Culture

Jewish Involvement in the Porn Industry and the Effect That Porn Consumption Has on the Brain

Jewish Involvement in the Porn Industry and the Effect That Porn Consumption Has on the Brain

When someone points out the role Jews have played in building the pornography industry into what it is today, they will inevitably be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, hate monger, and so on. This is true despite the fact that Jewish involvement in said industry is well documented and openly discussed by Jews, themselves. It only demonstrates what stranglehold Jewish interests have on the mainstream media, social media companies, and the free exchange of information, in general.

Probably the best resource on the subject so far is Triple-Exthnics: Jews in the American Porn Industry by Jewish scholar, Nathan Abrams. He does a pretty thorough job covering the topic and his work is one of the primary resources for this article. He also provides some interesting insights from a Jewish perspective, which I will include here, but the original piece is definitely worth checking out.

I’ve also looked at a number of other sources in an effort to bring together as much information as possible into one resource. Links will be provided throughout the article.

First, we’ll take a look at the extent of Jewish involvement in the pornography industry followed by an examination of the effect that consuming porn has on the brain, according to what information is available and there is some research out there that we can look at.

Beginnings

Between 1890 and 1940, Jewish immigrants that came to the U.S., mostly from Germany, were heavily involved in the erotica book market. Jay A. Gertznam, author of Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940, wrote, “Jews were prominent in the distribution of gallantiana, avant-garde sexually explicit novels, sex pulps, sexology, and flagitious materials” during this time.

As the Jewish dominated Hollywood film industry continued to push the boundaries of obscenity, a series of Supreme Court decisions in its favor opened the door for pornography to move into the mainstream with increased availability. In response to concerns surrounding this development, Lyndon Johnson created a President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography to study its effects on society. Many members of the Commission were also members of the ACLU, including its chairman, William Lockhart, and they relied heavily on the research of a Danish Jew named Berl Kutchinsky. Kutchinsky had previously studied the effects of hardcore pornography in Denmark and concluded that it was safe, alleging that sex crimes had decreased since its legalization.

Unsurprisingly, the Commission not only decided that pornography was safe, but that it could increase “tolerance”. They recommended that all laws restricting pornography be repealed, except for those in place to protect children. Congress rejected the findings of the Commission with a 60-5 vote, but this was far from enough to stop the advance of pornography into the mainstream.

The last meaningful attempt to curtail it came with the Miller test, a result of a Supreme Court case, Miller v. California, in which a Jewish defendant, Marvin Miller, faced obscenity charges for pornographic advertisements that he had mailed to random people in the state of California. The Miller test had three criteria for determining what can be labeled obscene and therefore not protected under the First Amendment. The criteria were as follows:

  • whether the average person, applying contemporary “community standards”, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
  • Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

If all three criteria are met, the work in question is considered obscene. However, the Miller test did not hold up well in court. As Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw Magazine, describes in his book, I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life:

The big threat of obscenity was whether it ‘appealed to prurient interest.’ Aside from being dirty, morbid, and offensive, the contents of Screw were only deemed criminal if it was sexy enough to, in the words of legalese ‘create an erection in a male or a moist vaginal area in a female.’. . . Put in the position of having to admit to a boner on the stand, expert puritans waxed apoplectic. Thus, the prosecution would crumble on the matter of ‘prurient interest.

The Miller test was a failure and the result is the pornography saturated society that we live in today.

Now, let’s take a look at some specific examples of Jews that have played a big role in the pornography industry, guiding it towards the ubiquitous state it is in today.

Reuben Sturman

Called the ‘Walt Disney of Porn’, Reuben Sturman was the kingpin of pornography in the United States throughout the 1970s. In fact, according to the Department of Justice, he controlled most of the circulation of pornographic material during the decade.

Reuben Sturman

Jewish porn mogul, Reuben Sturman.

Growing up in a Jewish family in Cleveland’s East Side, Sturman started off selling comics and magazines, but soon realized that he could make twenty times the revenue selling sex magazines. Soon, his business focused solely on pornography. Sturman continued to expand, setting up retail locations and producing his own pornographic material, eventually owning over 200 adult bookstores by the mid-1970s. He is also known for introducing an updated version of the peepshow booth, essentially a dark room with a color television in which pornographic films can be viewed privately.

Though he was considered an entrepreneur and champion of free speech by those in the sex industry, his life was fraught with legal challenges such as frequent raids and confiscations of the magazines he was producing. They began in 1964 with an FBI raid of a Cleveland warehouse and continued through the following decades. He was even said to have had connections to the Gambino crime family. Due to his success, he was known to have donated generously to various Jewish charities.

Reuben’s reign would eventually end, however. In 1989, he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 10 years in jail plus $2.5 million in fines. He was also later charged with interstate transportation of obscene material and sentenced for 19 more years for an extortion attempt. He died in prison in 1997, a broken man. His son, David, took over the family business after his father’s death.

Seth Warshavsky

Polish-American Jew Seth Warshavsky got his start with an Oregon phone-sex operation which he eventually expanded into Canada, realizing that he could make more money if he charged customers for long-distance, which he did at a much higher rate than the actual cost of the calls.

Warshavsky eventually created the Internet Entertainment Group. The flagship website of IEG was Clublove.com which offered live, online peep shows for an hourly charge. Customers could pay more to speak to the performers over the phone during the show.  For his role in bringing pornography online, he is considered a pioneer in the industry.

Seth Warchavsky

Seth Warchavsky.

Warshavsky was involved in a number of scandals throughout his career, including one involving the websites papalvisit.com and papalvisit1999.com. Because of the websites, he became embroiled in a court case with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. From the Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions:

Defendant operated websites at the domain names “papalvisit.com” and “papalvisit1999.com.” These websites provided limited information about both the Pope’s then upcoming visit and St. Louis in general. In addition, they “provided advertising for defendant’s adult entertainment websites, hyperlinks to these other websites, and an assortment of ‘off-color’ stories and jokes regarding the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

His legal troubles have also included investigations due to allegations of credit card fraud and tax evasion.

Greg Lansky

Greg Lanksy was born to a Jewish family in Paris, France. A high school dropout, he harbored a deep interest in porn which he shared with one of his childhood friends. From an interview with Rolling Stone:

“To an extent, you say, ‘Well, which teenager doesn’t like the adult industry?’ But we were really obsessed with it,” says Lansky. “We didn’t talk about it like, ‘Oh the girls are super hot. We talked about it like, ‘Oh, it would be so nice to produce those movies.’”

After briefly working in television, Lanksy began his career in pornography, shooting a movie called Slut Diaries with his childhood friend. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue his career, he eventually began doing work for Reality Kings in 2007. In 2014, Lansky left Reality Kings and started his own company creating the “high-end” studios Blacked, Tushy and Vixen. He is known for referring to pornography as “art”.

Greg Lansky

Greg Lanksy posing with a performer.

Blacked focuses on interracial couplings between black men and white women, often archetypes of the ideal European beauty. Video titles often make references to infidelity towards a White boyfriend or husband.

Lansky is considered a ‘master of SFW (safe for work) marketing‘ and depends heavily on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, used by children worldwide, to promote his studios.

Steven Hirsch and Vivid Entertainment

Born to a Jewish family in Lyndhurst, Ohio, Steven Hirsch founded Vivid Entertainment in 1984 when he was only 23 years old. He runs the company with two co-chairman, David James, a veteran in the porn industry, and Bill Asher, a graduate of Dartmouth College with an MBA from the University of Southern California. Hirsch has often been referred to as ‘the Donald Trump of porno.’

Steven Hirsch

Steven Hirsch.

Steven Hirsch was the second generation of his family to enter the pornography business. His father, Fred, was Reuben Sturman’s stockbroker and chief lieutenant. Eventually Fred started his own production company, Adult Video Corp.

Vivid is notable for employing mainstream marketing techniques, offering branded products such as “sex toys”, condoms, sports equipment, and apparel in addition to adult films. The company uses billboards, releases “couples-friendly” films, and uses sleek packaging that features fully clothed models in an effort to bring pornography more into the mainstream.

Sometimes called the ‘Microsoft of porn’, Vivid is considered one of the top production companies in the industry. The first studio to offer contracts, Vivid’s female performers are known as ‘Vivid Girls’ and are reportedly hired and molded by Hirsch.

Vivid was the first company to release pornographic films on DVD and Blu-Ray and has released over 2,000 titles, as many as 60 a month at one point in the company’s history.

In 2001, Vivid commissioned attorney Paul Cambria to create a list of sex acts that should not be filmed in order to avoid legal problems. This list is known as ‘The Cambria List’.

In 2010, Vivid temporarily stopped film production when an actor tested positive for HIV. When Los Angeles County announced a plan that would require performers in adult films to wear condoms, Hirsch penned an open letter blasting the proposal, framing it as excessive government oversight. In 2006, Vivid had abandoned its ‘condom-only’ policy and replaced it with a ‘condom-optional policy’. The law, known as Measure B, passed in 2012 and Hirsch has stated that he will move production out of Los Angeles County if it is not overturned.

Vivid is also known for buying the rights to celebrity sex tapes, notably Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson. Bizarrely, Hirsch reportedly offered British socialite Pippa Middleton $5 million to appear in a pornographic film.

Ron ‘the Hedgehog’ Jeremy

Born to a Jewish family in Flushing, Queens, Ron Jeremy became one of the biggest porn stars in America. Previously working as a teacher and then later pursuing an acting career on Broadway, he got his start in the industry after he was featured in Playgirl magazine, an opportunity that came to him after Ron’s girlfriend submitted a photo of him to the magazine.

Ron Jeremy

Ron ‘The Hedgehog’ Jeremy.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists him as having the “Most Appearances in Adult Films”, having performed in nearly 2,500 films and directed 295, according to the Internet Adult Film Database.

In commentary that is perhaps revealing when it comes to how Jews view their relationship with pornography and their involvement therein, Nathan Abrams had the following to say about Jeremy:

Jeremy has achieved iconic status in America, a hero to males of all ages, Jewish and gentile alike – he’s the nebbischy, fat, hairy, ugly guy who gets to bed dozens of beautiful women. He presents an image of a modern-day King David, a Jewish superstud who supersedes the traditional heroes of Jewish lore.

and

As probably the most famous Jewish male porn star, Jeremy has done wonders for the psyche of Jewish men in America.

There is no doubt that Jeremy has made it into the American mainstream, having been featured in non-pornographic films and television, books, CDs, and even video games.

In 2009, Jeremy opened a ‘swingers nightclub’ called Ron Jeremy’s Club Sesso in Portland, Oregon, with a business partner. The club closed in 2015 due to legal problems stemming from occupancy limit violations and serving liquor without a valid license.

Jeremy also faces ongoing legal problems stemming from multiple accusations of sexual assualt.

Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the daughter of a Lutheran father and Jewish mother, both communists. She got her start acting in porn through her work as a stripper while attending nursing school. She starred in many pornographic films during the 80s and 90s, eventually directing her first film in 1992.

In one film called Debbie Duz Dishes, Hartley plays a Jewish housewife that has sex with anyone that rings the doorbell. This film is noteworthy because overt usage of Jewish identity is rare in adult films, despite their overwhelming presence in the industry.

Hartley is also an activist that worked to push pornography into the mainstream. Openly bisexual, she describes herself as a sex-positive feminist that believes in “sexual freedom” for all women. She often makes television appearances to take the side of the porn industry when it faces criticism.

Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley.

She is still active in the industry as an actress as well as releasing books and a line of instructional videos. Her books feature titles such as Nina Hartley’s Guide to Swinging and Nina Hartley’s Guide to Alternative Sex. Hartley has also given lectures at a number of universities, including Harvard, on sex-positive feminism, the porn industry, and other related topics. On November 1, 2018, Hartley gave a lecture at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for which she was paid $5,000 from student fees. Chancellor Joe Gow came under criticism for inviting Hartley to speak due to the media attention it generated. As a result, he announced that he would personally reimburse the university for the $5,000 and invite a speaker from Fight the New Drug, an anti-porn nonprofit.

when it comes to the relationship between Jews and pornography, Hartley writes the following in her book, Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex:

I have not met a Jewish guy who wasn’t a horny rabbit. Culturally it’s OK for Jews to act and for WASPs it’s difficult. Many WASP men feel that acting is making a fool of yourself. To go up there and have sex is seen as opening yourself up to much potential for failure. It’s OK for Jews to be actors and many of them are hams. They don’t worry about the potential to look silly. There is also a lack of guilt about sex that Jewish men have generally. Plus, they get to have sex with all these beautiful blonde women… Where else are you going to get a succession of shiksas to bed you down?

Adam ‘Seymore Butts’ Glasser

Born to Jewish parents in the Bronx, New York, Adam Glasser (stage name Seymore Butts) is a pornography actor, director, and the founder of Seymore, Inc.

Seymore Butts

Adam ‘Seymore Butts’ Glasser.

Glasser, his mother, and his cousin Stevie (who has his own line of adult films) operate the production company through which they release the ‘Seymore Butts’ line of videos. Nathan Abrams states that at one point in time, the studio was releasing 36 films annually, each shot for less than $15,000 and reportedly grossing 10 times that amount.

Glasser’s family moved to Los Angeles when he was still a child. After he graudated from high school, he attempted to open his own gym, but was unable to make it a success. After an adult film producer rented the space to shoot a film, Glasser acquired a camera and began shooting his own pornographic films, reportedly recruiting women from a local strip club.

Glasser is considered the king of gonzo pornographic films. Gonzo films are made to look ‘real’, usually through the use of low-tech equipment like handheld cameras.

Adam Glasser has said that his films have been “a chronology of [his] life” and has been known to enter romantic relationships with female performers that appear in his movies.

In 2001, he faced obscenity charges in California due to scenes within a film called Tampa Tushy Fest. The charges were eventually settled with a plea bargain and Glasser paid a $1,000 fine.

Showtime a premiered a reality show called Family Business in 2003 that followed the Glasser family in their everyday lives.

MindGeek

MindGeek is a shell company that owns and operates many of the most popular pornographic websites including the Pornhub Network, Babes.com, and many others. Originally founded by a German man of unknown family history named Fabian Thylmann, he later sold the company to its two senior managers once he began to face legal troubles for tax evasion – Feras Antoon and David Marmorstein Tassillo.

Both of these inviduals attended Concorida University in Canada which has a large Jewish population as well as a Jewish studies center. Today, the company operates with Feras Antoon as CEO and David Marmorstein Tassillo as COO. Very little is known about them, though their names and backgrounds suggest Jewish heritage. A Wikipedia article on Antoon states that he has “mainly Middle Eastern origins”, but the original source for that information no longer exists.

Since MindGeek and David Marmorstein Tassillo’s involvement in particular are often cited as evidence of Jewish dominance over the porn industry, I feel that it should be mentioned here. However, I was unable to find much information on Tassillo, including a confirmed photograph. A photograph that is often claimed to be Tassillo occasionally makes the rounds on the internet, but through a simple reverse image search, I quickly found that the photograph is of another David Marmorstein.

Andrei Treivas

Russian-Israeli-American Jew Andrei Treivas (aka Michael Lucas) is a gay porn actor, director, and founder of Lucas Entertainment, the largest company in New York that produces gay porn.

Born in Moscow, he briefly worked as a prostitute in Berlin and appeared in French pornographic films before immigrating to the United States.

Andrei 'Michael Lucas' Treivas

Andrei ‘Michael Lucas’ Treivas.

Treivas is an outspoken Zionist and created the first adult movie to feature only gay Jewish actors called Men of Israel, which caused some controversy. Palestinian filmmaker Nadia Awad called the film “desecration porn” because it was filmed in a Palestinian village that was ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias in 1948. He even traveled to Israel in 2006 to put on a show for Israeli soldiers that included live sex.

In an interview with New York, Treivas had the following to say about his experience growing up in Moscow and his eventual immigration to the United States:

I did something very logical. I had this ability to say, ‘What is my real chance to become a mainstream celebrity?’ I am an immigrant, I have an accent, I am not the most beautiful thing which crossed the world. That’s how I got to be worshipped and loved.

In 2012, he released a documentary called Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promise Land about Israel’s “thriving” gay community. He also gives lectures at universities and is a columnist for The Advocate, HuffPost, and Pink News.

Subversion and Rebellion

That Jews use pornography as a means of subversion is the claim most likely to draw the ire of the Jewish establishment media, but there is reason to believe this is the case. For evidence, we can look to words of Jews, themselves. One thing that becomes immediately clear when doing so is that a desire to rebel against and debase a predominantly White and Christian culture certainly played a role in Jewish involvement in porn. Insider quote from Culture Wars (May 2003):

[T]he leading male performers through the 1980s came from secular Jewish upbringings and the females from Roman Catholic day schools.’ The standard porn scenario became as a result a Jewish fantasy of schtupping the Catholic shiksa.

In addition, the publisher of Screw magazine, Al Goldstein famously said the following:

The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism..

Also, in his book, I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life, Goldstein writes:

I am probably the epitome of everything the Nazis hated: the Jew pornographer who besmirches the pure morals of the white Aryan world. Hitler would have thought of me as the Devil incarnate.

Al Goldstein

Al Goldstein.

Perhaps some of the most illuminating commentary comes from Nathan Abrams himself, in his aforementioned article, Triple-Exthnics: Jews in the American Porn Industry:

Extending the subversive thesis, Jewish involvement in the X-rated industry can be seen as a proverbial two fingers to the entire WASP establishment in America. Some porn stars viewed themselves as frontline fighters in the spiritual battle between Christian America and secular humanism.

He goes further:

Pornography thus becomes a way of defiling Christian culture and, as it penetrates to the very heart of the American mainstream (and is no doubt consumed by those very same WASPs), its subversive character becomes more charged.

Porn industry ‘gossipmonger’ Luke Ford, an Orthodox Jew, wrote that Jewish performers in adult-films often brag about their “joy in being anarchic, sexual gadflies to the puritanical beast.”

It’s worth noting that Jews were at the forefront of the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s, a movement that worked to force America to adopt more liberal views on sex, including the acceptance of pornography in the mainstream, and wrote much of the ‘sexual liberation’ material that was available at the time.

Nathan Abrams has something to say about this as well:

Those at the forefront of the movement which forced America to adopt a more liberal view of sex were Jewish. Jews were also at the vanguard of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse and Paul Goodman replaced Marx, Trotsky and Lenin as required revolutionary reading. Reich’s central preoccupations were work, love and sex, while Marcuse prophesied that a socialist utopia would free individuals to achieve sexual satisfaction. Goodman wrote of the ‘beautiful cultural consequences.’ that would follow from legalizing pornography: it would ‘ennoble all our art’ and ‘humanize sexuality’..

Effects on the Brain

Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself, explains that porn creates the perfect conditions and releases the right chemicals to create new long-lasting neural pathways in the brain:

Dopamine is also involved in plastic change [neurological changes that take place in the brain]. The same surge of dopamine that thrills us also consolidates neuronal connections. An important link with porn is that dopamine is also released in sexual excitement, increasing the sex drive in both sexes, facilitating orgasm, and activating the brain’s pleasure centers. Hence the addictive power of pornography.

The men at their computers looking at porn were uncannily like the rats in the cages of the NIH, pressing the bar to get a shot of dopamine or its equivalent. Though they didn’t know it, they had been seduced into pornographic training sessions that met all the conditions required for plastic change of brain maps. Since neurons that fire together wire together, these men got massive amounts of practice wiring these images into the pleasure centers of the brain, with the rapt attention necessary for plastic change.

Neural Pathways

Neural pathways.

The anti-porn addiction website, Fight the New Drug, provides a more accessible description of neural pathways as trails in the woods that get “wider and more permanent” with each time traveled:

Think of a neuronal pathway like a trail in the woods. Every time someone uses the trail, it gets a little wider and more permanent. Similarly, every time a message travels down a neuronal pathway, the pathway gets stronger. With enough repetitions, your neuronal pathway will get so strong you’ll be strumming that E chord without even thinking about it.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, porn releases dopamine in the brain and leads to tolerance, just like addictive drugs. Tolerance leads to an increase in consumption as well as the seeking out of more extreme forms of pornography. Research by Dutch scientist Gert Holstege found that brain scans during orgasm and during the shooting of heroin are very similar. Porn addicts even experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to break their habit. In addition to releasing dopamine, triggering the brain’s ‘reward center’ by doing something like viewing porn releases a protein called DeltaFosB. This protein builds up in the brain, ‘switching’ on genes that create intense, long-term cravings.

All addictions can result in a brain condition called hyperfrontality. The frontal lobes are considered the ‘brake system’ of the brain, influencing things such as judgement and impulsivity. Irregular dopamine activity can cause the frontal lobes to shrink, leading to impairment in these areas. Neuroscientists agree that pornography addiction is an addiction like any other addiction and can lead to damage to the frontal lobes and this condition.

No Sex

Pornography addiction has been shown to reduce the desire for real sex.

In a publication titled Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions?, porn is described as being able to overpower the desire for real sex due to the powerful effect it has on the brain. In his book, Doidge also describes male porn addicts that report having increasing difficulty in finding their spouses or girlfriends sexually arousing and find it necessary to fantasize about previously viewed pornography during sex. It seems worth noting that there are also disputed claims of a link between pornography and erectile dysfunction.

In Conclusion

Clearly Jewish influence has played an enormous role in the normalization and advancement of pornography into the mainstream. It is far from an ‘anti-semitic’ conspiracy theory. As we saw, we only need to look at the words of the Jews within the porn industry itself to understand this. It is also clear that their motivations go beyond mere profit or exploitative gain.

There is also clear reason for concern when it comes to the health effects caused by frequent viewings of pornography. This assertion isn’t anecdotal; it is backed up by medical research.

It is my hope that those that read this will think about pornography in a new way and avoid it. The energy that so many White men waste on smut can be channeled into much better pursuits – meeting someone that is real and raising family at a time when it is more important than ever to do so.