My thoughts on the Adult Internet and Fosta…
” We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles” Sun Tzu (more on that later.)
There are two things that I am fairly certain of as it pertains to the Adult industry and internet as I write this: One is, that the world’s oldest profession will not be eradicated anytime soon. The second is that the implacable enemies of sexual freedom have finally succeeded in dealing what well might be a mortal blow to the adult internet as it currently exists in the United States.
I am going to lay out a short history of the adult internet leading up to current events. The history of this country’s schizophrenic relationship with sex has been well documented. Proving (yet again) that everything is NOT on-line, there was a fascinating article in a 20 some odd year old Smithsonian Magazine entitled “Our Ancestors, would we have let them in the house?” It was a snapshot of life in 1840 America, where men always had a long fingernail for gouging out eyes in bar fights. Besides that little tidbit the other thing that stuck in my head was that Rochester NY, population 8,000 had 80 brothels! And nearly 100 of the afore-mentioned tavern’s. For a population of 8,000. And that was in the respectable north. We were a nation of fornicating, fighting drunks. Not exactly the rose colored lens view of history. Venereal Disease ran rampant in the Civil War. I’m going to fast forward to this century and note that the reason that the Justice Department no longer brings obscenity cases against the porn industry is that the cornerstone to those cases is that the movie/picture in question “violates community standards”. And then the defense attorney’s show the porn downloads for that particular community…end of the case.
The next attack was that “these poor ladies in this video have been coerced and trafficked”. The problem with that is that nowadays at the end, and sometimes the beginning of every video there is a little Q and A with the actors and actresses, once again, end of the case. What were the poor anti sex zealots to do now? They did what they always did, they went back to their think tanks, networking and scheming.
Personally, I am quite pessimistic about the future of the Adult Internet in this country. And since the Adult Industry is inexorably tied to the Internet you cannot discuss one without including the other one. Of course it’s not just about the Adult Internet/industry, it’s really about freedom. Again, much better folks that I have the assault being waged against personal freedom well documented and reported on. And how many folks actually care? Being as nearly 40% of the country in a recent poll say they would not mind having a strong leader who is not “encumbered” by a pesky Congress shows what many, probably some who are reading this really think about privacy and freedom.
1995 seems like a very long time ago. Twenty three years ago in fact. What that means is that If you are below the age of thirty you have known the adult internet for your entire life. It was not always around, trust me on this.
The Spry Mosaic browser opened the door for Netscape in 1995. Netscape was the platform that allowed pictures to be uploaded to the Internet (mostly referred to as the world wide web then). It was still not simple to do, it was pointed out to me once that it took 18 separate steps to do this, and there was no Google to search to show you the way, no “how to do”, you learned it as you went along. And while I am not going to get up on a soapbox (not too much anyway), it was the adult Internet that led the way. We were the ones who worked at this, making it simpler and simpler. The adult internet also carried the entire internet, we are the ones who were gouged for everything, we paid for all of the freeloaders who nowadays are trying to put us out of business. In 2003 I attended an Adult Internet event in Ft Lauderdale that was trying something completely revolutionary, the event was streamed live. I can remember desktop and laptop computers everywhere, wired running all over the place, but it happened..and it worked. As we all know, the internet has flourished, now, any and everyone can do what two decades ago took dedicated computer geeks to pull off. Your welcome.
But…while all of this was going on, there were those who were gnashing their teeth. That would be, of course the lawyers and lobbyists of the various conservative groups that populate Washington. All Republicans, of course. In an interview around 2000, Bruce Taylor said “If there had been a Republican administration in 1995 we would have killed the Adult Internet at birth, it would not exist today.” Almost from the beginning it was attacked.
The Communications Decency Act (CDA) was passed in 1996. Key portions of it were declared unconstitutional in 1997. Section 230, which shielded websites such as Fetlife from what its patrons posted was added shortly after its passage in 1996.
The anti-sex crusaders did not give up, and in 2013 forty three State Attorneys petitioned Congress to strip section 230 from the CDA. That is the key to FOSTA. And here we are.
One of the main driving forces behind this legislation, that was overwhelmingly passed by both the Senate and the House is an organization known as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. It’s been called this since 2015. Before that it was called Morality in the Media, and has been around since 1962. It is subsidized by wealthy Republicans.
Basically the 100 BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR ADULT INDUSTRY IS PUSHED AROUND BY AN OUTFIT THAT HAS NOTHING BUT ONE OFFICE. How is this possible?
It’s simple, there is NO LOBBYING BY THIS INDUSTRY. None. Zero. Nadda. Nothing. And the reason for that is simple, no-one gets along with anyone, or even tries for that matter.
Many swingers dislike the bdsm community. The bdsm community is totally fragmented. Many Doms dislike subs. Many Gays dislike straight folks and vise versa. Many dislike the sex workers. Many in the adult video industry dislike the escort community. Strippers dislike escorts. Many escorts think strippers are nothing but teases. The big video producers could care less about the little producers. Remember the part about hanging separately…………?
And besides the entire adult industry, internet and scene being completely Balkanised, in the platform of the Republican party it is written that Pornography is a Public health crisis. How many reading this voted Republican?
This is a society that is breathtakingly easy to manipulate. For fucks sake, half of the country actually was brainwashed into believing that someone with the name Barack HUSSEIN Obama was born in Kenya, and then smuggled into Hawaii to become a Manchurian Candidate President, and at the same time the aforementioned half actually elected a REAL Manchurian Candidate of a president!
It won’t take long for the anti porn brainwashing to take hold and the next set of unconstitutional proclamations come rolling down the Congressional pike.
As a quick aside here, yes I am very much aware that any sort of anti-sex legislation always overwhelming passes, with both Democrat and Republican lawmakers voting in favor of whatever will send this country back to……the 1840’s maybe?
That is because they have been holding hearings filled with shrill people shrieking fabricated nonsense and listening to lobbyists from anti-sex organizations that handpicked the folks that Congress hears. And who finances those organizations? Wealthy conservatives that vote Republican and who support Republican candidates . The FACTS of today are that, for quite a few decades now, it has been REPUBLICANS who are trying to stamp out the adult internet.
“But…but…I am not a Republican, I am an Independent”. Translation: “I am so embarrassed and ashamed of my hypocrisy I don’t even admit that I vote for Republican candidates that I know are not only deeply morally flawed, but who also want to take away this website and the thousands like it, not to mention strip away the protection of being visible for ladies who are in the sex business .”
Regardless of what political party or philosophy one feels is responsible for where we are today, what is currently, underway now is a two pronged assault on the Adult Industry. One of the prongs is the specter of human trafficking/underage sexual exploitation. Which literally no-one wants to see happen. Does it exist? Yes, but it’s not “rampant” like the crusaders want folks to believe; certainly not in the United States. But boy is it a bandwagon that is easy to hop onto, it’s like saying “I’m against cutting off the legs of puppies”. What courageous stands! Why do you think an anti-sex outfit like “Morality in the Media” changed its name just a few years ago to reflect anti-trafficking ? Go to their site and see what they have to say about Porn. That is the outfit that got Cosmopolitan Magazine removed from Walmart and Publix. And who screams annually about the covers of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues.
The other prong is that sites like this one are a public health hazard, as previously mentioned this completely unsubstantiated “fact” is now in the platform of the Republican party currently in control of all three branches of government and a huge majority of state legislators.
And, because virtually all of the eggs of the adult industry are now in the internet basket, the anti sex republican crusaders sense victory is at hand. And I think they are right. They are focused, driven, well funded and organized. When the big overall picture is looked at, does anyone think it’s coincidence that Microsoft just reworked its terms of service to include using their products to produce websites that could be construed to be used for prostitution? If you are reading this and perhaps are in the Adult Industry, did you use Windows to build your site? Perhaps you have a Hotmail account? Get ready for the possibility of some very nasty surprises in the near future.
None of this was by accident, make no mistake about it, the Republican funded anti-sex lobby hates and despises all of us. The fact that they are serial sexual abusers and lying hypocrites of the worse sort means absolutely nothing, they want this all destroyed, it’s not any more complicated than that.
There will not be a real K-Street lobby for this industry, ever. A successful Lobby requires steady funding, see the NRA for exhibit A on that subject. You could not select 10 folks at random from this website, put them in a room and have them ever agree on a fucking thing, much less contribute to a common cause. This country is deeply conflicted about sex, it always has been, and probably always will be. An effective, Washington DC based lobby is the ONLY thing that could save this industry, preserve at least some of what we now take for granted, and move forward in a constructive manner.
Here is the Sun Tzu quote in its entirety: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.”