to star in these films?) Ben is married; perhaps he doesn’t want to “cheat” on his wife with men.  What better way to have sex with men than to do it on camera and say it is for the money only.  What struck me is how supportive the wife is supposed to be, yet after the take, her actions speak loudly.  She does not look at him, it is even almost like she is disgusted by him as well, and the way he goes to her and massages her breast as if to prove, “see, this is what I like. Yeah, I am a MAN.” 
These men unlike the Nigerian woman have a choice.  Perhaps they cannot be Supreme Court Justices or go on to college and get a corporate job.  If they really set their mind to it, I am sure they can find a way to attend a college with the benefit of grants or loans if they looked hard enough.   They could work construction, or find another job that does not require a higher education.  The fact that they chose the industry they did, makes a statement about their character.  They like sex.  Who wouldn’t? But to say they had no choice but to work with other men is ridiculous.  To say it is just another job and theirs just happens to be “giving it to” another male is laughable.  My husband would NEVER do that no matter how desperate we are financially.  If it was life and death, perhaps he would suck it up.  But just for money when there are other jobs, no never.  
I will leave with one last thought.  Think back to Columbine, yes the execution of High School students by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.  It was said that a student saw what happened to other students when asked if they believed in God.  And when it was Cassie Bernall’s turn, even though she knew she was going to be killed for it, she CHOSE to say, “Yes”, she believes in God.  So we are all left with a choice, some easier than others, but to hide behind an excuse is nothing but cowardly.  They say that money is the root of all evil.  If you compromise your principles for money, that is your business, but don’t say you have no choice.  And if your principles were not compromised, it means you were willing and able. So don’t lie and say “I only do it for the money.”

Are we too informal with Professor Halavais?

I came across this article and found it interesting.

As a parent and an older student, I am amazed at how things have changed over the short time since I was a full time student.  Even at the elementary school age and middle school age, informality seems to rule.  At PTA meetings, the parents call the principal “Dan” rather than “Mr. Soandso”.  

I did not grow up with e-mail, therefore I tend to write everything as if it was a business or personal letter and this drives my 13 year old son nuts! He calls me a nerd or another term depicting that I am just not with the times. So I thought this is the trend that is acceptable, but after reading this article I see that not all would agree.

Which leads me to this question – are we too informal?  Do all professors feel this way?  Are we bombarding our instructors or TAs too much?  Are we expecting too much? I know this has nothing to do with pornography, but we are taking an online class with approximately 400 students.  Can you imagine if they have to respond to at least one email a week from us?  I can’t even find the time to respond to all the posts I find interesting. I think internet = informal.  Think of instant messaging and e-mailing friends, no one types long hand anymore.  Everything is abbreviated and in a new way as well, such as “POS” which I see often!

I am curious to see what others think.

AND WHAT ARE YOU VIEWING?

This week there was so much information – I will focus on just this one about companies hiding their assets and my assumption as to why.

Middle America likes to have their little secrets, from how much income they bring in, what learning disabilities their children may have and yes, even what they do in their leisure time. But they also love to flaunt other things, their upcoming vacations, their child’s amazing sporting accomplishment, their interior decorator.  You get the point. 
But they have a dirty little secret as well.  There is a notion that sex is bad in America; that is, if sex is being sought with someone other than your partner.  It is all a social stigma – the pure wholesome family white picket fence and all.  If your husband is watching porn, you must not be satisfying him enough that he has to go look elsewhere or that he is a creep and there is something wrong with him.  This is not true but the stigma is there. So Middle America keeps it quiet and pretends it is not present.  No one talks about it.
Corporate America seems to have the same secret.  If Corporate America wants to make money they have to play the same game everyone else does.  MCI, Marriot, Verio, AOL and other companies own and have some stake in the adult industry.  They may provide software infrastructure and delivery systems for porn in all its many variations.  But not many people would know this.  I, for one, did not.
Many brokerage analysis, investment bankers and venture capitalist would deny involvement. Yet they depended more on sex for survival.  Many companies that did not carry sex went under. So others decided it best for their investments to provide porn in one form or another.  Sex sells. Why don’t we know about this though? 

Adelphia’a example of providing a XXX channel brings to mind a few other examples. I believe Adelphia never went through with the plan.  I remember hearing somewhere that it was in place either 3 weeks or 3 months and it was shut down.  Not entirely sure of what is true, but my guess is that the AFA came into play.  “The American Family Association represents and stands for traditional family values, focusing primarily on the influence of television and other media – including pornography – on our society.”  I am a member – I don’t know how it happened but I started getting emails from them.  So I know about everything that hits the airwaves and how they want to stop it.  They send out emails getting their members to write to whomever it is to get their message across.  Take for example “Book of Daniel”, NBC took it off the air after only one or two weeks because the sponsors decided to pull out due to pressure from the AFA.  Another example is the February 6th episode of Las Vegas.  I was going to show the clip from the show that they found offensive but they took it off their website because some of the members were offended it was there. (It was of a pole dancer in a strip club and it focused on the girl for a very long time!) They asked us to contact the FCC and send them our reactions/comments about the show airing during primetime hours.  If you watch the clip you could see how some people can become upset by this.
So this is why I believe the big companies keep quiet about their involvement.  The more people know the more opposition they will get.  And if the right people lean hard enough, they will crumble.  The Christian groups make up a vast majority of America.  I believe they will rise up and fight the “mainstreaming” of pornography.  Once they set their mind to it, one show at a time, they will damage the industry. I believe it will be a hard battle to fight and they may not even win, but I predict it will come nonetheless.  It will be interesting to see where it leads. I think it at least will set the industry on notice and cause them to be more careful in its filtering to the public.
 

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Let’s Chat

I won’t get rid of my AOL.

I don’t want to get rid of my chat features!  I love instant messaging with friends and family.  I get a kick out of how slow my dad types; I can get up from my desk and make myself a cup of coffee and come back and he will be just posting “fine and you”!  I love this feature.  My friends say I can get rid of AOL and just use AIM, but I am a creature of habit.  I won’t get rid of AOL no matter how bad I think it is.

So when Alan Weiner, former Dataquest analysis, reports to Daily News as stated in Perdue’s article ePocrisy “If AOL eliminated CHAT, you’d see the subscriber base go from 8 million to 1 million faster than you could spit.”, I understood exactly what he was saying.  I would be one of the 7 million that drops AOL.  I mean I am paying $50 a month to Cablevision for broadband service.  Why would I spend another $14 to have AOL too?  Like I stated above, it is for the CHAT features. 

However, I must note, I was astonished at how CHAT is synonymous with SEX.  Naive me thought everybody liked to link with friends and family, not meet new people for the sole intent of hooking up.  I have the little icon on top for People Connection – I always thought it to be ridiculous and thought the rest of the world did too, but not according to Perdue’s article.

15,000 chat room with 82% devoted to sex!  I am living in a bubble!  Although when I first got my computer, I spent a lot of time on Gamehouse.com playing Tetris and Candy Cruncher and all other fun games that wasted my days.  They have a chat bar running down the side of the game screen.  I am trying to “WIN” but I see this dialogue going on next to me and I can’t help but read along.  It was like eavesdropping and it was wonderful and entertaining!  Most of it was clean, however, one guy comes on and asks if anyone wants to have sex.  I think to myself, “there is always one in the crowd, must be an immature teenager and just wants to shake everyone up.”  He asks again and then someone else just types “Wrong room”.  I think nothing of it until I read this article.  This guy must have been sincere with his intentions and the occupants knew it and most of all knew of another room in which he intended to enter.  I just didn’t know!

I am tempted to search online for a chat room and see what I can find.  But I am chicken as well.  I don’t want any links to child pornography or anything I find disdainful.  I don’t want to be red-flagged and I don’t want to participate unknowingly in anything illegal. Yeah, I know I am chicken, what can I say. But I won’t get rid of my AOL – even knowing they look the other way. It makes me sick that they allow this to go on, so why don’t I boycott the company and cancel my subscription, because sad to say, I am a ePocrit. If it doesn’t hurt me, I don’t care.