Off the record and very hush-hush.
Porn's dirty little secret
I stand partially corrected. Today I was in a store in Dallas with a nice big selection of novelties. I had time to examine a lot of them for country of origin, and I'm happy to announce that probably 1/3 were either from the good ol' USA or similar free nation. I still believe we should not support a government that engages in censorship, however there are a lot of offerings by the various novelty companies that were produced in free countries, and they should be acknowledged for that. The fact that so many novelties were produced in free nations underscores my belief that for what would be a marginal increase in cost, we could produce all novelties in countries that believe in freedom, liberty and democracy.
Not a day goes by when we don't read about someone in the adult industry fighting against "the moral majority" and it's soldiers. We fight for the right to go to a porn store, download porn on the internet, sell our DVDs online, and a person's right to buy a piece of vibrating rubber for ummmm...medical use. When we are on trial, we cite the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, any Amendment we can find in the Constitution to protect our right to express ourselves sexually. We champion ourselves as freedom fighters and we heap accolades and awards on those at the forefront of the fight for freedom and liberty.
While figures like Jeff Steward, Max Hardcore and Rob Black are seen as controversial and thus don't get universal acceptance within our industry, the one issue everyone in our industry seems to agree with is the right to buy/sell adult novelties. Be it a dildo, a vibrator, a realistic molded vagina, or a penis pump, they have all been labeled as "Obscene Devices" by opponents of sexual expression. These items are marketed to just about every household in America via television shows like Talk Sex, or the late night Shop Erotic on shop at home networks. My fiance's grandmother gets catalogs in the mail with products geared towards senior citizens, and included in those catalogs are vibrators, massagers, and penis pumps. Recently we've scored some major victories in the 5th Circuit (Google : Reliable Consultants Obscene Devices), but we've had some setbacks in the case in Alabama. While this fight is certainly far from over, there's a tinge of hypocrisy amongst our industry when it comes to decrying censorship here at home. It's a dirty little secret that you won't find in any of the press releases regarding the sex toy industry.
So what is porn's dirty little secret? The secret isn't really a secret, if you take the time to read labels anyway. An alarming percentage of adult novelties are being manufactured in China. These companies are subsidizing a communist government with one of the worst human rights records in the world today. With that, porn shows itself to be no better than the 100s of "American" companies that are outsourcing labor and manufacturing to a nation with very little safety checks and no sense of fair trade. There are numerous sources of information you can read about why we should be wary of trade with China. Google, Wikipedia, Amnesty International, etc. all can show you some things that will make you question just how sincere the adult industry is about freedom and liberty. You'd almost think we use the Free Speech defense as just a means to stay in business, while not truly committing ourselves to the actual spirit of Free Speech.
Can we not make a dildo here in the United States? We can. We've made all these things before. What better a way to show the American people just how American porn is by keeping it's manufacturing here in the States. By not supporting the outsourcing of labor and manufacturing to a communist regime. We sent more than 50,000 troops to their death in Vietman to stop Communism. For what? Now we subsidize a Communist Party in China that does all the same things we stood against some 40 years ago. The people of China know not how we feel about them, because their government censors all television, internet, journalism, and prohibits any speech that is anti-government.
I used to think that porn was our greatest export. A manufacturing sector of America with possibly the greatest trade surplus. Then I turned over the package on a dildo at a porn store....saw those 3 ominous words...and I experienced something I never felt before regarding our industry. For the first time in my 9+ years...I didn't want to be a part of this industry.
Tell novelty manufacturers to bring those toys back to American factories, where American workers can make them for American wages. Will they cost more? Probably, but I don't see those products being made by other countries in big quantities, and porn is one of those things that can command a certain amount of price. You can't download a dildo.
The next time someone touts a porner as a defender of the First Amendment...ask them where their toys are manufactured. Pretty sad. Pretty hypocritical. And you can put me On The Record for this.