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The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & Relationships

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Ann Simonton
Location Details:
Quaker Meeting House
225 Rooney Street off Highway 1 Morrissey Exit mountain side of freeway.

Just Released-----A Santa Cruz Premiere
How has human sexuality become an opportunity for private enterprise? Corporations make money off of human needs, wants, and desires. In the process, they begin to shape those needs, wants, and desires.

Join us in an important opportunity to address the issue of how we teach intimacy. Too often parents, teachers, health educators, clergy and counselors have given the task of teaching intimacy over to the sex industry with scant intervention or discussion.

Once relegated to the margins of society, pornography has become one of the most visible and profitable sectors of the cultural industries in the United States. It is estimated that the pornography industry's annual revenue has reached $13 billion. At the same time, the content of pornography has become more aggressive as well as more overtly sexist and racist. Going beyond the debate of liberal versus conservative, the film features the voices of consumers, critics, and pornography producers and performers. It paints a nuanced portrait of how pleasure and pain, commerce and power, and liberty and responsibility are intertwined in the most intimate parts of our sexual identities and relationships. (Warning this video contains explicit sexual activity, language and violence.)

• Whereas we’ve become increasingly more aware and critical of racist stereotypes in the
mass media, pornography has not reflected these same developments. The images of
African American men and women are incredibly racist. Black men are depicted as out of
control sexually, and black women are portrayed as animalistic and unable to get enough
sex. Other ethnic minority groups are exploited by the porn industry as well.
• Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, a college student, thinks that women often join sexism, instead
of fighting it. “It’s just giving up on the idea that we could change the terms of how
women are thought to be,” she says.
• A team of scholars from New York University, the University of Massachusetts, and the
University of Rhode Island examined 304 scenes from the most popular videos released
in 2005. The research team found that:
• 89.8% of the scenes included either verbal or physical aggression;
• 48% contained verbal aggression, mostly name-calling and insults;
• 82.2% contained physical aggression;
• 94.4% of the aggressive acts were targeted at women.
• The research team also found that female performers frequently expressed enjoyment in
response to aggressive behavior.
• Robert Jensen argues that pornography is no longer seen as a deviant sexuality. It’s now
very conventional.
• 70% of pornography’s audience is straight men watching alone.
• The content in pornography is getting harsher and harsher. Joe Gallant, of Black Mirror
productions, admits that he thinks the future of American porn is violence. Torture-like
scenes are already produced to titillate and sexually arouse.
• Gail Dines says that pornography has sexualized violence against women to such an
extent that the violence is now invisible.

Quotes from the filmmakers: Chyng Sun & Miguel Picker
It is through pornography, we see how the interlocking systems of sexism, racism and capitalism play out in a macro level that enable the types of materials that we examined in the film to be so widely produced, distributed and consumed. But even more importantly, we see how those systems and the values they propagate have seeped into our deepest psyche and help to construct our sexual desires and imaginations. Pornography is not just people having sex.

Overcoming Racism, Sexism and Classism - - An Educational Series of 3 Wednesdays
Nov. 12, Dec. 10th
Added to the calendar on Thu, Nov 6, 2008 9:46PM
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