Documentary Explores American Porn Business

“The Price of Pleasure,” an hour-long documentary examining the contemporary pornography industry and its effects on American culture, aired in the Procrastinator on Tuesday, April 10.

The documentary explored the concepts of pornography, sexuality and relationships with specific regard to the United States and American consumers.

The adult entertainment industry has an annual profit of $10-14 billion. Networks like CBS, News Corp. and Time Warner each earn approximately $1 billion from the industry by directing and distributing pornography through video “On Demand.”

The pornography industry has gained increasing status as a legitimate business and now has significant political standing. In 1991, industry professionals formed the Free Speech Coalition, a lobbyist group that built relationships with lawmakers and members of Congress.

Pornography is increasingly seen as a viable option for a career in producing and directing as well as performing. However, the film was critical of displays of male domination and degradation of women in pornography.

A team of researchers reviewed the most watched adult movies on the internet from last year and tallied the number of abusive acts throughout the clips. They found that 89.8 percent of the scenes had physical or verbal aggression, 48 percent had verbal abuse such as name calling and insults, 82.2 percent contained physical violence and 94.4 percent of the aggressive acts were directed toward women. The narrator explained that “these aggressive acts were generally seen as enjoyed by the women.”

According to the film, in a medium where male domination and female degradation are increasingly condoned, organizations like Sanctuary for Family have noticed a rise in the use of pornographic materials in child and domestic abuse cases. In 70 percent of these cases, the perpetrator reenacted violent clips from pornographic films on non-compliant partners.

Joe Gallant, a filmmaker and pornography actor, said, “The future of American porn is heading toward violence.”

“The pornography industry is pushing the boundaries of porn to keep viewers enticed,” he explained, “and the only direction left to go is to increase violence in pornographic films, and more specifically, violence toward women.”

In an open discussion after the film, students were asked difficult questions such as, “Can we change the direction porn is headed?” and, “Are gender relations regressing because of porn?”

Another round table discussion about pornorgaphy and the adult entertainment industry will be held on Tuesday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theatre. The VOICE Center is open to answer any questions or problems you may have and can be reached at 406-994-7069.