It is not only scholars and activists who disagree about pornography; the general public seems profoundly ambivalent about it as well. The majority want to ban violent pornog­raphy and feel that such pornography can lead to a loss of respect for women, acts of vi­olence, and rape. Female erotica and soft-core pornography are generally not viewed as negatively. One of the biggest producers of female erotica is Candida Royalle, who had previously been an adult film actress. Royalle is the founder of Femme Productions, which has produced over sixteen soft-core pornography videos for women and couples.

Unlike many other businesses today, America’s pornography industry continues to do well. One study found that the porn industry generated $10 billion in 1998 alone (Wilborn, 2002). Video and computer technology continues to open doors to millions and millions of customers throughout the world. Even so, pornography is a difficult, con­troversial problem in American society. By arguing that sex is the only part of human life that should not be portrayed in our art and media, the core conflict over sexuality is revealed: people seem to believe that although sexuality is a central part of human life, it should still be treated differently than other human actions, as a category unto itself.

‘K Selling Sex

Thus far we have explored how sexual images have been used to sell everything from blue jeans to perfume and how sex has been used in television and films to increase view – ership and ratings. We also looked at pornography’s history, its growing presence on the Internet, and the public’s response to it. Now we will turn our attention to the selling of sex through prostitution.