Icon-add-to-playlist Icon-download Icon-drawer-up
Share this ... ×
By ...
Twitter Rss
Porno Cultures Podcast
The show where we think about pornography rather than just react to it.
Category: Society & Culture
Followers (11)
Currently following. Unfollow
Picture?width=25&height=25 Image_nophoto Picture?width=25&height=25 Image_nophoto Image_nophoto Picture?width=25&height=25 Image_nophoto Picture?width=25&height=25 Image_nophoto Picture?width=25&height=25 Image_nophoto
by Brandon Arroyo
take it with you
Iphone5s_trans go mobile with Podomatic's new iPhone app.
don't have an iPhone? no problem »
loading results... Loader
loading results... Loader
No results found.
November 08, 2019 03:22 PM PST

In this special addition of the Porno Cultures Podcast, we’re proud to feature an episode of the Films(trips) podcast about the porn-adjacent film Cruising. The Films(trips) podcast features extended discussions about sorely underrated or under-watched films and finally gives them their proper due by hosts Dave Babbitt and Andrew Kannegeisser. The boys were kind enough to invite me on the show to discuss William Friedkin’s highly controversial and misunderstood film Cruising. Cruising is about a gay serial killer who is hunting for victims within New York City’s gay leather clubs in a pre-AIDS Meatpacking District. The film was protested by gay groups while it was being filmed, and has continued to be a point of contention within the contemporary gay community. Some argue that the film portrays a stereotypical and damaging image of the psychologically traumatized gay man—a demeaning cinematic trope throughout history. And the other half of the community values the film for its essential ethnographic portrayal of the actual clubs, people, and cruising methods that have been systematically destroyed due to the AIDS crisis and New York’s gentrification imperative. Friedkin’s insistence on shooting inside leather sex clubs like the Mineshaft and the Ramrod qualify as important documentation of a lost sexual history that is nearly impossible to find in contemporary New York. Additionally, pornographic tropes infuse the movie throughout. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out where I stand on all these crucial questions surrounding the film today. I’m so honored that Andrew invited me to be a part of his very funny and in-depth show. It’s a bit of a change of pace from our usual show, but this is an excellent example of how pornography studies can be utilized in readings of non-pornographic films. And Cruising shows just how prevalent pornographic tropes find their way into “mainstream” films. Please be sure to check out Films(trips)’ extensive catalog of shows. They really do a great job of giving forgotten films the attention they deserve!

September 13, 2019 05:37 AM PDT

Pornography is often talked about as this abstract alien “thing” that has no connection to the real-world experience of any “decent” or “good” person. The thinking goes that since pornography is this anti-feminist and morally damaging abstraction, it must originate from a dark place consumed with hate and misogyny. But what if I told you that, in fact, there’s a whole spectrum of pornography dedicated to paying homage to the most cherished children’s stories and beloved horror classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1965), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr, Hyde (1886), and Dracula (1897)? And how would your opinions of pornographers change if you knew that they loved these books as much as you do? Well, that’s part of the story being told by professor Laura Helen Marks in her book: Alice in Pornoland: Hardcore Encounters with the Victorian Gothic. Unsurprisingly, Laura’s academic background is in English, and this book is a product of her attempt to unite Victorian era gender and sexual politics with contemporary pornographic narratives. While many people don’t consider pornographic narratives too deeply, Laura argues that many pornographic tropes that we are familiar with today, including notions around a loss of innocence, the bisexual erotic undercurrents of Dracula biting both men and women, and the dual personality traits of pornography viewers themselves, originate from Victorian literature. While we often think of pornography as a medium indulging shamelessly in all types of sexual practices, pornography still needs to establish some type of taboo within their narratives for one of their characters to subversively upend sexual norms. Incorporating conventions from Victorian literature within these pornographic narratives provides both the cultural norms—and characters willing to subvert those norms—all within one book! Additionally, the obvious tension within Victorian novels where sexuality is alluded to with metaphor, is finally liberated within pornographic narratives where the underlining sexuality of these books are realized within pornography. Laura’s creative approach to pornography studies has quickly made her one of the most essential voices in contemporary pornography studies. Alice in Pornoland is one of the most unique pornography studies books you’ll ever read because of the ways it makes you rethink both classical literature and pornography itself.

This is a special episode of the Porno Cultures Podcast because it’s our first live episode recorded at Babeland (ironically, another Victorian era reference!) in Seattle Washington. Both Laura and I were in Seattle for the annual Society for Film and Media Studies conference, and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to have a live episode where a bunch of pornography scholars could come together to not only celebrate Laura’s amazing book, but also honor the history of one of the country’s most important sex shops, Babeland!

 Laura Helen Marks’ website

 Laura’s twitter

 “#Following: Laura Helen Marks”

 Laura’s Porn Studies article from Feminist Media Histories

 Laura’s Rialto Report feature on Jeff Stryker

 “Merry XXX-mas: A Brief History of Yuletide Smut”

 The Duce: Porn, Nostalgia and Late Capitalism”

 Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy & Fantasy (1976)

 Alice in Wonderland (1976): What Really Happened?”

 buy or rent Dracula Erotica (1980)

 Rare photos from Dracula Exotica found by the Rialto Report.

 Shaun Costello’s open letter To Lauran Helen Marks about Dracula Exotica.

 Interview with Vanessa Del Rio

 Dr. Jerkoff and Mr. Hard (1997)

 Still Alice Director: Escaping a Religious Cult, Making Porn and Celebrating Julianne Moore’s Oscar”

 buy Fuckenstein (2012)


 upcoming events at Babeland in Seattle




Help Support the Podcast!

More info about Brandon Arroyo

August 09, 2019 04:54 AM PDT

In this episode we explore the wild world of pornographic magazines. Believe it or not, before the popularization of the internet, a great many people had their first and most lasting encounters with pornography via magazines. Magazines were an essential part of pornographic creation and circulation for many decades, and now that they’ve fallen victim to the digital revolution, they’ve only recently been considered as an archival object suited for academic study. In this episode we tackle just a small sliver of pornographic magazine history by talking about a set of magazines addressing queer sexuality. This episode is divided into two sections. The first begins with my conversation with professor Elizabeth Groeneveld. Elizabeth talks to me about her work researching the lesbian pornographic and political commentary magazine On Our Backs. On Our Backs published from 1985 to 1990 and was founded and edited by Susie Bright (we previously talked about Susie in our episode with Lynn Comella). On Our Backs was a sex-positive answer to the feminist anti-pornography magazine Off Our Backs. As one of the only magazines providing lesbian-made pornographic representation for their fellow lesbian readers, the editors surprisingly received a lot of questions from readers about how they were supposed to consume such imagery. After our conversation, Elizabeth goes on to explain in her talk at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies how letters to the editor of On Our Backs reveal confused reactions to the pornographic content of the magazine—regarding both sexual discovery and confusion about whether one can be a “good feminist lesbian” if one is turned on by such imagery. Elizabeth’s research is really fascinating reveals the conflicted nature of pornographic politics.

Our second interview and talk is with Daniel Laurin. Daniel is a PhD student in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. His research looks into a group of gay male pornographic magazines from the 1970s and 80s to analyze the marketing of the gay-for-pay performer. The most common assumption about the gay-for-pay porn performer is that they emerged in the wake of the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s to provide an example of a strong, healthy, and dominant male figure standing in opposition to the sick, weak, and AIDS infected gay image that was dominating media depictions at the time. However, Daniel’s research into these magazines tells a very different story. His archival research proves that in fact, the marketing of—and fascination with—the gay-for-pay performer started in the pages of these pornographic magazines long before the AIDS crisis. Here’s hoping that this is the first of many episodes exploring the dynamic history of pornographic magazines!   

More about Elizabeth Groeneveld 

Making Feminist Media: Third-Wave Magazines on the Cusp of the Digital Age

Book review for Making Feminist Media

 Historical background: On Our Backs and Bad Attitude

 “Sex Wars Revisited”

 Daniel’s Twitter

Daniel’s documentary about gay-for-pay performers




Help Support the Podcast!

More info about Brandon Arroyo

July 10, 2019 04:38 AM PDT

When we think about the rhetoric around sex workers it’s often easier to hear or read opinions advocating for the abolishment of sex work coming from politicians or “concerned citizens” who are not sex workers, or have never bothered to speak to a sex worker. The degree to which the voices of sex workers are suppressed in mainstream outlets throughout the West speaks to how dangerous their voices are considered. What on earth can sex workers be saying that so many people feel the need to speak for them instead of letting them speak for themselves? Well, that’s one of the primary issues that Nicholas de Villiers looks to solve in Sexography: Sex Work in Documentary (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). Sexography analyzes a series of films centered around interviewing sex workers. These films represent some of the few instances where sex workers are actually allowed to speak for themselves. Of course, these films are not without their own tensions. Many of the films are directed by non-sex workers and some of the portrayals of sex work in these films is quite negative. This is where de Villiers’ dynamic analysis of these films through a queer perspective helps us think about the nature of sex work, the interview, documentary aesthetics, and the concept of “truth” in new and interesting ways. Sexography is an exploration of how we can go about reading for, and exploring the sexual practices of, not only sex workers, but our own ideas about sexuality as well. How can the financial aspects of sex work help us understand the power dynamics of our own sexual relationships? What can sex workers teach us about sex and pornographic literacy? What is the relationship between sex work, pornography, and drag performance? And how can the work of Foucault help us think about the contemporary nature of sexual practice? These are just some of the questions explored in this wide-ranging interview. De Villiers is one of the most interesting and bold queer theorists working today, so you’re not going to want to miss out on his compelling analysis of these films or his thoughts on contemporary sexuality!  

Sexography: Sex Work in Documentary 

L.A. Review of Books review of Sexography

 More work from Nicholas

Opacity and the Closet: Queer Tactics in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol

Nicholas’ appearance on the Critical Theory podcast discussing Opacity and the Closet

“Afterthoughts on Queer Opacity”

“FBI Seized 23 Tor-hidden Child Porn Sites, Deployed Malware from Them”

“How the FBI Became the World’s Largest Distributor of Child Sex Abuse Imagery”

“Transgender, at War and in Love”

“What Teenagers are Learning from Online Porn”

Paris is Burning (1990)

Love Meetings (1964)

Not Angels But Angles (1994)

Body Without Soul (1996)

Tales of the Night Fairies (2002)




Help Support the Podcast!

More info about Brandon Arroyo

June 04, 2019 10:23 AM PDT

In this episode we delve into the seedy and exciting world of sexploitation cinema! Oftentimes, pornography studies is so busy working to legitimate hard core texts that we sometimes forget about the wide-world of soft core cinema. Just before the “Golden Age” of theatrically released pornography in the late 1960s, there was almost a decade of sexploitation cinema single-handedly keeping alive a dying studio system that had lost its dominance in light of losing its profits from owning theaters and the invention of the in-home entertainment system knowns as television. Sexploitation movies are a mode of cinema consisting of cheaply financed, quickly made, with B-grade acting adapted to a variety of film genres. There are sexploitation movies that look like film noirs from the 1940s (with nudity), teen beach movies from the 1950s (with nudity), and even sci-fi movies (with nudity)! These movies allowed for a new generation of filmmakers to break into the industry without the heavy burden of having to prove themselves with a big budget or A-list actors. Exploitation cinema is a crucial part of Hollywood history that thankfully has been given the attention it deserves with Elena Gorfinkel’s new book Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). Elena’s remarkable book is a deep historical and theoretical dive into the legal history, feminist perspective, legal conditions, and critical response to sexploitation films. In this interview we talk about how Kim’s Video in New York City facilitated her interest in sexploitation films, we talk about the Marxist and feminist implications of sexploitation, we consider why film critics of the 1960s were so “bored” watching sexploitation, and we talk about her role as the co-chair of the Adult Film History Special Interest Research Group, which is a part of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. If you’re looking for a primer on the history of sexploitation, you’ve come to the right podcast!

Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s

Elena’s Twitter

Was '60s Sexploitation Cinema More Than Just Pornography?

Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959

Elena’s Interview with Feminist Media Histories about “Sex and the Materiality of Adult Media”

Fieldnotes: Constance Penley interviewed by Elena Gorfinkel

“The Story of Kim’s Video & Music, Told by its Clerks and Customers”

A Farewell to Kim’s Video

Art Zone: The Wonderfully Weird World of Lisa Petrucci 

Something Weird catalog





Help Support the Podcast!

More info about Brandon Arroyo

December 26, 2018 11:01 AM PST

Pat Rocco is a figure that doesn’t fit easily into pornography’s history. Pat started making films featuring nude male characters in soft core situations just before 1971’s Boys in the Sand, and he continued to purposefully occupy a unique middle ground where his work showcasing tame, but explicit, gay nudity coexisted alongside other films documenting the emerging gay rights movement, wholesome gay romance, and queer sexual politics. Pat used his camera as a form of activism highlighting gay men's varied sexual interests as well as their passions surrounding society’s changing attitudes about homosexuality. In this episode, we explore the legacy of Pat Rocco and try to figure out where he belongs within pornography’s history. This show features Matthew Hipps, who’s a PhD student in Film Studies at the University of Iowa, and Bryan Wuest, who is a graduate of UCLA’s PhD program in Cinema and Media Studies. Each of them presented papers about Rocco's films at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in 2018, so I thought it would be great to have them on to talk about the different ways in which they approach his work. This episode has special resonance considering that Rocco would die just seven months after this recording. Matt considers Rocco's travelogue films where he travels to Brazil and Western Europe with a group of gay men to find out what gay life is like outside of the U.S. And Bryan considers how Rocco’s work should be thought of within the history of gay film production. This episode is intended to both spark interest in a figure that isn’t too well known because of the limited exposure his work as received, and to help us expand our ideas about what pornographic culture can be, and how it can help us delve into modes of political activism that we didn’t know were possible.      

More info about Bryan.

Bryan’s article: “Defining Homosexual Love Stories: Pat Rocco, Categorization, and the Legitimation of Gay Narrative Film.”

UCLA’s articles about:

Processing the Pat Rocco Collection

Pat Rocco Oral History—1983

Hey Look Me Over: The Films of Pat Rocco” by Whitney Strub

Pat Rocco’s films:

Pat Rocco Dared trailer

1969 Gay March in Hollywood

Sign of Protest (1970) (a short documentary about the protests surrounding Barney’s Beanery and their “FAGOTS—STAY OUT” sign hanging in their bar.)

Changes (1970)

We Were There (1976)

Harvey Milk’s “Hope” Speech (1978)

Mondo Rocco 

Obituary from ONE Archives 




Help Support the Podcast!

More info about Brandon Arroyo

December 10, 2018 03:05 PM PST

In this episode, we’re joined one of the most prolific and accomplished scholars in the field of pornography studies, Susanna Paasonen. She is a professor of media studies at the University of Turku in Finland and has written and edited over eight books covering pornography, sex, internet studies, feminism, and affect. Her newest book is Many Splendored Things: Thinking Sex and Play (MIT Press, 2018), where she explores sex, bodily capacities, appetites, orientations, and connections in terms of play and playfulness. Like many people in the U.S., I discovered her work in 2011 with the publication of Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography (MIT Press). It has since become a landmark book within pornography studies due to the way it reorients the conversation around pornography from one centered on censorship, feminism, and the quality of sexual representation, to one trying to account for the various—and hard to quantify ways in which—pornography moves us, not only physically (with feelings of both revulsion and extasy), but affectively (where we find ourselves relating to our own bodies, and other’s bodies in new and different ways). While traditional academic methods of reading moving image texts revolve around notions of sexual, gender, or racial identity, affect theory helps to account for the ways in which social identity isn’t just centered within our race or sexuality, but is, in fact, a part of a wider social assemblage, where our various affective interactions with actors within our social networks dramatically influence the ways we relate to, and understand, ourselves. Affect theory accounts for the ways in which our subjectivity is formed not from our inner-selves, but is a relational force interacting with the body from the outside. Of course, the reason why approaching pornography studies from this perspective is so different from traditional methods is because this perspective frees the genre from needing to affirm or legitimate racial or gender uplift. An affective reading of pornography accounts for the politically incorrect ways in which we interact with the genre. Pleasure, disgust, joy, humiliation, and shame are all affective registers that we tap into when engaging with pornography. The accumulation of these feelings are part of the overall resonance that Susanna is trying to account for in her work. In this interview we talk about her first experience finding porn magazines in a damp Finland forest; the difference between the pornography in Finland and the surrounding Nordic countries; why she thinks Silvan Tomkins and Gilles Deleuze actually work well together, and she explains how she became an expert on bareback gay sex!    

Susanna’s website

Susanna’s Twitter

More about the phenomenon of “woods porn.”

Susanna’s interview with pornographer Paul Morris.

More about the films of Jan Soldat.





More info about Brandon Arroyo

September 18, 2018 08:15 AM PDT

Believe it or not, Canada might be the most important country determining what porn you’re watching today! I say that because the most popular porn sites in the world were created, and continue to operate, in Canada. PornHub, YouPorn, RedTube, and Brazzers just to name a few. While Canada has an extensive porn history and shapes the ways in which we consume and distribute porn today, oftentimes it’s overlooked in favor of its flashier cousin in the south known as the San Fernando Valley. This episode looks to change all of that with a panel that was recorded at the 2018 Society for Cinema & Media Studies in Toronto. This panel features a friend of the show, Professor Peter Alilunas talking about the pornographic history of Toronto’s most famous street, Yonge st. He specifically details the history of a theater on that street known as Cinema 2000. It was a screening room showing pornography on VHS starting in 1969! The second presenter is Cait McKinney. She’s a professor in the department of communication studies at California State University at Northridge. And in her talk, she details the history of a long-lost 1984 film titled Slumber Party. The film was made by a group of radical feminist lesbians. Cait also considers the role that lesbian porn played in the feminist porn wars in the 1980s. A topic that is rarely considered. The third paper is presented by Nikola Stepić. He’s a PhD student in Concordia University’s Humanities Department. And his paper covers how gay pornography shot in Montreal’s Gay Village acted as a type of visual tourism for the neighborhood, attracting people from all over the world, helping make Montreal the gay destination is it today. The final paper is by Patrick Keilty. He’s a Professor at the University of Toronto and his presentation covers the short history of Montreal’s emergence as a global porn capital, followed by a theoretical consideration of the digital interface we as viewers are presented with as we’re surfing these various sites emanating from this city. Here is a link for the pictures from each PowerPoint. Be sure to follow along!  

Peter Alilunas: “‘Closed Due to Pressure from the Morality Squad’: The Cinema 2000 and Pornography Regulation in Toronto”

Cait McKinny: “Digitizing Controversies in Toronto’s Lesbian Porn Archives”

Nikola Stepic: “Quebec Exposed: Gay Male Pornography as Virtual Tourism”

Patrick Keilty: “Silicon(e) Valley: Montreal’s Porn Industry”

New York magazine article about the rapid rise of the porn industry in Montreal: “The Geek-Kings of Smut.”

More info about Jon Ronson’s podcast series titled The Butterfly Effect, which details Fabian Thylmann’s role in creating a porn empire in Montreal and more!   

More info about Peter’s book Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video.

Cait McKinney’s Twitter

Cait’s work with the LGBTQ History Digital Collaboratory

Cait’s No More Pot Lucks article: “Out of the Basement and on to the Internet: Digitizing Oral History Tapes at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.”

Cait’s Drain Mag article: “Can a Computer Remember AIDS?

Nikola Stepić’s Twitter

Nikola’s HuffPost article on the porntastic movie The Canyons: “Stuck in the Canyons.”

Patrick Keilty’s Twitter

Article about the University of Toronto’s Sexual Representation Collection run by Patrick Keilty




More info about the host

Canadian Content: The Adult Film Industry & its Canadian Contexts 

August 09, 2018 04:23 AM PDT

In this episode we’re trying something different! This is our first “roundtable” episode featuring four guests. And instead of talking with established scholars in the field, we’re actually talking with four up-and-coming graduate students who will soon be making their mark within pornography studies. As pornography studies grows within academe, it is becoming increasingly possible to build a support network of fellow students that share your interests. And considering how much resistance there still is toward studying pornography, these networks can be a crucial part of one’s survival throughout graduate school. This episode is our small attempt at fostering more supportive networks. In this episode you’ll hear stories about professors urging students not to pursue the study of pornography, and even hear about professors that are openly hostile to students working on this topic. Also, studying pornography within different cultural contexts means that students often have to utilize alternative methodologies, which typical film departments are sometimes ill-equipped to accommodate. Like when your research leads you to branch off into urban history and city-planning, or when you have to use anthropology methods to find out how pornography is thought about within different transnational contexts. These are the type of issues we’ll be talking about with our guests in this episode: John Paul Stadler of Duke University, Darshana Sreedhar Mini of the University of Southern California, Ben Strassfeld from the University of Michigan, and Madita Oeming of Paderborn University in Germany. Each of them has their own compelling story about how they found themselves studying this topic, and harrowing tales about how they’ve endured through the suspicion and anger that is aimed at pornography scholars both within America and outside it. Be sure to keep listening after the interview is over because there’s a little bonus where Madita gives all of us a lesson in German dirty talk. Believe me, you’re not going to want to miss that!

 More info about John’s book PREHISTORIC

John’s Twitter

Madita’s Twitter

Ben’s Twitter

Darshana’s Twitter

Darshana talking about her SCMS Student Writing Award for the essay “The Rise of Soft Porn in Malayalam Cinema and the Precarious Stardom of Shakeela.”





July 16, 2018 02:22 PM PDT

Professor Lynn Comella joins us to talk about her books New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law (co-edited with Shira Tarrant, 2015) and Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure (2017). The reach of Vibrator Nation’s readership has extended beyond the typical academic circles and has resonated with a mainstream audience due to its easy reading style, and because it details a history of feminist sex shops that the public was obviously eager to read about. The history of these shops is a fascinating one and one that has literally changed the ways in which we think about the female orgasm within our post-sexual revolution era. The story of these stores isn’t one of capitalist opportunism, it’s actually a story about revolutionary feminist sexual educators who wanted to spread their sexual knowledge to a starving female public looking for ways to expand their sexual pleasure. In short, our understanding of sexual history would be incomplete without the information contained in this book. Pornography also has a role to play in this history. We talk about how pornography worked its way into these sex shops after owners long resisted their inclusion. And we also talk about the movies produced by the legendary San Francisco sex shop Good Vibrations. This is a history that you’re not going to want to miss!

 Learn more about Lynn on her website.

 Vibrator Nation book review in the New York Times.  

 Lynn’s interview with The Atlantic.  

 Sex Out Loud episode where Tristan Taormino interviews Joani Blank.

 Vibrator Nation Instagram.

 Lynn’s Twitter.

 “Ten Feminist Sex Shops You’re Going to Want to Add to Your Wishlist





loading more... Loader

take it with you

Iphone_trans Listening to podcasts on your mobile devices is extremely convenient -- and it's what makes the podcasting medium so powerful.

You can take your favorite shows and mixes with you anywhere, but to do so requires some quick and simple steps.

Let's walk you through that process together.
step 1:

Click the "Subscribe With iTunes" link in the page's sidebar:


This will require that you have the iTunes software on your computer.

(You can download iTunes here.)
step 2:

Now that you've subscribed to the podcast on iTunes, the feed will display in your "Podcasts" section on the left navigation bar.

Click there and you'll see the show displayed in the iTunes browser.

You can "get all" to download all available episodes or just individual episodes.
step 3:

Plug your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) into your computer with the Dock Connector cable, and click the device in iTunes's left navigation bar.


Once you have your device highlighted, click "Podcasts" in the top navigation bar and sync the podcasts you want on your device. Click "apply" and the episodes you have downloaded on your iTunes software will sync with your device.
that's it!

The beauty of this process is that now, every new episode of your subscribed podcasts will automatically sync to your device every time you plug it in and open iTunes. You can now take your favorite shows with you everywhere you go.


share this podcast

Email a friend about this podcast

subscribe to this podcast

Rss-icon RSS
Itunes-icon iTunes