Supporting Your Children’s Endeavors

Sunny Lane’s Wikipedia page notes that her parents are very supportive of her and her career,

Her career is supported and managed by her parents, with whom she lives in an apartment.


Oh yeah, one other thing…Sunny Lane is a pornographic actress.

There is an interesting 2007 ABC News profile of Sunny and her parents from ABC News.

Lawyers, a publicist and image consultants are on call for Sunny, but the foundation for her team is still in the Lane apartment, where Sunny lives with her parents.

Sunny Lane is her stage name, and her parents also go by the same last name. For the last year and a half, life in the apartment has revolved around the business of selling Sunny, whom they market as “The Girl Next Door Turned Hard Core.”

On a recent afternoon, Shelby answered the phone while Mike sat nearby in the living room. Upstairs, Sunny packed a suitcase for an evening full of appearances and outfit changes. Shelby helped, filling small plastic bags with costumes, makeup and music.

Once Sunny has worn an outfit, Shelby puts it — unwashed, of course — back in a small plastic bags to one day auction off on their Web site. Sunny’s underwear can bring in a lot of cash.

“They’ll pay $50 to $100 for panties,” her mother said.

On the one hand, I guess if you’ve got a family member in that industry, better managed by parents rather than some shady character. Still, that’s got to lead to some awkward moments.

Canada’s Porn Problem

Canada apparently has a porn problem — not enough of its porn is, well, Canadian,

Wednesday, the CRTC [Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission] issued a broadcast notice saying AOV Adult Movie Channel, XXX Action Clips and the gay-oriented Maleflixxx were all failing to reach the required 35% threshold for Canadian content.

Based on a 24-hour broadcast schedule, that translates to about 8.5 hours of Canadian erotica a day.

Thank goodness someone is watching out for Canadian porn stars.

How Will We Store (and Find) All That Porn?

I really wish there was a video online somewhere of Rose White’s presentation on data storage at 25C3, The Infinite Library: Storage and Access of Pornographic Information.

Of course, it has always been a pain to store pornography — and so we have the cultural trope of a stash of magazines “under the mattress” or in a box hidden in the closet. But as the sex industry shifts toward digital publication at every level, we might imagine that mere storage will become a problem of the past, or, at least, a problem related to legacy materials (books, magazines, videos, comic books, photographs, etc.). Cheap, massive storage media means no more problem, right?

Well, reviewers of porn find that they quickly amass more material than they will ever have time to peruse; librarians who need to provide access to controversial and poorly cataloged material end up overwhelmed; even casual collectors of pornography still need some way to keep track of what they have.

Toward that end, I am doing preliminary research on how people store and access their digital pornography collections. In my early interviews, I have already encountered a fascinating mix of responses; one person has said they store their porn “in the cloud,” while another explained his detailed system for hiding digital porn files from his partner.

The Return of the Porn Prosecutions

I’ve been reading reports over the past few months that the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were going to begin increasing the number of investigations and, presumably, prosecutions of pornographers.

Many of the articles I’ve read included appropriate slaps at the FBI and Justice Department to the effect that it must be nice that they’ve finally eradicated all the terrorists so they can focus on something like pornography.

Which is certainly a deserved criticism, especially given that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said he wants to make prosecuting obscenity a major priority. But Congress also deserves a major share of the blame as The Washington Post noted in September,

Congress began funding the obscenity initiative in fiscal 2005 and specified that the FBI must devote 10 agents to adult pornography. The bureau decided to create a dedicated squad only in the Washington Field Office.

Also, many of the articles critical of the focus on pornography wrongly assume that it will turn into little more than tilting at windmills, assuming that First Amendment case law exempts pretty much everything between consenting adults. In fact, by targeting the right venues and the most extreme pornography, the Feds are likely to achieve a number of successful prosecutions.

As the FBI notes in a memo quoted by the Washington Post,

“Based on a review of past successful cases in a variety of jurisdictions,” the memo said, the best odds of conviction come with pornography that “includes bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior.”

As the Washington Post hints at, one interesting difference between the Reagan administration’s obscenity prosecutions and the current attempt to crack down on pornography is that pornography has become a much larger part of the popular culture in the intervening decades. Ron Jeremy has appeared on a number of mainstream programs and Jenna Jameson is still slated to appear in her own reality television show. A song that is little more than a list of sexual positions can be played on mainstream radio today, and major companies such as General Motors and Time Warner Inc. make large profits off their involvement in pornography.


Recruits sought for porn squad. Barton Gellman, Washington Post, September 20, 2005.

Monkeys Will Pay for Porn

Just like members of a certain other species, researchers at Duke University Medical Center discovered that male monkeys will pay for pornography.

According to a press release describing the research,

In the new work, researchers Robert Deaner, Amit Khera and Michael Pitt . . . tested this hypotheses by measuring how much fruit juice monkeys would accept or forgo to see photographs of familiar monkeys, permitting the researchers to compare monkey’s valuation of different types of social information. Male monkeys “paid” in juice to view female hindquarters or high-ranking monkey’s faces, but required “overpayment” to view low-ranking monkeys’ faces. Despite living in a captive colony, the value monkeys placed on information about potential sexual partners and powerful individuals matched the relative importance of these individuals for behavioral success in the wild. This study demonstrates that monkeys assess visual information by its social value and provides the first evidence that they spontaneously discriminate between images of others based on the social rank or classification of individuals.

The monkeys in this case were rhesus macaques. Apparently no one told the researchers that monkey pornography is just like terrorism.


Monkeys pay per view. Press Release Cell Press, January 27, 2005.

Monkeys pay to view porn. BetterHumans.Com, January 28, 2005.