Robert Rosen

Author of “Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography” and “Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon”

Robert Rosen's books on Goodreads

Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon
Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon

reviews: 11

ratings: 93 (avg rating 3.34)

Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography
Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography

reviews: 4

ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.44)


The Sporadic Beaver

Gail Dines's Symbiotic XXX Embrace

February 4, 2013

Tags: Gail Dines, Adult Video News, S&M

I must admit I felt a pang of jealousy when I saw AVN's takedown of Gail Dines's takedown of both James Franco's documentary Kink, and the subject of the film,, following a screening at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to Dines's original piece on,, a company specializing in S&M videos, is in violation of international laws prohibiting torture. According to AVN, Dines is an idiot for saying that professional actors being paid to make S&M videos are committing war crimes and should be brought to justice. Dines, they suggest, seems unable to distinguish sexual fantasy from the coercive interrogation techniques that the CIA once used on members of al Quaeda.

I’m jealous because the only thing that might sell more books than a high-profile takedown of an author is a high-profile rave review of the author’s book. And make no mistake about Gail Dines: Though she acts as if her primary goal is the elimination of pornography—“body-punishing sex” is her favorite phrase—her primary goal is selling books, and she’s very good at it.

Dines, a professional anti-porn activist, has built her career on criticizing the porn industry. And in so doing, she has become locked in a symbiotic embrace with that industry: The more pervasive pornography becomes, the more Dines has to criticize; the more ubiquitous Dines becomes with her porno-bashing books, articles, lectures, and media appearances, the more curious people become about the “body-punishing sex” she professes to hate so much. If Dines were ever to accomplish her stated goal of putting pornographers out of business, then she’d be putting herself out of business, too. And that’s not going to happen.

So, when AVN publishes a piece like “Quick! Someone Tell Gail Dines That Porn Is Actually Fantasy!” and the graphic for that piece includes the cover of Dines’s book, Dines, in the midst of her psychic orgasm, takes to her Facebook group, Stop Porn Culture, posts a link to the article, and says, in part, “I am so grateful to the pornographers for helping me understand that torture is just fantasy and sex play.” And Stop Porn Culture’s 1829 members follow that up with comments like: “Porn users are very entitled and do not like to be called out. They will grasp at anything that AVN says that allows them to maintain their dominance. They hate girls who are big meanies and make them feel ashamed!” And: “Someone (maybe their lawyers!) should remind [] that they can go to ACTUAL prison for making people do that stuff.”

More books are sold. More pornography is viewed. And Gail Dines feels the satisfaction of a job well done.

Praise for Beaver Street

“Enormously entertaining... Beaver Street captures the aroma of pornography, bottles it, and gives it so much class you could put it up there with Dior or Chanel.” –Jamie Maclean, editor, Erotic Review
“Whatever twisted... fantasy you might’ve had, you can bet that Rosen once brought it to life in print.” —Ben Myers, Bizarre
“Shocking… evocative… entertaining… A rich account that adds considerable depth and texture to any understanding of how the pornography industry worked.” —Patrick Glen, H-Net
Beaver Street is a surreal, perverted mindfuck.” —Kendra Holiday, editor, The Beautiful Kind
“A confessional for-adults-only romantic comedy with a rare, thoughtful twist... riveting.” —David Comfort, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Well researched, smartly written, surprisingly funny… a one of a kind tour through a fast-disappearing underbelly of American popular culture.” —Matthew Flamm, Amazon
“An electrifying journey through porn’s golden age.” —The Sleazoid Podcast
“Beaver Street is funny, sad, disgusting and hopeful in equal measures.” —Synergy magazine (Australia)

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