Out In The Open

Not long ago in Century City the  XBiz awards  were held sponsored by the magazine of the same name. You may or may not know that it is a magazine about what some call porn and others adult entertainment. It was the 15th year these awards were being celebrated. There were 35 categories including Girl/Girl Performer and Male Sex Toy of the Year. Riley Reid, 22 years old,  who ended up winning Female Performer of the Year, thanked her mother when accepting her award, the way any winner of an Oscar or Golden Globe would have. And like their traditional counterpart the awards honor on and off screen contributors. This year the XBiz awards also honored e-commerce firms, retailers and product designers.

Worldwide porn/adult entertainment is estimated to be a $10 billion business annually, implying a customer base that has to be rather large. And that’s why such an annual event as the XBiz awards have meaning. They reveal us to ourselves. They propel us to confront an aspect of our culture, that is usually hidden, and bring it out in the open air where all can see that without an audience, without those who consume adult entertainment, the whole business would not be as profitable, and certainly not as large.

Good But…

Everyone it seems praised CVS for their decision to stop carrying tobacco products by next October, even the American Cancer Society highlighted the move on their home page for a time. Industry experts, however, say that the strategy is less altruistic and more of a savvy marketing ploy indicating that CVS is trying to distinguish itself and stand above its competition by promoting its brand as a health care hub in a field that is increasingly relying on self-service. Indeed the reactions and press coverage do give every indication of this being a most successful public relation and marketing move, and begs a question: If their motives and concerns about health were genuine, would their decision mean that in the future we could expect that all products with high contents of sugar and sodium to equally be removed from their inventory? It’s not difficult to surmise that’s rather unlikely. Of course it’s obvious that their motives do not lessen the good removing tobacco products from their shelves can do. Nevertheless, we ought not to be fooled by the seeming altruism of their decision.