Juno, Sex Workers & MapQuest

26 Feb 2008

When accepting her Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, Juno scribe Diablo Cody proudly displayed her bicep tat of a bikini-clad + rope bound lass, a visual reminder to viewers at home that Cody was once a stripper. And the dark humor that actress Ellen Page spits in Juno is strongly rooted in the self-aware and acerbic style of writing oft found in sex worker literature.

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Women in the sex industry have historically been labeled as Victim with A Heart of Gold, Radical Feminist or Dumb Slut. Rarely are they seen as having any agency or complexity. Spread Magazine launched in 2005 to flip the script:

We believe that all sex workers have a right to self-determination; to choose how we make a living and what we do with our bodies. We aim to build community and destigmatize sex work by providing a forum for the diverse voices of individuals working in the sex industry.

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For those dear readers who may be clucking and saying Not My World, let’s look at the webstat counter Alexa.com to see the story of Our Nation’s online activity.

Megarotic has more visits than Amazon, AOL and Blogger
YouPorn beats Digg and The New York Times
Adult Friend Finder…gets more love than MapQuest?

With porn’s market position as an ‘outsider industry’, we may be inclined to think that some of these xxxsites are clickbotting. While we may question Ms. Alexa, her stats are bandied about like Mr. Nielson’s ratings. Fact is, porn is no longer just “finding Dad’s Playboys” (i looked, alas he had none) or a dusty VHS. It’s everywhere and we’re all, shall we say, touched, by it.

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Now Sex & The City EP Darren Star has an upcoming HBO series based on Tracy Quan’s Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl. Also coming, Washingtonienne and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Given that Carrie Bradshaw spawned trends like drinking Cosmos, lusting after Manohlo Blahniks and hearting Marc Jacobs, I’m curious to see what details our pop culture might take from an expensive prostitute. Going beyond any new trends, maybe this show and Diablo Cody’s high profile will begin to remix the public discussion of American sex workers and this naughty little $12 billion industry.

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UPDATES

4/24/08
What does it mean when Nintendo’s Wii has a stripper video game?

5/16/08
Teens + Sex and the City

6/10/08
NYT and 365 days of sex

Porn = Normal trend report

7/24
Porn vs. Prostitution

8/17
Porn visits Sesame Street?


Comments:

  1. [...] At Desedo.com, a blogger known to me as MHB cites Diablo’s tattoo — “a bikini-clad + rope bound lass” — as a reminder that the screenwriter “was once a stripper.” According to MHB, Juno’s dialog is “strongly rooted in the self-aware and acerbic style of writing oft found in sex worker literature.” [...]

  2. [...] Last week Robin Hafitz from Open Mind/kb+p gave a great presentation about how the walls of public/private space are melting. One sign of these times is the sex tapes and commando-flashing tactics of Brit/LiLo/Paris. The recording and sharing of sex is no longer in the back room, but writ large, and as Robin noted, Barbie and Ken aren’t just dating, they’re making porn. [...]

  3. [...] Maybe 15 year old lads are now telling mom that they read Vice…for the articles. Is the mag sending a message to women that they can best participate in this ohsohip world sans shirt? Does it castrate the value of writing about India’s Gulabi Gang? Or am I just outdated? In the internet era, with Playboy aiming 80% of retail at women, are the pics betwixt the pages a non-issue – just progressive duality? [...]

  4. [...] written before on the subject of sex and authorship and believe in the virtues of Neo Burlesque and Suicide Girls [...]

  5. 17 Jul 2009 suzankaaa123@girlsandnylons

    That was a long time ago.

  6. [...] the sex industry – or at least that which is projected via Madison Ave? Juno already got me wondering about this. Much in the same way that hip-hop and brands have a sometimes secret affair, I bet 30 years ago [...]