Beyond Stripperdom with Brooklyn Lee [interview]

I spoke with Brooklyn Lee shortly before she won AVN’s Best New Starlet award. Lee, who was born in Ohio but has lived in about a dozen places since, came to Los Angeles in 2010 with “$800 to [her] name.”

Now Lee has picked up what is probably AVN’s most recognized trophy, joining names like Jenna Jameson, Kylie Ireland, Shayla LaVeaux, Violet Blue, Tera Patrick, Alisha Klass, Stormy Daniels, Cytherea, and Stoya in a list exponentially more memorable than, say, past winners of  Best Threeway Sex Scene. Continue reading Beyond Stripperdom with Brooklyn Lee [interview]

FBI: Whitey Bulger also had huge porn stash

In a sun-baked Santa Monica apartment, just as in Osama bin Laden’s Abottabad compound, federal fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger occupied his downtime as one of the FBI’s Most Wanted Criminals in nondescript surroundings stuffed with cash, guns, and porn.

“Evidence suggests he liked the pornographic works of New England natives Tyler Faith, Kaylani Lei, and Jean Laconia,” an FBI source said. “Their accents were comforting.”

Bulger, 81, on the lam from the feds for 16 years, was arrested without incident Wednesday, bringing to an end the worldwide hunt for the South Boston crime kingpin, wanted in connection with at least 19 homicides and other crimes.

“The Facts of Life XXX” was playing on several televisions in the modest Santa Monica apartment, and Bulger was reading “A Porn Valley Odyssey” on his iPad.

What a tremendous value that book is,” noted FBI director Robert Mueller. “It’s essential reading for criminals and non-criminals alike.”

Bulger and his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, assumed the identities of a Mr. and Mrs. Gasko. It was a tip generated from TV ads featuring Greig that cinched the knot on the couple.

But it may have also been Vivid’s open offer to release a celebrity sex tape—”Winter Hill Bang”—that helped to draw out Bulger Wednesday night. The FBI says it used an undisclosed “ruse” to lure the fugitive from his apartment.

Mueller says Bulger’s capture is the bittersweet end of an era.

“I really would have liked to have seen him in Axel Braun’s ‘The Departed XXX’ with Octomom,” says Mueller. “But I guess we have to jail him and stuff.”

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Officials: Bin Laden had porn stash, killed thousands of people; Faith: Lord Stanley has nothing on these cups; The Prime of Miss Jean Jacobs; Vivid sort of agrees to stop harassing Octomom

Pornollaneous 8.19.10

Too big for a Twitter post, too little for a novel, here are the week’s pornollaneous events that, taken as a whole, answer the most basic questions about our existence.

This Week: Gram Ponante Suppressed in Massachusetts, Could the Fake Montana Fishburne Twitter Be the Ghost of Porn’s Biggest Self-Hating Gay Man?, AVN and XBIZ merge HR departments, .XXX the movie

It is hard to believe that my wholesome web presence would be banned in the very cradle of American freedom, but a reader sent me this screenshot from somewhere below Paul Revere’s copper State House dome indicating that, while Boston may be home of the bean and the cod, I am as welcome as Manny Ramirez:

Dear Mr. Ponante,

I work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts here in the state house. I won’t tell you what I do. Until very recently I was able to access your site on my lunch break, but now you have been banned from our servers. How did you offend Massachusetts? — Wicked Pissed in Winthrop

Dear Wicked Pissed,

Must have been all the shit I talked about James Michael Curley

(If you have screen shots of my site being banned from interesting places, by all means send them in.)

Fake Fishburne Twitter Stirs Unwelcome Memories

Say what you will about Montana Fishburne’s decision to embark on a porn career, but don’t put words in her mouth. A fake Twitter account credited to the pornward daughter of Morpheus (as “Tana Fishburne”) has been debunked. Among the false tweets:

Aw this little 13 year old girl came up to me talking about I’m her favorite celebrity and she is going to make a sex-tape when she turns 18…

It’s too late fools. Me and … are the next generation’s ROLE MODELS. You had your chance and decided to go to college smh hoes

I know this girl that has an MD and her Master’s and she is working with high school kids at the coffee shop. “Montana your coffee’s ready!”

If only the fake Fishburne had included a tweet demanding people’s attention but then deriding them for paying attention, or strenuously defending her sexual orientation, it would sound exactly like the ravings of a failed musician/actor from Maryland who somehow managed to even flunk out of porn a few years ago. I’m wondering if he got a new gig?

[See how I predicted a Fishburne porn appearance four years ago]

Trade Publications Trade Employees, Too

In 2003, “Gram Ponante” was fired by AVN for reasons unexplained to this day (though I continued working there under an alias until 2004, go figure). In 2005, I was hired by XBIZ under an alias (which itself was fired a few months later) but continued to work for the publication as Gram Ponante until 2008. Thus I became the first of many exes those serial spouses have shared.

As the economy has soured, what was once a zero-hire policy of former employees of their rivals has matured into an open and loving exchange of employees who, like butterflies, can’t be made to sign Non-Compete Agreements. It is like XBiz and AVN are 50-year-old swingers.

AVN’s Acme Andersson went to XBiz as a freelancer in 2006, followed by Tod Hunter, who completed his XBiz editorial duties last year. But editorial is always small potatoes, and it wasn’t until Sales Rep Sara Sazzman jumped ship from AVN to XBiz that AVN filed a nuisance lawsuit.

If points were awarded, however, Tom Hymes would get them, as he fled from AVN to XBiz (with a stop at the Free Speech Coalition) and then was hired back at AVN, all having apparently been forgiven.

This says as much about the lack of jobs out there as it does about the — now don’t laugh — specialized knowledge shared by a small group of adult industry professionals. Like a snake fisting itself, we recognize both that the only games in town are pretty grim places to work but also that there are few qualified to do the job, so things that would have been impossible when times were better are now commonplace. [see Porn Valley Signage: Which Is Real?]

Still, it was a real head-scratcher when former XBiz editor Steve Javors was hired at AVN as second in command to editor Dan Miller, then Miller was scooped up by XBiz following his replacement by Javors.. Miller, of course, did not know Javors was to be his replacement. I wish them both well in their new jobs.

Dot-XXX — A Feel-Good Film About the Guy You Love to Hate

Eminent Portland masturbatrix and adult industry writer Theresa “Darklady” Reed penned a script to Dot XXX: The Movie that effectively lays out several concerns the organized elements of the adult industry have with Stuart Lawley, the ICM Registry, and the proposed .xxx Top Level Domain.

In the 8-minute video, Lawley is played by an unidentified actor as a condescending money grabber. With cameo performances by Joanna Angel, John Stagliano, and Larry Flynt, “Dot-XXX — The Movie!” finally gives the adult industry a villain that is not itself.

Read more about Dot XXX Opposition

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Outporning Porn; Big Pimpin’ with Chippy D; Why .XXX is a shameful choice

Remember the Boston Teabag Party

It was on this date 235 years ago that liquored-up Sons of Liberty, dressed as Narragansett Indians (because the Sons of Liberty had been drinking Narragansett Beer), boarded three ships docked in Boston Harbor and proceeded to forcibly teabag British troops in protest of King George’s Stamp and Townshend Acts.

The ships were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and, of course, the Beaver.

“I’m worried about the Brig Beaver,” said Samuel Adams, who liked Narragansett so much that he vowed to create his own beer, Olympia.

“Then teabag it verily,” cried John Hancock. And they did.

The inset is Sarah Vandella, Jenny Hendrix, and Lana Violet dressed as my personal Narragansett squawstitutes awaiting their teabaggery.

“After that, you can send it up my Freedom Trail,” Hendrix did not say.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Young Hollywood and the birth of the United States

The Price of The Price of Pleasure

Somewhere on the campus of the University of Southern California tomorrow (only the elect know), perhaps between 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. at the Montgomery Ross Fisher Building at University Park Campus and couched in a seminar titled “White Privilege,” (but perhaps not) will be the long-awaited Southern California debut of the documentary The Price of Pleasure, a film compiled from footage and interviews taken at 2005’s Adult Entertainment Expo.

Written by Robert Wosnitzer, Miguel Picker, and Dr. Chyng Sun and directed by Picker and Sun, The Price of Pleasure describes itself thusly, employing an opening paragraph ranked #1 in Most Popular Opening Paragraphs of Porn Industry Documentary Synopses:

Once relegated to the margins of society, pornography has become one of the most visible and profitable sectors of the cultural industries in the United States. It is estimated that the pornography industry’s annual revenue has reached $13 billion.

According to its press material, “The Price of Pleasure is an honest and nonjudgmental look at popular pornography.”

Based on its trailer, however, The Price of Pleasure is not a movie that casts porn personnel and their fans in the best light. Which is also understandable. Have you seen some of these people?

But it appears to me that to sell something on its honesty and lack of finger-pointing and then edit interviews so that they fit the filmmakers’ thesis (“the content of pornography has become more aggressive, more overtly sexist and racist”) is disingenuous. This film clearly has an agenda.

Filmmaker Sun shares a pivotal moment in her own porn journey:

Contrary to many women being pushed to watch porn by their boyfriends, I had a shy partner who never had the courage to rent a porn video. The few times that I reached for the top shelf at the Video Smith in Brookline to grab a porn video, I had to endure the torturous journey – ignoring other men peering at me out of the corner of their eyes while I was cruising through this off limits section, holding the extra large video box with vivid pictures for everyone to see while I stood in a long check-out line, and then waiting for the clerk to slowly take the video out of its box and put it in a black box which everyone knew was for porn anyway. Although this journey made me descend from a respectable to a fallen woman, there was something thrilling and daring because I was against the constraints set by both Chinese and American patriarchy that disapproved of women’s consumption of porn. I figured, if not being allowed to watch porn was part of the sexual repression, then rebelling against it must be liberating and even feminist.

Sun does not specify whether her partner was male or female. But in context, we assume her partner was a feller. We imagine the young academic couple disembarking the Green Line and walking through Coolidge Corner in Brookline. Snow clings to their boots, and each is happy to be alive. But he is pensive.

“How come you call me ‘partner’ when I have to call you ‘Doctor’?” he asks. “Don’t you know how emasculating that is when you use the language of the matriarchy to brand me as sexually ambiguous to your friends?”

“Oh, go rent a porn video, Robert,” she says.

“But I don’t like porn. I like you.”

I just became aware of this movie through Ernest Greene’s painstaking deconstruction of it (read it with the lights on) and feel as put out about it as I do when self-appointed spokespeople for the porn industry make fools of themselves.

According to Greene, several people who appeared in the film (including himself and Joanna Angel) believe their interviews were taken out of context or were recorded under false pretenses. Greene goes on to point out that no 2257 documentation was secured for the graphic sexual images contained therein and that the filmmakers themselves will profit from the very images they use to make their case against porn (I will follow Greene’s lead and not post the trailer since the filmmakers are not actually operating under a “Fair Use” provision).

The film’s website lists several screening locations. Curiously, only the screenings in porn-aware Los Angeles and San Francisco, in which many of the adult workers profiled reside, remain To Be Determined, though both Dr. Sun and Robert Jensen, a consultant on the film, are officially in town for other purposes tomorrow. There is a screening at Pasadena’s Fuller Theological Seminary on November 1 that is, according to a receptionist there, open to the public.

The film features the voices of consumers, critics, and pornography producers and performers. It is particularly revealing when male pornographers openly discuss their views about women and how men should relate to them, and when male and female porn users candidly discuss the role pornography has played in shaping their sexual imaginations and relationships. The film paints both a nuanced and complex portrait of how pleasure and pain, commerce and power, and liberty and responsibility are intertwined in the most intimate aspects of human relations.

At the same time, the film examines the unprecedented role that commercial pornography now occupies in U.S. popular culture. Going beyond the debate of liberal versus conservative so common in the culture, The Price of Pleasure provides a holistic understanding of pornography as it debunks common myths about the genre.

Holistic according to whom, and whose myths does it debunk? In the same way that pornographers wail and gnash their teeth at the financial fact that “anyone can pick up a camera and make porn,” lazy academics think that bias, bad writing, and poor research can be swept under the rug as long as the source material is pornography.

Then the filmmakers veer from the thesis to money:

J.M. Productions’ Gag Factor is indeed hard to watch when the female performers choke and cry because the male performers’ penises are inserted in their throat so deeply. The crucial issues are not whether a woman freely “chooses” to work in the film, but why an economic system would pay the women who are willing to be gagged 50 times more money than her McDonald’s job and whether this is the best way to organize our labor system.

Actually, the crucial issue is choice. And, though no “porn defender” in the film states the following, this does not stop the filmmakers from saying it is true:

The defenders of pornography like to say that pornography is just a symptom or a reflection of a male-dominated culture.

I have never said that, and I am fond of saying many things.

While the scholarship behind The Price of Pleasure seems as fatuous as the faux scholarship behind “The Da Vinci Code,” it still looks like a compelling film (in the same way, says Greene, as Triumph of the Will is).

…If only someone from the production would respond to my e-mails and calls, or tell me when and where the USC screening is. It is beginning to seem that they are unwilling to face their accused.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Manufacturing creampies: Noam Chomsky on porn; Remembering Haley Paige, a little; Laura Albert might be the next porn crossover; Report: Purchases of “Gene Simmons” sex tape limited to people who already find Gene Simmons repugnant
See also: The Price of Pleasure, Pro-Porn Activism, Robert Jensen’s speaking schedule

Tyler Faith to relieve Daisuke "by any means necessary"

Pride of Saugus Tyler Faith is back in Boston for tonight’s pivotal Game 5 of baseball’s ALCS matchup between the Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Why did you drop the ‘Devil’ from your name?” Faith taunted the upstart Tampa team. “What have you got to hide? Who is the real Tampa? Is there even a Bay?”

Faith, a porn star who has dated most of the starting lineups of Boston’s professional sports teams, as well as that of the Atlanta Braves (“for historical purposes”) will also be dancing at Peabody’s infamous Golden (“It don’t mean a thing ‘less you leave in a sling”) Banana this weekend.

Faith is just old enough to remember the days when the Red Sox had not won a World Series in 86 years.

“Those were wicked dahk times, kid,” she said.

Despite the Red Sox having easily clinched two World Series victories in 2004 and 2007, a feeling of “this could end at any minute” still hangs over the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And the sense of impending doom is pervasive and leads to irresponsible behavior.

“For example,” Faith said, “people want to believe the Golden Banana is in Saugus when it’s actually in Pea-bdy. It’s not propah to shoot people in Pea-bdy, so they pretend it’s in Saugus.”

Faith will help out the home team in any way she can. She has even offered to replace Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka if things get too “dicey.”

“I’m going to pitch for them,” she said, even though she’s a great catcher. If you know what I mean.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: See Tyler do; Tyler Faith, awake and asleep
See also: Boaton Red Sox, Tyler Faith, The Golden Banana