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The Other Side Of Porn

During a lively debate over at “Liberal” Conspiracy about the purported effects of pornography I went a-websearchin’ and found an interesting short documentary, The Devil And Shelley Lubben.

It was made to address the claims and advocacy of a particular American anti-porn campaigner, Shelley Lubben, who was briefly in the industry in 1994, then found Jesus, and became a campaigner, basing her work on emotive testimony regarding harms she claims were a result of her short porn career, and the general claims made by anti-porn advocates regarding rape, coercion, violence, etc supposedly being endemic and fundamentally central to the industry. This documentary was made as a rebuttal.

Of course, it is itself advocacy, so should be watched with that in mind, but it is advocacy from people involved in the industry and thus presents voices which are not heard often in the constant campaigning from both right and left against porn. Part II is the more interesting from a general perspective; Nina Hartley is her usual excellent self- she has been in porn since the 80s and expresses well her frustration that all these years later she’s still having to argue that women have general and sexual agency and are fit to make their own decisions, and fellow performer Kayden Kross does a nice little bit about how “rapists” in porn are somewhat frustrated by (a) having to pay for it and (b) gain consent.

Subject matter is obviously not NSFW for the content is not pornographic- just interviews and discussion of a documentary nature.

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  1. Lynne says:

    There’s nothing more puritanical than a new convert. And this particular puritan is apparently still mainlining her drugs of choice – fame and fortune. Not so fucking (sic) righteous then.

  2. Paul Marks says:

    If people thing porn is harmful – they should not watch it.

    I remember (when I first got Sky television) being astonished that I could watch (for free) what, by in my limited experience, was rather wild stuff.

    Then I ran into a truck – which, perhaps, I deserved to run into.

    It was a show produced on the Playboy station called “Naked News” – basically news read out by women with no tops on (to appeal to silly middle aged men like errrr me).

    Anyway I noticed it was a bit leftwing but kept watching (due to the no tops thing).

    Then there was bit on a Chinese film maker who had made a documentary about American POWs in the Korean war – how well they were treated (no I am not making this up).

    They had come from a land of tyranny (pictures of the “evil” Senator Joe McCarthy) to a land of freedom and jusice – happy pictures of smileing Chairman Mao.

    A lady with no top on said how “inspiring” the documentary was, and how the maker of it did not hate America – he just hated war and loved people, as we all should.

    I turned the show off and had a good wash – I have never watched the station again.

    About this time Playboy came out with a list of conservative women who should be “hate raped” (Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Sarah – of course).

    Porn may not cause harm – but there are lot of really nasty people in the industry (and the Playboy organization appears to be full of them).

    But, I suppose, that is true of any industry.

  3. Ian B says:


    Unfortunately such leftie bullshit is so widespread these days that it is hard to avoid it. Many people who are nominally “enterpreneurs” and “capitalists” are neck deep in this kind of belief and rhetoric. It’s depressing in the extreme, but a reflection of how far our society is off the rails thanks to more than a century of steadily rising “progressivism”.

    My own considered position on porn is that it is not a significant factor in society; its effects (either negative or positive) are grossly exaggerated. It is like discussing whether we should “do something about” westerns, or comedies, or romantic novels.

    The “should be raped” thing sounds more like Hustler than Playboy; Larry Flynt is very left wing. That is also foolish and ironic; Flynt doesn’t seem to grasp that “the Left” are far more successful opponents of porn- via Feminism- than “the Right” ever were. He’s a turkey voting for- or urging his readers to vote for- Christmas.

    I’ve actually just started supplying cartoons to another “gentleman’s publication”, as it goes. I’m wondering how I can quietly slip some subliminal libertarian values into them, heh. The only way to effect “social change” is to be on the “inside” making a contribution, however small, I think.

  4. Sunfish says:


    If you’re going to try to change an authoritarian institution from the inside, I can only hope that you’re well stocked in booze and ibuprofen.

    Trust me on this.

  5. Paul Marks says:

    It was the Playboy site Ian – a lot of conservatives got very angry about it. And Playboy removed it. And it was a Playboy employee (executive – not action) not some random comment person.

    A friend of mine believes that Larry Flynt is a hero – but I know little about him other than he was shot and crippled.

    However, left wing he may be I regret that – he has never (as far as I know) done anyone any serious harm, and did not deserve that happening to him.

    I also know that he put up money for sex scandals on Republicans – because he got so sick of people attacking Clinton over sex stuff.

    And, come to think of it, there was that silly stunt he pulled in the early 1970s – when he offered a million Dollars to anyone on a list of ultra respectable young women (including the Nixon daughters) to pose for his magazine.

    But that was harmless – they just said “no thank you” and that was it.

    Porn – as far as I can tell it has always existed.

    Civil Society has not been destroyed by it in the past – so, as you say, why should it be a special factor now?

    The left being more effective than the right on censorship.

    Yes – the left have the whole femminist angle.

    And they do “the children” stuff better.

    Al and Tipper Gore (now famous for globel warming – and little else) were past masters of making anti porn speeches.

    They would mix in the femminst stuff and the children stuff in perfectly.

    Had Al Gore won in 2000 he would have undoubtly have got anti porn Federal statutes on the books.

    And they would have been crafted in such a way (and defended by the university crowd so hard) that the Supreme Court would not have touched them.

  6. Quiet Man says:

    She must have been crap. I regard myself as a bit of a porn afficionado and I’ve never heard of her.
    Shades of Linda Lovelace (who I have heard of).

  7. RAB says:

    Porn, as in depictions of human sexual congress, have been with us since we were hunter gatherers.

    The Romans certainly enjoyed it. I have been to Pompei and seen the frescos on the walls, and that’s dining room walls let alone bedroom and brothel ones. They thought nothing of it.

    I had assumed though that there were always laws against it (at least in the Christian era) but was shocked to find that the first pornography law was as recent as 1857 with the first Obscene Publications act. Another first for Great Britain eh? Makes ya proud! All instigated by a bunch of pointy headed Puritans by the name of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, one of those proto Progressive groups that Ian loves so much :-)

    Course they didn’t just have it in for Porn, but just about everything they dissapproved of (the were responsible for Stamp duty on Newspapers) Free speech was an anathma to them.

    As to Tipper Gore though, after ditching the Global Warming Messiah, I hear she’s gone native. She once campaigned for stickers to be put on music albums warning of lyrics of an explicit sexual nature, incurring the wrath of the likes of Frank Zappa. Now though she has had a road to Damascus experience and is sometimes found playing drums in Moon Unit Zappa’s band. Betty ford to Margeret Troudeau in one easy lesson!

  8. Kendall says:

    Here’s Shelley on fine form at the Cambridge Union:

    “We kill more people than the music industry”

    Guardian favourite (and buddy of Julie Bindel) Gail Dines took part too. After the anti-porn side lost the vote she claimed they never had a chance because of the “male dominated environment” (even though at least half of those present were women).

  9. Kendall says:

    Regarding the Playboy thing, the article was “Conservative Women I’d like to Hate Fuck”, which isn’t exactly the same thing as saying they’re women who should be raped.

    I’d define hate fucking as sex with someone you personally dislike but find attractive. It’s possible for two people to hate fuck each with mutual consent.

    Of course Playboy has always had a blatant left-wing/”progressive” agenda, which makes it funny when they’re singled out as particularly evil capitalist exploiters.

  10. I’m honored you chose to discuss my documentary in the context of this issue.

    Since the release of these first two episodes, even more damaging material has come to light about Mrs. Lubben (who has claimed to confidants that she is — literally IS — the prophet Elijah) and her profitable “porn recovery”operation.

    Since you are correct in your assertion that the documentary represents advocacy, in the name of balance I’d like to steer you toward a short video which was produced by a fervent anti-porn advocate, and Gail Dines supporter, which utilizes (under the Fair Use doctrine) research materials I uncovered and video I shot AFTER these first two episodes of the documentary were posted online.

    @Kendall, I’d also like to add that at Cambridge, not only were half the voting students female, the president of the Cambridge Union Society, and other officers, were female as well.

    I thought the highlights of Mrs. Lubben’s Cambridge rant were 1) her complaint that 20-21 year old women could not be expected to understand bug words like litigation and arbitration; and 2) the way she adopts an atrocious bimbo voice whenever she quotes female porn performers.

    Shelley Lubben is simply a charlatan who has utter contempt for the people she pretends to represent, and love, and want to save. It’s truly shocking. She’s guilty of the worst kind of vilification and stereotyping, and these stereotypes constitute the very core of the perceptions that make it difficult for performers to transition out of the adult industry in the first place.

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