Free Speech Coalition Tackles Porn Addiction

In an effort to provide an opportunity for both sides on the issue to be heard, Free Speech Coalition (FSC) will present a public Community Forum on the topic, "Today's Porn: Entertainment or Addiction?" on Monday, April 18, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. Panelists will include sex educators, researchers and political activists who will offer their perspectives on the subject and respond to questions from the audience.

Free Speech Coalition is the trade organization of the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to safeguard the industry from oppressive governmental regulation and to promote good business practices within the industry.

In November of 2004, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R. – Kansas) held a Senate Sub-committee hearing on "pornography addiction" in Washington, D.C., where a number of researchers and other professionals dogmatically compared adult material with heroin and crack cocaine, suggesting that its effect on brain chemistry is similar. No one from the adult entertainment industry, or other academics with a different point of view, was invited to speak.

"To examine an issue of such importance to our industry and to society without allowing us to participate is tantamount to censorship," said Michelle Freridge, FSC Executive Director. "We intend to open the doors to full participation by all stakeholders in this complex issue. By holding a public forum where Californians of all persuasions can come and speak out, we feel we are doing a public service."

Panelists will include Carol Queen, Ph.D., Author, Sex Educator and Director, Center for Sex & Culture; Robert Lawrence, D.Ed., D.C., Sex Educator and Co-Founder, Center for Sex & Culture; George N. Collins, M.A., Sexual Compulsion Specialist and Al Hernandez Santana, J.D., M.C.P., political activist and committed Catholic. The panel will be moderated by Layne Winklebleck, M.S.W.

"What I like about the Community Forum is that FSC has people from both sides of the issue," said Joan Irvine, executive director of The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection. "When U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R–Kan.) held a Senate Subcommittee hearing on "pornography addiction" in Washington, D.C., only one side of the issue was discussed and he didn't want it any way."

"I am a Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy (and Ph.D. candidate); my thesis was on Using Hypnosis for Sexual Enhancement," continued Irvine. "In my private practice, I saw many more people who had sexual issues in their relationship because of the lack of sex than people with sexual addition. People are naturally sexual beings; this is the way 'God' created us. When one has to deny their nature because of religion or government intervention, it is unhealthy. It's all about balance, just like the rest of one's life. There is a saying 'Sex is only 10% of a relationship, but if there are sexual issues, it becomes 90% of the problem.' I am looking forward to hearing the experts discuss this topic."

The event, which will be held in the Sheraton's Tofanelli Room, will commence with a no-host cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. with the panel discussion beginning at 7:00 p.m. A donation of $15 is requested but no entry fee will be charged. For more information, call 800-476-7813.

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