All of the people interviewed for this article, including Sunlove, Lawless, Wright and Brickhouse Mobile president L.R. Clinton Fayling, told XBiz that the adult entertainment industry should be bipartisan in its lobbying efforts and embrace both Democrats and Republicans. Sunlove asserted that the adult industry "needs to reach out to some of the friendlier Republicans," and Lawless (a registered Democrat) asserted: "I would not want to see the adult industry latch onto one political party exclusively. I know some Republicans in the adult industry, although it's obvious that people in the adult industry generally prefer the Democratic Party and the independent parties. I don't think that the Democrats are necessarily supportive of the adult industry, but there are fewer attacks on the adult industry coming from the Democratic Party. I lean toward Democrats because I feel that as the owner of an adult business, I'm getting less attacked by the Democrats than by the Republicans at this point."
Wright observed: "It isn't that all Republicans are against sexuality. What has happened is that a small minority of religious extremists have been allowed to direct the tone of the Republican Party."
Dealing With 3rd Parties
Sunlove is very much in favor of the adult industry working with third parties such as the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, although she said that adult industry lobbyists need to be realistic about what third parties can accomplish on a national level.
"The Free Speech Coalition will work with third parties to the extent that they can be helpful to us," Sunlove said. "The fact of the matter is that the U.S. does tend to be a two-party nation, but third parties can have a lot of influence at the local level. You can be a Green Party candidate in some places and get elected to the city council; you can get a Libertarian Party candidate elected at the city government level or even the county government level. But once you move up to state politics, it becomes much more difficult for third-party candidates — not impossible but difficult. So I would say that those third parties will be helpful to us at the more local level. Here in California, I have pretty good relations with the Libertarian Party; they're very sympathetic to our issues."
Brickhouse Mobile's Fayling noted that when he began offering adult content for the wireless market, he saw just how much of a stigma is attached to erotic entertainment in the U.S., and because of that stigma, Fayling believes that adult industry lobbyists will have their work cut out for them on Capitol Hill.
"My personal experience has been that when you mention that you're touching adult content in any form, it really affects the relationships that you have — whether it be with your accountant or your insurance agent," Fayling said. "It's amazing how offering adult content can — across the board — skew how people perceive you. I think that's what these lobbying groups will be up against if they're acting on behalf of the adult industry. They can be incredibly successful as a lobbying group, but when you attach the word adult to the proposition, people tend to become guarded and think differently of you. Brickhouse Mobile has experienced that, and I'm sure that lobbying groups that act on behalf of the adult industry will too. There is definitely a prejudice against the adult industry that I never recognized before getting involved in offering adult content for the mobile sector, and it's really unfortunate because we aren't doing anything illegal."
Despite the stigma that erotica often faces in the U.S., Wright maintains that adult entertainment supporters can seriously undermine the Religious Right's anti-porn efforts if they are willing to lobby as aggressively as possible.
"The Religious Right is a very vocal minority, but they're still a minority, and the majority of Americans believe that they should have a right to view and access pornography if they choose," Wright stressed. "Pornography is entrenched in American culture, and it's about time that the adult entertainment industry lobbied on Capitol Hill.