new podcast, saucy: Apple’s Porn Problem and a Mac geek sex guide

by Violet Blue on May 17, 2010

Everyone and their LOLcat is sending me links and photos, as the backlash to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ weekend comment about saving people from porn is starting to sink in. Yes, he really said that. And yes, everyone is talking to me about it. They’re also saying it’s changing their attitudes about brand loyalty — which I find extremely interesting.

I wanted to go back to a better time, A simpler time, before Steve was freaking us out with his outbursts about porn and bizarre new fascination with vocalizing anti-porn ideology. I write about and talk about porn all the time — I want a break from it too! But not at the expense of reason.

This afternoon I recorded Open Source Sex podcast 75, Apple’s Porn Problem. In it, I talk about the recent history of Steve and his porn crusade and call back to the glamorous times of Macworlds past… Sexier times for Apple. In it, I give you a full Macworld — and Mac geek — sex guide.

* Podcast page for OSS 75, with MP3 download link.
* Click here to listen to Apple’s Porn Problem in my website’s pop-up audio player.

Show mentions:

* Ryan Block, gdgt
* Ryan Tate, Gawker
* See also: MacLife: Of Apps and Men
* See also: The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Violet Blue Macworld Interview

And, I am by no means done with this topic. Oh no. So not done with this. In the meantime, enjoy Eros Blog’s Freedom From Porn and sex educator Charlie Glickman’s Freedom From Porn and the iPhone. I especially love this section:

(…) But there’s a big difference between “freedom from porn” and “you don’t get to look at porn.” If freedom truly exists, then it’s the freedom to make a choice. It’s the freedom to say no AND the freedom to say yes. When Jobs talks about “freedom from porn”, he’s not really talking about freedom.

Second, it’s also really interesting that Jobs seems to think that people with kids suddenly don’t want porn. Sure, it’s important to protect kids when it comes to sexuality by not exposing them to things beyond their capacity to understand. But that doesn’t mean that we all have to live our entire lives in child-friendly spaces, either. I can personally assure Mr. Jobs that a lot of people with kids enjoy porn. I can also assure him that there are a lot of people who don’t have kids.

Third, look at the three things that Jobs thinks people want “freedom” from: identity theft and information loss, badly designed software, and porn. What an interesting combination of things to equate. This may be the high-tech version of a moral panic. “Anyone who wants porn wants you to have crappy software that’ll send your credit card number to the Russian mafia!”

While we’re on the topic of freedoms that Apple can provide, I have a few more to suggest: Freedom from dropped calls due to inadequate AT&T coverage. Freedom from promises of future services that never happen (like tethering). Freedom from restrictions on iphone developers. Now, those seem like the sorts of freedoms that I’d like to see Apple work on. (…)

Image via.

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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{ 6 comments }

1 Darkstar June 1, 2010 at 12:05 am

Here’s a *rumor* from Engadget. If correct, then my second prediction has started.

“The next Apple TV revealed: cloud storage and iPhone OS on tap… and a $99 price tag”
http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/28/the-next-apple-tv-revealed-cloud-storage-and-iphone-os-on-tap/

2 Darkstar May 20, 2010 at 12:02 am

Weird. (Or maybe not, considering.) The ilounge.com URL for the iPad Keyboard Dock doesn’t work from tinynibbles.com. I have no idea if using vb.ly would help. Try this URL washed through Google’s cache:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:m5OdIp-RxbkJ:www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/apple-ipad-keyboard-dock/

3 Darkstar May 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm

@David: “million other places to get porn on my iPad/ iPhone out there…”

Really? And how long do you think that’s going to last?

I think two things are going to happen. One, iPhone OS will add “Think of the Children!” filtering which can’t be turned off short of jailbreaking or installing Android. You think an iPhone is too small to do this? Consider the Bsecure service:

http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/2010/05/bsecure_for_parental_self-cont.php

This is a cloud-based service that only needs a small client to check IP addresses.

Two, all Apple computers will run iPhone OS on multicore ARM-based(?) processors. Look at an iPad with an Apple Keyboard Dock:

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/apple-ipad-keyboard-dock/

Scale that up and you have an iMac. Or make it a clamshell and you have a MacBook Air.

Have fun playing in the Soup Nazi’s walled garden. I’m staying out.

4 Bacchus May 18, 2010 at 7:20 am

Yeah. Nobody questions that Jobs has the right to do whatever boneheaded thing he wants on his own platform. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to notice and criticize.

There’s still a culture war going on in this country between a sexually repressive faction and…well…everybody else. Jobs and his platform have enormous cultural power. How he chooses to wield that power manifestly is worthy of public discussion and criticism.

There’s also a substantial hypocrisy angle. Apple has famously identified itself with the forces of “revolution” (cultural, technical, presumably not political) for more than a quarter century, and still prominently uses the word in its advertising. To do that while its CEO identifies himself with the wrong side of both the culture war and the open-platforms movement? Seriously? In what twisted universe is a walled garden revolutionary in 2010?

So, yeah, big stink all right. And the smell is coming from Cupertino.

5 David May 18, 2010 at 12:22 am

While I agree that it’s Job’s store, and he’s free to run it as he wishes, and that there’s a million other places to get porn on my iPad/ iPhone out there… I don’t know. In the same way that I won’t stay at a Marriott for their LDS connections (and the funding they provided for Prop. 8), or won’t eat tuna that contains 25% kitten, I just don’t like giving my business to someone who’s so sex-negative. I was upset at the great app purge, but I could lie and convince myself it was no big deal (really Steve? A program that let’s you make sections of photos jiggle when you shake them is a threat to our children? Are you kidding?) But since he’s started actively attacking the competition by trying to negatively associate them with porn viewers… I’ve had about enough. This porn viewer had no interest in buying an Android phone just so he could get his spank material on the go, but I’m being driven that way by the appreciation I’ve been shown by Mr. Jobs. Sorry if you feel this degenerate’s money isn’t good enough for you!

6 Stranger527 May 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Okay, here’s the thing that bugs me. One, the Gawker writer admits to having “a Stinger cocktail at [his] side” when he sent his email and the replies and two, well… It was two in the frikkin’ morning! Very few intelligent conversations happen at two AM.

What I don’t get is the big stink. Everyone is blowing this out of proportion. Jobs wants to keep porn out of his store. We have known this for a while. It’s his store (sadly, the only one) and he can stock the shelves how he sees fit. His statement about keeping the device “free from porn” is unsettling, but I think I have shown that there is room for interpretation here.

On the flip-side, the internet is full of porn. The only app needed for that is a browser. Voila! Porn in one palm and yourself in the other. Easy-peasy. Why worry about the availability of porn apps? When there were ‘sexy’ apps in the store, I downloaded several. Most were sub-par and still others were one-trick ponies. I did checkout a couple of dating sims that were fun, but mostly novel and short lived.

There are maybe two types of apps that would be suitable candidates for pursuit. First, sex games: 2+ people playing digital spin the bottle or something like it. It’d be fun, right? Pornographic Scrabble. Strip Boggle. The mind reels at possibilities here. Second, an app that functions as a device controller. With a multi-touch interface, a couple could have a grand time with an iPhone controlled sex toy (just watch out for lube. Apple’s pretty strict about liquid damage).

In the end, we have access to all of the porn out there. Right now, my iPad has 4 adult movies and monster collection of images. Give me public domain pornographic literature and an ePub generator, and I can naughty up iBooks in hot minute. Jobs can rattle his saber, but I have already defeated his intent for the Apple mobile platform.

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