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.XXX Domain Ads: Creepy “Porn Is Moving to .XXX” Print Campaign

The .xxx domain is nothing more than an efficient means for domain registrars to extort money from businesses and organizations afraid that their names will be bought and used by porn sites, and from adult site operators who must purchase their .coms in .xxx format, lest someone else do so and hijack traffic. They basically said as much themselves with the “Can You Afford Not To?” video ad campaign. You have to give them credit: When they finally approved the .xxx domain, ICANN created worth out of thin air by allowing domain registrars to run what is essentially a protection scam: “That’s a nice brand you have there. It’d be a real shame if it redirected to a porn site.”

Ho-(Book)Bag: The Tits and Sass Book Club Begins with Zone One

“A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star. It invites forgivable prurience: What is that relationship like? Granted the intellectual’s hit hanky-panky pay dirt, but what’s in it for the porn star? Conversation? Ideas? Deconstruction?”

That’s Glen Duncan, over at the New York Times on Colson Whitehead’s “zombie novel,” Zone One. He made that lazy analogy in service of the equally offensive idea that Whitehead’s literary fiction talents might be wasted on readers of genre fiction. He comes around at the end with “If this is the intellectual and the porn star, they look pretty good together. For my money, they have a long and happy life ahead of them.” CAN I TELL YOU ABOUT THIS BOOK FRANKENSTEIN AND THIS GUY POE HOW ABOUT THAT TOO.

Comments like Duncan’s belie a casual misogyny and narrow worldview we at T&S love to sink our teeth into. There’s so much here! Does he think that there aren’t intellectual porn stars? Doesn’t he know about Annie Sprinkle or Filthy Gorgeous Things or even, for crying out loud, Sasha Grey? Did he not even see Joanna Angel’s reading list? Is he a self-hating genre writer? Aren’t we supposed to be past the lowbrow/highbrow thing now? How in the fuck did this nonsense get published? We aren’t the only ones who think it’s stupid; as always, The Rumpus has sex workers’ backs.

So listen, I like reading Colson Whitehead. It’s great that he got a rave in the NYT and has a bestseller on his hands. And I think all us strippers and hookers and porn performers and sex workers of all stripes should read Zone One this week (we’ve all read enough Foucault and Lacan, yeah, so let’s treat ourselves to a crackin’ genre novel). Go get yourself a copy, and come back here next week to discuss.*

*If you don’t decide, “Fuck, reading is boring. I’ve got to get out there and bang an extreme-sports athlete on blow.”

The Silver Lining of FalseFlesh

I just finished reading a story in the latest Utne Reader about this ultra-creepy software that came out last March. Check it out: FalseFlesh is an image editing software program that lets users apply X-ray vision to people in fully clothed, G-rated photos. So, without being a real life stalker or rapist, you can create homemade non-consensual nudie pics of anyone you like, and they’ll never even know. Getting consent to see someone naked can be such a hassle sometimes and—let’s face it—also a letdown.

Jiz by Any Other Name . . .

Jiz Lee, shot by Courtney Trouble for KarmaPervs.com

I agonized over the title of this piece for a little too long. I came up with about a dozen puns involving the name Jiz, but they all came out far too nasty-sounding for such a classy and upstanding media outlet as Tits and Sass. So, without further ado and no dirty puns, meet genderqueer porn star Jiz Lee.

June is a busy month for Jiz (man, this is all still sounding raunchy, isn’t it?), who is performing this weekend at OP Magazine‘s Trans March after party and Courtney Trouble’s annual pride party, Queerly Beloved, on Pride Sunday. You can get another hot load of Jiz next week, as the co-curator of This Is What I Want, an art show all about the intersection of sex and performance. The festival features a few other San Francisco sex worker superstars, like Michelle Tea, and is a part of the larger National Queer Arts Festival.

Jiz also just finished shooting (ohhh, yeah!) in Cheryl Dunye’s upcoming film, Mommy is Coming, and an engagement with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens at their Ecosexual Symposium last week. If you’ll miss the star in person, you can get some more Jiz all up in your face at the site KarmaPervs.com, described as a “philanthropic porn fundraiser,” full of hot exclusive photos all in the name of charity.

Interview with Stoya

When I first saw a clip of Stoya in action, I was awestruck. She was the only female porn performer I’d ever seen who genuinely seemed to be enjoying it—smiling, even laughing a little, and simply radiating happiness. With her pale cheeks flushed pink and her dark hair slapping up and down around her face, she made little pleased noises instead of letting out a forced litany of “dirty talk” while some male performer (can’t remember a thing about him) went to town. I’m not an expert on her body of work, which has earned her AVN’s 2009 Best New Starlet award, but I do know that both those in the industry and casual fans alike all seem to regard her as intelligent, multitalented, and sincere. You can confirm this for yourself by checking out her twitter feed or her tumblr.

She graciously agreed to answer the following questions over email.

Stoya in a self-made skirt at AVN. Photo by Jeff Koga.