Friday, December 28, 2012

FSC Announces 2013 Board of Directors Candidates

Fsc
CANOGA PARK, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition has announced the candidates for its 2013 Board of Directors.

Only active FSC members may vote in the election; electronic ballots will be sent by online survey service Survey Monkey-Zoomerang.

FSC members may vote for nine seats available in this year’s election from the field of 14 candidates.

First-time candidates include Vivid Entertainment’s Marci Hirsch, veteran performer Amber Lynn, Madness Pictures’ Mo Reese, Girlfriend Films’ Moose, and Porn Guardian’s Peter Phinney.

Other candidates include Kink.com’s Peter Acworth, attorney Jeffrey Douglas, Maia Toys’ Mara Epstein, AAANews’ Sid Grief, XBIZ President and publisher Alec Helmy, Good Vibrations’ Joel Kaminsky, AVN’s Mark Kernes, attorney Reed Lee, and adult industry veteran Lynn Swanson.

Active FSC members who do not receive their electronic ballots by Dec. 27 should contact the FSC office at (818) 348-9373 or email joanne@freespeechcoaliton.com

 

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Adult Industry Leaders to File Suit Against L.A. County Over Measure B

Measure-b-stupid-idea
LOS ANGELES — A group of adult industry leaders announced today their intent to file a lawsuit soon against Los Angeles County over Measure B.

On Nov. 6 voters of Los Angeles passed Measure B, or what industry leaders maintain is an ill-conceived law that makes it mandatory for adult actors to wear lab coats, goggles and gloves as well as condoms while shooting adult films in the County. The law was funded solely by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).

"The industry has organized a team of highly respected attorneys to protect our First Amendment rights. I am confident that we will prevail and ultimately save L.A. County millions of dollars as well as save thousands of jobs. As an industry we are united in this effort and look forward to our day in court," said Steven Hirsch, founder/co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment.

Industry attorneys Paul Cambria of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, Louis Sirkin of Santen Hughes, and Bob Corn-Revere of Davis Wright Tremaine will represent the industry in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Match.com Reveals the Ups & Downs of Dating Behavior of 2012 & How Celebrity Relationships Compare to U.S. Singles

Hopeful Hearts: 64% of Singles' New Year's Resolution is Finding Love in 2013

Nearly 1/3 of Younger Singles Have Reunited with an Ex More Than Three Times

DALLAS, Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The dating world has proven to be a whirlwind for singles this year – for celebrities and everyday people alike. In an attempt to make better sense of it all, Match.com, the world's largest dating website, compiled the most compelling trends and statistics tied to the biggest highs and lows of relationships this year. For starters, 64%* of singles reported that their top New Year's resolution will be to find new love in 2013, and nearly 1/3 of younger singles reported reconnecting with the same ex over three times – Bieber and Gomez are on track to beat the odds!

So what's really behind these wild dating trends, and what's the best medicine for bouncing back and adjusting to singledom post-split? New data unveiled from Match.com's 2012 "Singles In America" study, the largest and most comprehensive study ever conducted on U.S. singles, showed that age and gender play a major role in the recovery experience, with men taking substantially less time to bounce back than women.

To further showcase these trends, Match.com took a look back at this year's top 12 most notable Hollywood dating moments to see how they stacked up against the study's most prominent statistics. Were Johnny Depp and Peter Facinelli's fast moves to re-partner post-break really that shocking? Or is this behavior in line with the recovery process of most U.S. males? Find out below from Match.com's "Singles in America" data highlights, paired with celebrity analysis, of the top celebrity shake-ups of 2012:

TOP 12 CELEBRITY SHAKE-UPS OF 2012 ACCORDING TO MATCH.COM

1.      Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes               

7.   Taylor Swift and Conor Kennedy

2.      Heidi Klum and Seal                              

8.   Will Arnett and Amy Poehler

3.      Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis      

9.    Joe Simpson and Tina Simpson

4.      Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

10.  Shia LaBeouf and Mia Goth

5.      Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth         

11.  Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

6.      Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana        

12.  Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman

Top Deal-Breakers for Singles: Cheating was cited as the top factor leading to singles' most recent breakup (17%), an issue K-Pat are all too familiar with following Kristen Stewart'srecent tryst with director Rupert Sanders

How Singles Bounce Back: While talking to friends/family is the most popular move post-breakup overall (41%), men are more likely to go out for a drink (24%) or immerse themselves in hobbies (20%). Women are more likely to mourn their breakup with food (22%) or by holing up and watching TV (22%).

Recovery by the Ages:

  • 20s: Singles in their 20s are more likely to work out (20%), talk to their friends (56%), or go out for a drink (32%).
  • 30s:  Katie Holmes' recent focus on her career is not unusual after a breakup at all, as the study found singles in their 30s are more likely to immerse themselves in work (25%) after a split.
  • 40s and 50s: Singles in this age range are less likely to hit the gym for solace (7%), and more likely instead to call friends/family (39%) for support or seek escape by watching TV (20%).

Recovery Time: 37% of men take a month or less to get over a breakup (55% bounce back in three months or less), a behavior that Johnny Depp displayed after immediately jumping into a new relationship with Amber Heard after his split with former girlfriend of 14 years, Vanessa Paradis. On the opposite side of the spectrum, 32% of women take a year or more to recover, with 1/5 of those surveyed reporting it took 2+ years to move on.

  • Take a Note from Taylor Swift: Singles in their 20s take less time to get over a breakup, with 62% reporting it took them less than three months to move on. On the flip side, the study showed that older singles in their 50s-60s lament longer, with 30% taking over a year to rebound right.

Can We Still Be Friends? Men are more likely to remain friends post-breakup (28%), while women are more likely to cut off all communication (41%) with their ex-partner.

  • Remaining Friends is Easier with Age: Singles in their 60s are most likely to remain friends, as demonstrated by Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman'scordial post-split relationship. Meanwhile, younger singles prefer to have limited communication via email and phone post-breakup.

Reconciling With The Ex: 50% of women and 43% of men have reconciled with an ex-partner. And the top reason for getting back together? Men are more likely to try again because they miss her, while women are more likely to give it a second chance because they're still in love.

  • 27% of Younger Singles have Taken Back the Same Partner Over Three Times: Overall, younger singles are more likely to get back with an ex than older singles, since 27% of respondents in their 20s reporting going through the breakup/make-up cycle with the same ex over three times (and 9.3% have done this over five times!).

For more survey results and tips from Match.com's Relationship Expert Whitney Casey, visithttp://blog.match.com/datingin2012

Methodology
Data results were pulled from Match.com's second annual Single In America StudyFirst released earlier this year, the study was funded by Match.com and conducted by MarketTools in association with biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com; sex and relationship therapist, Dr. Laura Berman; evolutionary biologist with The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, Dr. Justin R. Garcia; and the Institute for Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) at Binghamton University. The results, which include the views of a representative sample of over 5,000 US singles, gives a specific look at the relationships between Sex and Politics, Gender Roles and Romantic Expectations and is the largest and most comprehensive national study of American singles ever to be conducted.

*Data point taken from a Match.com member poll of over 1,000 single male and females.

About Match.com: 
Founded in 1995, Match.com was the original dating website and pioneer of the online dating industry. Today, 17 years later, Match.com operates leading subscription-based online dating sites in 25 countries, 8 languages and across five continents and is responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website. Match.com is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  For more information, visit http://www.match.com.

SOURCE Match.com

 

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Judge Denies Government Motion to Dismiss in 2257 Case

Seal, United States Court of Appeals for the T...

Seal, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Argument on the U.S. Department of Justice's Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit in Free Speech Coalition, et al v. Holder was set for 1:30 this afternoon in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson, but less than an hour later, it was over, with Judge Baylson denying the government's motion from the bench.

While plaintiffs' attorney J. Michael Murray was not available for comment, his associate Lori Baumgardner told AVN that with the dismissal of the motion, the judge allowed discovery in the case to go forward. That would involve taking depositions of both the various plaintiffs as well as attorneys and others in the Justice Department who might have knowledge of the facts and issues involved, and who might have possession of documents relating to the government's handling of the case. 

"There was an oral argument set on the Motion to Dismiss, and some judges do that," Baumgardner said. "We were a little bit surprised, but in an abundance of caution, Mike prepared his oral argument on the Motion, and he ruled from the bench denying their motion."

Today's hearing was the first official action taken by Judge Baylson since his ruling in 2010 dismissing the case on the original pleadings—a dismissal that was overturned by a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on April 16.

Check back with AVN for more details of this exciting development.

 

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pornstars Revolt Against Condom Law

Porn stars are thus far not amused

Nocondom
by LA County's attempts to require the use of condoms in the films they make. And on Monday, they'll be raising their voices extra loud by holding a fundraiser at Hamburger Mary's in West Hollywood to fight Measure B, which would enforce just such a regulation.

The measure, which will go before voters in November, would also require adult films to get permits from the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Monday's event, which starts at 8:00 p.m. and costs $20 at the door, is being organized by the No on Government Waste, No on Measure B committee of the Free Speech Coalition. According to a statementreleased by the group today, it coincides with Hamburger Mary's regularly scheduled Legendary Bingo event.

Event organizer Mara Epstein said that “The time has come again, for all industry members to work together and keep the California industry from being attacked by our opposition.”

 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CatalystCon Announces Fundraiser for Scarleteen

Long Beach, CA - CatalystCon creator Dee Dennis has chosen Scarleteen as the recipient of a fundraiser to be held during the conference weekend.  Dennis is a supporter of Scarleteen and the important work they do.  As a mother she knows firsthand the lack of sex education available to children and knows the very important need for financially supporting Scarleteen and making it possible to continue the very important work they do. CatalystCon will be held at the Long Beach Hilton Executive & Meeting Center in Long Beach, CA, September 14-16, 2012.

Scarleteen provides millions of people in their teens and twenties with progressive, inclusive and original sexuality, sex and relationships education, information and support every year. Established in 1998, and continued since despite no federal, state or institutional funding, Scarleteen operates primarily via its popular, award-winning website -- consistently the highest ranked sex education site specifically for young people since its debut -- which includes articles, in-depth advice columns, external resources, and direct, one-on-one services which allow users to ask or talk about anything they need to, like their busy, moderated message boards and their SMS service. "Scarleteen's model has always been strongly unschooling and youth-focused, both in what information is provided and how they provide it, but also within their organization itself: they make sure the majority of their staff and volunteers are always under thirty. At Scarleteen, young people are afforded the respect to be leaders, either within their organization or their own lives, including their sexual lives.

Dennis’ passion for sparking change and sharing knowledge with others means showcasing Scarleteen at CatalystCon to generate more fans as well as donations. “Scarleteen operates on a very limited budget and is funded entirely by donations,” says Dennis, who notes Scarleteen’s “amazing work providing a safe place for young adults to get the sex education our school systems and many parents are not providing.”

CatalystCon attendees will not only be able to possibly win two nights at the Hilton Long Beach and two registrations to CatalystCon 2013 but will also be financially supporting Scarleteen.  Dennis on behalf of CatalystCon will match funds raised up to $500.

Dennis is excited at the opportunity to introduce Scarleteen to CatalystCon attendees and encourage them to contribute to its mission of sexual health, wellness and personal responsibility: “I personally feel funding Scarleteen and making it possible for them to continue the work they do is extremely important.”

For more information, please contact http://catalystcon.com/ and http://www.scarleteen.com/ Go to http://catalystcon.com/registration to register today.  

Follow CatalystCon on twitter @catalystcon and visit facebook.com/catalystcon.

Brian Gross
BSG PR
@bsgpr

About CatalystCon:

CatalystCon will be making its debut at the Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center in Long Beach, California, September 14th through September 16th. CatalystCon creator Dee Dennis regards this conference as a “melting pot of sexuality” that will unite sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. "Knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change." This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon. Attendees to this groundbreaking event will benefit from important discussions on a wide variety of subjects, such as sex work, polyamory, sexism in hip hop, senior sex, sex and religion, sex education, and much more. Go to http://catalystcon.com/registration to register today. Follow CatalystCon on twitter @catalystcon and visit facebook.com/catalystcon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rocco Siffredi: ‘89 to 100’ Syphilis-Positive Porn Performers in Europe

Rocco Siffredi told XBIZ Friday that there are “89 to 100” adult performers currently infected with syphilis in three different Eastern European cities where porn is regularly shot — Budapest, Hungary, Prague, Czech Republic and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals Interview

Dr. Tibbals explains how she became interested in exploring the truth about the Los Angeles-based adult industry; social constructs, stereotypes and gender issues; feminism and individual life perspectives; cultural biases and insensitivities towards men and women.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tennessee's Newly Enacted Sex-education Bill

In Tennessee, a newly enacted sex-education bill, which takes an unabashedly pro-abstinence stance, prohibits public schools from promoting so-called "gateway sexual activity." Unfortunately, the grown-ups who argued in favor of the bill were too polite to define exactly what "gateway sexual activity" is, prompting the opposition to sneeringly dub the legislation "the no holding-hands bill."

What's fascinating to me is that the Nashville debate reveals in microcosm the confusion that reigns in the American political discussion about sexuality as a whole. To oversimplify, the Left thinks the Right are prudes and the Right thinks the Left are perverts. What both sides have in common, however, is they are far more comfortable with ambiguity than with clarity. And that's why neither camp is ready to have an honest discussion about sexuality.

Maybe it's a remnant of the Puritanical roots of this country's founders, but it seems that when it comes to all other forms of human behavior we Americans can at least agree about what it is we'redisagreeing about. Discussions of human sexuality, in contrast, are mostly left vague. Even the highest court in the land is famous for its shameful lack of clarity when it comes to the subject of s-e-x. As Justice Potter Stewart famously wrote in his 1964 opinion about the definition of pornography, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

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Untitled

In Tennessee, a newly enacted sex-education bill, which takes an unabashedly pro-abstinence stance, prohibits public schools from promoting so-called "gateway sexual activity." Unfortunately, the grown-ups who argued in favor of the bill were too polite to define exactly what "gateway sexual activity" is, prompting the opposition to sneeringly dub the legislation "the no holding-hands bill."

What's fascinating to me is that the Nashville debate reveals in microcosm the confusion that reigns in the American political discussion about sexuality as a whole. To oversimplify, the Left thinks the Right are prudes and the Right thinks the Left are perverts. What both sides have in common, however, is they are far more comfortable with ambiguity than with clarity. And that's why neither camp is ready to have an honest discussion about sexuality.

Maybe it's a remnant of the Puritanical roots of this country's founders, but it seems that when it comes to all other forms of human behavior we Americans can at least agree about what it is we'redisagreeing about. Discussions of human sexuality, in contrast, are mostly left vague. Even the highest court in the land is famous for its shameful lack of clarity when it comes to the subject of s-e-x. As Justice Potter Stewart famously wrote in his 1964 opinion about the definition of pornography, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

2009sexed

 

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Recent Supreme Court Ruling

Last-100-years-supreme-court1
The adult entertainment industry’s multi-decade war against the federal record keeping and labeling statutes, known to many as the 2257 regulations, recently received one of its biggest victories in years.

Specifically, a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tribunal reversed a lower court’s earlier decision to dismiss a case brought against the government by the Free Speech Coalition and other plaintiffs seeking to invalidate the 2257 regulations on constitutional grounds.

Because of the ruling, the case will now go back to the federal district court in which it was filed for further proceedings.

There is good reason for the adult entertainment industry to celebrate this great decision, and to congratulate FSC, its co-plaintiffs, and the plaintiff’s attorneys for a job well done indeed. While the 2257 regulations are still, unfortunately, quite alive and well, in light of the 3rd Circuit ruling, the ultimate constitutionally of the regulations is now more in doubt than perhaps at any time in the past.

But it is important to note that the 2257 regulations are in serious constitutional jeopardy in large part because of the 3rd Circuit’s ruling that they apply to purely private communications.

This interpretation supports the plaintiff’s contention that the statutory foundation of the 2257 regulations, 18 U.S.C. § 2257 and 18 U.S.C. § 2257A, are unconstitutionally overbroad because they apply to far more expression than necessary.

In its opinion the court recognized the plaintiff’s assertion “that the statutes are substantially overbroad because they burden the entire universe of constitutionally protected expression involving sexually oriented images of adults—including private, noncommercial depictions created and viewed by adults in their homes.”

The court then acknowledged the government’s counter-position stating that, “the statutes’ scope should be narrowly construed as applying only to depictions of actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct created for sale or trade, and thus, producers of purely private depictions would not be subject to the statutes.

In support of this position, the government cites the preamble to the regulations, which states that the government interprets the statutes as being “limited to pornography intended for sale or trade.” 73 Fed. Reg. at 77,456. The government also points to specific terms in § 2257 that it asserts speak primarily to the creation of images for industry distribution, such as “sexual performers,” “places of business,” and “normal business hours.”

But despite the government’s arguments, the court completely rejected the government’s interpretation that the 2257 statutes only apply to commercial depictions. In support of its ruling, the court stated:

“[T]he plain language of the statutes makes clear that they apply broadly to all producers of actual or simulated sexually explicit depictions regardless of whether those depictions were created for the purpose of sale or trade. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. §§ 2257(a) and 2257A(a) (stating generally that “[w]hoever produces” any book or other matter containing “visual depictions” of actual or simulated “sexually explicit conduct” shall be subject to the statutes). It is axiomatic that regulations cannot supersede a federal statute. As a result, the plain text of the statutes setting forth their broad scope must trump any conflicting statements contained within the preamble to the regulations, including the assertion that the statutes are “limited to pornography intended for sale or trade.” 73 Fed. Reg. at 77,456.

Similarly, the regulations’ definition of “producer” also belies the government’s position. As discussed supra, the regulations define “producer” as a primary or secondary producer. 28 C.R.R. § 75.1(c). A primary producer is defined as any person who creates a visual depiction of a human being engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct. Id. at (c)(1). The definition of a primary producer is silent as to whether the depiction must be intended for commercial distribution. Id. A secondary producer, however, is defined as any person who, inter alia, publishes a magazine or other matter containing a visual depiction of a human being engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct, which is “intended for commercial distribution.” Id. at (c)(2) (emphasis added). Thus, because the definition of “secondary producer” limits its scope to those depictions created for commercial distribution but the definition of “primary producer” does not, the clear implication is that “primary producer” is not limited to those who create depictions for commercial distribution.”

The court then completely rejected the government’s interpretation that the 2257 statutes apply only to commercial content concluding that “the statutes are not susceptible to such a limiting construction.

 

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Friday, June 29, 2012

"End Demand" - has hit another absurd low!

English: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg wi...

English: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg with Spider-Man at Midtown Comics Downtown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Anti-Human Trafficking campaign - aka "End Demand" - has hit another absurd low in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg has now declared that New York Cabbies can refuse rides to any woman who "dresses like a prostitute.." and can be fined if they do, on the grounds that they are aiding the "trafficking of human beings.." Needless to say, all the working girls in the City will thank the mayor for further marginalizing them from the rest of society and making a dangerous job all the more insecure.

We're told that being a prostitute will mark a woman for life. Yet after several millennia of practice, lawmakers and social reformers still struggle to identify what a sex worker looks like.

You know,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said (in a June 15 appearance on WOR's perfectly named "The John Gambling Show") when asked what might go wrong with a bill that could penalize taxi drivers who knowingly transport people in the sex trade, “if I were a young lady and I dressed in a ‘sporty way’ -- or however you want to phrase it, and there's nothing wrong with that -- I would not want somebody thinking that I’m a prostitute.”

Has Mayor Stop-and-Frisk given pause on an issue of criminal profiling? Even the reliably hooker-baiting New York Post came out swinging against the bill, citing a protest held by women bartenders, who “aren't hookers – they just look like they can be!” concerned that cab drivers would leave them stranded for fear of getting stung.

The intention of this bill, according to proponents like New York City Council Speaker (and mayoral hopeful) Christine Quinn, is to make it undesirable for taxi and livery drivers in the city to risk any involvement in what they call “sex trafficking.” But the bill doesn't actually say that: it hits taxi and livery drivers with a $10,000 fine and the revocation of their license if they “knowingly allow” their vehicle to be “used for the purpose of promoting prostitution.”

Attorneys at the Sex Workers Project (SWP) have argued that language like “promoting prostitution” is too vague. “It could include anyone who knowingly aids another person to commit prostitution and anyone who receives money from someone else, knowing it came from prostitution,” SWP co-director Sienna Baskin said in testimony to the city council. No matter what the bill's intentions, cab drivers could end up passing up fares from sex workers – or people they think might be sex workers.

Bloomberg is overstating the issue a bit: no matter how they are dressed, it's unlikely his daughters would be profiled as prostitutes. But he's not wrong: there's simply no way taxi drivers can tell if the woman riding in their backseat is doing sex work, and whether or not she has been compelled or forced to, just by picking her up as a fare.

Putting such a law into practice in a culture that harbors intense myths and fears about what a “prostitute” looks like only ends up perpetuating dated and sexist notions of how women ought to conduct themselves in public, which in turn can put women in danger. In this regard, 21st-century anti-prostitution politics are not so different from their counterpart a century ago. There might be one difference: while today's anti-prostitution advocates will at least cop to it not being easy to tell if someone is a sex worker just by looking at them, that doesn't actually stop them from trying.

Not all that long ago, any unaccompanied woman on an American street could be considered a prostitute. At the turn of the last century, the phrase “public woman” was still synonymous with a woman in the sex trade, based on the notion that women's work was to be confined within the home, and besides, wasn't really work. The low-wage jobs available to working-class and some immigrant women took them outside the domestic sphere, and offered them a measure of freedom, and for the first time, their own money. That mobility, as much as their growing financial independence, made those young women suspect in the eyes of social reformers.

As Elizabeth Alice Clement documents in her book Love For Sale, these working young women of the Progressive Era faced intense scrutiny from social reformers, for how they made their money and how they spent it. The social welfare reformer Jane Addams warned that girls who took jobs in department stores might be especially likely to become prostitutes. “It is perhaps in the department store more than anywhere else,” Addams wrote in her 1912 treatise A New Conscience and An Ancient Evil, “that every possible weakness in a girl is detected and traded upon. It is not surprising that so many of these young, inexperienced girls are either deceived or yield to temptation in spite of the efforts made to protect them.”

Addams' remedy to such a threat? Educating young women and their caretakers on how essential it is that they must remain chaste. Women, in Addams' estimation, could bring about a world in which they not fear being “despoiled” if they abstain not just from sex but from public amusements – rather than fighting to ensure their right to work and take up space in the public sphere without fear of rape or violence.

With the agitation of Addams and other reformers of her time, laws against prostitution and “white slavery” swept the states. While some reformers meant for the laws to allow them to separate “innocent” victims from those “fallen women” who chose prostitution, the result was the closure of red-light districts in American cities, including raids on businesses that allowed prostitutes to patronize them and rooming houses that allowed prostitutes to live and work there.

All this was done in the name of “protecting” women, and yet prostitutes found themselves out in the cold, or pushed to work for managers who could act as go-betweens with customers and landlords, protecting the prostitutes from being known as prostitutes or discriminated against. The laws that were supposed to protect them ended up pushing prostitutes to the margins of cities and the social order itself.

Such attitudes – vintage victim-blaming or slut-shaming, meant to “save women” from themselves – shifted only slightly at the dawn of women's liberation and the sexual revolution.

When a young San Franciscan named Margot St. James was arrested and charged with prostitution in 1962, she attempted to defend herself to the judge, saying, “Your honor, I've never turned a trick in my life.” According to St. James, the judge replied that he knew she must be a prostitute because “anyone who knows the language is obviously a professional." St. James concluded, “My crime was I knew too much to be a nice girl.”

It was only after this encounter with the law that St. James became a prostitute, going on to found one of the first organizations in the United States to organize for sex workers' rights, COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics). By the 1970s, COYOTE had succeeded in getting the National Organization for Women to adopt the decriminalization of prostitution as a policy platform.

Even as some corners of the feminist movement reconsidered prostitution laws and the damage done, a national backlash was on against gains made by the women's and gay liberation movements. City governments moved to “clean up” neighborhoods that mixed porn theaters and gay bars with entertainment and tourism, like Boston's Combat Zone and New York's Times Square.

In 1976, New York state passed a law criminalizing “loitering for the purposes of prostitution.” How were cops to identify “intent” to commit prostitution? In reality, the law gave them the power to stop and question women walking in neighborhoods known for prostitution, or for “looking like” a prostitute in a neighborhood she “shouldn't” be in. In a report evaluating the law a few years after its passage, New York Women in Criminal Justice argued that the anti-loitering statute violated the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution, as it was overwhelmingly used to target women.

Loitering-with-intent charges are still brought against women today, and against women of color and trans women far more often than white women and cisgender women. Women also rarely fight these charges, as St. James did. The rise of “anti-prostitution zones” in cities like Washington, DC means that women can face arrest simply for entering one of these areas, declared at the discretion of the police. In practice, cops rely on racial and gender profiling in enforcement, a feminized version of “stop and frisk.”

You could be forgiven for mistaking 2012 for 1912. Jane Addams' philosophy is still alive, too, only with a pseudo-feminist twist. In a training for Georgia law enforcement offered by the anti-prostitution campaign “A Future, Not A Past” (AFNAP), they suggest ways that cops can identify young women in the sex trade. A few of the warning signs? “Inappropriate dress, including oversized clothing or overtly sexy clothing.” “Poor personal hygiene.” “Older boyfriend.” Acting “angry” and “tearful.” They also warn parents of daughters to be wary of “rumors among students regarding sexual activity – which your child may not necessarily deny.”

They say they just want to give cops and parents tools to help girls. But stoking fears that their daughters could be victims of trafficking if they're having sex, or expressing completely average feelings for a teenager? Likewise, instructing cops that it's okay to profile young women based on their dress, in order to stop and question them? Groups like AFNAP don't call it searching girls for evidence of “shame” or “ruin” anymore. Now they call it “empowerment.”

A hundred years of incoherent law has delivered us to a point in history where prostitution is as illegal as it ever has been, and yet politicians demand more laws against it. Contemporary anti-prostitution activists claim more women than ever before are trapped in what they have begun to call “modern-day slavery,” and yet, these advocates tell us they are hard to find. Yet neither prong of the anti-prostitution cause seems to consider how these laws against sex work drive its invisibility, and can turn any woman deemed to be doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time into a suspect or a criminal.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

CatalystCon Announces over 50 Speakers, 40 Sessions for Inaugural Conference

Catalystcon
 
September 14-16, 2012 at the Long Beach Hilton Executive and Meeting Center in Long Beach, CA

Long Beach, CA - CatalystCon announces over 50 speakers and 40 sessions for its upcoming inaugural conference to be held September 14-16, 2012 at the Long Beach Hilton Executive and Meeting Center in Long Beach, CA.  CatalystCon will feature many of the most recognizable names in the field of sexuality including Carol Queen, Ducky Doolittle, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Charlie Glickman, Joan Price, and Reid Mihalko.

CatalystCon creator, Dee Dennis regards this conference as a “melting pot of sexuality” that will unite sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. "Knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change." This is the fundamental principle behindCatalystCon.

Attendees to this groundbreaking event will benefit from important discussions on a wide variety of subjects, such as sex work, porn, polyamory, sexism in hip hop, senior sex, sex and religion, and sex education.

Dennis co-organized the MOMENTUM conference on sexuality, feminism and relationships earlier this year in Washington, DC. In the wake of the profound success of the MOMENTUM, she felt that there was a very real demand for a similar conference on the West Coast and is excited to host CatalystCon, which she believes will “inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality.”

Battles over sex education, reproductive rights, gay marriage, obscenity, pornography and other forms of adult entertainment and expression have played a central role in the 2012 election season. Sex is always a political issue, but it becomes even more so in challenging economic times, both dividing and uniting individuals.CatalystCon's Opening Keynote plenary, moderated by UNLV Women’s Studies Professor Lynn Comella and featuring esteemed panelists Dr. Marty Klein, Megan Andelloux, Maggie Mayhem, and Francisco Ramirez, will tackle these issues head on as the panelists address ongoing debates over sexuality at the local, national and global levels.


Comella predicts that CatalystCon will be “one of the most exciting sexuality conferences that I’ve ever been part of.  Sex, reproductive rights, gay marriage and pornography have been at the center of an often heated 2012 campaign season, which makes this conference especially timely.”  

Pre-registration is required to attend CatalystCon and Early Bird pricing is available until July 1st. Go tohttp://catalystcon.com/ registration to register today.  

Follow CatalystCon on twitter @catalystcon and visit facebook.com/catalystcon.

Brian Gross
BSG PR
@bsgpr

 

 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

XXX Top Level Domains

XXX Top Level Domains

A Windfall for ICM Registry, and Potentially Worse

Stephen W. Workman, Esq.

In a reversal of position, ICANN has decided to authorize ICM Registry to offer and oversee a new “xxx” TLD regime.  Whatever you may think of ICANN’s decision, for now it’s a reality to be dealt with. So the question becomes whether you, as an owner or operator of adult websites, should participate in this, eh hum, brave new world.

The creation of the xxx registry presents you with a Hobson’s choice:  If your site is successful, and you don’t purchase the xxx domain, chances are that someone else will. If that happens, there are two potential results, neither good.  Result One: the xxx domain registrant will attempt extortion, demanding payment of several thousands dollars in exchange for transferring the domain to you. Result Two: the domain registrant will launch a site in hopes of confusing consumers as to its identity or affiliation with yours and, as parasites are want to do, feed off the success you’ve worked so hard to enjoy.

The ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Policy would in most cases relieve you of such nefarious threats or actions, but even that streamlined procedure comes at a cost of time and money, albeit minimal.  (I’ve utilized ICANN’s domain dispute procedure on many occasions on behalf of clients, and – thus far - the arbitrators have always gotten it right, so I do have confidence in that protocol.)  

But ICM offers you “good news.” ICM has a solution to this problem (keep in mind that the problem was created by ICM, to be solved at your own expense). The solution is to pay ICM a “one-time fee ranging from $50 to $250” and it will block your second tier name, so that no one else can use it in the xxx regime. 

Clever, and perhaps good public relations. Paying ICM a “one-time fee” is cheaper than filing a domain dispute under ICANN, let alone filing a Lanham Act complaint against the plagiarist who seeks to unfairly cash in on your hard earned success. That said, I’m not about to offer much credit to ICM for this gesture. 

ICM’s pitch to ICANN has been that establishment of the xxx TLD would represent an act of good citizenship, a great public service:  xxx domains would enable parents and businesses to block access to those domains on their computers, and would enable consumers of adult entertainment to have “peace of mind,” as website operators under ICM’s regime will supposedly be compelled to commit to principled standards of operation.  Apparently, ICANN finally bought into the argument. 

I disagree with ICANN’s decision, if only for the fact that it serves to create and enrich a monopoly, i.e., ICM.  Moreover, I believe the more accurate characterization of the xxx TLD is not as a public service, but as an effort to create a “cyber-ghetto.”   As history has informed, the problem with ghettos (where a manner of culture or, in this case, a manner of entertainment, is concentrated) is that it becomes all too easy for opponents of that culture or entertainment to punish or banish it.  

Constitutional principles should, hopefully*, thwart any misguided attempts to corral all adult websites into the xxx neighborhood.  And make no mistake, the temptation is there, tantalizingly close to those who would like nothing more than to marginalize, if not eradicate, your content.

(* Would forcing you to give up operating on a .com domain and move to a xxx domain violate the “taking” clause of the Fifth and Fifteenth Amendments?  Some courts have determined that your rights to a domain are akin to your rights to a telephone number – if this analysis were to ultimately hold sway, then the answer as to whether you can be compelled to operate on a xxx domain is dangerously unclear - - as we all know, your telephone area code can be changed, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Could the courts decide that a TLD is akin to an area code? It’s not outside the realm of possibility.)

But beyond that important issue – which I can address at length in a subsequent article - - the fact is there are millions of adult websites, untold numbers of which are successful.  Many of those will feel compelled to either register and redirect, or at least pay to block others from using, identical or confusingly similar xxx domains.  That’s an immense financial windfall for ICM.  And, from your point of view, for what? 

I think you know the answer to the question, and if it angers you, it should.     


Mr. Workman has represented the adult Internet community, throughout the U.S. and internationally, since 1997.  He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (630) 852-2620.  www.worldmedialaw.com.  

© 2010 Stephen W. Workman P.C.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ira Issacs Found Guilty

A jury today found fetish filmmaker Ira Isaacs guilty on five counts of violating federal obscenity laws.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The MOMENTUM Conference in Washington DC will Make Waves in Sexuality, Feminism and Relationships

Momentum2012header

New York, NY – The 2nd annual MOMENTUM Conference (momentumcon.com) will take place in Washington DC from March 30th through April 1st, 2012.  The conference will be held at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan Airport. MOMENTUM brings together the best people in their fields of the LGBTQ, sex-work, BDSM and non-monogamous communities. Speakers will discuss ways to bridge the baffling dichotomies our culture creates around sexuality. 

Abortion laws, restrictions on gay marriage, abstinence programs, medicalization of sex, fear of pornography and prosecutions for teenage sexting are examples of one side of the spectrum. The discomfort that strives to make us keep our sexuality hidden conflicts with the use of sex — especially the female body — to sell everything from food to cars to “performance enhancing” products.

The opening Keynote Plenary Panel is moderated by the legendary Dr. Carol Queen and features esteemed panelists Bill Taverner, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Sexuality Education, author and sexuality educator, Dr. Logan Levkoff, founder and director of the Red Umbrella Project, Audacia Ray, and university professor and Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations, Charlie Glickman, PhD. Our Closing Plenary features author of the international bestseller Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel, and journalist, Lara Riscol. The conference will kick off with an exclusive meet & greet and performance by comic Maria Falzone.

MOMENTUM is geared toward anyone interested in intelligent conversations about the influence of new media on sexuality. After a sold out first year in 2011, MOMENTUM has expanded its space, presenters and sessions, with over 40 sessions and 60 presenters.

MOMENTUM will cover a wide range of viewpoints on sexuality, and the program is sure to have something of interest to everyone.
Each participant in MOMENTUM will leave the conference with new perspectives, new connections and a plan to carry the MOMENTUM forward into 2012 and beyond.

Pre-registration is required to attend MOMENTUM. Go to momentumcon.com or http://momentumcon.com/registration/hotel for registration.

For more information, please contact Brian Gross, BSG PR, (818) 340-4422. Email: brian@bsgpr.com. Twitter: @bsgpr

The MOMENTUM Conference in Washington DC will Make Waves in Sexuality, Feminism and Relationships

Momentum2012header

New York, NY – The 2nd annual MOMENTUM Conference (momentumcon.com) will take place in Washington DC from March 30th through April 1st, 2012.  The conference will be held at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan Airport. MOMENTUM brings together the best people in their fields of the LGBTQ, sex-work, BDSM and non-monogamous communities. Speakers will discuss ways to bridge the baffling dichotomies our culture creates around sexuality. 

Abortion laws, restrictions on gay marriage, abstinence programs, medicalization of sex, fear of pornography and prosecutions for teenage sexting are examples of one side of the spectrum. The discomfort that strives to make us keep our sexuality hidden conflicts with the use of sex — especially the female body — to sell everything from food to cars to “performance enhancing” products.

The opening Keynote Plenary Panel is moderated by the legendary Dr. Carol Queen and features esteemed panelists Bill Taverner, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Sexuality Education, author and sexuality educator, Dr. Logan Levkoff, founder and director of the Red Umbrella Project, Audacia Ray, and university professor and Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations, Charlie Glickman, PhD. Our Closing Plenary features author of the international bestseller Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel, and journalist, Lara Riscol. The conference will kick off with an exclusive meet & greet and performance by comic Maria Falzone.

MOMENTUM is geared toward anyone interested in intelligent conversations about the influence of new media on sexuality. After a sold out first year in 2011, MOMENTUM has expanded its space, presenters and sessions, with over 40 sessions and 60 presenters.

MOMENTUM will cover a wide range of viewpoints on sexuality, and the program is sure to have something of interest to everyone.
Each participant in MOMENTUM will leave the conference with new perspectives, new connections and a plan to carry the MOMENTUM forward into 2012 and beyond.

Pre-registration is required to attend MOMENTUM. Go to momentumcon.com or http://momentumcon.com/registration/hotel for registration.

For more information, please contact Brian Gross, BSG PR, (818) 340-4422. Email: brian@bsgpr.com. Twitter: @bsgpr