The End of Sex: The ‘Porn Oscars’ and the Pornification of America

2014-AVN-Awards

For National Review Online, on an enviable assignment, Kevin D. Williamson  writes:

Vegas, Baby — “Eggs are expensive, sperm are cheap.” That’s a plain-English approximation of Bateman’s principle, which holds that in a species with two sexes, the members of the sex that invests less biologically in reproduction will end up competing, sometimes ferociously, over the members of the sex that invests more. Because healthy men can in theory reproduce almost without limit while women are constrained by the number of pregnancies that they can take to term in a lifetime, women have a very strong incentive to be more selective about their sexual partners, while men don’t: snipers vs. shotguns, basically. In a 2004 paper under the forthright title “Sexual Economics: Sex as Female Resource for Social Exchange in Heterosexual Interactions,” two scholars from the University of British Columbia and Florida State took that insight and examined mating behavior through the lens of market competition. And if you doubt for one second that the pitiless laws of supply and demand provide an excellent explanation of human sexual behavior, then by all means make a reservation at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the annual awards ceremony hosted by Adult Video News, a.k.a. the “Porn Oscars,” the most mercilessly Darwinian sexual marketplace you will find this side of Recife.

The awards show itself is almost an afterthought on the agenda of this multi-day pornopalooza, which is one part serious insider trade show for the nation’s increasingly specialized pornographers and sex-toy peddlers — Doctor Clockwork’s Home for Electrical and Medical Oddities draws a curious crowd, as do the live product demonstrations including one of a “sexercise” device that is basically one of those Sit N Bounce balls we all had as kids, but with one or two additions — and one part fan-fest for the world’s most dedicated consumers of smut, men who travel great distances and shell out hundreds of dollars in order to pack sweatily into crowded rooms and wait in line for autographs from their favorite performers, representing such powerhouses of porn as Evil Angel, Morally Corrupt, Brazzers, and dozens of others, while manufacturers of sundry sexual devices and what one entrepreneur refers to bluntly as “d**k pills” hawk their latest wares and potions at cheery display booths. It is raw consumerism, and there’s a kind of eerie symmetry at work: sex toys laid out in glass cases like jewelry at Tiffany’s, women displayed like flank steaks at Safeway. Bateman’s principle predicts that among primates like us, males will have a more lopsided distribution of sexual outcomes than will females: Basically all of the healthy females who survive to adulthood will have the opportunity to mate, but some of the males will be crowded out of the marketplace by a relatively small number of highly successful competitors — they just don’t have the biological capital to compete in the Hobbesian sexual war of all against all. The guys buying VIP passes here at the Porn Oscars, sitting slack-jawed at Sapphires Gentlemen’s Club as the performers swan through the crowd performing what is no doubt contractually required fan stroking, and then perhaps making a furtive or not-so-furtive trip down the highway to one of Nevada’s legal brothels: These frustrated, cow-eyed men are Bateman’s losers, and they are legion. The unkind industry term for them: trenchcoats.

On Day 1, the line of trenchcoats waiting to hand over $80 to $120 for a one-day pass to the event stretches from the box office well inside the Hard Rock across much of the length of the enormous casino past the bell desk and to the front door. Some of them are normal-guy Vegas, Baby tourists, and even couples, out on a lark, but some of them aren’t simply stopping by this circus on their way to Circus Circus: For them, this is the main event. They speculate among themselves about which of their favorites will be here this year, and debate which performers and which events should take priority — like the Smithsonian, you can’t see it all in one day and probably would invite some sort of retinal-glandular damage if you tried…

Read the rest..,

National Review Online


One Comment on “The End of Sex: The ‘Porn Oscars’ and the Pornification of America”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet For National Review Online, on an enviable assignment, Kevin D. Williamson writes: Vegas, Baby […]


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