Semenomics: The Sex Trade’s Twisted Ties to Academia

Posted: February 26, 2015 in The Rest of It
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A big part of the morning ritual where I live involves a group of salty old codgers who set up shop around the coffee pot at the filling station and conduct informal surveys of who is and is not blessed by the availability of work on the given day.

“You fellers stayin’ busy,” asked a crusty old guy named Harold, a man known for stating the obvious in the crudest way imaginable.

“It comes and it goes,” I responded, for at least the fourth time that week. “How bout you?”

“Sheeeeeiiiiiit,” he began, pausing to almost spit tobacco juice in his coffee cup, then actually spitting said juice in another identical styrofoam cup before answering, “I’m so damned poor I got to get me one of them sex changes and take to sellin’ pussy.”

I had an instant flash of Harold, as a woman, announcing loudly to a group of other prostitutes to “clear on out, the pussy posse’s a comin’ round the bend.” It’s a scene I clearly wish I could unsee.

What Harold said was definitely funny, especially when considering the twisted-old-bastard/I-don’t-give-a-fuck way that he said it, but stuff like that really happens and from what I’ve read of Belle Knox, it pretty much went like that…just without the sex change part. What began as an off-handed remark about doing porn to pay for college quickly exploded into a career, of sorts, after she emailed a few selfies to some producers.

Belle Knox

Belle Knox

Knox, a 95-pound former Catholic school girl and freshman at North Carolina’s Duke University drew almost instant attention. Within a matter of weeks, she was on a plane to her first shoot. Unfortunately for Belle, the Internet is a much smaller place than it seems to an eighteen year old girl and she was quickly recognized by fellow students, resulting in a media frenzy which spread across much of 2014.

The frenzy produced a whole shitload of news articles, a lot more porn shoots and a substantial amount of criticism directed towards Knox, a Women’s Studies major and self-described feminist. She gave a number of interviews over the course of 2014, including those to CNN’s Piers Morgan and those catty old broads on The View, as well as the likes of Howard Stern and the much maligned FoxNews.

In each interview, Belle refers to her experiences as being generally positive, attempting to negate the assertions of a number of former porn stars that the business is overflowing with misogynism, drugs, disease and abuse, something akin to wood chipping the Saudi royals and cramming them all into one small port-a-john bowl before leaving it in the hot sun to ripen. According to Knox, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Barbara Walters' face when Knox explained "the money shot."

Barbara Walters’ face when Knox explained “the money shot.”

While the word we most often hear used in popular media regarding a young naked white girl surrounded by so many big scary uncircumcised crotch dragons that she literally starts crying is…”exploited”…she chose another word entirely: “empowered.” Of course, the horny penis-loving liberal feminist camp thought this was just dandy. The other side…not so much.

As it turns out, there seems to be something decidedly non-feminist about a teenage girl being slapped and spit on as her face is being pummeled by some engorged pink warthog of a thing that looks like it just might just have its own zip code. Even my dumb ass can understand that. I’m not exaggerating, by the way. The pink warthog to which I’m referring is featured on the website Facial Abuse, along with Belle Knox, in her first scene and if anything, I’ve been understating things.

The video, in fact, shows Knox being degraded in the same kinds of ways that morph ordinary mild-mannered jihadis into super villains deserving of their own brand, flag and logo (still waiting for ISIS Crunchy Jihadi Flakes, btw). I highly doubt, however, that Abu Bakr al Baghdadi ever got handle barred by his pigtails or had a crude rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night dribbled in semen across his face as he was told what a filthy little feminist he was.

Click here to view a heavily censored clip from the Facial Abuse shoot.

Or maybe so. Maybe that’s why ISIS is so pissed. That’s not the point, though.

The point is, that was all basically true. Except for the Starry Night thing. But then again, everything’s open to artistic interpretation…either or…yuck city. So the conservative feminists seem like they might have a point after all. What’s feminist, they claim, about depicting the subjugation and a use of women for a profit, even if it is in the name of education? Ironically, the syphillitic shitbag doing the degrading in the film agreed with the mainstream feminists, bluntly informing Knox that she was indeed, “a bad feminist,” right before he squeezed his sock puppet so tight it popped and glued her eyes shut.

Knox argues that as a member of the BDSM community, she represents a segment of feminism that remains largely marginalized. This assertion effectively muddies the waters, semantically, and raises the idea that what defines feminism for any one female might just be subjective to that female. In other words, it takes all kinds. As Knox so succinctly articulated to Rolling Stone’s Alex Morris in 2014, while most women prefer not to have their faces drizzled with the human equivalent of warm spoiled yogurt, she happens to “think it’s hot.”

How utterly tasteless...

How utterly tasteless…

And so went the debate. The relationship of feminism to abusive face raping, while certainly a tempting topic, was not the only issue tackled in the Knox interviews. Knox, clearly an intelligent young lady, conducted herself well during the interviews and gave a fairly comprehensive insight as to her life, the ups and downs of the porn industry and how she hopes to make the two things work together. In each interview, each half assed cross between a porn star’s self marketing ploy and what we now call journalism, her challenge of the definition of feminism was the only real issue discussed.

They all scratched the surface of the larger problem, much as I did in the beginning of this article, but failed to return and finish the job. All except FoxNews411, and aside from presenting a colorful graphic and reading from it, they didn’t have much to say either.

And that’s fine by me. I’m stuck at home, it’s snowing like a bastard and when my wife gets home the jumping on the bed and chasing the cat with my Nerf Assault Cannon will inevitably cease anyway. So, I might as well continue the story that everyone else decided to leave wadded in a tissue under their journalistic nightstands. I might as well, after all, since it’s flu season and we’re fresh out of Kleenex.

As FoxNews411 anchor Chris Kensler pointed out, quite literally, Duke University costs approximately $31,000 per semester. Knox, the first from her high school to be accepted to Duke in over a decade, found herself looking at a tuition bill in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars. Duke, of course, is proud to offer a monthly payment plan which is tailored to each student’s individual situation, just so long as that situation involves coughing up a $4300 payment every month. On time. Knox, who had around two dozen films under her belt by mid spring of 2014, stated that at the rate she was going, she’d be able to cover her first years tuition in cash.

Her parents, she said, made just enough to disqualify her from federally subsidized student loans and, despite her father being a physician, were unable to afford her tuition. Belle’s choices were, basically, giving up her dream or being metaphorically fucked by debt. Lawyers, she pointed out, need more than a bachelor’s degree, and loans made no fiscal sense. To the future porn actress, the notion of having her future monkey-fucked inside out by the massive hulking anteater that we know as student loan debt was way more terrifying than, well, the real thing. I sort of see her point.

According to Belle, and what is apparently common knowledge, a porn actress makes, on average, $1200 per sex scene. Roughly, she will have to star in around 100 scenes to meet her tuition and fees, and that’s if FoxNews estimates of cost were not conservative. To put this into an appropriately sticky perspective, if 70% of her scenes included male participants, over the course of four years of college, Belle will get sloshed with something like a quart and a half of that tuna yogurt I mentioned earlier.

Welcome to Yucksville, son.

On examination of Duke University’s financial statistics webpage, I discovered the university nets about $316 million per year in tuition and fees representing about 16% of its annual revenue, which approaches two billion dollars. At a rate of $62k per year, this figure only accounts for about 5000 students. The tuition of the other 10,000, Duke says, is covered by various forms of financial aid and therefore not included in the data.

What are they doing with all that money? Well, if you keep scrolling down their financial webpage, the next colorful pie chart indicates they use about half of it to pay employee salaries and another ten percent on employee benefits. So students like Belle, the ones who pay as they go, account for about 30% of Duke’s overall salary expenditures.

A 2010 independent investigation revealed the salaries of a number of top earning faculty members at the university, none of whom actually teach any classes. The data, if accurate, presents the names of 25 individuals whose income accounts for roughly one quarter of Duke’s annual salary disbursement. At 23.5 million dollars, it’s still less than the amount kids like Belle have to cough up each year.

Coach Michael Krzyzewski

Coach Michael Krzyzewski

To put it in porn industry terms, if basketball coach Michael Krzyzewski was an eighteen year old girl who made an equivalent living by touching penises on camera for a living, he’d be dealing with about thirteen and a half gallons of high quality Southern California semen each year. In other words, he’d be shooting ten scenes per day, every day, even on his birthday, and that’s only if he was a young, supple teenage girl; gender economics, in the porn industry, work a little differently than they do at Duke, where men earn consistently higher salaries. When old hairy men get hired to be pivot men at penis parties, they don’t get paid shit, so in reality, that thirteen and a half gallons I mentioned earlier would be more like filling a Gatorade cooler the size of a Volkswagen. Twice. And then dumping it on him at half time.

What I’m slipping and sliding into stating, is that if a basketball coach like Krzyzewski were paid $200k per year instead of $4.2 million, something like 68 incoming freshmen wouldn’t be faced with the decision Belle was faced with. If all 25 salaries were equitably reduced to the same figure, the number of cash paying students could decrease by nearly 300. Granted, that only accounts for about 6% of the total cash paying student population, but remember that the investigation only revealed 25 salaries. And in my opinion, $200,000 per year is still way, way, way too much to pay a college basketball coach.

Now the really crazy part, the bit that no one is really addressing, at least comprehensively, is that Belle Knox is far from alone. A lot of young girls, when faced with exorbitant tuition rates, turn to the sex trade. Like Belle plainly stated, a girl can’t pay her way through school on tips, especially not at Duke, unless those tips are, well, you get the picture by now.

When Brett Snider’s¬†Findlaw.com article was published in early 2014, the bidding war on med student Elizabeth Raine’s virginity had reached $300,000. The bidding topped out at around $800,000, at which point Raine, not her real name, backed out, claiming she wanted to focus on her studies.

"Raine"

“Raine”

The actual truth is, she very likely was aware of the 2009 FoxNews report of a woman going by the name “Natalie” who negotiated the sale of her virginity for a whopping $3.7 million, and Raine was valuing her own at substantially more than $800k.

I bet when she was researching, Belle Knox read some of this same information and kicked herself a few times for being such a horn dog in high school. But, that’s just silly Catholic school girls for you, never realizing that not only does preserving your virginity greatly please Jesus, it also represents a sound financial investment in one’s educational future.

Belle probably isn’t the only girl who has kicked herself in the ass for this exact same reason. If she is, it’s because she’s the only student sex worker who read the article and considering that there seem to be a damned lot of them, that’s highly unlikely.

A number of other prominent pornstars have given interviews to various media conduits that they entered porn for the same reasons as Belle and simply stayed. These women, I suspect, represent only a small minority of the total number of women who enter the sex trade each year in order to afford tuition. It happens enough, however, that within the porn industry itself has emerged an entire sub genre of realty porn focusing entirely on “exploited broke college chicks.” Apparently, some savage little renegade strand of environmentally adapted DNA codes some men to see the added elements of desperation and destitution as making their fireman-time viewing material so much hotter.

I guess it’s like the Bloodhound Gang song proclaimed, “the lap dance is so much better when the stripper is crying.” Maybe they have a fucking point.

Unfortunately, Belle’s demographic of Former Schoolgirl Turned College Porn Slut represents an even smaller segment of the student sex worker population than that of Cum Crazed Coed Neo Feminists within the overall feminist movement. And that’s pretty damn small. Knox might even be by herself on that one. Either way, a tiny bit of information exists that suggests that tuition strapped college girls are resorting to the sex trade more often than we think.

About a year ago, the Huffington Post published an article about an association of strip clubs that took out a series of recruiting ads in San Francisco area student periodicals. Indeed, stripping is not an uncommon way for a young girl to make a few extra bucks while she’s in school. Even as far back as the greedy and decadent 80’s, people were aware of this cultural phenomenon, as it was essentially glamorized in the 1983 film Flashdance.

While College Girl Strippers are a demographic most of us accept, or are at least somewhat aware of, another segment of this population exists of which most people are ignorant. This ignorance, while probably sometimes willful, is essentially rooted in naivety and based on the fact that, since prostitution is illegal in most places, college students, girls who have a lot to lose, don’t tend to speak up about it. But it’s out there.

The internet, obviously, has contributed to the spread of the cash for sex business, allowing potential prostitutes the long needed option of going into business for themselves. Some girls take jobs with escort services, some advertise online directly and some go another route, as the HuffPost article went on to describe.

This is for real.About the same time the strip clubs were advertising on campus, a billboard sprung up in Los Angeles like a spring Daffodil, advertising a website called ArrangementFinders.com. The function of the website aims to hook financially strapped young ladies up with sugar daddies, which lands it somewhere in the murky area between paid escort sites and Match.com. Feel free to check this one out on your own.

Although some anecdotal evidence does exist, at least from an American perspective, the true prevalence of this behavior among the college female demographic is hard to estimate and if you search on Google, you’re not going to find much. I did find one small university survey, which I have sadly been unable to relocate, that indicated one in ten students at a particular college knew another student who was a sex worker. I can personally relate to that. When I was of college age, I knew one girl who was supported by a de facto sugar daddy she’d met on the Internet. That shit is out there.

While none of this information really proves anything, the fact remains that the phenomenon is prevalent enough that Portland State University’s Women’s Resource Center identified a need and created the Student Sex Worker Outreach Project, aimed at providing a support network for a population substantial enough to justify such a program. Like I just said, that shit is out there.

So where am I going with this one…I know…it’s getting long…just a few more ingredients and someone’s eating a big dripping pile of hot boiled crow. I promise.

In an American Association of University Professors report from 2013, it is revealed by the U.S. Department of Education that the number of adjunct professors teaching in American universities has climbed to nearly 42%, nearly doubling its prevalence since 1975. Here’s the thing about being adjunct: it sucks. Adjunct professors are considered part-time, receiving approximately $2700 per class and are generally limited to teaching five classes per calendar year. Bear in mind, that potential total of $13,500 is net and usually doesn’t even include benefits. This prestigious position only requires that one first earn a Master’s Degree. Monetarily, colleges value Bachelor’s degrees even less.

Now, the 42% figure is obviously an average, taken from a lot of different departments at a lot of different schools. In certain departments at certain schools, numbers of adjunct faculty are very low, sometimes even nonexistent, but in other institutions, such as the English department of Appalachian State University, about five hours from Duke, it has been as high as 90%.

What do these numbers say about how American universities actually value the very educations they peddle to hundreds of thousands of eager young minds each year? A $10,000 per year take home salary for a job that requires eight years of expensive education which, coincidentally, comes from the same or a related institution, is a reality that doesn’t need any sort of snappy commentary to sell it as the stack of steaming shit that it is. Statements like that damn well sell themselves.

In sharp contrast to schools like ASU, Duke primarily refuses to use the adjunct staff principles and simply benefits those who have made the full doctoral investment into the systems with pay scales ranging from $89k to $160k, depending on tenure status as well as sex. Yeah it’s like that.

Speaking of sex, why not bring Belle Knox back into things and wrap all this blathering numerical gibberish into something which is sickening in more ways than just being generally vomit inducing. So grab a bucket, if you must, and let’s sum up.

For Belle, as has been previously indicated, the best way to afford the overwhelming burden of a $250,000+ college debt is to make porn. Point taken, Belle, we all get it and we all sympathize. To earn that quantity working in porn, as Belle Knox, she has to do about a hundred scenes, which, as I calculated, amounted to about a quart and a half of moldy cabbage gravy, evenly distributed over eight semesters worth of spring, summer and fall breaks. Admittedly, it seems crass and rather unbecoming of a civilized American to equate the value of a degree from Duke University with that of one and one half large Mason jars of semen, sitting innocently on someone’s coffee table, but if the proverbial shoe fits…

Applying that logic to the practice of relying on adjunct professors to teach classes, while paying them a pauper’s wage, is even more disturbing. According to the principles of Semenomics, which apparently I’ve just invented, a Master’s Degree at North Carolina’s ASU is worth a mere 1/3 of a cup of the old hot buttered garbage sauce, at least in their English Department. So, good news males, at Appalachian, you can actually make more cash per adjunct class taught than you can in porn, but that fact is,sadly, not so for women.

The slippery, slimy most fucked up aspect of the whole situation, as well as what no one wants to admit, is this:

Whether you measure the values of these professions in terms of counting benjamins or the amount of semen you have to scrub out of your hair after work, the result is the same. The overwhelming message behind all of this is that if you are an American woman in your late teens or early to mid twenties, society places a higher value on your sexuality than it does your intelligence and potential to contribute to society in a meaningful way. More simply stated, sorry kid, but the fact is you can make more money stripping buck naked and letting some guy make a doughnut out of your face than you can teaching English at a North Carolina University. We’re sorry but, as Americans, we have more time, money and inclination to watch young girls like Belle being molested on the internet, while we rub our penises, than we do to make any moves toward changing an educational system that, while not doing the brutalizing itself, facilitates the idea that an educational diploma is worth more than a person’s intrinsic right to never have to make such a choice in the first place.

Am I suggesting that universities lower the cost of their educations to the point that it’s actually cheaper to go to school than to do porn? Or that maybe Americans watch way too much porn and value it just enough to perpetuate such a degrading cycle? Or might I go so far as to imply that certain controlling human elements in both the pornography and educational systems should be sunk slowly into a large drum filled with Southern California’s annual estimated quota of semen production (around 60 gallons, room temp and partially congealed) and drowned like the rats they are?

Maybe. We’re not there yet, obviously.

What I am saying, is that people need to start talking about this. And that brings me back to Harold, the ignorant old chicken sucker at the filling station.

Another one of the creepy old fucker’s sayings that gives me small waking nightmares, is his occasional announcement that,

“We’re so damn poor up there, Glenda’s gotta jerk the dog off to feed the cat.”

“Fuck it all Harold,” I want to respond, “the college raised tuition again. What you need is a Craigslist ad for College Cum Craving Cutie Cleanup and a damned sheetrock¬†trowel.”

But Harold wouldn’t get the joke.

And that’s a big damned shame.

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