Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I get email


Great article as usual. If you continue to follow up on the story, may I humbly suggest you check out one more interview subject? The owner of Sardo's bar in Burbank. It's a small bar that has been at risk of closing for a number of years due to lagging attendance and a down economy. It probably would have died, expect a bunch of porn industry workers decided to go there one night for karaoke. Eventually, it became a weekly event packing the bar with performers, film crew, and fans.

If porn leaves LA, Sardo's takes a big hit. It's not as if they can move with the industry. The small shops that rent out camera's or perform digital post production will be presented with a choice of whether they should follow the industry out of town at the expense losing other Los Angeles clientele. I would not be surprised if the city of LA passed this law figuring that at worst, it has simply scarred away a disfavored industry. But they probably did not consider all of the other businesses that will be negatively impacted despite the fact that they provide non-porn services to the community.

Keep up the great work,


P.S. please withhold my name if you write on this subject, I am about to send out 300 resumes and I don't want to have a google search reflect that I am some sort of porn expert. I am most certainly not. I'm an amateur enthusiast at best (kidding.) I'm really just an unemployed lawyer who likes to look at regulations and their unintended consequences. Thank you for your time.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Are you a bad boss?

Here's why your employees hate you.
So what’s the problem? You’ve got no experience doing this particular thing in this particular way, and instead of humbling yourself to those (below you) who do know what they’re doing, you’re going to attempt to BS your way through it. The problem is both you and everyone who works for you are keenly aware your ignorance is causing performance to drop. Too bad you won’t fill up all the awkward silences in the meeting with an admission from you that everyone in the company knows more about what it takes to be a success than you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Email me

Why do you go to strip clubs?

I'm looking to hear from men who go to strip clubs about why they go.
I have a fetish for big fake boobs. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. I don't know where it comes from. When I was a teenager and started finding porn, that's what I was drawn to. During my decade plus of enforced chastity, I disappeared farther into a fantasy life, and now it seems to be inextricably linked to my sexuality in some way. They don't have to be insanely huge - although I like that too - but fake in general is what I go for.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I wrote a post about porn and the new condom law on my Forbes blog.

Here's how it came to be.

This story broke last week when the LA City Council passed the ordinance requiring porn stars use condoms on porn movie sets. I didn't know what to say about it, though. It's bad! It's good! Most of the time, things are more complicated than that. Especially in porn. But with most issues, a lot of journalists will resort to this is bad! or this is good! because it makes you and the reader feel like you are sure about something, even though they only thing you can be sure about is that you are lying. Or they just report the facts, which is boring as fuck, no matter how you slice it.

Anyway, there's a saying that each question holds its answer, or something like that, so for me in this circumstance the question was: how can I represent this issue a) honestly and b) in a way that is interesting to me?

So, at some point, I can't remember when, I thought, oh, maybe I'll do it like this 9/11 anniversary post, when I asked people in emails where they were when 9/11 happened, and they wrote me back emails that told their stories, and I posted those. It was like an anthology of micro-stories. I like this format because their total truth is greater than any single truth you could manufacture.

I did that with the porn condom law story. I sent out emails to, I don't know, maybe 10 porn-related people I knew or didn't know or sort of knew. But then I got to a place where I had several emails, but none from performers, and then Lux retweeted my Twitter call for porn stars to email me, and then the porn star emails came.

Some of the stories I got were a little graphic. Like, one talked about peeing-on-people porn, and another one talked about vaginal canal tears. That is understandable when you're talking about porn and condoms, but I didn't want anyone at Forbes to have heart failure, as I have already been accused (not by Forbes, by morons) of diluting the brand, or some such thing, whatever that means. I edited a very few of the emails very slightly for stuff that was too raunchy, but I left everything else as is, even the grammar problems and stuff, because I think that's good. That's how they wrote it. That's real. That's their voice.

So then I jammed all that in the Forbes CMS and asked my editor to look at it and make sure I wasn't going to post anything that was too raunchy. She made a few editorial suggestions, gave me a better title, and then said, um, you know (she didn't say that, but I'm trying to make a point here), how about some hard numbers for your intro?

I was annoyed by this because a) I was busy, b) I've had a headache since Monday or before, and c) hard numbers in porn is, like, impossible. That's how the porn business is. Private companies, not telling everyone their financials. That's fine. But I'm not going to be one of those fucktards, like sometimes happens everywhere else (Frank Rich at the New York Times Magazine, I'm talking about you), who trots out BS porn numbers like they're fact.

So I got really annoyed and almost wrote her back, no, I will not do that, but then I got on the phone, because that is how I am. Give me a challenge, and I will resentfully rise to it.

Of course, once you get on the phone and start making calls, you get all juiced on that, and you are off. It was still early, but since I have been writing about porn since 1902, I know that, for example, Adam and Eve, which is a big old adult company, is in North Carolina, so maybe they would be up, because no one on the West Coast would be awake yet, especially not porn people.

Then I sent an email to the publicist at Vivid, which is the biggest porn company in the known universe, and she was cool. No, I am sorry, I think I called, and then she emailed me. And I waited for a few hours, and eventually I got on the phone and talked to these guys, these porn guys. They were helpful. I didn't get any hard porn numbers, but I got stuff that was about how it is impossible to get hard porn numbers, which is what my editor had suggested, so there you go.

After that, you have these notes, and you peer at them, thinking, too much!, and, how will I ever convert this into my precious prose?, and then you start hacking at it, and that's how I wrote my intro, with their quotes, and what I learned, and stuff like that.

I had my editor look at it again. Was she annoyed at that point? I don't know. I appreciated it.

Then I published it.

I think that was it. It came out different than I expected, but it has two things: the reporting and the testimonies. I think getting out of the way of the story is good, but it is also good to be making calls, and talking to people, and expanding your brain.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I get email

Hi Susanna,

I don't disagree for a minute that sexism is alive and well throughout our society.

There are some of us who try our best to level the playing field. I'm retired now, but whenever I needed to hire or promote someone over the course of my career, women always had an advantage. If I had two equal candidates, one male and one female, the woman always got the job.

My thinking was that, all things being equal, the woman had to work harder to get where she was, and of course, would continue to work hard.

I have applied that thinking to my hiring of other professionals like personal doctors and lawyers. It has always paid off for me.

Maybe some of your male mentors think like I do.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Oh, I've learned so much over the last year. So very many profound things. My pores ooze insight.
Here’s a fact: I have three regular part-time jobs now, and the reason I have each one of them is because of a white man. That may or may not have been the person who hired me (although in two cases it was), but my point of entry into every position was a white male.
What am I supposed to learn from that? That the patriarchy rules everything? That women who are in positions of power should do more to promote women climbing up the ladder? That sexism is rampant, and the feminist battle isn’t over yet?
I guess I could.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Get a job

If anyone ever tells you to get a real job, you should do something weird, and then you'll get the job you want to have, not the job you should have.
There’s a saying that goes, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s really amazing how many people don’t show up. In fact, it’s easier to not show up. To sit there on the sofa, and stare at the TV, and think of all the reasons why showing up is not possible, not worth it, not going to work.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Fire Hydrant, Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Facebook Whisperer

Did you ever have a job that you liked, that you were good at, but you were sort of ashamed to admit that?

So, what was I good at? I had an undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley, a graduate degree in writing, and years of journalism experience, but, it turned out, my real gift, in this case, was pretending to be an inanimate object that, regardless of the fact that it had no hands or mouth, was able to talk to the world through its Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Three times a week, I create a viral video roundup for Team Coco.

Today's includes this video of a digital rug that changes when you walk on it.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I got married. Then I got breast cancer. This is my story.
The lid of the red garbage can reads, “BIOHAZARD.” The top of the hamper for dirty smocks reads, “SOILED LINEN.” The poster on the wall shows a topless woman, half-flayed, her arm lifted over her head, the skin of her right breast peeled back to expose the muscle, the breast tissue, the cancerous cells.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I get email

Hi. My name is [Redacted]. I have a story that has recieved national media coverage and will without doubt make alot of money, but I dont have alot of money to get a literary agent or writer. Maybe you know someone that would work payments? Ive been on the today show, inside edition, people magazine, leeza gibbons, jenny jones and many more. The interest is there, but I need a writer. The rest will be easy. thanks [Redacted]

Friday, January 13, 2012


Mannequin, Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Write what you know

Stuck? Want to unstuck? Here's how.
Each time, I haven’t really wanted to go to yoga. In fact, one could argue I hate going to yoga. Hating going to yoga is really hard, because then you’re in yoga class, and you’re in this giant ball of violent hate — hating the yoga teacher (who is wearing a headband and nattering on about who knows what), hating your body (I’ve had four breast biopsies in the last month and to say doing downward dog is uncomfortable is an understatement), hating the person who invented yoga (is it really appropriate to ask me to bend over, and twist to the side, and tell me to put my hands behind my back?).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


If you missed me on CBC Radio Q yesterday talking about Letters from Men Who Go to Strip Clubs, you can listen to it online HERE.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Tune in to CBC Radio Q this morning, and you can hear me discuss Letters from Men Who Go to Strip Clubs.
The reason I go to places like this is for those moments when they stay and talk. That's all I wanted. They don't have to be naked. They could be wearing a suit of armor for all I care; I just want to talk to someone who cares, and $1 every 3 minutes is a lot less than $250 an hour for a therapist.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Hello Kitty Waffle Maker, Niles, Illinois

Friday, January 6, 2012

The top 5

For a variety of reasons, including the fact that my Forbes contract is being renegotiated, I was looking at the 2011 traffic stats for Pink Slipped.

I started writing the blog because I got downsized. Along the way, I covered everything from porn to 9/11. The year ended with a post on breast cancer.

Here are the most popular blog posts and how many views they got. What patterns do you see?

Email me your thoughts, what you liked, what you'd like to see more of in 2012.

1. The Business About My Breasts, 142,211 views
I'm at Costco when the call comes the next day. The call was supposed to come between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., but the call comes at 2 p.m., so as soon as I look at the phone, I know something’s wrong. The radiologist asks if this is a good time to talk. I look around. I’m in a Costco. What am I supposed to say? No, let’s talk when I’m at McDonald’s. Or, How about you call me back in a week? Or, If it’s possible to not have this call at all, that will be preferable. Instead, I tell her, Yes, now is a good time to talk.

Are you sitting down? the radiologist asks.
2. Adult Director Max Hardcore Released from Prison, 66,137 views
“Read and weep, hater,” the tweet read.

The link took me to a page on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

Name: Paul F. Little. Register #: 44902-112. Age-Race-Sex: 54-White-M. Release Date: 07-19-2011. Location: RELEASED.

If you don’t recognize the name, you may recognize his nom de porn: Max Hardcore.
3. 9/11 Stories: No One Talks About That, 60,741 views
It was a week before lower Manhattan was even close to being open for business.  Cahill was in a shabby ‘back office’ building–old enough that you could open your window if you wanted.  But of course then you did not.  The air was thick with the smoldering remains of the WTC and, as became apparent, it was a gigantic crematorium.  Yes they have that sort of thing on the Ganges but they are ready for it and do it right.  This was a slow painful gag inducing burn: metal, fibers of whatever sort and human bodies smoldering for weeks, months.  The incense of hell.  There is a line from the Gospel of John that seems as if it was written with this scene in mind.  I started describing the smell–and it really was not just a smell–it was an immersion in an atmosphere that you sensed permeating your skin and body–to a friend who happened to have been in Vietnam in the late 1960s-early 70s.  He stopped me mid-sentence holding up his hand: “I know that smell–those are bodies.”  Lower Manhattan was for months a giant open air crematorium. No one talks about that.
4. Why I'm Unemployable, 53,520 views
I became self-employed, and then it took me a while to realize what I had done. I thought I was piecing together a few jobs so I wouldn’t end up homeless. In reality, I had created an alternative to unemployment. Maybe unconsciously I knew that no one would ever hire me for a full-time “regular” job. They never had. Why would they now?
5. A Porn Star Book Is Selling with a Bespoke Twist, 53,432 views
A new limited-edition book by an adult film star aims to sell copies by offering buyers something they won’t find elsewhere.

Girlvert: A Porno Memoir is priced at a whopping $200 and limited to a mere 50.

So, what’s the twist?

Each book jacket contains one of the starlet’s pubic hairs.

Thursday, January 5, 2012



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Who's the man on the left? Find out here.