Convergence: The Line Between Porn and Mainstream Is Now Thong Thin

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Porn isn’t the bad four-letter word it once was in the mind of most people. That’s largely because of convergence, the phenomenon that best describes the way societies eventually melt the biggest ‘chunks of their culture’ and assimilate them into a more homogenous mixture where it becomes harder to tell the origins of each ingredient in the recipe.

If you take a look online you’ll be able to quickly pull up a number of ads from huge mainstream companies that are sexier and more pornographic in their tones than any form of adult entertainment was years ago. Superbowl ads for the Carls Jr. fast food hamburger chain featuring mostly nude models Charlotte McKinney orgasmically writhing around while eating an oversized hamburger and emoting at least as much as any pornstar ever did while catching a mouthful of cum from her costars. GoDaddy the domain registrar is famous for having scantily clad celebs like Danica Patrick in a skin tight racing jumpsuit and several top-heavy honeys provocatively wrestling with each other during their own multi-million dollar ad campaigns. The list of ‘porny’ mainstream ads is longer than any part of Lexington Steele if you take a closer look at the way ad dollars are being apportioned these days.

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Conversely, the kinds of porn being produced by noteworthy adult companies now seem to be swinging back toward the more moderate center as well. Playboy recently snagged hundreds of headlines by announcing the premier porn magazine will soon be entirely non-nude. That’s right, Hugh Heffner, the publisher who once crossed cultural lines by distributing a nude magazine that featured Marilyn Monroe in her birthday suit, has said that the proliferation of hardcore porn online has now made showing naked women in a paper magazine to be passé. To his credit, that was large part of Heffner’s original goal. To show the world that seeing women naked in a magazine wasn’t going to make us all suffering sinners, and being able to see the occasional nipple as part of a centerfold spread, wouldn’t destroy the fabric of the known universe. As it turns out, he was entirely correct.

“So if porn is becoming less hardcore and mainstream is being more risqué, what’s next for our society? ‘I’d like to think we are entering a post-hysteria age, where people finally stop throwing labels at each other and accept the fact that sexuality is one long spectrum with every kind of content available to be plotted somewhere along that continuum – rather than the old binary world view that required each item to be cast as either good or bad, right or wrong, porn or puritanical” said Davis Carnahan. “However, as a person in my fifties, I’ve already been around long enough to accept the fact that we are more likely in the eye of the storm at the moment. A brief respite of time, before the same divisive forces find ways to create friction among dissimilar factions of the public, where frankly none really needs to exist.

It’s interesting to note that the world is currently blessed with the most progressive pope in generations. The family values crowd has redirected its political attention to matters of immigration and economics for the time being. Gay marriage has become the law of the land, and marijuana is finally being legalized as a medical necessity in many states. So, the change in culture and the refocusing of the lens Americans view porn with culturally has deeper implications that extend outside the purview of porn itself.

Carls Jr. isn’t trying to make porn-burger commercials, they are trying to sell a product the best way they know how – and their own market research must be showing them that a hot model drooling special sauce out the side of her mouth is a good way to get their audience off the couch” said Carnahan. “Similarly, you don’t need to be the most cynical of people to see that Heffner is creating controversy and becoming likely to sell a lot more magazines by appearing relevant in the news for the first time in a while simply by removing a half-dozen nude images from each issue.

While the financial incentives on each side of the dividing-line between porn and mainstream media may be the driving forces causing conversion, the main point is that the line itself is being eroded to the point where brands once considered to be porn are becoming more mainstream than many that were formerly assumed to be pristine parts of a much more puritanical culture.

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