R.O.C. & THE SAVE SEX! MOVEMENT

By: Randy Lee Payton


With the heavy participation of groups in Anti-S. 1521 from a pro-free sexuality (or even outright, unapologetically "pro-porn") perspective, we decided THE ROC should be covering the porn scene more. After all, with adult bookstores being shut down and their contents BURNED without trial, attempted legislation like S. 1521--and even when the hard-heads went after rock and rap lyrics, wasn't it more times than not on the basis of their SEXUAL content?-- wasn't it time to COME OUT "explicitly" in SOLIDARITY with porn producers and their fans? As a long-time fan of the genre I provided a ready-made anchor for THE ROC and with issue #8. reported on two XXX-industry marches on the West Coast at which statements of solidarity from Rock Out Censorship were read. Danny Alexander exposed skeletons in the closet of Kansas City's Coalition Against Pornography (big-time prototype for similar "antiporn" groups around the country and originators of the stupid "white-ribbon" campaign). I covered the emerging "post-pornmodernist" scene --artists. writers and performers like Annie Sprinkle, author Camille Paglia, film maker Candida Royalle and others in a manifesto called "SAVE SEX!," flanked by a graphic I designed of a bare-breasted Lady Liberty.

Meanwhile, R.O.C. was taking the anti-porn nuts on IN THE STREETS of Youngstown, Ohio, outside a rally/membership drive kick-off for the Mahoning County "Coalition for Decency," aimed at making Y-Town "porn-free." Participants bussed in from churches all around made for a big, enthusiastic--and fucking scary--crowd inside. When John and R.O.C.'s Kirby Stokes arrived for the small counter-rally outside. The rally's auditorium, they were confronted with a line of some-25 riot-gear equipped cops, some on horseback, but ALL giving off a distinct aura of wishing to intimidate any feisty opposition to the proceedings inside. Bad vibes. man! (No matter, a new R.O.C Y-town chapter was to be founded later that night with our new friends Debbie, Mark, Sherry, and Tim, at Tim's house, over beers and Alice Donut CDs!)

Interestingly, while reaction to R.O.C.'s new pro-porn stance was mostly positive, a copy of ROC #8 was returned to us by a jazz-oriented newsletter from Chicago, who, though previously reviewing the paper VERY favorably, now requested we cease sending them our "sleazy newspaper!" Similar puritanism could be found when Rock the Vote's director Beverley Lund nixxed Al Goldstein's request to use RTV's well-known "Censorship is UnAmerican" graphic on the cover of SCREW as "inappropriate" placement. I believe such sexually uptight HYPOCRISY is out of place within the anti-censorship movement. In fact, I submit we begin "to recognize the significance of Sexual Freedom as a 'smart bomb' in our arsenal of political and cultural weapons," to quote Brenda Loew Tatelbaum. Earlier this year, R.O.C. truly put it's money where it's mouth is on this issue by helping kick off a new organization the Free Expression League, dedicated to promoting sex-positive, libertarian values in the arts and society, and it's journal SPUNK, which premiered as a supplement in THE ROC #14 (and now distributed as an independent quarterly).

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