Oct 022009

>Recalling his shocked dismay upon learning of all the governmental regulations around filmic depictions of sex, we’d like to think that director Joe Swanberg‘s participation in our SXSW panel, The Porn Police: Know The Rules, may have finally inspired him to cover his, um, ass.

In any case, we’re very intrigued by the revolutionary technology he’s utilizing on his new movie, Birthday Suit, an amazing advance that allows him to create the illusion of graphic sexual content. “If anybody, for even a split second, realizes that it’s a digital erection, then we have failed,” says Joe.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes report from the set:

Apr 282009

>The Supreme Court has upheld a crackdown by the Federal Communications Commission on the use of indecent language–even the fleeting utterance of a single expletive–on broadcast television. At least for now…

An earlier federal appeals panel had overturned recent FCC policy, which had arisen largely in response to brief and spontaneous exclamations during live awards programs from the likes of Cher, Bono and Nicole Richie, chiefly involving the ever-popular and–as referred to by the court– “f-” and “s-” words.

This latest decision supports the FCC’s contention that profanity referring to sex or excrement is always indecent, no matter the context. But, as noted in an AP account of the court’s ruling:

Justice John Paul Stevens said in dissent that the FCC missed the mark in failing to distinguish how the offending words are used. “As any golfer who has watched his partner shank a short approach knows,” said Stevens, an avid golfer, “it would be absurd to accept the suggestion that the resultant four-letter word uttered on the golf course describes sex or excrement.

While today’s ruling dealt solely with whether the FCC had followed proper administrative procedures in establishing the new policy, still to be addressed is whether or not the restrictions are constitutional in the first place, with promising glimmers that the entire question of limits on broadcast speech may be reconsidered whole hog. Though Justice Clarence Thomas sided with the majority on this ruling, the AP story continues, he noted that the court’s previous decision and an even earlier case “were unconvincing when they were issued, and the passage of time has only increased doubt regarding their continued validity.”

The last major ruling by the Supreme Court on broadcast indecency was in 1978, when it upheld the FCC’s case involving George Carlin’s classic “seven dirty words,” as so infamously recounted below:

Aug 132008

>Even though it was first released in 1997, Preaching to the Perverted was an obvious choice to open the first-ever CineKink NYC back in 2003, where it took home one of our first-ever Audience Choice Awards.

From British director Stuart Urban, the movie follows a fresh-faced infiltrator who is dispatched by moral crusaders in Parliament to gather evidence against fetish clubs in the United Kingdom, where many of the saucier activities are illegal. Thrust into a shiny latex world of clubs and parties, he instead – of course! – becomes infatuated with Tanya Cheex, leader of the fetish scene on both sides of the Atlantic. While he wants her to calm down, become “normal” and avoid going to jail, she wants to pervert him. Who will win? We can only say “hmmm…”

While it’s one of the few wholeheartedly S/M-positive films created to date and a favorite recommendation, until now only a trimmed-up R-rated version has been available on DVD in the US.


But brilliant news! Featuring interview extras by film critic Alonso Duralde with the beyond-sexy star of the movie, Guinevere Turner, there’s a new version out that is touted as unrated and looks to have a likely-key three minutes returned to its running time.

Starting today, freshly available on DVD… Preaching To The Perverted: Guinevere Turner Signature Edition!

Sep 052007

>Apparently, we’ve had our head in the sand about the pending deadline to submit comments on proposed federal regulations effecting the production and distribution of sexually explicit content. That pending deadline is now very pending, as in Monday, September 10th.

In a nutshell, obstensibly intended to prevent the use of underage performers in adult entertainment, 2257 regulations have been on the books since 1988 and in effect since 1995. To comply with the regulations, producers are required to complete a records keeping compliance form for every model/performer who appears in any work, ie photo, film, video, including depictions of “actual sexually explicit conduct.” This form asks for all kinds of personal information, including the performer’s legal name, date of birth, any and all stage, webhandles(?!?) or pseudonyms used, and it asks for personal ID numbers, along with an attached photocopy of the performer’s ID. These records are to be kept on file by the producer, cross-referenced so that they are easily retrievable by performer name and/or title of the work, and readily available for inspection by the attorney general or “his or her designees.”

Recent amendments to 2257, which were proposed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush on July 27, 2006, expand these regulations to:

* Cover a new class of so-called “secondary producers,” meaning anyone…
(ii) digitizing an image, of a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct; or, assembling, manufacturing, publishing, duplicating, reproducing, or reissuing a book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, digital image, or picture, or other matter intended for commercial distribution, that contains a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct; or ‘‘(iii) inserting on a computer site or service a digital image of, or otherwise managing the sexually explicit content, of a computer site or service that contains a visual depiction of, sexually explicit conduct.

Sound like anyone you know? Probably closest to home, this will apply to websites, many of which you possibly visit on a daily basis, including, as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force recently pointed out, adult social networking sites such as Gay.com, AdultFriendFinder, Bondage.com and SwingLifestyles. Anyone who is a “secondary producer” will now need to have copies of the 2257 record for each and every model/performer depicted and keep those readily available for inspection, as above. That’s alot of forms.

* Cover simulated sexual conduct in addition to actual sexual conduct. While there is apparently some provision for a safe harbor that might protect mainstream (aka non-adult) entertainment producers from the regulations, that provision is yet to be defined. And whether the largesse will extend behind the coffers of big-business Hollywood to embrace independent producers will also need to be seen. And aside from all that, what precisely equates simulated sex?

* Lump in the “lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person” as a new, fifth type of regulated depiction. You can probably guess where we’re going with this, but in whose eyes is something determined to be lascivious? In case you’re wondering, the regulated depictions already covered are “sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse” (In case you’re wondering, as we certainly were, what the hell is “sadistic or masochistic abuse?” – and for the switches among us, shouldn’t it be and/or – it’s another one of those terms that could mean nearly anything. For instance, a recent Google search turned up a city code with this definition: “…flagellation or torture by or upon a person clad in undergarments, in a revealing costume, a mask or bizarre costume, or the condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed.)

Overall, a burdensome series of hoops that will do little to nothing to protect children and serve only to chill the open expression of sexuality. (We’re certainly feeling chilled!)

So, bottom line?
If you’re a producer, secondary producer and/or consumer of any depictions of sexually explicit conduct, actual or simulated, produced for the adult entertainment world or not – and/or you’re a supporter of full sexual expression for all – submit your comments protesting these regulations by Monday, September 10th.

Address your statements to: Admin.ceos@usdoj.gov .

IMPORTANT : Be sure to include the following in your email subject line: (Section 2257 Docket No. CRM 104).

For some samples of what you might write:

From the Gay Lesbian Task Force a letter focused largely on the rules’ effect on adult-social networking sites

From the Free Speech Coalition, some guidelines on submitting comments that relate to the rules’ effect on the adult industry, including economic impact; look also for the 2257 FAQ talking points available for download at the bottom of the page.

From the Pro-Porn Activism Blog, letters – main body and comments – from a pro-porn, free speech perspective

Whichever works best for you, just make sure it’s in by next Monday, September 10th!

(Oh, yeah. Please note that we are not an attorney and none of the above should be construed as anything resembling legal advice.)