Read the full article by Amber Gold at YNOT.com

The mainstream world’s love of invoking anything porn-related in an effort to get dem clicks is well known. Food porn, shoe porn, electronics – you can see what they’re doing there. Inaccurate or incomplete “reporting” on industry happenings – readers must click!

Sadly, there’s an unfortunate tension embedded within these sorts of shoddy mainstream mentions and poor coverage – the (perceived) need for mainstream mentions and coverage. Though the idea of your name, your company’s name or your product’s name in lights may be appealing – Traffic! New Business! Conversion! — any member of the community will tell you about the trepidation that comes with speaking to the mainstream media. People feel compelled to share their expertise, but the possibility of misrepresentation and de-contextualizing is very, very (very) real.

This tension then raises the question: Do you reject the porno exploitation bait, or do you ride the wave and hope for the best? Two examples of this rock/hard place position have emerged within the last week alone. 

Recently, “eclectic” “public figure” Kanye West acted as creative director for the Pornhub Awards. This in of itself taps into these tensions. Is the possibility of Ye’s star power fairy dust rubbing off on you worth engaging with – and, by proxy, supporting – such a controversial figure? This was an issue even before the sweatshirt thing.

Writing for Jezebel, Tracy Clark-Flory summed up some interesting insights regarding West and his awards show-subsequent sweatshirt sales. West’s announcement was met with excitement by many — and chagrin by others.

[Kendra] Sunderland, however, fired back, repudiating the discussion of exploitation. “Point is all of us who have the shirt are happy and grateful. It’s everyone else trying to talk shit and make it a negative thing,” she stated via Twitter. “It’s our faces and our names and if we’re cool with it then quite frankly I don’t think it’s anyone’s business.”

Fair enough.

In another example, yesterday xHamster invited their entire PR list to explore a rendering of “The Deuce”-era Times Square with an interactive map.

According to the PR, in honor of the second season of HBO’s “The Deuce,” xHamster created an interactive map to 1977-era Times Square. The map features the theaters, live shows and bookstores that made Times Square — as well as the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn — so worthy of mainstream media treatment.

By most accounts, “The Deuce” is a really good show. And that map xHamster made? It’s really cool! But just like community gush over a nod from West, rallying around the scraps of mainstream renderings of industry stories feels… icky.

So the question remains: Do you reject the mainstream porno bait outright, or do you ride the wave and hope for the best? There is no correct answer, only varying degrees of exploitation and anxiety-inducing.

 

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, the adult industry has always been a presence in Amber Gold’s life. At an early age, she became acutely aware that narratives often take shocking creative license when she noted there was no way Daniel LaRusso could’ve made it to the beach from Reseda (and back again) so quickly. She’s been seeking out various forms of truths ever since.