From the popular Bratz dolls to the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib, The Porning of America reveals that porn has become the mainstream-and the mainstream has become porn. Carmine Sarracino and Kevin Scott argue that porn has seeped into and been absorbed by every defining aspect of our culture: language, entertainment, fashion, advertising, sexual behavior, even politics. Cultural absorption is so complete that we no longer have to purchase pornography to get porn because we increasingly live porn on a daily basis.
In tracing porn's transformation-from the Civil War to the golden age of comic books in the 1940s and 1950s to the adult film industry's golden decade of the 1970s and up to today-the authors illustrate that what began in the dark alleys of American life has now emerged as an unapologetic multibillion-dollar industry. In this astonishingly comprehensive book, Sarracino and Scott profile such "porn exemplars"-those who have been pivotal to the mainstreaming of porn-as Russ Meyer, Snoop Dogg, Jenna Jameson, and Paris Hilton; they document how mainstream advertising uses porn culture to sell commercial goods now to an even younger, "tween" audience; and they pose crucial questions: How has porn shaped the way we view our own and others' bodies? Sarracino and Scott examine porned advertising of everything from Clinique to Orbit gum to Old Spice. How has porn influenced our relationships and how do current sexual behaviors, such as the "hookup," mimic porn? The authors look to MySpace and Craigslist for answers. And how does porn shape our identity, as individuals and as a nation? Sarracino and Scott argue that the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib exposed our porned sensibilities.
Not an anti-porn diatribe, The Porning of America is resolutely pro-sex. Sarracino and Scott contend that, to make the most of our hard-won sexual freedom, we must thoughtfully-and honestly-evaluate what might be liberating about porn as well as what might be damaging. Nuanced, timely, and urgent, The Porning of America will change how you see the world around you.
From the Hardcover edition.