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Porn In The Comfort Zone

Porn In The Comfort Zone

January 3, 2005
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" In the end, a backlash against this perhaps excessive permissiveness may be felt. "

Mainstream companies are capitalizing on middle-America's increasing tolerance of sexually-themed, and occasionally explicit, advertising in an effort to sell their products; but does this cultural acceptance hold a danger for the adult industry?

You only have to see the latest television commercial from Victoria's Secret, or any of the overtly suggestive advertisements across all forms of popular media, to realize that an increase in sexually exploitive marketing is underway. What a generation ago was hidden on the back shelf behind a convenience store counter, or in a seedy adult book store on the wrong side of town, is now thrust into our living rooms – and to an extent that many people are no longer shocked by what they see, and indeed, are accepting this softcore smut as 'mainstream' material.

Being Accepting Of It
Like receiving an immunization shot, people are becoming more immune to each dose of adult-themed entertainment that is introduced into their mainstream lives. The more accepted and comfortable this material becomes, the less of a forbidden fruit it will be. In other words, the more you see sex on regular TV, the less interested people will be to purchase it on a Pay Per View channel. The mystery is gone, and just like Walmart snuffing out small businesses, the availability of porn on a daily basis as a channel choice on your television will undoubtedly force us as an industry to find a new level of what's 'forbidden' in order to keep our businesses thriving. But, in doing so, does this create a level of self-sabotage?

Fighting Fire With Fire
If mainstream takes our industry's softcore and makes it theirs, using material on the racier daytime soap operas that would have been censored in years past, then all we have left is to go increasingly hardcore to separate ourselves, and to save our industry. Yet by doing so we endanger ourselves by producing hardcore that is extreme enough to put us behind bars. This can be seen as the same concept as encircling a fire with fire to snuff it out...

Children play games on their video players now that allow them to choose sexy girls to interact with, and in some of these games you can even date in cyberspace, etc. There's really nothing wrong with this, but is it necessary? In other words, did someone just dump the cookies out of the cookie jar, and so now it's ok to eat them? It's not our job to make people comfortable with sexual nudity, it's our job to create its forbidden desire – otherwise the value and interest in it is lost - which all the more makes me suspicious about who's making it their job to make soft porn a 'free-for-all' – and thereby pushing the adult industry to go ever more extreme.

Focusing on the small irritations that have evolved in the porn industry may have side tracked us from focusing on how to better protect all elements that it provides. We have lost sight in what pornography is and its deeper meaning. Pornography, even in its soft form, is the heart of the adult industry, and the more that people are accustomed to seeing it as part of mainstream, the more comfortable and immune they will be to seeing it as part of life. But this comfort may give way to discomfort over the penetration of this material into everyday life.

In the end, a backlash against this perhaps excessive permissiveness may be felt, but even without such a national moral outrage, the danger that many companies will have to put themselves in just to compete may have disturbing repercussions. So the next time you see a sexy ad in a magazine or watch a racy program on television, ask yourself "Is this something that I'm comfortable with my family or my children viewing?" – If it is, then you've come to a place where 'porn' is in your comfort zone – and this can spell trouble for business...


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