Profs. Clay Calvert and Bob Richards of the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University interviewed five female leaders representing various aspects of the adult industry: performer/director Stormy Daniels, industry pioneer Nina Hartley, Wicked Pictures’ Joy King, performer-turned-health care provider Sharon Mitchell and Michelle Freridge, former executive director of the Free Speech Coalition.
All shared their views regarding free speech and censorship, the feminist response to porn, mainstreaming of adult and the ways American culture is shifting to accept it.
“We’re trying to get views not typically out there,” Calvert said. “We want to make people see it’s a business; they’re not freaks or odd, which is how [adult professionals] are often portrayed in the mainstream media.”
A common theme Calvert and Richards found with the responses was that antiquated stereotypes are often the foundation for negative views of adult.
Hartley said in her interview that antiporn feminists like Catharine MacKinnon refuse to even speak with her, and Daniels said she has been chastised and called a “sinner” by people who say they have never seen her content.
Calvert said the negative parts of the porn world, such as studios mistreating performers or ignoring mandatory HIV testing, are issues that the mainstream media reports on the most. He acknowledges these issues are very real, but that it is necessary to bring to light the many positive aspects of the industry that are not taught in college classes or conveyed in academic studies.
“We’re giving a voice to all segments of adult to show how professional it all is, how real the people are,” Calvert said.
The article is first in a series that Calvert and Richards have written about various segments of the adult world. The duo spent two months last year interviewing such industry leaders as Larry Flynt, NakedSword President Tim Valenti and Kick Ass Pictures’ Mark Kulkis.
They also spoke with adult industry lawyers regarding 2257 federal record-keeping inspections and abolishing obscenity law. All of their articles have been accepted for publishing by several academic journals across the country.