[iDC] netporn midlife crisis?

kjacobs kjacobs at cityu.edu.hk
Mon Nov 12 07:08:57 UTC 2007

Thank you very much for your reactions. 

>>David Heckman: And, if there is any problem that I see with online dating, swinging, etc....  its medium of expression overlaps significantly with the medium of pornography,

KJ:  Of course one could always decide to be a non-participant or a porn-free sexual organism, but let’s keep in mind the example of Alfred Kinsey who wanted to maintain a too rigorous division between sexual desire (life) and representation or documentation (sex studies). He could not develop a recognition about the urge to displace himself as “Kinsey” and the "Kinsey Institute” in relation to the widening technologies of pornography and scopophilia, the social circles around him, the mechanisms of American puritanism. He was hoping to gather more and more reliable information by relying on empirical data (work) and was perhaps a bit unaware of how thousands had already turned their gaze upon him and his work as “Kinsey.” What I mean to say is that he was too much of a machinic busy beaver. We do have the technological means to develop more imaginative sex institutions, meet spaces, and to manipulate the projection of collective fantasies. I find it more interesting to take this opportunity rather than pulling out.

Sometimes it is wise to listen to a fairy with a clear voice before taking action:

>>Jordan Crandall: I have a role in these drawings; I help structure the erotic circuit through which they are produced. Yet I make no claims on them. I simply want to be fully present in the process itself. To completely inhabit the generating network. Not to reinforce my body (or self), but rather, in a sense, to displace it -- to generate an excess that always exceeds it. Ultimately it is this space of invention that interests me, rather than the drawings that result. They do not reveal so much as conceal.

Crandall seems to sketch himself as a meditative and sensitive pornographic agent or model. This is a possible way of embracing and displacing oneself as pornographic data entity. It is always intriguing to see how other agents will react to such eroticism as an enigmatic and vulnerable intellectual pursuit. I can hear so many people grumble about it being intellectual rubbish. And others feel sad about the laceration of porn image regimes and discourses. And indeed we  have to re-infiltrate those sites where people, share, rate and subvert their own content. Again, let’s think of an era when we are past the moral fear of “being found out,” past attempts at trying to look sexy for average mob viewers within a capitalist engine. But of course we still feel sexual energy as a positive force, specially when it is quirky and came unannounced.

If you do a quick search on amazon.com, you can see that a whole new collection of books have just appeared on Internet Pornography. Most of the books are written by paranoid sexologists and are totally humor-less tales of how we are plagued by these shadows of illusionism and excess. Well, then we have to create hornier (=more unpredictable) shadow stories, because I don't think we can get back to an innocent sexual reality. The point is indeed to develop ways of taking our own seasoned shadows into sex meetings, relationships, educational efforts. 

There are some other factor involved. AFF is a male domain (9 males to 1 female) and males have to work very hard at catching females. Females on the other hand are cranky when receiving their sleazy and lazy "pathetic" messages. AFF males in HK are the already overworked white collar class and have no energy left to seduce, let alone to maintain relationships. They are mostly already married or attached and will tell you that their work and family comes first. I guess that shows that a fairy may sometimes be needed to slow them down and enter them.

Trebor forwarded an interview with wired.com sex and technology correspondent Regina Lynn, recently published on the ‘On the Media’. She is in agreement that the porn industries are going through a midlife crisis because of the new demands for user-generated content and social networking within adult sites. She thinks that women-owned adult spaces are a better model to look at since they have developed these functions and figured out how to please clients on the longer term. 

“I said in a conference recently that if you want to build community in adult spaces, look to the women. The independent websites that women put together where they are the performers and they do the whole thing on their own as maybe their home-based business are all based on community and have been for more than 10 years - talking to their fans, talking to the visitors, building relationships with the fans, who then bring in other people and who then stick around. I know one Webcam performer who has had the same members for seven or eight years.”


I am not sure if is advisable to develop eight year relationships with online cruisors or people in real life. I am not sure if it is simply a gender issue either. I can only attract a certain limited amount of freaks myself to meet occasionally. I would not know how to turn that capacity into a lucrative business model. But this is surely where we can talk again :-)

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