Racist porn and the recession: This week’s SF Chronicle column

Sinnamon Love comments on my column
One of friend (and favorite nerd porn star) Sinnamon Love‘s Twitter responses after reading this week’s column.

I don’t know how to preface this week’s column, Racist Porn and the Recession – Violet Blue: Nothing is recession proof, especially not your tired old racist porn. The topic is so upsetting that I had sleepless nights and even a night of nightmares and no sleep before bringing it all together and writing it. To write this, I attempted to contact and confront porn makers and performers in and around the US porn industry about their views — and direct participation in — racist porn. I was shocked that certain outwardly black-positive porn people (people of color in the industry) wouldn’t comment out of fear. I was surprised to discover what porn companies talked the talk of racial equality but wouldn’t comment on the record; notably one large company, out of fear of upsetting AVN. Pussies.

It was also really hard to approach my friends who are porn performers/makers of color and shove the links in their face — that in and of itself was painful — and then ask them to go on the record. It wrecked me to send the links to Madison Young, including links to her performances in “interracial” titles that have been marketed in fucked up racial ways, and ask her for a statement. I figured she’d either say something incredible, or never speak to me again. She came out swinging, like a warrior. Her act of courage to face my confrontation was what made me find the steel to “go there” when I could barely stand what I’d read, and all the shit I’ve seen. What she said in my column — her and others — well, it’s about fucking time someone says it.

So here you have it. Look for the arrows in my back by the weekend. Snip:

(…) When you look at the whole picture, the U.S. porn industry was once seen as being at the forefront of things like technology and free expression, but it’s never been more clear that it has yet to start dragging itself into the 21st century. The recession is one thing; technology has crushed mainstream porn’s business models, period. With an industry still clinging to DVD sales as its steak and potatoes, the self-induced recession was inevitable.

And then there’s the interracial porn genre, which remains a vehicle for outmoded and offensive racial, ethnic, and gender stereotypes. Last Thursday TheSword.com’s headline brayed, “‘Negro’ Porn Recession Proof, Claims AVN” (link NSFW). The blog posted about the “Black Humor” issue, where AVN magazine explains how marketing to America’s toxic preoccupation with race differences is the answer to mainstream porn’s declining sales — while framing this “marketing distinction” from run-of-the-mill porn, as funny.

On closer inspection, there’s something more than a little disingenuous about AVN’s sense of humor. We all know that porn is built to part you with your hard-earned cash and proffer fantasies; sometimes certain kinds of fantasy or roleplaying can be sexy: taboos, whether actual or perceived, are always hot, right? The positive ability of porn is that is can show partnering that is charged because it crosses racial boundaries; I believe that damage is not done by the FACT of crossing those taboos, but in the WAY those taboos are crossed. But ultimately, most of us just want to watch different kinds of people coming together without the racist baggage. TheSword.com followed its headline with:

Adult industry trade magazine Adult Video News has the answer to porn producers faced with declining sales: more use of the word Negro! In this month’s ‘Black Humor’ issue of AVN, the notoriously enlightened porn-producing community claims that only a Communist would keep the public from quality product like ‘Oh No! There’s A Negro in My Mom!’

‘Whatever stereotypes are out there … should be depicted on camera in order for the projects to feel realistic,’ says Julius Ceazher, star of Black Cocks, Tiny Teens. ‘Someone who puts out a racially insensitive title could be viewed as a capitalist.’ The public gets what it wants, say the producers: interracial titles are one of the few bright spots in an industry faced with falling DVD sales, competition from tube sites and a terrible economy. Besides: black jokes are just a form of humor, says Ceazar, not racism. ‘If someone tells a funny black joke, I’m gonna laugh.’

AVN says that in the past few years, more porn companies have been picking up on the potent mixture of cinema verité and cold hard cash, producing increasingly “funny” interracial titles with un-sly references to rapists and gorillas, causing retail stores to stop carrying some of the “funnier” titles. (…) Shane Diesel, female star of ‘My Daughter is Fucking a Nigga,’ tells AVN that some of her biggest fans are neo-Nazis and racist Southerners. “They love it!” she says. (…)(…read more, sfgate.com)


Image of the beautiful and fierce Sinnamon Love (on Twitter) by Christine Kessler, whose work graces the cover of my recent book.

“We can be heroes
just for one day.
We can be us
just for one day.”

Updates: At least one SFGate commenter wonders “what gutter” I’ll “die in.” AVN responds with an incoherent personal attack on myself and Madison, and in defense of… well, I’ve cut and pasted the whole thing after the jump so you can see the quality of both the arguments and the reporting. Highlights include the term sex workers in quotes, attacking the white women, stating that TheSword’s misquote is my own factual statement, and lazily, uncreatively rehashing my lawsuit with Noname Jane, who they do not even mention by name or link to — nor the fact that she and I settled amicably last year. Or that she agrees with my column.

Editorial: Self-Righteous, ‘Sex-Positive’ Violet Blue Can’t Get Her Facts Straight
02/12/2009
By David Sullivan
[category: NEWS]

SAN FRANCISCO – Did you know that former Blackzilla star Shane Diesel is actually a woman?

That’s just one of the things you’ll learn if you read the blathering of self-righteous sex columnist Violet Blue in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

Quoting from the gay website The Sword, which in turn misquoted AVN’s February cover story about the interracial porn market, Blue didn’t bother to check her facts. So, according to Blue’s column, well-known male performer Shane Diesel is “the female star of My Daughter is Fucking a Nigga”.

There’s no room for research on Violet Blue’s soapbox; this is, after all, THEE Violet Blue, who took a porn actress to court in order to protect her sacred nom de porn. Treading the PC party line, Violet is all for the empowerment of “sex workers” and free expression…unless that sex worker infringes on Violet’s own capitalist “brand” by associating her name with the sort of sexual speech she doesn’t like.

But this isn’t about Violet’s litigious bullying of a porn chick. It’s about the Plight of the Modern Negro.

Listen up, Porn Incorporated: Violet Blue is tired of your race-baiting tropes and tricks! She’s had it with the horrors of the racist patriarchy, and her pale, delicate white skin is burning red with rage!

Such “disturbing” titles as Chatsworth Pictures’ Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Mom! are keeping women like Shane Diesel down, Violet says, and the sell-outs at AVN are promoting the oppression by pointing out that such videos sell even during a recession…and framing a discussion of the market trend as funny.

Titled “Black Humor”, the AVN story examined the popularity of videos that combine big black dicks and little white chicks. Editor Nelson X spoke to performers and producers (both black and white), questioning whether the use of stereotypes is acceptable for the sake of marketing.

“There’s something more than a little disingenuous about AVN’s sense of humor,” Violet wrote. “The positive ability of porn is that is [sic] can show partnering that is charged because it crosses racial boundaries. I believe that damage is not done by the FACT of crossing those taboos, but in the WAY those taboos are crossed.”

In short, don’t get your freak on in a manner that violates Violet Blue’s political sensibility. And STOP LAUGHING!

Violet believes that titles such as I Can’t Believe You Sucked A Negro! and My Daughter is Fucking Blackzilla push the wrong buttons, exploiting ugly myths and stereotypes about black male potency. Spreading racism like a porno pathogen, these movies bank on the insecurities of the Caucasian male and damage the sexual health of the viewer – because, Blue seems to think, the people who watch porn can’t make the high-brow distinction between reality and a stupid porn flick.

Her tender, sex-positive heart inflamed by the AVN article she skimmed, Violet sought solace from a porn star who agrees with her agenda. You think porn actresses are bimbos? Well, sit down, Mister: some of us are ARTICULATE, EDUCATED, QUEER and SEX-POSITIVE!

“I find AVN’s comments on interracial porn to be highly offensive and serves [sic] as a discredit to the entire industry,” said Bay Area BDSM performer Madison Young, bonding with Violet in a “white girl-to-white girl” chat. “AVN is the leading trade magazine for the adult industry, and for them to make statements like ‘Negro Porn Recession-Proof’ gives the anti-porn community further fodder for their arguments as opposed to spotlighting sex-positive productions.”

Of course, ‘Negro Porn Recession-Proof’ is the headline from The Sword blog, and not a statement from AVN. But why split pubes over such details?

“Porn is a widely consumed medium and can act as a powerful tool to educate, create connection and communication between couples, and archive our sexual culture while providing a reflection of our desires on film,” Madison recited. “This can be a positive and sexually validating experience for women and men and persons of all genders.”

We’ve seen that brochure, too. But thankfully, Madison is here to enlighten the ignorant; the model, activist and director goes on to reveal that she reluctantly performs scenes for “mainstream” porn producers in order to fund her Femina Potens art gallery in Frisco.

“I prefer to perform in productions that are sex-positive or queer-produced, but it takes a lot of anal scenes to run a feminist art space,” she said.

Surely, such a fiercely intelligent and empowered woman could earn the necessary bucks by finding a job that doesn’t involve taking it up the ass for some greaseball caveman producer in Van Nuys. But that’s not the point; Madison is here to Subvert From Within!

“I recall in one of the interracial films in which I was featured, I actually got the director to allow me to teach a bit of a tantric lesson in the scene,” she said.

Madison Young: changing the way you jerk off, one tantric lesson at a time. (Submit written/illustrated interpretations of Madison’s tantric lesson to racistsexistpigs@avn.com.)

Violet Blue has a valid point about race-baiting porn titles – one which AVN addressed. If her knowledge of porn history 101 extended beyond the boundaries of Wikipedia, she might have pointed to the decade-old backlash against performer Jon Dough, who made the mistake of placing a tasteless Jew joke on one of his box covers. The First Amendment crusaders of Porn Valley suddenly developed an aversion to such humor, and the video box was swiftly recalled.

Blue might also have remembered the outcry over a mercifully short-lived trend of porn vids that combined hunting and animal killings with sex. The libertines of greater San Fernando didn’t much care for that “marketing trend,” either.

But Blue’s arguments are even more obvious than the cliches she targets in her ongoing, heavy-handed campaign against mainstream porn. (What else to expect from a woman who raved about Snuff, the crap-tastic literary flop from grossly overrated post-mod hack Chuck Palahniuk? Full disclosure: Palahniuk mentioned Blue by name in the book, a brutally stupid treatment of the Porn Valley gang-bang craze as metaphor for the American Wasteland.)

In the end, Blue herself is a walking, yapping, self-promoting stereotype of sorts, as director David Aaron Clark pointed out in an online response to her lawsuit against the porn actress of the same name.

Clark wrote in his post for LukeisBack.com: “The ‘author’ Violet Blue is the typical example of that San Francisco ‘sex-positive’ counterculture faker who blathers on about the ‘community’ and their own highly evolved sexuality, how all us sexual outlaws have to look out for each other, but is really nothing but a self-promoting, narcissistic wannabe capitalist who, if you get in the way of their quest for power and prominence, will swiftly resort to the very sort of behavior they decry in others outside their ‘tribe.’

“The best part of it all is that ‘Violet Blue’ is not exactly a unique or original turn of the phrase in the first place.”

The post Racist porn and the recession: This week’s SF Chronicle column appeared first on Violet Blue ® | Open Source Sex.