opinion

Challenges for Porn

Dave Cummings
I'm writing this on the eve of a trip to Sacramento with the Free Speech Coalition to lobby the California Legislature about some scary porn-unfriendly bills which apparently are being "shopped around." It looks like we once again need to educate some lawmakers about the beneficial impact of porn upon economics, and the need for legislators to guard against shooting themselves, or citizens, in the foot. I wish I could wave a magic wand and have all city and state governments also be enlightened about the harm they heap upon adult entertainment, and citizens who want access to our products and venues.

One of the California bills being discussed concerns new additional taxes against adult entertainment. Here's a quote from one very astute defender of the American right to access adult materials: "The industry takes calls for a porn tax very seriously," said Diane Duke, a spokeswoman for the Free Speech Coalition. "Our industry is legal, accessed by a broad base of citizens, already contributes to the tax base and employs over a hundred thousand people. At a time when all businesses, including those in the adult entertainment industry, are fighting to stay afloat, imposing an unconstitutional tax based on content is a really bad idea."

Legislators need to realize that that further taxing of porn and adult venues is unconstitutional, and isn't a fool-proof way to stimulate economic growth or fill government coffers; rather, in this day and age, it deepens the hole for citizens and voters to dig out from. Porn is not immune from economic downturns, at least not this time when the emergence of free porn via tube sites is making it difficult to release new footage when the illegal tube sites ignore the fact that many user uploads and subsequent downloads is basically copyright infringement, something that inflicts major damage upon the makers of porn.

Besides the radical tube sites, I sense that the explosion of webcam and social networking via the Internet has lately made it economically tougher for gentlemen's clubs. One club here in San Diego has mounted an effort called "SOS" (Save Our Strippers) which gives customers special deals on food and drinks. I feel sorry for the strippers, many of whom are financially struggling moms raising children, or students working their way through college; these women are hard working; they are not looking for bailouts or unemployment benefits.

Interestingly, a major cable television network known for music and entertainment, one that sought me out for interviewing last month, abruptly cancelled the shoot once they saw the questions the interviewer planned to ask me; apparently, some corporate "suits" became uncomfortable about possibly making viewers feel offended by the possible answers to the program's porn questions. Goodness, don't they realize that I would have talked about "money shots" in my answers to questions asking about "cum shots!" Gosh, don't they realize that the Republicans lost the national elections? Do we really still have the same outrageous right-wing hypocrites to contend with, or to influence corporate matters? These religious radicals need to lighten up and let normal citizens live without fear of their condemnation.

I'm turning 69 years of age this week, and many of my friends are making a big deal out of it — my getting old is just an excuse for THEM to party, and to try and get me drunk. Thankfully, a swinger party is also on my birthday agenda — I wonder what kind of cake I'll be eating at it? Keep your chins up.

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