Podcast Yanked From iTunes, Again (Not)

As if things weren’t difficult enough for me right now… A listener/reader has let me know that my podcast is no longer listed in iTunes; the direct link to my iTunes page works, but search for my name, my podcast, or sex, and Open Source Sex is gone.

I wonder who else they’ve done this to: I see I also cannot find Whorecast. Are they now quietly making it very difficult to find the sex podcasts? The best way to make someone go away is to remove them from searches… Not hip and cool, iTunes; lame and douchy censorship.

Literally — update. If you update to the new iTunes 5.0, all is as it should be (as far as I can tell). But for everyone else who isn’t/hasn’t/can’t/won’t update to this brand new version of iTunes, it appears as though a large number of podcasts have been “flushed” from iTunes. Not just sex podcasts, either, though I hope everyone finds my paranoia funny and hilarious, like the drunk chick at the party with cocktail weenie breath who later steps on the host’s infant/puppy/cherished childhood keepsake. And buys the goddamn iTunes phone when it comes out.

And the best news, ever: Jonno is back at Fleshbot!!!! Blogging from a temporary Fleshbot HQ outside NO, set up with a handmade net of porn screener DVDs for shade and a modified Julain Snelling buttplug as a wifi transmitter. And just when I was getting used to angry emails from Fleshbot Gay readers (“where the hell are you?”) and emails from (now former) friends who have officially dumped me because I haven’t been able to return their calls and emails, and I guess I just generally suck as a friend.

I’m going to go clean my house now for the first time since the hurricane, and pay some bills, before I have to hack a butt plug transmitter myself…

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Porn blogging: A rant

Today I finally have my head above water, unlike the citizens of New Orleans, whose heads were held under by our federal government just long enough to drown. Jonno and I still can’t get through to each other by phone (cell or land line), but we’ve somehow been able to leave messages for each other almost every day, and of course his cell phone company is totally able to text message him his bill. Site managing Fleshbot has been unbeleivably stressful, not just due to exacting editorial stress getting 12 posts a day up on a major media site, the low low pay (couldn’t survive on it if I had to), the two book deadlines I missed (and the upcoming one in November), or the fear of inarguable suffering inflicted on a friend I love very very much (my Jonno).

Porn blogging during a disaster is painful, stupid and wrong. But it is also bizarrely right. It tore me to shreds to not hear from Jonno for days, to watch Anderson Cooper unravel, hear the mayor of New Orleans cry in anger and helpessness, and *still* get emails about Lindsay Lohan’s lesbian leanings. I didn’t give a fuck about Beyonce’s nipple slip before, and now I hate misspelled porn press releases offering me as an “esteemed journalist” a trip to the set of “choke on monster black cocks #5” more than ever. (Not a real title, though similar to the actual. Mmm, I bet the craft services on that one were sublime.) At the same time, I’ve helped keep my friend’s site running (who is now a disaster refugee of sorts, one of the few with a job to return to) and hopefully provided those watching Fleshbot several much-needed sex positive distractions, maybe even a few moments of pleasure as we learn to live with pain and shame that isn’t going away for a long time.

I don’t know. I felt utterly worthless crying at my keyboard last week, and outrageously angry. I wrote harsh words on Fleshbot about the porn industry’s inactivity that were removed. Many people emailed in support for Jonno, Fleshbot, myself, but the continual flood of porn promotion into my inbox and lack of activity by people in porn made me insane. I was told that maybe the adult industry was slow to react because they were stunned; don’t tell me that when I’m updating and changing a site over a dozen times a day and managing to hit my own as well. I didn’t need to be scared to know that the people in NO were scared. I don’t need to know any disaster victims to imagine their grief and wish to help them, but I DO. In the light of this, the signifigance of porn blogging, of making porn, only adds to a scream to the universe of everyone unable to help, to do something, and yes, it makes me turn and ask, okay, so what the fuck *are* you doing? Nothing? Then go away.

Maybe it’s silly, childish to think that people who make Girls Gone Wild would care. Anne Rice wrote in the New York Times*;

“But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us “Sin City,” and turned your backs.

Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.”

Which explains why I overstepped my emotional bounds, and got edited. Or not. The question I struggle with, even today, is what am I doing, how am I helping anything by porn blogging? It goes against my nature to post a celebrity nipple slip unless I think it’s giving someone somewhere a monent of reprise from the insanity, or maybe what I wrote today about hoping the Bush administration has a doomsday gene that can be activated by the push of a button (in the context of a porn review) can give a little levity, a little sanity, if only to me. Because this week, I seem to be writing with the filter off. Maybe they will keep me at Gawker, maybe they will not. As with everything in the history of my entire life, I still have nothing to lose.

It is impossible for me to just sit here and look at porn all day. Many porn detractors will say that Fleshbot is not a contribution to culture, but another wrong that needs to be righted, and anyone who enjoys it is sick and wrong, and doing so during a national crisis is evil. This is what the conservative christian family values voices in my head tell me, that is when they’re not telling others to go on killing sprees — or to go golfing after Hurricane Katrina. I’m not listening. Because I’m moving forward with heart, conscience and I’m trying with every ounce to put this whole damn thing in persepctive in every word I write. It’s all I can do.

Which is insanely frustrating to a girl who usually feels like she can do anything. I build and operate giant renegade machines. When something breaks, I fix it. I have no family; I have survived. I was a ward of the state who escaped on my 14th birthday, and lived as a homeless teen almost until I turned 18. Looking at NO, I instantly got what was happening when the homeless, the poor, the drug addicts with no fix were trapped without food and water among subruban families and residents with no way out — and there were many, as there are in every city. More so in a city with no harsh winters. I remember what it was like when Regan cut social services funding and released all the crazy people onto the streets with no shelters to take them in; I was there with a bunch of other young kids who’d been beaten and abused all their lives and were hard as nails at 14, and having to protect ourselves and find food and shelter and water day after day with all these dangerous crazies roaming around. You can’t just go stay with friends for a while or get a hotel room. It is your life, and no one from the state or government will help you because they don’t understand. People help you — by literally saving your life sometimes, by risking everything to make a difference, by dying, by keeping life in context, and yes, by totally losing it and saying something about it all (like Cooper, Rivera, Nagin, Kane…).

On saturday I had friends over at my house, to get very drunk and come together. (That explains the pictures in this post; above group is Paul Festa, myself, Polly Enmity and Arlo Tolesco all from Best Sex Writing 2005.) We did, and had a few former NOLA residents among us, one a NO native whose sister lost everything. And in the morning, the envelope I’d left out on a table labeled “American Red Cross” had $300 in it, and I had a few emails from hungover pals with drunkenly forgotten, but forthcoming checks.

* If NY Times asks for a password or registration, just clear any cookies with “nytimes’ on them.

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Katrina refugee: Jamie Joy Gatto

I got this email from my pal erotic writer Sage Vivant (we’ve worked together quite often over the years) about a writer in our community, and felt I should reprint it here as I know several people who will want to know that Jamie is okay:

“Today we learned that New Orleans-based erotica writer Jamie Joy Gatto did manage to escape the worst of the storm and has found shelter with friends in Houston, Texas. Although she escaped (walking for five hours through waist deep water), she was unable to bring any of her personal belongings with her, including clothing. She is in dire need of assistance.

Jamie Joy has long been a personal friend to me. Through her various Web sites (most notably, Mind Caviar, which recently closed but hopefully will soon reopen), she has helped other writers get their work seen and been a source of encouragement for many. She is also one of Custom Erotica Source‘s celebrity writers.

I and author M. Christian have started a fund to help get Jamie Joy and her fiance on their feet again. Her good friend and fellow writer Tina Hess is helping to spread the word about Jamie Joy’s predicament and has even begun a search for a laptop so that she can begin writing again (if any of you have or know of a laptop that Jamie Joy might benefit from, please write me and I’ll pass the information along to Tina). Probably many of you have already made donations to the organization of your choice to help Katrina’s thousands of victims, but it is unlikely that people like Jamie Joy will benefit from those contributions. Therefore, we’d like to collect money for her and send her a check as soon as possible to help her out.

If you’d like to contribute (and honestly, any amount you can spare will be helpful), please go to PayPal and send money to me (sage@customeroticasource.com), specifying that your payment is for Jamie Joy. PayPal’s records will help me keep track of who gave what, and I will then send her a check for the total amount collected along with a list of names who contributed. M. Christian and I would like to send this check no later than September 8.”

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One Hell Of A Week

The hot straight girl (with glasses) sent me this audio clip of New Orleans Mayor Nagin (via C&L, MP3 file). I cried and cried and cried, while trying to finish a harrowing week site managing Fleshbot. Listen to it. All the way to the end. You have to.

It made me very, very pissed off at a lot of things. What is the adult industry doing to help? Bikini wrestling. Congratulating each other, just like the politicians. And New Orleans will never, ever be the same. New Orleans is, in fact, dying. And our government will not save them. Think I’m crazy? Watch this video.

So I did this:

Wet Spots: Hurricane Edition*

BoingBoing is the best source of news in the United States, with Crooks and Liars as your audio/video source. They’re both faster than anyone, especially CNN and FOX. I am going to go get drunk now. Tomorrow I’m getting drunk with friends and we are putting together an envelope with checks for the Red Cross; the Marching Band is devastated and organizing a benefit for hurricane relief. I’ll post details when I get them. And when I’m in a better mood, I’ll share with you the bizarre press releases Fleshbot gets from the porn industry and you will laugh and your nose will turn into a beverage shooter.

Random shares before the cocktail takes over: A beautiful girl. Porn I must own. Lingerie I wish I owned (but am giving my panty money to Red Cross instead).

* Update: The intro had more venom, but was edited out (not by me).

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Treading Water

I live in San Francisco, but the situation in New Orleans has stopped my life. I have a lot to explain and share, but for now I’m the site manager at Fleshbot and will be for an unforseeable amount of time. Jonno is safe and dry, though things are still intense.

I just found this LiveJournal blog, where a man is somehow literally live blogging from inside New Orleans, or what’s left of it. he seems to be able to do a post every couple of hours.

More soon, lovelies.

One minute update: My SFisting colmn is up: Things in Rubbers — The Interview

Also read: This Week in Porn Hysteria and Save the Mardi Gras Babes.

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Spending the week @ Fleshbot

But I didn’t bring my pajamas, oh no! What will I sleep in?

Seriously, I just finally heard from Jonno and he writes, “It looks like we won’t be able to get back to New Orleans until the end of the week/weekend at the earliest. The governor’s office is telling everyone who evacuated that they’re going to need at least until that time to clean up some of the main roads and (hopefully) restore power to the city.”

So, count on two missed book deadlines for me this week, and if you’re trying to get in touch with me I’m really really sorry — they’re about to funnel the Fleshbot tips email into my account, so forget even trying to send me an email until next week, argh.

Still, I’m having fun and running amok free of leashes of handcuffs on Fleshbot. We’ll see how many toes I step on and how much trouble I cause by the end of the week. I really feel like I’m in the cool club but not really a cool kid so I’m not supposed to be there and they’re going to find out they let a lower-class citizen in the country club by mistake and toss me out any minute, if you know what I mean…

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Hurricane Katrina

The news is saying that hurricane Katrina will be touching down in New Orleans within the next 10 hours with expected winds of 160 mph and is likely to put the city under over 20 feet of water, and they are estimating that 80% of the homes there will be destroyed. Jonno lives in New Orleans, and let me know Friday I’d be taking over Fleshbot tomorrow (monday), as he thought they’d be evacuated — it became a reality this afternoon. Jonno is now safe in a remote Fleshbot porn bunker, constructed during the Regan era porn wars, so with a meager diet of bad 80s hair porn he will wait out the storm (he’s actually 150 miles west of New Orleans as of this afternoon). But communications are dialup and unreliable phone service, so I’m planning on Fleshbotting all week, and having a lot of fun with it. At least he didn’t have to make a raft out of VCA screeners and Doc Johnson megaboob blow up dolls and waterproof Anal Eze, and paddle out with nothing more than a John Homles dildo for an oar.

Cross your fingers and toes, and other appropriate crossable body parts that my sweet sweet Jonno has a house to return to. I’ll post updates here as I find out what happens. Meanwhile, come spend the week with me at Fleshbot — I’ve got some really amazing things up my sleeve for the week…

Ugh, I just heard Bush on TV in the other room praying for hurricane relief. Yeah, thanks for that.

So like Jon Stewart needs Bush to be honest and transparent, I want you to watch The Texas Chain Saw President and need with me, if you will, for Laura Bush to look so hot in prison bondage wearing a red bikini before she gets a chainsaw enema from Condi Rice…. Oh, it’s just funny. Enjoy.

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