SIR THOMAS MORE I’m not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can’t navigate. I’m no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I’m a forester. I doubt if there’s a man alive who could follow me there, thank God . . .
ALICE (Exasperated, pointing after RICH) While you talk, he’s gone!
SIR THOMAS MORE And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
WILLIAM ROPER. So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
SIR THOMAS MORE Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
WILLIAM ROPER. I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
SIR THOMAS MORE Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.
— Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons, (Act One), 1960.
The year 2017 will be remembered, one hopes, as the time when the porn community and its fans came to understand that the most virulent hate mobs are neither right wing extremists nor misogynist trolls, but, rather, self-satisfied social justice warrior (SJW) progressives who believe they are “calling out” bigots.
As one commentator noted, “much liberal culture still sees social justice bullying that way, as well-intentioned anger gone too far. It’s time to see it simply as bullying.”
But what was also made clear is that members of the adult community have also been infected by the disease of modern mass savagery operating under the title of social (group) justice.
August in December
It was in December 2017 that a beautiful and sensitive young woman who used the name August Ames as a porn performer, and who had a loving husband, took her life in a park near her home.
In the days preceding, Ames had sparked a tremendous backlash when she dared tweet her personal decision not to work with male performers who’ve shot gay porn, and a heads-up to another performer.
Soon an online hate mob of (largely gay and transgender) SJWs judged Ames an ignorant and virulent homophobe. With the aid of a few adult performers on the “straight” side of the industry but of similar political bent, a hate mob began to harass and cyberbully her mercilessly.
Ames seemed bewildered at first, and stepped into a few snippy exchanges.
Ames also defended herself, arguing that the tweet had merely reflected her preference to choose the conditions under which she would work.
“Most girls don’t shoot with guys who have shot gay porn, for safety,” she tweeted. “That’s just how it is with me. I’m not putting my body at risk, i don’t know what they do in their private lives.”
This was taken by the hate mob to be an anti-gay HIV reference, but looked at from the perspective of an adult performer, Ames was referring to the higher instances of various sexually transmitted diseases in gay porn’s models, which is, obviously, a ubiquitous (and often costly) concern for any porn performer.
But Wicked Pictures contract star jessica drake tweeted a mini-lecture: “performers, by all means, fuck who you want to fuck… but if you’re eliminating folks based on the fact they may have done gay or crossover work, your logic is seriously flawed.”
More on this in a bit.
Gay and transgender models and self-described advocates quickly mobilized against Ames.
“The attack on her was relentless,” one major female director told me. “Even after she said that she didn’t mean anything bad people would not let up. It kept ramping up and ramping up—It’s as though they actually wanted her to kill herself.”
One of the few to come to Ames’ defense was Noelle Easton.
Meanwhile, jessica drake did something peculiar, or, perhaps, perverse.
Rather than trying to talk to Ames, or quell the virulent hatred spewing forth from the supposedly enlightened pro-sex community, drake decided to draw attention to the drama as a kind of teachable moment.
She decided to tweet a textbook LGBTQI-approved lecture: that using someone’s sexual history is not a more reliable form of protection than HIV/STI testing, barriers or PreP, and that doing so — or, rather, publicly stating the rationale behind one’s own personal choices — is itself harmful and contributes to harmful stigmas.
drake’s pontificating tweets read like SJW talking points; a lecture in the midst of an ambush which, if anything, provided cover — a quasi-intellectual, politically correct basis — for being outraged at Ames.
The point, by drake and others, was clear: if one’s personal choices or rationales are disfavored by the pro-gay, pro-trans, SJW mob, one is an evil oppressor of marginalized communities and is fair game for whatever “punching up” malevolence they deem necessary. If you dare not toe the politically correct line, be prepared to face the consequences of your crime.
Ames’ crime had been disfavored speech.
As a post script, drake trumpeted her own admirable and courageous inclusiveness to the growing mob.
This represents an example of what is commonly known as “virtue signaling”.
In the forward to the new (excellent) politically incorrect sci-fi anthology, “Forbidden Thoughts”, controversial writer Milo Yiannopoulos described the process of “virtue signaling”.
Virtue signaling can best be explained as the devotion of a person’s entire existence to explaining how wonderful they (and their friends) are and how terribly wrong everyone else is. The point of virtue signaling is to demonstrate superiority, for the purpose of consolidating power, prestige and financial reward.
This thread, posted after Ames’ death, illustrates the hate mob’s attitude, as gay model Bruce Beckham patted the group on its collective back for its vitriolic attacks:
Interestingly, Dangerous.com’s Ian Miles Choeng pointed out that “Despite his attacks on Ames’ supposed ignorance, Beckham acknowledged twice in November that PREP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) only protects against HIV, but not other STDs, noting the importance of partner disclosure.”
“[Beckham] made his comments in response to comments on bareback videos he produced.”
Under relentless attack, Ames had clarified that she “loved the gay community” and meant no ill. She herself was attracted to women, she said. “Not wanting to have sex with gay men is not homophobic; they don’t want to have sex with me either,” wrote Ames.
These statements, like everything else Ames wrote, fell upon the deaf ears of an inflamed lynch mob.
As Cheong noted in his coverage of the tragedy,
Transgender performer Aspen Brooks was one of many porn performers who urged their followers to attack Ames
Brooks later complained about being verbally abused following Ames’ suicide. “I don’t think I deserve this,” Brooks said, downplaying the abusive remarks sent to Ames.
Cathy Young wrote at Forward,
Transgender activist Zinnia Jones, who makes amateur videos under the name Satana Kennedy, also defended the vicious online bullying.
Some in the adult business were quick to acknowledge the dynamics of the SJW hate mob drama that had unfolded on Twitter.
Jenna Jameson, once porn’s biggest superstar, told The Blast, “I am so disappointed in some of the people in the adult industry,” adding, “I am also shocked and dismayed at a few FEMALES that attacked and helped fan the fire against my friend August.
“Her blood is on their hands.”
Jameson specifically called out jessica drake for her remarks concerning performers’ “choice of who to work with”.
At first, drake was silent after the news of Ames’ suicide hit. Her husband, director Brad Armstrong, tweeted that she was “in complete shock” that she, an ardent supporter and defender of all that is good and right, was receiving blowback!
Eventually, drake elected to defend herself.
The crossover argument
Ms. drake responded to Ames’ online lynching and subsequent suicide via several statements on Twitter, saying, “I saw someone talking about the crossover argument in my timeline and decided to post my thoughts with no harm or malice intended to August.”
She had only spoken in generalities, never addressed her unsolicited lecture directly to August Ames and never harassed her.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Drake said that, “[My Tweets] represents the facts, as well as the way I feel.”
drake’s take on her own actions represent yet another reflection of the insidious virtue signaling within the SJW camp.
MY thoughts and opinions and feelz are POSITIVE and PROGRESSIVE, and should lead to no consequences for me, while disagreeing viewpoints are BIGOTED and MISINFORMED, and will not be tolerated.
“I did not bully or harass her. That is not what I stand for, that is not in my nature.”
No, you simply virtue signal to the mob, your base.
In any case, having placed her principles and her “nature” (the Marxist feminists must’ve grinded their teeth at that word) on the table, a question obtrudes itself: what exactly is it that jessica drake does stand for?
The case can easily be made that drake’s modus operandi is, and has always been, to attach herself to or co-opt popular trends for her benefit while presenting herself as the caring expert.
“If you’re eliminating folks based on the fact they they may have done gay or crossover work, your logic is seriously flawed,” jessica tweeted that terrible day.
No, Doctor drake, to the contrary, it’s your logic that is flawed.
drake’s approach is more or less rationalist, to be sure, but an empiricist would come to an altogether different conclusion.
In an interview with Dave Rubin in 2016, actor, author and activist Stephen Fry noted that empirical thought “is about seeing whether something is true, experimenting with it, finding out, testing it” whilst sometimes rationalism can be akin to “superstition.”
He illustrated the distinction in several ways: 17th century French mathematicians, such as philosopher and Catholic theologian Blaise Pascal, promoted a rational theory of light. But then Isaac Newton came along, poked pinholes in some paper or pasteboard, and found Pascal & co.’s theory to be empirically false.
Also, Fry noted, rationalists support the separation of church and state, whilst empiricists note that a country such as England, where church and state are absolutely intertwined, is famously irreligious, “is the most secular society I have ever experienced, [and] has the highest level of atheism anywhere; and America has separation of church and state and not only they all believe in God they all believe in bloody angels. 74% of Americans think angels walk on the earth.”
Something can sound completely rational and be wrong. Likewise something “rationally stupid [and] weird” like hereditary monarchies, do not necessarily produce social injustice.
“So it isn’t that what I mean by being empirically right; that I’m not saying therefore you must have a king and queen in order to be free,” said Fry, “But all I’m saying is you having one doesn’t stop you from being freer from being opener [as a society]. . . .”
Empirical thought and science apply to porn as well.
There’s an entirely valid reason that the matter of “crossover” performers has remained a hot topic within porn circles for nearly twenty years: empirical evidence shows that virtually every HIV infection or outbreak in mainstream porn since the first one (Marc Wallace) in 1998 has been connected to crossover performers and/or performers who had sex with transexuals.
Despite the vapid claims of homophobia, discrimination and, heavens help us, “unfairness”, the higher risk attached to crossover, gay and trans performers is empirically true.
“At the center of this issue is the rift that exists between the straight and gay populations of the industry,” Mia Li, president of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), told Rolling Stone. She is correct in one sense: the rift is the issue that the “tolerant” left that saved August Ames want to place at the center.
”The fear of the unknown lives of other performers is unfairly linked to the gay and trans population of performers,” Li continued. “This is why we have access to the same testing system.”
As much as I admire Ms. Li for her intelligence, as well as her skills with a ukulele, this second bit (straight out of the politically correct “fairness” playbook) is incredibly disingenuous.
First, as a simple matter of scientific reason, the overall sexual health of the gay and trans population in this world as well as in our particular culture is in fact much lower than that of the hetero population.
Facts are not “fair” or “unfair”, and scientific truth plays no favorites. And as for the claim that all performers “have access to the same testing system”, while true it completely, and intentionally, misses the point.
The general public, including members of the gay and transgender communities, “have access to” resources such as testing centers, condoms, and the like. The problem is not everyone avails themself of these resources, or does so with regularity. Only a minority of gay porn productions require full panel STI/HIV testing. Some rely on condoms only. The gay porn talent pool, unlike its “straight” counterpart, contains many individuals who are HIV-positive.
And lastly, whilst any “crossover” performer must undergo the same testing as everyone else appearing in a “straight” porn shoot, there is and will always be a small window of time in which an HIV infection may go undiagnosed. Acknowledgement of this medical fact led to the standard testing period to be shortened from 30 days to 14 days not long ago.
Who recalls when Ginger Lynn made a return to porn in her 30’s? She insisted that any performer she shot with had a test not older than a specific number of days. This did not make her a bigot. And in those pre-SJW tumblr-activist days, no one claimed that she was shaming anyone with flawed logic. It was seen — and correctly so — as a practice based upon her own personal comfort level.
One statement drake released online claimed that, even though her comments were not meant to bully or harass, “I still feel as if I failed her.”
This is where SJWs and the politically correct always get it wrong. You were not her keeper, jessica. It’s not your place to educate (or re-educate) or validate her. You only had to be decent and allow her to speak her free mind of her own free will.
But you, who reflexively regurgitate PC adages, still pontificate, and still you just don’t get it.
“I have worked with crossover performers, gay performers, and trans performers,” Drake had tweeted. “If this puts me on your ‘no’ list, i didn’t want to do scenes with you to begin with.”
This line of reasoning undercuts drake’s own premise: jessica extols her right to choose whom she has sex with based on their beliefs while excoriating those who think differently. Bodily autonomy / integrity is indeed her right, but it was also Ames’ right.
drake’s “crossover/trans/no-list” tweet raises a more sinister likelihood.
“Some people are pointing out that Jessica didn’t even do IR until this past showcase, [jessica drake is Wicked]” one veteran adult star told me. “I felt the timing of her showcase, featuring her with TS girls, was more about trying to stay relevant than actually being interested in the trans community. Trans is ‘in’ right now. I don’t know that she has any real convictions.”
Such self-conscious maneuvers would seem consistent with the gestures of a self-styled activist who insists on spelling her name in all lower-case letters.
jessica with a small ‘j’ and a huge desire for self promotion.
drake, 43, who got her start in porn in 1999, has positioned herself as a brand ambassador for Wicked Pictures, an adult industry spokesperson, and a sexual wellness advocate. The latter term is conveniently ambiguous.
The star’s wikipedia page trumpets that drake “teaches sex education seminars and workshops around the world, including addressing a class of licensed therapists at UCLA on May 3, 2012, and speaking on a panel at CatalystCon West sexuality conference.”
In 2013, she also was one of several porn stars brought in to speak to the “Navigating Pornography” class taught by Hugo Schwyzer at Pasadena City College, who said of drake
“Jessica isn’t just an industry superstar, she’s a veteran activist and an articulate and important advocate for pleasure, for common sense, and an end to sexual shame,” Dr. Schwyzer said. “On screen and off, she’s an incandescent personality and, I have to believe, a tremendous role model for my students.”
One article covering the highly publicized event stressed that:
“To help advance her sex education agenda, Drake writes, produces, and directs the video series ‘Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex,’ which has received positive reviews from adult industry authorities including XBIZ, AVN and Fleshbot.com. The production ‘Jessica Drake’s Guide Wicked Sex: Anal” received the 2012 XBIZ award for Specialty Release of the Year and ‘Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex: Fellatio’ received the AVN Award for Best Educational Release in 2012.”
Hugo Schwyzer, like drake, was a darling of the sex-positive and progressive community. That is, until it was revealed, that he was a fraud who had been using his “male feminist” cred to have sex with his students and at least one porn star guest lecturer.
His level of predation, while never reaching that of male feminist all-star Ted Bundy (who volunteered at a rape crisis center, penned a rape prevention pamphlet, and also happened to rape and murder dozens of women), was still quite extraordinary. He had helped launch the Los Angeles “Slut Walk” so he could have access to sexually open women.
Schwyzer’s position was proven, and by his own later admission, to have been based on lies; SJW and feminist lingo-filled PR aimed at communities who uncritically ate it all up; and constant, narcissistic self-promotion, His life quickly spiraled: he soon lost his position and reputation, his marriage and his career.
Press releases from Wicked Pictures refer to drake as an “emerging sexual wellness authority and adult entertainment superstar”. We know what the latter means, but what makes one an emerging authority?
An authority is one who has the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior. I would argue that a more appropriate appellation for drake would be “porn star, Flashlight masturbation tool model, anal sex toy pitch woman, and occasional guest speaker.”
A press release from 2017 promoting her latest appearance at Catalyst Con calls her a “sex education advocate, Wicked Pictures contract star and ethical activist”, noting
“drake is a strong sexual health advocate and a sex educator who has taken her message mainstream thanks to media appearances, interviews and writings. As creator, director, producer, and host of Wicked Pictures’ award-winning instructional movie series “jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex,” she is a sought after public speaker and sex expert.”
jessica was slated as part of Catalyst Con’s Closing Keynote Plenary Address on “Sex, Politics and Resistance: Activism for Everyone,” on September 17, the closing segment to include Dr. Hernando Chaves (a Marriage & Family Therapist and contributor to sexpert.com), Jackie Rednour-Bruckman (feminist porn producer and E.V.P. of sex toy retailer Good Vibrations, which sells jessica-approved sexual wellness tools,) and Mo Beasley (a performance poet, educator, and public speaker).
“With voices of intolerance cluttering the national political climate, it’s especially important we come together in support of sex workers, the LGBTQ community, and human rights,” drake was quoted as saying.
And then came the ubiquitous product tie-in
About jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex:
An exclusive Wicked Pictures contract performer, writer, and director, as well as a global humanitarian and emerging sexual wellness authority, jessica drake’s brilliant career is illuminated by her beauty, prodigious talent and adult industry clout. A recipient of three coveted AVN Best Actress awards and AVN’s Mainstream Star of the Year honor, jessica has solidified her status as one of the adult’s most illustrious stars, but its her time devoted to healing, working alongside, and educating those less fortunate of which she is proudest. In her award-winning, self-directed “Guide to Wicked Sex” series, jessica brings erotic topics to life through intimate demonstrations performed by some of today’s hottest adult stars. Recently joining the likes of Oprah, Martha Stewart, and Rachel Ray, drake published “jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex,” her own digital magazine to promote sexual education, and give fans more “Guide to Wicked Sex” content they’ve been craving. Each DVD and digital magazine volume addresses a different aspect of human sexuality, which is explored with a distinct blend of knowledge, experience, and good humor, and the series has earned recognition from AVN, XBIZ, and The Feminist Porn Awards. A charismatic public speaker, the same demand for her modern sex education DVDs also takes jessica around the world – presenting seminars and workshops at expos, retail outlets, and colleges like USC, UCLA, and Chapman University – where she speaks to curious adults desiring to learn more about sex, romance, and communication.
Quite the blurb for a “global humanitarian.” You see, Saint jessica created her name-branded products not to turn a profit, but because she’s on a sex education mission, and because her fans craved it.
Doing the 2016 presidential campaign, drake came forward as the 11th woman to accuse then-candidate Donald Trump of inappropriate behavior.
But what else did drake do that week?
Note the dates on the following items:
The day before she stood beside Gloria fucking Allred at a nationally-covered press conference concerning a presidential candidate, dressed in a business ensemble and wearing glasses, drake’s “online sexual wellness store” just happened to go live.
This was a classic marketing move, complete with photo-op.
“I thought it was incredibly selfish and dangerous,” one multi-award-winning porn director said of the store launch / press conference at the time. “What if this guys wins? Doesn’t she care that if he wins there could be blowback on the adult industry?”
In these times of politically correct crybabies and insidious anti-free speech activists, we must be watchful that the internet, the culture, our entire discourse, not become one big censorious hug box.
The late Christopher Hitchens once summarized enlightenment philosophers’ views on the matter of free expression:
“What they say is it’s not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone in the audience to listen, and to hear. And every time you silence someone you make yourself a prisoner of your own action because you deny yourself the right to hear something. In other words, your own right to hear and be exposed is as much involved in all these cases as is the right of the other to voice his or her view.”
“Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think you’re bound to be OK, because you’re in the safely moral majority.”
“Indeed, as John Stuart Mill said, if all in society were agreed on the truth and beauty and value of one proposition, all except one person, it would be most important, in fact it would become even more important, that that one heretic be heard, because we would still benefit from his perhaps outrageous or appalling view.
“In more modern times this has been put, I think, best by a personal heroine of mine, Rosa Luxembourg, who said freedom of speech is meaningless unless it means the freedom of the person who thinks differently.”
Free expression means protecting unpopular speech, because popular speech does not need protection: it’s popular. This also means, at times, protecting unpopular speakers.
A shameful group-think hate mob likely drove a wonderful, kind and outspoken young woman to end her life. It was self-righteous intolerance, gussied up as progressivism, that drove the mob, and it was intellectual vacuity, moral cowardice and plain avarice that enabled it.
“It may not be determined in advance what words are apt or inapt. No one has the knowledge that would be required to make that call and, more to the point, one has to suspect the motives of those who do so.” — Christopher Hitchens
I never felt more satisfied or optimistic than when I rode the river in my youth.