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In Review: 'Porn @ Work'

Ariana Rodriguez
In his book "Porn @ Work," author Michael Leahy tackles the effects and implications associated with accessing adult material in the workplace — via technological innovations embraced by the online adult industry — and the sexual addiction it fuels.

Leahy speaks from experience; as a sex addict in recovery, he uses the book as a vehicle to openly discuss his addiction and how it affected several aspects of his past, specifically his career. Leahy offers mainstream business owners advice on how to spot and treat a sex addict who could possibly increase risk of litigation over sexual misconduct in the workplace.

He begins the book with a sampling of sex scandal headlines. Among them, "Internet Addiction: The Next Disability?" notes an incident involving an IBM employee suing the company for wrongful termination after he was fired for using his work computer to visit sex-chat rooms. His argument was that he suffers from an addiction to pornography triggered by post-traumatic stress disorder arising from his service in the Vietnam War and thus should be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After being exposed to pornography at the age of 11, Leahy describes his journey through adulthood as sex-driven. As an adult, Leahy filled his resume with sales and management accolades within corporate America, eventually entering the computer industry as an IBM PC Product Specialist.

While welcoming adult material in all its stages of evolution, Leahy, through his employment, was placed at the center of the technological revolution and fully embraced the adult entertainment industry's utilization of it.

"The tipping point for me came when the increases in network speed and bandwidth paved the way for streaming video," Leahy writes.

Leahy acknowledges how productivity tools including the Internet, wireless communication, PDAs and 3G networks offered to employees are the same innovative tools used by the online adult industry to deliver its content.

The author describes a pornographic Western culture promoting the objectification and sexualization of women and men that's exporting its ideals worldwide. However, he fails to acknowledge the ways the adult industry keeps itself accountable.

Online, RTA (Restricted to Adults) labeling established by ASACP is a way for adult sites to self-label web pages and is recognized by several filtering products and services. Many adult sites and entertainers support the organization and boldly don the label on their sites' warning pages to protect against illicit viewing of their material.

"Porn @ Work" is peppered with interesting statistics collected from several news and business resources. Among the most surprising: "70 percent of all online porn access occurs during the nine to five workday."

The book is a good resource for business owners, especially those with employees that are just out of college, whose graduates are tech-savvy and have a relaxed attitude towards online porn. By offering his experiences, Leahy increases readers' awareness about the tribulations associated with porn at work, while also speaking to potential sex addicts about identifying and solving their compulsion.

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