Love & Sex

Porn: Why We Make It, Why We Watch It

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Cracking the code on adult entertainment. 

The word "porn" remains a serious lightning rod in our culture. Some see it as a positive, empowering expression of sexuality, while others see it as degrading. It’s clear, though, that porn isn’t any one thing — and, it plays a significant role in the way we interact with sexuality. In order to get a more nuanced, impartial handle on the many sensitive issues involved in the porn conversation, Refinery 29 spoke with Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist who specializes in the adult entertainment industry.

What is it like to study porn?

“The best part is that it’s uncharted – that’s also challenging, because there’s no path that’s forged for you. In other areas of scholarship there’s a canon that you’re looking to sort of plug yourself into. But [the lack of research on porn] is also really exciting because it lets me know that what I’m doing is necessary…there is so little rigorous information known about [adult entertainment]. We don’t know scale statistics, we don’t know who’s buying, we don’t know demographics – we don’t even know average longevity of performers because people won’t spend money on gathering that sort of data.”

Visit Refinery 29 for the complete interview with Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals.