Will Someone Please Tell Paypal to Get Out of my Bedroom (Unless They are Bringing Some Good Porn)

A cute horn player from the Extra Action Marching Band wrote me recently with a letter he received from online money processing business PayPal:

Dear (tromboner),
You are receiving this email because you have asked to be notified of PayPal policy updates. Please read below to learn about PayPal’s most recent policy updates.

User Agreement Update
Notice Date: April 10, 2003
Effective Date: June 12, 2003
PayPal has updated its Acceptable Use Policy to simplify the policy on transactions of adult items. After June 12, 2003, PayPal will no longer process transactions for adult items through the Mature Audiences category on eBay.com. As a result, after June 12, PayPal will no longer process payments for adult items anywhere on the Internet.

PayPal strives to find the right balance between serving our community and minimizing our financial risk. We feel that exiting the Mature Audiences category with a clear and consistent policy for all adult items best achieves this balance.

As part of this effort, we are extending the deadline for when PayPal customers must stop sending and receiving payments for tangible adult products, including magazines, DVDs and videocassettes. Originally May 12, this deadline has now been extended to June 12 to correspond with the phase-out of PayPal service for these items on eBay. The deadline to stop sending and receiving payments for digital adult products and services, including online photos, streaming video and audio services, will remain May 12. For more information on our Mature Audience Policy, log in to your PayPal account and click on "Policy Updates" in the What’s New box. You will find a link to the Mature Audience Policy under the April 10, 2003, User Agreement Update.

I responded to (tromboner) with:

(tromboner), thank you for sending me this, it is definitely of interest. Just what exactly is the rationale behind this decision, I wonder? We can only guess. PayPal cannot legislate the morality of its customers, but it seems that surely they will try. Are they being pressured by a "family values" group? Maybe — I know that these groups have recently declared a war on porn and are attempting to amass "god’s army." Not kidding, it’s scary, and they’re doing this with grassroots-style church letter writing campaigns to cable companies like Viacom to make them stop broadcasting cable porn. Buncha sickos — they’re clearly obsessed with pornography.

But here is, I think, the rub: PayPal may cut off everything and all adult, but surely this is where a large amount of their revenue comes from, and as all in the adult biz know, sex accoutrements are an ever-growing, recession-proof source of revenue. Especially as more and more people become comfortable with enjoying their sexuality, and see the benefits of occasional experimentation. Then what for PayPal? Shot in the foot? That would be a nice irony, much like the male adult store owner who "found god," burned 10K worth of his stock (it’s bad karma to destroy sex toys, BTW), and turned "Love World" into a christian store called "Mike’s Place." Since then, he’s foundering on the brink of financial devastation, save for the donations he’s been getting from other sexually repressed god- (and orgasm-) fearing christians (which are not the only flavor of christian out there, but nobody seems to know that, either). But it was a nice way for Mr. Former Love Shack to skirt his pending obscenity charge.

So PayPal cuts off and alienates a sizeable number of their customers, while some other savvy entrepreneur cuts in and grabs the business that is "too immoral" for PayPal to soil themselves with… It’s like giving away free money to another business. These sexual moralists are so shortsighted — a consequence of not having any good sex, perhaps?

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I Love My Job

Been working some exceptionally long days lately, what with the Stop AIDS benefit I worked, a very ho-hum trip to the SF Fetish Ball, a presentation for the Good Vibes educational program and a porn watching marathon. The marathon was the true highlight. VCA sent me a bunch of women-directed porn DVD’s for review, some really great plot-driven porn written and directed by Chloe and Veronica Hart.

My all-around favorite video was Sunset Stripped (Hart), an incredibly good modern version of Sunset Boulevard starring Ginger Lynn. Lots of real female orgasms and an ensemble cast of terrific actors. It definitely tops my list of porn for couples to watch together.

We’re having a sale at Good Vibes on selected sex toys, and the sale happened kind of fast, so the store staff whipped the signs together in a hurry. At the Valencia St. store they made the fatal mistake of printing individual letters out and taping them to the front of the store, spelling out a few long phrases — that were re-arranged in the middle of the night. No one noticed until the afternoon, actually one of my coworkers called the store and said, "have you looked at your sale signage lately?" Some crafty neighborhood culture jammer had changed the letters to read "prins assliccer." Nice. I mean, if you can’t jam your own culture, whose can you jam? It’s a cautionary tale for our Polk St. store who didn’t spell out the entire sale phrases but just did the letters "s a l e" a few times — I definitely see an "ass" in there…

Today I worked at the one of the stores, which was a lot of fun. The staff is funny and friendly, like to make jokes about the stretchy pink plastic vulvas we sell, and the people who come in are very interesting. A guy came in and asked if it was okay for him to shop there without his wife. Couples bought videos and vibrators, joking about relieving tension with their "new massagers." Cute guys bought porn and dildos, solo. Dykes bought harnesses and strap-ons. A very boisterous group of ladies came in and bought their friend birthday presents, saying they were going to tape the birthday girl’s face onto the porn stars’ bodies, etc. A senior citizen told us how happy she was that we were within walking distance. A very chatty man claimed he was an amateur photographer, and asked me about finding porn with women smoking and wearing glasses. I menaced a friend with a gigantic Sean Michaels dildo…

Tomorrow, book reviewing. Watching Sex: How Men Really Respond to Pornography by David Loftus. Erotic Home Videos: Create Your Own Adult Films by Anna Span. Naked as A Jaybird by Dian Hanson. And more — comments forthcoming. Now, the boy toy is here, and he’s in for a surprise. I’ve got a mystery bag of sex toys for boys, and he’s the test bunny! I really really really love my job.

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Anal Orgasms

Libido’s premium member’s gallery is free. There you can see many yummy pictures like this one by Trevor Watson:

Short entry tonight: spent most of my day answering Good Vibes related email. There was one great question from a woman who has orgasms when she has anal sex — without any other stimulation — and wants to know if it’s for real. You bet it’s for real! To see this in action, see any film with adult actress Chloe having anal sex, which is most of her films. She had an accident in childhood which rendered her clitoris numb (damn monkey bars –I remember falling on them myself and seeing stars). She has wild anal orgasms onscreen. But that doesn’t mean you have to be injured or otherwise impaired to enjoy orgasms from anal sex. The clitoris has vast amounts of underground real estate, and the wishbone shape extends all the way back to the perineal wall, to the anus. That stimulation combined with the undoubted psychological arousal from anal sex (really really wanting and liking it) can trigger intense orgasms. She’s really turned on by even the thought of anal sex (penetration of her and her boyfriend!), and it just fills me with unrestrained glee to hear her story. That reminds me, I have a lot of new rimming-themed erotica I’ll be putting up this week…

Lastly, we just got the most amazing new toy in at Good Vibes, the Audi-Oh. It’s a sturdy little bullet vibe that is voice and sound activated. Amazing! I have to get one.

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Get High on my Enema Flowers of Spring

Sadie Allison wrote me a cute and sweet email just to say hi! Hi Sadie! Also, Yahoo! now has a sex blogs directory for all of your day-to-day sex journal needs, though it’s not as complete as Daze Reader‘s list (where I snagged the link from). I hope they include one of my heroines, True Porn Store Clerk Stories. On friday someone emailed me saying I am possibly in some legal trouble, but not what or why, or who this person is or even a polite hello (but they include a phone number). Sounds like the email I got once from a guy saying he was a lawyer researching a court case and wanted all these really explicit descriptions of oral sex positions (for legal purposes, of course).

Thing was, the "lawyer’s" story didn’t match up — for instance, his name didn’t match his outgoing email header, little things like that. On other fronts, I just got a bulging package from my pal Joe Gallant of Black Mirror Productions (New York). Joe was the coolest guy I met at the AVN Expo last January, and he is a really funny, wickedly intelligent and deviously creative guy. He makes porn, and he’s way ahead of the LA crowd’s porn curve on many levels. His latest release is Bongwater Butt Babes, Volume One. The text:

Joe Gallant, Black Mirror’s owner, directed and produced this edgy, hilarious and groundbreaking epic, which prominently features ‘the Buttbong’

The Buttbong is an original concept, a groovy device used by each couple in the four scenes," says Gallant. "There’s a ton of great anal sex, tasteful explorations of female body functions, romantically tinged enema sequences and loving Buttbong scenes in which the ‘Bong is tenderly placed in the young lady’s enema-filled derriere… the "bong’s contents are then lit up and smoked by each girl’s partner, her bubbling butt-water utilized in the classic water-pipe fashion… It’s a feel-good flick, shot all over Manhattan — and Ode to Spring, in the spirit of Godard!

Talk about smoking crack. And yes, there are plans to mass-market the Buttbong!

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Not Working

I should be working writing about all the dirty dirty films I have watched today like Veronica Hart’s Lost Heinie and Sinful Rella but instead I am sitting around and doing Amelie impersonations.

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More Male and A Little Woman

This email was the unintentional highlight of the week:

Subject: Who are you?< who are you and why are you emailing my husband? It was sent presumably from the husband's email address, or there is one very mad, very aggressive and very snoopy gay househusband out there. I haven't written back mostly because I am enjoying the push-pull feelings of amusement and anger. I mean, like, who is her husband? Very likely he is one of many nice guys who email me on a regular basis and compliment my web site or my work, and I emailed him back to say "thank you." That's about as raunchy as it gets. This woman has obviously been cuckolded by politeness. I want to write her back and ask her why she's invading her husband's privacy. Or why she's got the balls to email me presumptuously, a total stranger, and no cojones when it comes to trusting (or talking to) her husband.

But what I really want to tell her is that she needs to be oiled up with a delicious aphrodisiac oil by six nubile and adoring male and female nymphs who blindfold her and drizzle warm maple syrup all over her sensitive parts and lick it all off while drinking some ancient bottle of sweet liqueur that makes them all hallucinate and writhe like a bunch of orgiastic snakes, all culminating with her much-needed introduction to a Hitachi Magic Wand Super Silicone G-Spotter Kit, the Tiny Buzzers nipple clamps, a Little Flirt butt plug and the iSurge, all at once. Then a sound spanking from the super-hot and very scrumptious Mistress Morgana. And a complete training on wifeliness by the dedicated wives of Whap! Magazine.

On Saturday 4/12 I represented the women of Survival Research Labs at the Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports book signing in San Francisco (Fort Mason). The book is fantastic and I love it (though a little light on the female contribution to the world of machine art). It’s the only written description of SRL that even comes remotely close to capturing the chaos, danger and prankster nature of our organization — and the book also covers Robot Wars and Battlebots, organizations that sprung up in SRL’s wake. You know, the TV shows where the only women are big-boobed blonde bunny announcers. Hey, I like the BBBB announcers, but c’mon, guys.

I ran a table selling the Official SRL Nudie Calendar (all proceeds benefit an SRL member with cancer), and got to meet just about everyone. I had a great time sipping beer and chatting robotics with guys and a few gals, and selling the hell out of the calendars. There were many instances where it took several rounds of conversation with some of the men to get them to understand that I was a *female* member of SRL, and that we do indeed exist in all our welding, carpentering, forklift-driving, fabricating and machine operating glory. I guess it was a consciousness-raising event on both sides.

Next I’ll be hosting at the Capri Restaurant on 4/23 for a Stop AIDS benefit evening, and working as Good Vibes staff at the SF Fetish Ball on 4/26 and at the premiere of Charles Gatewood‘s documentary Forbidden Photographs at the Roxie Theater on 5/9.

Oh, and last week’s favorite customer question, from two gay guys I was waiting on in the store:

Do you have any lube for really BIG dicks?

As a matter of fact…

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Fan Male

I get fan mail daily, but this is a total favorite, sent today:< Man, intelligent porn AND a member of SRL?
You WIN at the internet!
Keep up the good work,
A fellow perv.

Another recent favorite told me I was sexy because I use a G4. Yes! My mail is awesome, and I totally look forward to it. Lots of letters by lots of smart, happy folks asking questions about sex, saying hi, or giving me pointers. Sometimes it’s funny in a satirical way, sometimes its funny in an unintentional way, like when I get emails from men who tell me about their huge huge penises, and want me to talk about their huge huge penises with them. They definitely like big cocks more than I do. It’s all fun, and sometimes bizarre, too, like last month I got an email from amateur pornographers in former Yugoslavia that read:

Dear Mister
If you interested to cooperate,and if you seen our
Site. We wish to
suggest you few way of cooperation.
In Belgrade(Serbia)there are people who is interested
in recording a film pornography. We knew 10
people minimum(male and female)who wants to do it.They
are interested in clasic
sex,oral,anal,lesbo,gay,sm,pising.Women`s from 18 up
to 50 years,size of the breast`s from 90cm up to 120
cm.
There are few chance for cooperation:
-That two of us come to your place and take a picture.
-That we from Belgrade send you material accros
internet.
-The best option is thet you come in Belgrade take a
material that you need.
With 10 people and for a few days you can record a lot
of film`s

It’s so personal it’s really hard to resist, don’t you think? Last week a close friend and colleague of mine, who is a well-known erotica author, wrote me in a panic — she got a very scary piece of fan mail. She said it was like the movie "Seven," handwritten in tight inky script, begging her for… things. This is one of the hazards of the job, and unfortunately of being female in general. But I know of a girl who is about to turn fan mail upside down — Dr. Ducky Doolittle.

Cute, curvy Ducky has been a panty, messy, shoe, leg and foot fetish model for a long time (we’re both in Messy Girls), and she always publishes her address with her photos. She loves getting fan mail too, and has saved every single scrap of mail she’s received. In New York from April 24 to May 17, Ducky presents Fan Mail: An Intimate Look at the Relationship Between a Fetish Model and Her Fans, a showing of her amazing archive. She writes,

These are the letters that inspire both my fantasies and my nightmares. They are simultaneously titillating, frightening, funny, bizarre, abusive, sexy, warm and filthy…. For the first time, I am opening up a piece of my archive for public viewing.

I wish I could see the show, and I hope it makes a tour of the West Coast. Not only do the letters sound cool and interesting, but what a fantastic way of contextualizing an experience that every single woman sexualized in the public eye experiences — and we all experience it alone, in private.

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