The mainstream media’s new puritanism is a curious beast. Moral panic erupts with alarmist coverage of art exhibitions, alcopops and swearing on TV yet visiting US porn ‘stars’ attract positive coverage.

The world’s largest Health, S-xuality and Lifestyle exhibition’ Sexpo arrives in Sydney this week, so main attraction Belladonna cheekily used the timing of World Youth Day to whip up some free publicity for the four-day event by declaring Catholic priests need some “street-level” s-x education to prevent abuse cases.

An Eros Foundation media release was picked up — via AAP — by the likes of The Sydney Morning Herald who seemed to find it amusing that Belladonna intended to donate 300 of her own films to the Catholic church in Australia for distribution to priests as “they needed to know how to distinguish a s-xual fetish or fantasy from real-life s-x”. “Greater love hath no woman”, chirped the SMH approvingly.

ABC Canberra’s Louise Maher even interviewed Belladonna on Friday afternoon about how the “dirtiest girl in p-rn” reckons she could help s-xually repressed priests deal with tension and stress.

Now, this may all seem rather amusing taken at face value but it’s not the first time a compliant Australian media has lapped up the questionable views of Belladonna and other visiting US p-rn industry insiders:

  • In May — when Belladonna was last doing the interview rounds to promote S-xpo — she “giggled” to the Adelaide Advertiser’s Amber Petty: “– because I lived such a suppressed life I think that I just went the other way, in a big way! I first had s-x at 14, which I guess was late when you consider I’d been having s-xual feelings since I was about five.”
  • In May again — fellow “adult entertainer” Bobbi Starr was given free reign in an article punnily titled “A Starr is p-rn” to promote her career choice and the Adelaide Advertiser found nothing amiss about the fact Starr got her start in a water bondage film, “They said ‘We’re going to tie you up and spray you with a high pressure hose‘.”
  • In February — Brisbane’s Courier Mail published what amounted to a job ad for any impressionable young women who may be tempted or desperate enough to have s-x on film for cash. P-rn producer Jay Gardina was “keeping an eye out for the Next Big Thing” at the Brisbane S-xpo, announcing “– you have some beautiful girls in Australia. I would not mind some girls coming to try out for me here.”

All this uncritical coverage also pushs the message that “S-x is natural. S-x is fun. Lighten up!” to pre-empt any dissent as prudish.

Now, prudish is not an accusation you could ever make about Belladonna. Sensitive sorts may wish to stop reading now… Internet Movie Database website lists Belladonna’s filmography and it’s interesting to ponder which “natural and fun” films would be handed over to show priests “real-life s-x”.

Would Un-Natural S-x 7 make the cut? Barely Legal? Bring’um Young? S-domania: Slop Shots 13? Gee Your A-s Stretches Terrific? And her 2001 classic A-s Worship: There Is a God would have to be the most inappropriate selection of all.

Evidently the same media outlets which regularly work themselves up into a self righteous frenzy over Miley Cyrus-style inappropriateness don’t mind giving the p-rn industry an easy ride on the side (no pun intended).

Keep your eye out for today’s press release from Eros to hit the headlines any minute now:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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