RIP PORN BIZ - WHY THE PORNO INDUSTRY DESERVES ITS SLOW DEATH

Modern day porn movies are notorious for their ridiculous and idiotic titles. Looking at a porn star's list of film names would have been funny to me a few years ago - now, it's just sad and disturbing to realize that such low common-denominator basement-level trashiness serves as some lovely young lady's "resume." Looking at such a list makes me think the porn industry deserves the virtual death it's experiencing circa 2010 -

(4th Avenue Pussycat Theater downtown, circa 1979)

There's nothing sexy or "outlaw" about today's porno movies - it's such a far cry from the early days of so-called porno chic, when patronizing a porn theater (let alone working in the porn industry) was a radical, brave, and even socio-political act.

Perhaps '70s porn only achieved "a PATINA of mainstream Hollywood respectability," as porno cheerleader Bill Margold said in Carnal Comics' Triple-X Cinema Cartoon History. But at least many of those filmmakers and performers ASPIRED for something more, for something elevated and outlaw and unseen in our then-repressive society. Some of them even succeeded. Now that the leash has been off all these years, all the pornsters aim for is pissing down the basement steps.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dickies.bootz.co.uk/images/PS-pornstar-lblue.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.dickies.bootz.co.uk/shop/category.asp?catid=7&usg=__SV9Dolqs86ZCixZINDVo5y2GmDw=&h=313&w=596&sz=13&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=7X_VCawsGTeMbM:&tbnh=71&tbnw=135&prev=/images?q=porn+star+logo&gbv=2&hl=en&safe=off&ie=UTF-8 The reason porn has become unprofitable isn't necessarily because of its free proliferation on the internet. The reason is because 99 percent of this hideous stuff really IS worthless, in every sense of the word. I pity the people still churning out this crap, and I fear for the dispositions of their souls if they don't knock it off, whether by choice, inspiration, circumstance, luck, or by being forced to quit by the continuing collapse of the porn industry and an ability to make money at it -

 I still have fond memories of the original wave of porn theaters and films, and I marvel at photos and recollections of the Times Square Pussycat era - entire city blocks full of flesh palaces, with giant marquees touting sex, sex, and more sex.

It was a necessary and utterly exciting time and manner in which to throw off so many societal shackles. But we have (hopefully) moved on and far past all that - the porn wars were won way back when Nixon failed to federalize a national obliteration of porn.

Now, the porn industry SHOULD be relegated to the relevance of ancient Rome's vomitoriums, or blacksmith shops, or milkmen, Fuller brush door-to-door salesmen, and so many other once worthy and necessary endeavors that are now useless (or even dangerous) in our modern society.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.superporner.com/images/logo.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.superporner.com/&usg=__2RZO3qStxIC-nnPpo0F27g6A4wU=&h=327&w=370&sz=35&hl=en&start=5&tbnid=II7Wl0IvxKdxkM:&tbnh=108&tbnw=122&prev=/images?q=porn+star+logo&gbv=2&hl=en&safe=off&ie=UTF-8 Since everybody has a camera in their phones now, and anyone can upload to the net, let them film themselves having sex and load up YouPorn or Pornhub or Pornotube or any of the other half million free porn sites, and we can all watch each other screwing if we want to. For free. No "industry," no "porn stars."

If you think about it, that should have been the aim of porn all along - giving sexual freedom (and the freedom to watch sex) back to the people. To everyone. Not just to 60s hipsters with film projectors in their basements, or 70s adventurers lucky enough like me to stumble thru ShowWorld in Time Square, or to the first early 80s VCR fans whose demand launched the video age (driven, of course, by porn). The internet has achieved this leveling of the playing field.

Now it's time to retire everyone's number - Damiano, Chambers, Lovelace, and my old boss/Pussycat Theatre founder Vince Miranda are dead. The porn industry is almost dead.

But sex will always be #1 on the hit parade, as it was long before porno films and as it will be long after people finally refuse to pay salaries to dimwits and lowlifes and creatively bankrupt misogynists doing what all people do anyway - have sex.

The sexual revolution has been won, or at least nearly so (the final battle probably being over gay marriage).

Sex can finally go back to being just that - sex. Not porn. Film it if you want, watch the film if you prefer, but building an industry or a career around just cinematic/videographic sex?

Give mercenary sex-for-cash back to the prostitutes and pimps who can no longer delude themselves into adopting alterna-titles like "porn stars" and "movie directors."

Sex will always sell, but porn - which is at best a mere funhouse reflection of sex - deserves to go the way of the vomitorium (and don't even get me started about the many similarities between those two outdated, useless, and ultimately unhealthy institutions) ----

pussx1 STRIPPER POKER - LOCAL INTERNET CAFE WITH PORN CONNECTION SPECIALIZES IN ONLINE GAMING

BUT IS IT LEGAL?

The low key sign above an otherwise indistinguishable strip mall shop at 6311 University Avenue reads Lucky Internet Cafe, wherein patrons access internet time by purchasing a card that reads “Lucky JOLAR Internet Cafe.” Swiping the cash-reloadable cards (average $20 each) in any of the twenty-four computer terminals opens a startup screen with various internet gaming options, each accessing a website where customers can place bets and – if they win – collect their cash on-site from a Café staffer.

 

joblog41 “Jolar” – which only appears on the internet card, not the Café sign - also happens to be the name of the X-rated peep show arcade and strip club next door at 6321 University, wherein women perform nude shows for individuals in “Private Talk Show” booths.

 

joblog20harry2006clubchainofyearaward Both Jolar and the Lucky Internet Café are operated by longtime local smut peddler Harry Mohney, once called by the Meese Commission the second biggest pornographer in the U.S. Having gained notoriety over a $14 million tax bill and serving a three year prison stretch for tax evasion, Mohney founded and runs the Deja Vu Showgirls chain of strip clubs, as well as operating Larry Flynt’s Hustler Clubs.

 

Jolar, a combination porn shop, peep show arcade, and strip club, opened on Broadway downtown in 1978, before moving to its present location near College and University in 1983. Mohney’s other local porn endeavors have included everything from 8mm peep show arcades in the ‘70s to x-rated film production (Caribbean Films) at his La Costa home on 2520 La Costa Avenue in the ‘80s. In the mid-'80s, Jolar was taking in from $12,000 to $20,000 per week, much of that in peep show quarters.

 

LiveNudes More recent local porn businesses operated locally by Mohney include the Déjà Vu Love Boutique in El Cajon (run by one of Mohney's sons) and the Barnett Superstore near the airport, with the latter locale featuring the same Talk Show Booths (and many of the same Live Nudes) found at Jolar on University.

 

Of Mohney’s current local business interests, the Lucky Internet Café may be the one most scrutinized by authorities. With all its computers set on internet games like blackjack, keno, poker, and electronic slots, are patrons just buying internet time, or are they gambling? Does sale of the Lucky Jolar swipe cards qualify as a legal sweepstakes, or illegal betting? If the gaming sites themselves are illegal, as alleged by most federal interpretations of current law, is the Lucky Internet Café aiding and abetting illegal gambling by setting all their computers on such sites?

 

What about the Café paying off the winners on-site – does that qualify the Café as an unlicensed (and illegal) casino? Which business is the customer patronizing - and collecting their winnings from - the website, the Café, or both?

 

Is even naming itself “Lucky” on the sign out front perhaps Mohney’s bid to attract gaming clientele, rather than the coffee slurping MySpace surfers found at internet cafes where the startup screens AREN’T all loaded with onramps to gambling websites?

 

JolarPolo In the past, Mohney has circumvented local vice-related ordinances by creatively and aggressively challenging the letter of the laws. In 1985, the City changed the rules for peep-show establishments, as defined in section 33.3302, division 33 of the municipal code, stating that businesses licensed for booths had to screen at least 51 percent non-X-rated material in order to keep their operational licenses.

 

Instead of shutting down the peeps, as probably intended, the ordinance resulted in Mohney’s booths running whatever non-X film stock his managers could find, including cartoons and old boxing films. The ordinance was later challenged and defeated, having done little but create porn shops rocking to the sounds of both cinematic sex and Elmer Fudd singing “Kill Da Wabbit.”

 

peep500 The following year, the city’s vice department began requiring x-rated peep show operators to remove all doors that might hide activities being conducted within. Vice enforced the rule by citing or arresting any employees found on a premises lacking doors on the booths.

 

Jolar lawyer George Haverstock advised Mohney to install swinging saloon style half-doors that barely managed to meet the new requirements, while still hiding booth activities from prying eyes, including vice cops, successfully keeping the matter tied up in the courts for years.

 

Mohney has spent a lot of time in court himself. Aside from countless criminal complaints, and the 14 million dollar tax bill that sent him to prison upstate in Boron, he's been sued a number of times, most notably by former mistress and porn star Gail Palmer, with whom he produced the successful "Candy" series of porn films.

Joo14  

The space at 6311 University housing the Lucky Internet Café was formerly home to a Metabolife dealership, an operation that experienced its own protracted set of legal problems. The entire half-block strip mall, which has also housed thrift stores, a check cashing store, and a pizza parlor, is owned by one of Mohney’s companies.

 

The California Attorney General’s office is looking into the legality of online gaming at internet cafes, as is the local District Attorney’s office, according to a recent Channel 10 news report. 


RELATED BLOG ENTRIES:

 kat104 

"Pussycat Theaters - When 'Cathouses Ruled California" -- for the first time, the detailed inside story of the west coast Pussycat Theater chain of adult moviehouses, which peaked in the '70s but later died out. Told by those who actually ran the theaters! http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2008/dec/26/pussycat-theater-history-when-cathouses-ruled-ca-5/

 

"Battle Of The Peeps" - feature article about a weird gig I had in the mid-'80s, running a strip club called Jolar, for the nation's second biggest pornographer, Harry Mohney (Deja Vu Showgirls founder).

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2008/oct/23/battle-of-the-peeps---an-insider-history-of-san-di/

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OVER A MILLION CARNAL COMICS ARE IN PRINT - Here's how and why we made some of the top-selling erotic comics of all time, right here in San Diego, including what Gene Simmons has to do with it all, backstage tales of porn stars, and more confessions of a comic pornographer...

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/08/carnal-comics-the-inside-story-jay-allen-sanfor

Comments

MsGrant Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:22 a.m.

"Fuller brush door-to-door salesmen"? Jay, come on! Hardly a threat to society. I have a Fuller Brush salesman whose services I utilize. His name is Sean. Sold me a very useful carpet sweeper last month. Who doesn't hate to vacuum? I bust I out my little Fuller Brush carpet sweeper and cat hair be gone! To be honest, I mostly feel kind of sorry for him, but he also sells a VERY good spot carpet cleaner, for those unfortunate moments when the cats use the rug as their own personal vomitorium.

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CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 9:01 a.m.

I need my own personal vomitorium reading some of these threads.

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PistolPete Feb. 24, 2010 @ 9:12 a.m.

The ONLY problem I have with this blog is Jay's stereotypical "Old Man" syndrome. I'm sure Jay's enjoyed a good skin flick or two in his day but now that he's older and wiser, he sees the error of his thinking, right Jay? ;-D VERY typical of someone of his generation...."It was good for me then but you youngsters don't deserve it!" Dare I yell the word hypocrite in a crowded porno theater....

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David Dodd Feb. 24, 2010 @ 10:02 a.m.

I need my own personal vomitorium from reading negative comments from bitter people with nothing better to do other than to spew hatred. Christians should supposedly have been taught better.

Pete, those of us (no idea how old either you nor Jay are) who are cresting the half-century mark are somewhat jaded. For me, porn is like strawberry shortcake. I've had it, and once it was tasty, but now it's loaded with too much sugar. I'll take a steak, rare, and a baked potato. I'm much more impressed with people who tolerate each other rather than lust for one another. Just sayin'.

And Jay, I dig this blog, keep up the bitchin' work.

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MsGrant Feb. 24, 2010 @ 10:21 a.m.

It's true, porn has peaked. Remember not to long ago everyone was wearing porn star shirts and Jemma Jamison was all over the place? They took it public, the public, as it is prone, became bored, and the rest is VH1 "Where Are They Now?" history.

I like Jay's posts, too, Cuddle. Why are you so bored? Maybe you should contribute something rather than sit around waiting to be entertained. You know, do some of the heavy lifting....

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CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 11:29 a.m.

As far as jayallen's threads, to quote someone from over at CityBeat in response to one of his adds re lubricant: Eww.

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Duhbya Feb. 24, 2010 @ 11:39 a.m.

Refried g: The more I read your posts, the more I admire you for your consistent level-headedness. Thank you.

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David Dodd Feb. 24, 2010 @ 12:45 p.m.

Hey, Duhbya, the love flows both ways, my friend. Thank you too.

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CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 1:04 p.m.

I love these Kodak moments! Wait, let me get the Kleenex!

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PistolPete Feb. 24, 2010 @ 1:35 p.m.

Porn today is the exact same thing it was 100 years ago...

Like the Who once sang, "Hope I die before I get old...".

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antigeekess Feb. 24, 2010 @ 6:55 p.m.

"The reason porn has become unprofitable isn't necessarily because of its free proliferation on the internet."

I think that's absolutely the reason. Every time I deliver a Playboy or other plain-wrappered mag, I think, "Jeez, hasn't this old geezer heard of the internet?"

"Sex can finally go back to being just that - sex. Not porn."

That'd be nice. Like she said: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

The t-shirt I ended up buying?
http://mlnp.spreadshirt.com/mlnp-way-sex-is-womens-A5391878/customize/color/2

Yeah, I wimped out on buying the one with the words "anal sex" on it. Doesn't seem to matter, however. I notice that people (men) only seem to see the words "Porn" and "Sex" anyway, based on their excessive grinning reactions and OTT friendliness in the presence of said shirt.

Average American Reading Comprehension Score: Still Zero.

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Robert Johnston Feb. 25, 2010 @ 12:09 p.m.

Erica Jong said it best when she remarked that after watching thirty minutes of a porn film, that she could sc forever--and after watching the rest of the flick, she never wanted to sc again for the rest of her life!

I still read Playboy (and keep the back-copies in a locked storage box), but as for the films? No film feels as good as doing it with the one you love, live and local! The films are, for the most part, pretty insipid--as in "What chump would part with his hard-earned cash to watch this vile trash?"

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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 25, 2010 @ 12:38 p.m.

I appreciate the comments, and thank you to the regular Reader bloggers for welcoming my recent excursions over to this side of the website.

I meant no Fuller Brush disrespect - it was door to door sales I decried as useless (and sometimes even dangerous). I shouldn't single out the Brush makers and buyers - the high praise posted of their product may inspire me to lookinto one of my own (now that I know the brand still exists!).

RE comment 4, "It was good for me then but you youngsters don't deserve it!," that's the OPPOSITE of what I'm saying. If fact, if asked, I can provide a list of six or seven very excellent "adult movies" that date back to the age of porn theaters, circa '70s thru early '80s, that I can highly recommend to any interested consenting adult to this day.

Tho rare, there were a handful of excellent and very "real-Hollywood" adult movies, with enough budget and thespian and film-making talent to have fully deserved their exhibition in those grand old movie theaters that spent their final days as Pussycat-style houses. Any "youngster" (over 18 please) who views one of my recommended flicks would come away painfully aware of how awful and soul-crushing most all "modern" porn looks by comparison.

At least once the viewer overlooks the cultural grooming preferences of the hirsute '70s ----

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PistolPete Feb. 25, 2010 @ 12:58 p.m.

Now that you've explained it, I see the error in my thinking and you have my apologies, Jay.

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JamieRalphGardner Feb. 26, 2010 @ 11:56 a.m.

There are still plenty of features still being made. Wicked Pictures has been making good features for many years and they are not relying on doing parodies of movie and TV shows. When I have gone to Erotica LA and the AVN Entertainment Expo, the Wicked Pictures booth has had good size autograph lines. Along with the women, Randy Spears has also signed at the booth.

There are several companies still doing features. The Not The Bradys XXX movie revived the parody genre and there have been a whole bunch of other parodies of TV shows and movies that have come after it. Most men do not like to have much story in a porn movie unless they are watching a parody movie. You have a female sensibility when it comes to porn. You are not a typical man. You like relationships and character development to be shown in porn.

Most guys dislike "chick flicks" when it comes to mainstream movies. They therefore would not want to see a porn version of a "chick flick." One of your favorite porn movies is Devil in Miss Jones 2. That is a movie that is more aimed at a couples audience. I actually like many romance movies much more then most men. I like movies such as 500 Days of Summer, Notebook, Time Traveler's Wife, etc.. If people want to watch features with couple's appeal, they are still being made.

The porn industry will make movies that make them money. The movies that bother you would not be made unless people bought them. Instead of blaming the companies, you should criticize the public that is buying and renting the movies you dislike.

You dislike fratboy humor. Jim Powers was a member of a fraternity and I know how you dislike his movies. SS Crompton and I have laughed at the dialogue in his movies. I dislike the Jackass movies and yet many people think they are funny. I don't see the humor value in seeing someone physically hurt. People could imitate what they see in the Jackass movies and TV series and yet I don't see you complain about Jackass. It isn't just adults who watch Jackass, there are children that watch it as well.

I was never enthused about the Three Stooges either but I will take it over Jackass any day. At least with the Three Stooges, you know it is acting going on. You glorify the 1970's porn and yet there are many rape scenes in those movies then now. I have been emailing companies and letting know about their movies being pirated on tube sites. I'm doing my part to fight piracy.

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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 26, 2010 @ 3:11 p.m.

"You are not a typical man..."

Ahhh, if I had a dollar for every time.....

Points well taken, Jamie - thanks for weighing in!

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 9, 2010 @ 4:18 a.m.

The finite end of the porn biz was sealed long before the internet. Many tend to place the blame on the rise of the VCR, which reduced porn movies from sociological events (via theaters like the Pussycat chain) to an easy to obtain commodity one could view in their home.

Tho this did enable anyone with a camera to make and sell porn, it should be noted that the videotapes were still a RETAIL COMMODITY, and as such were highly sought - the first wave of porn video retailed for $50 to $100 - the video retailers were a huge porn biz, as were the distribs and producers, so video didn't kill the porn star - all video killed was production values, which eventually resulted in more and more generic porn. But the crap was still selling bigtime.

No, the death knell came with hotel room porn. That cut out the retail middleman. Hell, that killed the retailer. THEN came cable porn, and at that point only the biz at both ends of the industry, producers and digital distribs, made money. Even the porn stars themselves went from thousands per scene to pennies -

The internet just expanded on what cable and CCTV hotel porn had established -- cheap product at the push of an always handy button. Add to that the rise of recording technology, and now everybody with a cell phone can make their OWN porn, as good or better than anything on the so-called "tube" sites that stream porn for free -

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 9, 2010 @ 4:21 a.m.

About those tube site, if by some miracle every unauthorized free porn site were shut down right now - an impossibility, but just for discussion - there is SO much porn out there already, on hard drives and discs and videos and cell phones, that the internet would refill itself with just about the same amount of porn in a few days.

The stuff really is as value-less as it is worthless. Even if it the content itself weren’t so universally dreadful --

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BrandonIron Oct. 11, 2010 @ 12:59 p.m.

As someone who has earned a living in the adult entertainment industry for over 13 years, I cannot agree with Mr. Sanford less. Today's porn is no better or worse than golden age movies. Watch DEEP THROAT again and try not to bust a gut at the hideous overacting.

Equally hideous is Mr. Sanford's characterization of 1970s society as being "then-repressive"....as if somehow ours by comparison is so much less so. Huh??

The internet has allowed for rampant file sharing and content theft, reducing the ability to generate ongoing revenues. People would pay for quality....but they no longer have to. Every single production is available on a torrent or tube site for free soon after its release. The demand is still there but the money is taken away. DEEP THROAT's lines would never have gone around the block if P2P file sharing networks existed at the time.

Far be it from me to suggest that the fate of newspapers and offline media parallels porn.

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