In those people unfamiliar with the Adult Entertainment Industry, it is common to find a perception that the entire genre is linked, on some level, to exploitation, which in turn is associated with various forms of violence and degradation. It is easy to understand how this misconception has become prevalent within the confines of an industry which has, over the years, stripped the content of its product down to little more than the mere act of sex. Companies like Anteros Media seek to make significant changes, not only to the process of making and distributing material, but also intend to make a fundamentally different type of product, the reason and purpose for which goes beyond the singular desire for money and the ubiquitous expectation of isolated pleasure.
Sexuality is an integral part of the human experience and one that, contrary to popular belief, is rarely expressed in a pathological manner. However, within a Western matrix of Puritan ideals, sex continues to be treated as a taboo that should at best be concealed and at worst subverted, even when expressed within the strict confines of conservative heterosexuality. Unsurprisingly then, any behavior which is not aligned to heterosexual procreation is frequently treated as shameful and is subject to outright condemnation, thus invalidating a crucial facet of many people’s existence. It is this attitude that has bred the perfect conditions for exploitation to take root within many of the interpersonal dynamics within American culture, and the Adult Entertainment Industry has simultaneously contributed to, and suffered from, the wide reaching and detrimental effects of this. It is the reason why LGBT videos are often created to cater to and encourage the very basest and most selfish or destructive impulses within the viewer. The erotic content, devoid of context and lacking any positive reinforcement, breeds selfish impulses that reinforce an expectation of nothing more than a means of responding solely to the individual’s disconnected urges. And it is within this downward spiral of low expectation and biased media representation (which has served only to reinforce and validate stereotypes and negative behaviors) that LGBT people have found themselves portrayed. To make matters worse, the images are created within the parameters of homophobia, heterosexism, misogyny, racism, and ageism.
Postmodern sensibilities encourage us to explore the purpose, process, and concept of consuming adult media, which can be deconstructed, re-examined, and reassembled to invent a tool for education, outreach, inspiration, and activism. Gone will be the days when a “user” simply sneaks in, gets a fix, and scurries out like some kind of morbid drug addict looking to score anonymously under the shadow of fear. The next phase in the development of sexually explicit media will usher in multiple layers of interactivity, personal investment, and individualized play that integrates wholistic sexuality within a community of empowered people who contribute to and benefit from their collective health and wellness.