opinion

Jism Schism

Tom Hymes
The worm has turned. Even companies that dominate their sectors are at pains to maintain the illusion that it's business as usual. But there remain some schisms in the jizz biz that go far beyond a painful but necessary reckoning by a few sticks-in-the-mud. The industry is divided on many issues, some of them very fundamental, and it's making for a very interesting time period.

I have assembled a few of the more divisive subjects below, with brief comment. We’ve been talking about some of them for years, in one form or another, and yet they remain essential and controversial, which means they speak to something authentic and difficult to reconcile.

Keep in mind that some issues appear irreconcilable but actually are not. Looming over all such discussions is the eternal tug-of-war between status quo and new, sometimes disruptive, ideas.

Quality vs. Quantity
You'll hear it mentioned ad nauseam by seminar speakers: Quality counts; consumers will still pay for quality content. Which is true. But the merciless glut of shitty content on networks that attract untold millions of eyeballs testifies not only to the enduring commitment some have to lowering the bar as low down as it can go, or to the apparently insatiable appetite of the masses for utter crap, but to the apparent victory of open access over the tyranny of control.

Tube Sites: Inevitable or Not
The subject encompasses several underlying issues, including free content, theft of content and, again, the changing relationship between producers and consumers. "Legal" tube sites, meaning sites that allow only licensed content, are now regularly mentioned and are basically massive movie gallery posts (MGPs). At that point, the divisions exacerbate between those who believe “the genie is out of the bottle” and those who believe the genie must be stuffed back in.

Pre-Checked Cross Sales
This is basically a discussion about ethics that’s always tough territory for adult. Whether they wish to admit it in public or not, most people in the business believe that integrity is a very rare commodity in adult entertainment. The area where individual honesty most seriously impacts others is customer service, especially with respect to financial transactions. The rap of late by those who believe pre-checked cross sales can be done ethically is that a few bad apples have been abusing the practice and ruining it for everyone else. This is not a new refrain, either.

Taxing Porn: Good Idea or Bad Idea?
The tacit assumption is that all businesses, adult or otherwise, would be against a so-called "porn tax," but there do exist those in the business who believe that a reasonable tax on adult products would be just what the doctor ordered as far as the future of the industry in America. After all, if you tax it, you own it, they argue, and point to alcohol as past-contraband that became legal and accepted once it was taxed. A similar argument is being made for marijuana.

Condoms: Should They Be Required or Not?
The issue of mandatory condom use by performers is fraught with meaning and emotion, and passionate, rational arguments are made for positions pro and con. The subject also involves the very sticky subject of employee versus independent contractor and the very real specter of government regulatory control over adult productions. Again, there are those, quite apart from the moral or safety arguments, which believe with regulation comes a very tangible and legal acceptance.

One Industry or No Industry?
Will the adult entertainment "industry" cohere or continue to fragment, globally and irrevocably?

Answer that and you answer them all.

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