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Attwood, Feona (ed.)


Making Sense of Online Pornography

Series: Digital Formations - Volume 48

Year of Publication: 2010

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2010. X, 287 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0207-3 pb.  (Softcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-0206-6 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.420 kg, 0.926 lbs

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  • Hardcover:
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Book synopsis

Pornography has always been central to debates about sex and emerging new media technologies. Today, debate is increasingly focused on online pornographies. This collection examines pornography’s significance as a focus of definition, debate, and myth; its development as a mainstream entertainment industry; and the emergence of the new economy of Porn 2.0, and of new types of porn labor and professionalism. It looks at porn style behind the scenes of straight hardcore, in gay, lesbian, and queer pornographies, in shock sites, and in amateur erotica, and investigates the rise of the online porn fan community, the sex blogger, the erotic rate-me site and the visual cultures of swingers. Treating these developments as part of a broader set of economic and cultural transformations, this book argues that new porn practices reveal much about contemporary and competing views of sex and the self, the real and the body, culture, and commerce.


Contents: Feona Attwood: Introduction: Porn Studies: From Social Problem to Cultural Practice – Stephen Maddison: Online Obscenity and Myths of Freedom: Dangerous Images, Child Porn, and Neoliberalism – Adam Stapleton: Child Pornography: Classifications and Conceptualizations – David Slayden: Debbie Does Dallas Again and Again: Pornography, Technology, and Market Innovation – Sharif Mowlabocus: Porn 2.0? Technology, Social Practice, and the New Online Porn Industry – Feona Attwood: «Younger, paler, decidedly less straight»: The New Porn Professionals – Sanna Härmä/Joakim Stolpe: Behind the Scenes of Straight Pleasure – Steven Jones: Horrorporn/Pornhorror: The Problematic Communities and Contexts of Online Shock Imagery – Susanna Paasonen: Good Amateurs: Erotica Writing and Notions of Quality – Jennifer Moorman: Gay for Pay, Gay For(e)play: The Politics of Taxonomy and Authenticity in LGBTQ Online Porn – Simon Lindgren: Widening the Glory Hole: The Discourse of Online Porn Fandom – Katrien Jacobs: The New World Dream and the Female Itch: Sex Blogging and Lolita Costume Play in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China – Dennis D. Waskul/Cheryl L. Radeloff: «How Do I Rate?»: Web Sites and Gendered Erotic Looking Glasses – Alison Rooke/Mónica G. Moreno Figueroa: Beyond «Key Parties» and «Wife Swapping»: The Visual Culture of Online Swinging – Feona Attwood: Conclusion: Toward the Study of Online Porn Cultures and Practices.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editor: Feona Attwood teaches media and communication studies at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom. Her research interests include new pornographies, online sex practices, and controversial images. She is the editor of Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture (2009) and the co-editor of two journal special issues: «Controversial Images» (with Sharon Lockyer, Popular Communication, 2009) and «Researching and Teaching Sexually Explicit Media» (with I.Q. Hunter, Sexualities, 2009).


«‘porn.com’ is an outstanding contribution to the emerging field of online porn studies, examining the intersection of online sociability and erotic content, and providing important insights about both. Online fan cultures and a democratization of production have affected the porn industry as they have all sectors of the communication industry, but these new forms represent a diverse range of practices, values, and challenges that defy attempts at reductive description. The chapters of ‘porn.com’ provide a tour of this new and rapidly changing erotic landscape, and a detailed analysis of the contexts in which these interactions take place. The collection should be of interest not only to those who are engaged in porn studies, but to anyone who wants to understand the broad range of contexts in which online interaction takes place.» (Alex Halavais, Quinnipiac University)
«The internet has become the key site of contemporary debates around the effects of pornography on communities and individuals. Anxieties are widespread about the impact of online porn on the sexualities and attitudes of young people and on the capacity of paedophiles to establish networks for sharing images. Feona Attwood’s new edited collection is a timely addition to this debate, bringing together an impressive range of international scholars on porn studies to explore such themes as the production and consumption of online porn, the evolution of the industry, and the content of sex blogging and amateur online erotica. This book is a valuable contribution to an intensifying global debate.» (Brian McNair, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom)
«This anthology positions net porn at the throbbing centre of society. If you’re ready for some uncensored scholarship on porn cultures in the digital age, this is the reader for you. Beyond good or evil, ‘porn.com’ provides us with a broad overview of topics such as child pornography, the working conditions of porn professionals, Web 2.0 cultures, extreme imagery, image rating, and insights into the online ‘swinging’ world. So let’s praise the researchers and blast the moralists!» (Geert Lovink, Dutch-Australian media theorist and net critic)


Digital Formations. Vol. 48
General Editor: Steve Jones