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Dana Harris writes in Variety 2/15/05:

As the closest thing Daily Variety has to a porn industry reporter, I get a lot of free adult films.

Feminism, however, has always had a hard time allowing for women who like porn.

There are women who see no inherent conflict between feminism and pornography. Writers like Village Voice sex columnist Tristan Taormino, sex writer Susie Bright, porn star Nina Hartley, former porn star Annie Sprinkle and prostitute-turned-Ph.D. Carol Queen are quick to counterpunch, but their views often are viewed as voices from the fringe. (Should that seem too harsh, consider that their work often comes with the label of "sex positive" -- an adjective that would be as redundant as "carbon-based lifeform" if it described a man.)

DCypher writes on HardcoreGossip.com about Dana Harris:

We first met right after the last HIV outbreak started turning porn valley into a media circus and showed me that some of the smartest people I knew in this business could really act like flaming retards. Sorry for the slam on all of you flaming retards who don't like being compared unfavorably with porn folk, as well as one for all the platypus enthusiasts.

I had the greatest conversation with her for a brief window of time during the last AEE Con in the Pure Play booth with Carly. Does anyone remember Pure Play now?

Dana and I talked about postmodern contemporary literature mostly. Apparently both of us are avid fans of the genre. She is amazingly intelligent, sweet, and reserves judgment when she eats off the porn fork, which I appreciate. It is so much nicer to meet someone like Dana Harris than someone like Sun Chyng.

Here's the part that DCypher was afraid to put on his website but left in his diary, which I just happened to stumble across when I broke into DCypher's apartment last week:

Dana Harris is not only amazingly intelligent, sweet and reserved in judgment of porn, but she is tall and slender and sexy. Her hair is so silky. I love running my fingers through it.

After we talked all afternoon about postmodern contemporary literature, we took a ride on a gondola in the Venetian while I sang Italian arias to her intrepid reporting.

Rob Spallone steered our gondola and provided doo-whop backups as I segued into a mass by Mozart.

Dana said I could call her, "Dear Dana." She said I was more intelligent, a more considerate lover, and a better writer than this certain Australian we both know.

I told her that she reminded me of my first wife Bunny Luv and I offered her the opportunity to star in one of my movies.

She was so touched that she started crying.

Together we can create a better America and help protect Christian youth against the dangers of Satanism.

 

Free Speech Coalition Speaks Up

Dana Harris writes in Sunday's (4/24/05) edition of Variety:

Like everyone else in showbiz, people in the porn industry just want to be loved and respected -- even by the government. So they're working at being taken seriously, but the timing is curious.

The FCC's campaign against indecency has gained momentum since President Bush's re-election, and newly ensconced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has vowed to significantly ramp up anti-obscenity prosecution under his watch.

Oh, well. Undeterred, the Free Speech Coalition, a nonprofit trade org led by a 60-year-old former dominatrix from San Francisco, is stepping up efforts to remind politicians that porn means jobs, tax revenue and First Amendment rights. In other words, they're not just pretty faces.

.....

Sunlove -- known as Mistress Kat when she was working as a professional dominatrix -- is the former publisher of Spectator, a weekly mag that bills itself as "The Voice of Erotic San Francisco."

AVN Unhappy With Variety's Dana Harris

You can't find a more pro-porn mainstream writer who regularly writes on XXX than Variety's Dana Harris. If there's a positive angle to take, even on an HIV-crisis, Dana will find it.

But the folks at AVN and FSC (Free Speech Coalition) are annoyed with her latest because she referred to former FSC executive director Kat Sunlove as "60-year-old former dominatrix," which is exactly what Kat Sunlove is.

I remember about seven years ago, freelance writer Scott Collins walked in on some sexual interaction between FSC lobbyist Sunlove and then-FSC executive director Jeffrey Douglas. They asked Scott not to report it because it would make them look less serious. Scott agreed.

AVN writes:

The "60-year-old former dominatrix" thing not the first time this description has seen print, but it's here twice rankles Legislative Affairs Director Kat Sunlove, who's spent the past eight years training industry personnel to help create a legitimate voice for the adult industry in its yearly sojourns to Sacramento which makes Harris' comment that "the timing [of the lobbying event] is curious" somewhat curious itself.

Several years before her involvement with Free Speech, as publisher of Spectator magazine, Sunlove personally lobbied to prevent California's oppressive news-rack law from being passed (the law, enacted in 1995, has squelched sexually-expressive speech in one of the last unfettered public venues: The street corner); and several years before that, she worked as a union organizer and as a grassroots activist trying (successfully) to get Tom Bradley elected mayor of Los Angeles.

"The most annoying part of that being my only description is that it represents such a small part of my life," Sunlove responds. "I am 60 years old and I've done a lot of other things in my life, including run a social service program for children and other similar programs, union organizing for the hotel/restaurant industry and other political activism. My time as a dominatrix, while it was great fun, really is just such a small slice of my life, I feel it's just inaccurate to characterize me that way."

By contrast, FSC's new federal lobbyist, Aubrey C. King, is described as "a vet lobbyist who holds a master's in political science and economics from Johns Hopkins U."

"The whole thing smacks a little of sexism," Sunlove said, "since all she speaks of about me is my age, a suggestion about my looks, and my sexual background."

Earth to Kat Sunlove: Once somebody has worked as a hooker (and dominatrix is just another form of hooker in the eyes of most people) that is going to overwhelm any other accomplishment in the minds of most people.

I suspect that Aubrey C. King has never worked as a hooker. Hence, he is taken more seriously. If he used to be a sex worker, that would've been prominently noted.

Folks, once you have participated in sex work, that is forever going to overwhelm any other accomplishment in the eyes of most people. I'm not saying that is right. I'm saying that it is inherent to the human condition (and it is not just Puritan America where this happens).

Sex is different. Once you've been tarred with working as a whore, most people aren't going to take you seriously. Many people like to use whores, but few people want to introduce whores to their friends and family, and fewer still want to seek out the opinions of whores on social and political issues.

AVN continues:

"Although Dana apparently couldn't resist sensationalizing the 'sexiest' part of Kat's background," Freridge observed, "she was a pleasure to work with at CFSLDs and provided us with some helpful feedback that FSC can use as we continuously improve the event."

What kind of reporter provides "helpful feedback" to her subjects so they can "continuously improve the event"? Once you befriend your subjects, you might as well turn in your journalism card and pick up the publicist one.