Gail Dines has a CiF piece in the Guardian today (as always, the comments are better left unread!)
Some of the themes that ran through many of the seminars at the expo were how to integrate porn into pop culture, create a favourable public image for the business, and sidestep regulation. The pornography industry, unlike most other industries, can’t directly advertise its products on television or in newspapers, so it has to rely on PR companies such as BSG Public Relations to place porn-friendly stories in the mainstream media. There are hundreds of examples to draw from here: Jenna Jameson on the Oprah Winfrey show talking about how empowered she feels from making porn; Hugh Hefner being interviewed by yet another newspaper; an article in Cosmopolitan on how watching porn is a fun way for women to spice up their sex lives; or the popular T-shirts with “Porn Star” written across the chest.
The cumulative effect is what the journalist Pamela Paul calls the “pornification” of our culture, wherein porn images, messages and stories seep into our sexual identities and relationships. This trend can be seen in the ever-higher heels that are now popular with women, the hypersexed look of younger and younger girls, celebrities such as Miley Cyrus pole dancing, and – in what is probably the most blatant example to date – the popularity of genital waxing among young women.
This practice became widespread in porn about a decade ago and now is so commonplace that it is almost impossible to find female performers with pubic hair. Meanwhile, shaving has become so accepted among my female students that they tell me they are repulsed by their pubic hair. And so are their sex partners, some of whom refuse to have sex with them if they are not fully waxed. This makes perfect sense, given that many of these men got most of their sex education from porn.