Ron Jeremy at the University of Nebraska
The Daily Nebraskan, 2/3/10 - Porn superstar Ron Jeremy was on campus Tuesday night to debate Susan Cole on the pros and cons of pornography.
Cole, the senior editor of Canada’s NOW magazine, has taken a stand against pornography, citing that it is degrading to women, while Jeremy, a 30-year veteran of the industry, describes it as empowering.
University Program Council sponsored the event along with Wolfman Productions.
UPC paid $12,500 to Wolfman Productions, plus the cost of air and hotel fare. The event attracted 937 students, 87 community members and 4 professors, according to Karen Wills, program coordinator of UPC. Students were let in free with their NCard. Patrons were forced to sit on the floor or stand in the back of the auditorium when the seats ran out.
Cole opened by assuring the crowd that she is not anti-sex and that she shouldn’t be grouped in with those who are pro-censorship.
“I’m not a right-wing Bible thumper,” she said. “I’m absolutely against abstinence.” This statement was met with mostly applause.
She went on to say that Ron Jeremy’s time has come and gone and that the industry has changed for the worse. Her main arguments are that porn portrays women as less than human and is degrading.
“In the age of YouTube,” Cole said, “nobody has the attention span to view a 90-minute movie like the ones Ron used to make.”
Throughout her speech, Cole cited studies that claim men are delusional to what women want because of porn.
Before the debate, Cole said the women of porn movies aren’t actors — rather, they are essentially prostitutes.
“People actually believed women liked being forced into sex,” she said. “Men were believing in porn rather than real life.”
Jeremy noted that women run many adult film companies and that they have worked their way up from actresses to producers.
The question and answer segment of the debate opened the floor to the public. Facilitators told the audience to keep their questions well-worded and thought out. The audience was mostly tame during the segment except when someone called a male student a “douche bag” while the student was asking a question. The student’s question had to deal with the alleged suicide rate and drug use of porn actresses.
“That is the most bullshit statistic I have ever heard in my entire life,” said Jeremy in response. He went on to say these women have had problems before they got into the porn business.
The two speakers disagreed on why porn is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States.
“It comes with freedom,” Jeremy said.
“It comes from rapid capitalism,” Cole said.
Mallory Vogt, sophomore hospitality and advertising major, said she understands both sides but doesn’t agree wholly with one or the other.
“I don’t agree with porn, and I’m for abstinence,” she said.
Matt Wynn, a junior biology major, had a different perspective.
“Porn is a good thing,” he said. “It’s a way to express certain urges.”
Though the night was kept mostly tame, Jeremy was able to joke around with the crowd. When a student was struggling to conclude her question, she said she was “coming.”
“Me too,” Jeremy said.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at Southern Illinois University Carbondale
WSIL, 10/22/08 - Some say it's disgusting material that demeans women and ruins lives. Others say it's simply entertainment, protected by freedom of speech. Both sides in the argument over pornography faced off at SIU Tuesday night. Ron Jeremy, a man who's been in more than a thousand adult movies spoke to a packed house at SIU, he was debating Craig Gross, the founder of the XXX Church, an organization that preaches the dangers of porn.
Gross says porn is addictive and can hurt families.
Jeremy argues porn is simply freedom of speech.
"They keep complaining about Hustler in every store, there's a Gideon Bible in every hotel room and I don't care I don't mind seeing it there I think it's nice, so freedom of speech works for both of us," said Jeremy.
The debate between Jeremy and Gross was sponsored by SIU's Student Programming Council. Organizers had planned for about 1500 people. But they estimate some three thousand showed up. Jeremy and Gross have done about 30 debates at college campuses across the country. Gross says he teamed up with Jeremy because he knew that would draw large crowds of college kids. And it gives Gross a chance to reach as many people as possible.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at SIUE
The Telegraph, 1/30/08 - Talking about porn drew more than 1,000 people to SIUE on Tuesday night.
People arrived early at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to hear what adult film star Ron Jeremy, 54, had to say about the porn industry. Jeremy has starred in more than 1,800 adult films and has had sex with somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 women.
The line appeared to be endless — and even out the door — of SIUE’s Morris University Center into the blustery cold. Some students parked themselves on the floor and ate dinner. Others stood and gabbed with friends.
Senior political science major Alyx Mark nabbed her spot in the lengthy line a little after 5 p.m. Although she was surprised to find others already in line, she knew why they were waiting.
“It’s just a very interesting subject, even more popular than Bill Clinton (today),” she said. “Everybody knows (Ron Jeremy’s) name, and he’s in ‘real’ movies now.”
Every seat in the Meridian Ballroom was taken, and people stood along the edges of the room. Another 500 people or so sat in the common area of the University Center to watch Jeremy and his challenger, recovered porn addict Michael Leahy, on a large projection screen.
Jeremy appeared wearing black workout pants with a red stripe down the side and a red, Asian-inspired shirt. He wore his wavy, long, dark brown hair down. Leahy was dressed in a business suit. While Leahy received applause, Jeremy got a standing ovation, along with whoops and hollers from the crowd.
Leahy told the story of how his addiction to pornography took over his life, causing him to lose a 13-year marriage, his two sons, a business partnership and many relationships. Porn, he said, was his “drug of choice.”
“It had become like my best friend,” he said. “Sex is a wonderful thing, a great thing.”
“I feel bad Michael had an addiction, but you don’t blame us,” Jeremy said. “These things happen.”
He said people don’t try to shut down bars because of alcoholism or churches where sexual abuse occurred.
“No one is saying close the church down, because you don’t blame an entire organization on a bunch of idiots,” Jeremy said.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at the University of Georgia
Red and Black Publishing Company, 8/31/07 - Ron Jeremy, a porn star who has directed, produced and starred in more than 1,800 adult films, and Craig Gross, a pastor and founder of xxxchurch.com - a Web site promoting a religious view on pornography - squared off in a sold-out debate Tuesday night in the Georgia Hall at the Tate Center.
The event was sponsored by the Ideas & Issues sector of University Union.
"We've never had anything about a topic like this on campus before," said Marc Lamotte, student affairs specialist.
"We thought this would be an interesting event," Lamotte said.
Several students offered money for the sold-out free tickets. One offered $20 to anyone who would give her a ticket to the show. Another traded tickets to a football game.
"This man is a living legend," said Jake Walter, a junior from Watkinsville.
"He's had sex with more women than I've met in my entire life."
Gross began by condemning the pornography industry for degrading women, being easily accessible for minors and creating unrealistic expectations.
"It's not real, and it's not what you get," Gross said.
Jeremy, wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants, said Gross was "lying" about the extremity of most pornography. He said only a small margin of the industry is geared toward "kinky" material, and the best-selling adult film of last year did not depict any extreme behaviors.
Jeremy agreed that although some women may feel degraded in the pornography business, others are "normal" and very wealthy.
"Either way we're damned. We're not making movies for everyone," Jeremy said.
Ron Jeremy Debates Susan Cole at Simmons College
Boston Herald, 4/4/07 - Legendary smut film star Ron Jeremy is used to all-women venues, but this one was more academic than most.
"The Hedgehog," as he’s known in the blue movie biz, was met by a handful of anti-porn protesters when he showed up to debate feminist author Susan Cole about the merits of his sordid trade at Simmons College in the Fenway last night. But the star of more than 1,000 adult titles said he was preparted for much worse.
"It wasn’t as hostile as I thought it was going to be. The girls who really picketed the event and had a problem with it didn’t show up ... they didn’t make it to the event," Jeremy said, leaving the debate riding shotgun in a livery car with Cole in the back seat. "I thought it was going to be a lot worse."
In fact, he said, during a show of hands inside the debate, only four people - all men - said they were anti-porn. And there were more supporters outside who thought it was just fine to let a porn star say his piece.
"Everyone needs to hear two sides of a debate. Ron Jeremy is here to present a side that is not spoken for," said Stacia Humphries, 25, a teaching assistant at the college.
A shrill trio of demonstrators was less open minded.
"The white, heterosexual rich man is the one at the top and they’re the ones who benefit from everything," said one outraged anti-porn protester.
"We don’t need to hear from people who benefit from sexism, racism and classism," the protester said.
Meanwhile, eight students from Emmanuel College - loudly pro-Ron - tried to gain entry but were turned away.
They had to be content with shouting "Ron Jeremy for President!" and "Ron Jeremy is my baby’s daddy!"
The debate was sold out and the media were barred. Only Simmons students and faculty were allowed inside.
Departing the venue, Jeremy and his adversary Cole shared a car, which she said was only possible because they’ve faced off so many times.
"We do have a level of mutual respect," she said. "I think otherwise there would be no way to function in this atmosphere. I still disagree strongly, I think pornography is exploitive. I feel passionately about my subject."
Meanwhile, Jeremy - known as the Hedgehog because he is short, fat and hairy - could face battery charges in Miami after he allegedly reached into an autograph seeker’s bra and grabbed her breast.
Jeremy said while his adult film career is winding down, his fight for porn freedom would not abate.
"I think porno has a right to exist. I think porno has a right to be defended," he said. "I’m not even as involved in adult films as I used to be since the reality shows came along . . . but I still feel it has a right to exist and deserves to be defended."
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at James Madison University
JMU The Breeze, Ashley Hopkins, 9/18/06 - A line of 1,175 students stretched across the Quad Wednesday night, all joined together in one common purpose: to talk sex with Ron Jeremy.
Jeremy, a porn star and director who has appeared in over 1,800 adult films, debated Craig Gross, pastor for XXXchurch.com — the largest anti-pornography Web site on the Internet — about pornography in Wilson Hall. Each gave an opening statement and fielded audience questions ranging from everything from the role of women in pornography to how to receive the best orgasm.
"We wanted to get people asking questions," said Jeremy Paredes, vice president of marketing and communications for the University Program Board. "This is what you want to know. We thought it would be a really great event to kick off the year."
UPB president Randi Sponenberg said, "We decided to bring this event to campus because we felt putting the spotlight on a hot-button issue would enlighten the community."
Throughout the night, Jeremy reiterated his stance that pornography is a legitimate career choice for consenting adults. "It has a right to exist," said Jeremy. "It’s that simple."
He also said that it can be empowering to women who choose to be in the industry.
"These girls are all making a billion dollars and bossing around the guys," said Jeremy while holding up photos of women in the adult film industry who are now running their own pornography companies.
Gross, on the other hand, finds pornography to be degrading toward women. Through his site and his tours, he is trying to help women feeling trapped in the business a way out.
"Porn doesn’t empower women," Gross said. "The only way to make it is to do hardcore material. The problem is most girls don’t know what they’re in for."
The debate also centered on the topic of whether pornography is just entertainment tailored toward natural sexuality, or if it is a fantasy world that is both fake and unrealistic.
"It’s part of the wide world of entertainment," Jeremy said. "Nothing more,
Many students enjoyed the debate, finding it both interesting and an
important learning experience. Some were surprised by what they heard.
Harris added he was relieved Gross refrained from "Bible thumping" and was glad to see he rejected Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Jessica Schultz, a sophomore, said, "I liked that both were open-minded."
Despite their varying beliefs, both Jeremy and Gross have and will continue to tour together across the country.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at the University of Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/11/06 - The pornography star entered the room at the University of Cincinnati Wednesday night to roaring applause. He took his place behind a lectern - the same spot where UC President Nancy Zimpher once updated a crowd about her academic plan.
Some stood for the star. One man snapped his picture with a cell phone. There on the stage was chubby, balding Ron Jeremy, star of about 1,800 adult films and subject of curiosity for a crowd of 500 at UC's Tangeman University Center.
Then there was the other guy. The anti-Ron Jeremy. A guy in a white dress shirt and a trendy haircut. Less familiar to the college set, Craig Gross is a pastor and founder of California anti-pornography Internet ministry XXXchurch.com, which, according to Time magazine, plans to hand out Bibles at erotica conventions.
Hosted by the UC Programs and Activities Council, the two were on campus to debate pornography and field questions. They had a similar debate last month at the University of Rhode Island.
Gross called porn "a cheap substitute for the real thing." He said it's addictive and creates unreal fantasies and taints people's views - especially men's - about sex and women.
"For some people, it leads to a dead end," Gross said.
Jeremy said pornography can be empowering to women and is not as harmful as Gross claims. He called it "part of the wide world of entertainment, nothing more, nothing less."
"How many of you saw porn before 18?" Gross asked the audience, emphasizing its easy availability. Several raised their hands. "But look," Jeremy responded, "they're all healthy, happy students."
After each man presented his side of the argument, students lined up to ask questions that ranged from porn's role in sexual violence and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases to how each felt God looked upon pornography.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at the University of Connecticut
UConn Daily Campus, 4/26/05 - A Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG) sponsored discussion forum was held in Jorgensen on Tuesday debating the issues deriving from the adult film industry. Roughly 2,100 students were in attendance, 20 of which were able to contribute in the question and answer portion.
Michael Leahy, 33, a recovering pornography addict, spoke about the awareness of dangers on the Internet and availability of pornography related material.
"You buy into the belief system and attitude, the way we view women and relationships," Leahy said. "You learn how to look at women really objectively ... I was drugging myself with porn. Internet porn is an addictive form. It escalated to an affair; I cheated on my wife of 13 years. A year after my divorce I woke up."
Ron Jeremy, world renowned adult film star, spoke on behalf of the industry arguing that sanctioned pornography has its place in society and is designed to be handled by a mature audience.
Jeremy's major thesis included the fact that the X-rated industry promotes a certain product and leaves no ambiguity behind the definition of pornography and the graphic content related with such. He argued that mainstream media images are the real demons, disguising subliminal messages regarding sexuality and exposing them to a younger, more impressionable demographic.
"[Sellers of pornography] are who they advertise themselves to be," Jeremy said. "You should be pissed at mainstream media pushing images. The game changed with technology. Education and awareness need to be a part of that. Parents need to put in the effort to educate their children."
Leahy discussed the fact that he's not for the legislation of morality and believes strongly against censorship. More so, his efforts are to educate about the dangers and raise awareness in the pornography industry. Similar to the way the general populous, during the first half of the 20th century, was uneducated on the perils of cigarette smoking, Leahy feels this compares to the level of awareness today's society has of the dangers in XXX films and imagery.
A personal negative side effect Leahy experienced from extensive pornography exposure was the desensitizing of real sex with his wife.
"Within my first year of marriage having sex with my wife didn't do it for me," Leahy said. "The buzz came from porn. There was a higher high in porn. It removed my libido."
In regards to the future of pornography, both Leahy and Jeremy agreed that women are the target demographic for up and coming productions. According to Jeremy, women run the majority of the pornography industry. A male will receive roughly $500 per film and a woman $5,000 to $10,000 per film, according to Jeremy.
"Men like things blatant," Jeremy said. "Women like a bulge in the bathing suit opposed to seeing a guy's penis. They like to be teased a little bit."
Leahy said filmmakers such as those for "Girls Gone Wild" are tapping into mainstream media to appeal to a demographic that otherwise lacks exposure to hardcore pornography.
"It's predatory and dehumanizing," Leahy said. "They are taking advantage of a drunk crowd."
Jeremy protested, regarding Joe Francis as a businessman. He made the observation that the girls who are flashing cameras are exposing themselves to "millions" of cameras and "Francis happens to film them," according to Jeremy.
Continuing with the idea that pornography is a business, Jeremy said the purpose is to circulate media imagery with clear intentions of arousal, stimulation and sexual promiscuity.
"It is a business," Jeremy said. "Do you promote family values? Hell no. I've never been approached by a producer saying, 'give me four scenes of anal and throw in some family values.'"
Leahy also discussed the ambiguity this generation is facing in regards to what lines should be drawn in exposure to provocative material.
"Your generation is an experiment for us," Leahy said. "We don't know how it'll affect you. However, you see it in eating disorders and date rape. There is, though, no direct correlation between violent crimes and porn."
Jeremy stressed the proven fact that pornography in no way is associated with rape or crimes of sexual abuse.
An unresolved question remained as to how a person can notice and prevent an addiction.
Leahy stressed the fact that addiction occurs when whatever the object of desire imposes upon every day activities may be.
"As long as you're able to carry out every day activities without any problem, then what's the harm in masturbating at night?" Jeremy asked. "If you were trying to get into law school, and had to study for the bar, but watched a porno instead, then that's a problem."
However, according to Mike Lanosa, a 6th-semester pharmacy major, the question of how to prevent pornography addiction remained unanswered.
"I felt like points were repeated and I never heard an answer to what Leahy was preaching against," he said.
Jeremy asked a similar question.
"How do we know you're addicted," Jeremy said. "Do you check the rewind button, look at the hair on your palm?"
Christina Bainton, 6th-semester English and broadcasting major and Sexpert, felt the discussion was educational and discussed valid opinions.
"I was glad [Jeremy] brought up condoms and dental dams," Bainton said. "It's important for UConn students to hear that."
Ultimately, the pornography industry remains a major economic corporation on an international scale. Jeremy, after having traveled the world explained the drastic differences from country to country in the way they handle their porn industry.
"In Europe or Amsterdam requesting the men you make a film with and refusing to make a movie with men, that's unheard of," Jeremy said.
Especially in the college demographic, Leahy stressed the importance of proper use and awareness of pornography.
Jeremy promoted the act of masturbation, claiming it to be a natural stress reliever.
"If you're young men in college, you're a walking libido looking for a place to stick it," Jeremy said.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at the University of Rhode Island
The Good Five Cent Cigar, 4/20/06 - The hot pink lights shined down on his face, producing a glimmer of sweat on his forehead. With all eyes eagerly watching him, Ron Jeremy remained focused, preparing for his big performance.
No, the 53-year-old porn actor wasn't on the set of his next film; Jeremy was at the University of Rhode Island for a debate on pornography last night in Keaney Gym.
Jeremy, along with minister Craig Gross, argued points on everything from Internet porn and its accessibility to minors, to the role women play in the industry and porn's affect on individuals and their relationships with others.
"A lot of porn isn't necessarily the truth," Gross said. "Ron's going to tell you porn is about creating fantasies. In fact it creates unrealistic fantasies … these fantasies they try to package up for you, it's all a lie."
"Where do you draw the line?" Jeremy responded. "I mean when I was a kid, I used to masturbate to Gilligan's Island."
Jeremy said it didn't matter what expectations the porn industry tries to set, because there will always be someone who disapproves regardless. He cited an example in which he made a film with a traditional husband and wife plot and conventional sex scenes.
"The feminists still hated it. The anti-pornographers still hated it. [Gross] would probably still hate it," Jeremy said. "Nothing we do is going to satisfy those who hate our business."
Gross said the porn industry tells society that its films are for adults and people over 18, yet the reality of the situation is that the average age a person sees his or her first porn film is 11.
"We don't want to target minors," Jeremy said. "We're very happy with 18 and over, and we're clearly targeting 18 and over."
The porn industry knows to behave itself because if it doesn't, the government will take over, he said.
Jeremy added, "We're trying to be as much age-verified as possible. We're doing the best we can to make sure minors don't watch us."
For many people, porn may grow into an addiction, Gross said. "With porn, there is no moderation. It's going to get you to do things you never thought you'd do … You're not in control, the porn is in control."
"You don't end a business because some people abuse it," Jeremy said in reponse.
He used an analogy of medicine to show when used appropriately, porn can be completely harmless. "You take aspirin, it cures your headache. You take too much, it poisons you and you die," Jeremy said.
On an offbeat note, Gross informed the audience that in Jeremy's documentary, the porn star says he thinks of "dead dogs, grandma and Vietnam casualties" during his sex scenes.
Jeremy answered with an explanation of what some men in the porn industry do when they are "too close to letting go" during a scene. He said he would often look at a cameraman's shoe or head, or imagine the aforementioned objects.
"One guy I know said he thinks of men," Jeremy said with a laugh. "I said, 'Don't do that, because if you still 'let go,' it will change your life forever.'"
The issue of female empowerment in the porn industry was another hot topic of discussion for the two men.
"If [porn] empowers women, why do they go by a fake name in the industry?" Gross said.
He added that many porn actresses have approached him asking for help with getting out of the business. "You're going to have some celebrities, some stars. But there's so many girls out there that are like, 'Oh my God, what am I doing here?'"
"I don't endorse it as a career move for everyone," Jeremy said. "But for those who want to do it, they have the right for it to exist."
Pornography on the Internet has continued to decline in terms of decency, Gross said, citing a Web site he found that featured various lewd sexual acts.
"I won't defend that stuff on the Internet," Jeremy said, later referring to child pornography and bestiality as well. "That has nothing to do with my business."
During a question and answer session, one student asked Jeremy if he had ever felt guilty or regretted any choices he made during his 28-year career consisting of more than 1,500 films.
"Do I feel guilty? No, absolutely not," Jeremy said. "As far as choices, yeah, you always think about stuff … it's tough having relationships, period. You're in Hollywood, it's tough. You're in porn, tougher. Marriage is tough enough as it is, when you factor porn into it, it's really difficult."
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at Northeastern University
Weekly Dig, 3/7/06 - Last Thursday, Ron Jeremy, the world’s biggest porn star, came to Northeastern to debate pornography with a pastor named Craig Gross. Gross founded an anti-porn website, xxxchurch.com, and claims God avenges masturbation by killing kittens; he also ministers to porn addicts and former adult film stars. Jeremy and Gross met at last year’s Erotica LA convention. We’re not making this shit up.
Hordes of porn-crazed students milled about the Blackman Auditorium, anticipating the titanic clash. Allison Romano came looking for "a good debate." She also predicted a victory for Jeremy, in no small part because the Hedgehog "can suck his own dick."
Inside the auditorium, the debate began dubiously. The moderator demanded a substantive discussion, with "fluff questions" kept to a minimum; the instructions set the room all a-titter.
Boos and laughs peppered Gross’s introduction, but the audience did seem impressed by the 60 million hits xxxchurch.com has logged. More impressive, though, was Jeremy’s résumé of over 1,800 adult films, and his bold wardrobe choice—a Hawaiian shirt paired with red and black track pants.
Gross, the young and confident underdog, got things started. "I started my website because of people like you, who’ve been misled about pornography," he said. "I don’t want to shut down the porn industry, but for some people, it leads to a dead end. Porn is all about creating fantasies, but the fantasies are creating unrealistic expectations of what you should expect in sex."
Gross also laid one-third of the nation’s divorces at the feet of porn-related relationship dysfunctions, and warned, to more twitters, "Porn is a parasite on your brain. Get off now while you still can."
"Why he picks on porn, I don’t know," Jeremy countered. "It’s consenting adults having consenting sex, and being watched by consenting adults. If you have a problem with it, don’t watch it."
He continued, "Any kind of addiction is not good. But if you have a good job, you’re a productive member of society, and you want to go home, watch porn, masturbate and go to sleep, that’s OK. Why do you have to stop watching porn? Why stop having cream cheese on your bagel?"
During the debate’s Q&A session, the crowd seemed maddened by Gross’s refusal to sensationalize his argument. He wouldn’t say that porn creates murderers and rapists, but only that it might establish behaviors and expectations that can undermine monogamous relationships.
Two streakers interrupted a discussion about the merits/evils of double-anal penetration. The guy screamed his devotion to Jeremy and then escaped out a side door, but when his female companion reached the auditorium stage, she froze; not knowing where to go, she threw her hands in the air, turned around and galloped back up the aisle she’d just run down—right into the arms of an NUPD officer.
"Wow," Jeremy marveled, "this is the first time I’ve ever been upstaged. I’ve spoken at colleges all across the country, and never been streaked." Then he became introspective, musing, "She had a pretty nice body … "
Streaker Girl wasn’t the evening’s most humiliated female, though; that honor was won by a student who suggested to Jeremy that porn degrades women.
"It’s sex—it’s not dehumanizing," he replied. "What are you referring to, a pop-shot on your face?"
The student said that, while money shots weren’t the specific thrust of her complaint, they were problematic. So Jeremy suggested several other ways of finishing off a guy without taking a blast to the kisser: "On your stomach, your back, your shoulder, your breasts, in your mouth, a towel, a condom—there are lots of ways to do it."
However, the Hedgehog added, "Some girls don’t mind a little sperm on their face," and requested a show of hands to prove his point. A girl in the balcony stood up, and received an ovation from several guys nearby. This caused the first student to blurt out, "I don’t want men to cum in my face, ever!"
"Why not?" Jeremy asked. "I let girls squirt on my face!"
At that point, the moderator stepped in and declared the event over. "Thanks for coming," he said, to even more laughter.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at Missouri University
The Maneater, 2/24/06 - Ron Jeremy, one of pornography’s most recognizable stars, and Susan Cole, one of pornography’s most outspoken foes, faced off in a debate at Jesse Auditorium in front of more than 1,000 people on Thursday night.
The debate focused on how porn affects its viewers, especially how it affects the way its viewers perceive violence against women.
Students lined up at the Brady Commons box office Thursday afternoon to purchase last-minute tickets for the event, which had been widely promoted by organizers.
The Missouri Students Association’s Department of Student Activities sponsored the event and paid $9,000 total to bring the two to campus.
"I’m a fan of Ron Jeremy," said freshman Tyler Klein, who was waiting to buy tickets. "I’m looking forward to hearing his point of view."
Sophomore Marcus Vincent said he was excited to see something different at MU.
"I don’t have a stance on the issue, but I think it will be funny," he said.
Jeremy, star of more than 1,800 pornographic films, and Cole, a veteran anti-pornography activist and author of "Pornography and the Sex Crisis," have been touring college campuses.
As the lights dimmed, the auditorium’s seats were full and students filed into the balcony. The audience began to chant Jeremy’s name.
"I want to see how Cole will defend herself against Ron," Junior Laura Kraft said.
Davie Holt, the MSA Senate speaker, moderated the debate.
Jeremy and Cole each had 12 minutes to speak. They then took questions from the audience.
Cole was the first to present her points.
"Susan has to go before me, or else I have nothing to say if I can’t just argue against her points," Jeremy said.
Cole explained to the audience that she was neither against sex, nor was she against censorship. She went on to explain her support of masturbation, especially for women.
Cole then spoke about how she thought the pornography industry objectifies women.
"Viewers do not care about the woman, they don’t notice the influences," she said.
She referenced a film in which Jeremy smothers a woman with a pillow in a joking manner. She said porn makes it harder to do anything about sex crimes.
"Porn suggests violence is OK and we shouldn’t do very much about it," Cole said.
She also spoke on women’s sexual roles, saying they were offered a choice of being perceived as either overly sexual or too conservative.
"Virgin, whore; give me an alternative!" she shouted rhetorically.
Cole said she hopes MU students will look at porn differently and will change their part in the perpetual exploitation of women in the industry.
"Consider seizing back your own sexuality," Cole said.
She also said criminal law should not get rid of porn, but consumers should wipe out the market.
Jeremy’s rebuttal was more comical in nature, saying porn was about "fun, happy films." He said he did not stand for ultra-violent porn, or any illegal types of pornography, such as pornography depicting children or sex acts with animals.
Jeremy said the porn industry glorifies its female stars, because viewers are paying attention to them. He said men make roughly $100 to $600 per movie, but women can make $1,000 to $10,000 per film.
The actor said he hopes students see that there are two sides to every argument.
"Anyone over the age of 18 has the right to create and view porn," Jeremy said. "We are trying to bring films to satisfy fantasies of the wide public, with fetishes and niches. America doesn’t need a mom, we can make the choices ourselves."
He also said he likes what Susan does, and said "she keeps us in check."
After the debate, students lined up across the lobby in Jesse Hall to meet the debaters, and discussed the highlights of the evening.
"I think women are objectified more," said freshman Andi Gutierrez. "I was sort of indifferent because I don’t see the correlation between porn and violence."
Junior Joe Tyra said he thought the most interesting point was how the two speakers agreed on masturbation, which he said he didn’t expect Cole to advocate.
"Cole was horrible at debating. She generalized when Ron used specifics," he said.
Ron Jeremy at Western Illinois University
Peoria Journal Star, 1/31/06 - Adult film star Ron Jeremy turned articulate storyteller Monday night as he spoke about his life and career to a packed house of Western Illinois University students.
More than 1,000 WIU students lined up well over one hour before the performance to hear Jeremy talk about his new film career and his making of hundreds of adult films.
Jeremy was originally scheduled to be at WIU several months ago but was forced to cancel because filming on his latest movie went over schedule.
Before the show, Jeremy said he likes speaking to college students, with many of his shows consisting of debates with anti-pornography spokeswoman Susan G. Cole.
"We're friends, but on stage we're brutal to each other," he said.
Jeremy said most college-age students associate him more with recent appearances in mainstream films and the VH-1 network show "The Surreal Life," instead of seeing him as an adult film star.
"They know me from other places," he said. "The younger folks get to know you not from porn."
On Monday night Jeremy launched into a raunchy 20-minute comedy routine about his career before settling down to talk with students about the laws involving pornography and his life before adult films. Students gave him a screaming standing ovation as he took to the stage.
Jeremy said he has bachelor's degrees in education and theater with a master's degree in special education. He taught mentally handicapped children for one year before entering the adult film industry.
He then decided to pursue theater as a career, starting off working "off, off Broadway."
Jeremy said he was a starving actor before he started making adult films. Since then he has made several appearances in more mainstream films but said it's difficult to get serious roles in family-oriented media.
"I get a lot of roles, but not a lot of reoccurring roles," he said. "You won't see (adult film actors) selling toothpaste."
After Monday's appearance, Jeremy stayed around to sign autographs and have his picture taken with students.
Ron Jeremy Debates Porn at the University of Texas
U-WIRE, ARLINGTON, Texas, 11/5/05 - Ron Jeremy and Susan Cole make an interesting pair. One wouldn't expect a veteran of the pornography industry and a feminist, anti-pornography advocate to be very cordial. However, the two seemed almost friendly before the debate.
"Have y'all met my wife?" Jeremy said. "This is Susan Cole."
Jeremy and Cole, who are not actually married, appeared before hundreds Thursday at the University of Texas at Arlington to debate the ethics of pornography. Cole, who said she and Jeremy have done about 10 debates, said their initial meeting came as a surprise to both of them and served to alleviate their preconceived notions.
"I thought he was going to be dumb and stupid and sexist," she said. "He thought I was going to be a Bible-thumping, right-wing freak."
Although both have found common ground, on the stage the gloves came off.
"I find it a little ironic that Ron Jeremy is the spokesperson for the porn industry. He's kind of the anti-porn star," she said. "For starters, just look at him."
But such personal attacks were kept to a minimum, as the debaters laid out his or her position in preparation for the question-and-answer session that would follow.
Cole claimed that pornography is systematically lowering society's concept of women, encouraging both sexism and sexual violence.
Jeremy said America's porn industry is fairly tame compared to that overseas, and the industry he is involved in shows little that isn't already going on in the privacy of people's bedrooms.
"I've been accused of being the white-bread porn star because my films are pretty boring," Jeremy said. "Doing it doggy style, smack her on the ass, that's it."
Cole said she wanted to counter the common misconception that anti-pornography advocates are also against all sex or all premarital sex. She said this is not the case and that she strongly supports sexual experimentation.
"I am particularly in favor of masturbation for women because I believe if women don't get to know our own bodies, we won't have two minutes of good sex in our entire lives," she said.
Cole said the scenes in porn films often depict women in humiliating, degrading and dangerous situations. She acknowledged that the women participating in this conduct were not forced to do so but said it is mistaken to say that they chose the porn industry.
"When you have a choice between no sex, abstinence and what they call morality and a type of sex that is the pits to you, you'll choose the bad sex over no sex at all," she said. "I find it ironic that in a culture that celebrates individualism, you are willing to accept prepackaged sexuality."
Jeremy countered that the feminist argument that pornography is degrading to women is lacking. He said pornography is a male-dominated market, and most films will therefore be geared toward men's fantasies, not those of women, which are often less obvious.
"If you look at women's magazines, like Playgirl, it's very subtle. You don't see a big throbbing schmeckel in her face," he said. "It's impossible to make a film that won't piss the feminists off."
Biology senior Cece Chatman said she didn't see what Cole's problem with pornography was. Although not necessarily a strong supporter of Jeremy, she said she does value free expression. "I guess I would say I am for porn," she said. "There's nothing wrong with a little stimulation, if that's for you."
Marketing senior Zach Wohldmann disagreed. Attending out of curiosity and support for Cole, he said pornography has had serious negative impact on society and thinks measures should be taken before its hold gets any worse. "I think it can be degrading to women and change men's viewpoints on women," he said. "I think it's grown here, and I think it'll escalate out of control, and I think it should be regulated."
Spanish freshman Trevor Bye had a different reason for attending the event. "I wanted to see Ron Jeremy's member," he said.
This page contains copyrighted material and is made available to better understand pornography, e.g., its effect on society. It is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in receiving the information for research and educational purposes.
Porn Studies > Porn in the News
Copyright © 2005-2008 pornstudies.net