Turin authorities closed a new sex doll brothel after just nine days citing hygiene concerns and other offences. All eight of the dolls have been seized for forensic examination by the authorities.
Until its sudden closure on Wednesday, LumiDolls in Torino, northwestern Italy charged clients Euro 80 ($90) for 30 minutes of alone time with the hyper realistic dolls which cost roughly 2,000 euro each..
Authorities are concerned over hygiene at the establishment and also insufficient information on the materials the dolls were made from and their country of manufacture. The brothel owners claim that they clean the dolls for two hours once a
client has finished with them.
Police are also fishing around for other offences, whether the brothel breached Italian laws on renting out accommodation and alleged but unspecified illegal activity.
LumiDolls franchise began in Spain and boasts sex doll brothels in Barcelona and Moscow.
newly published study that examined a large representative sample of highly watched pornographic videos from a leading online streaming website, we found no evidence for the claim that pornography has become more violent over the last
We also found no evidence for often-heard claims that viewers increasingly prefer aggressive content.
Pornography and sexually explicit materials have long been a matter of intense debate. Since the so-called
sex wars of the 1970s, activists and academics have been embroiled in disputes concerning the production conditions, future directions and long-term consequences of pornography.
Since the rise of online porn along with social media, discussions about pornography have taken on a life of their own, largely unhinged from a credible or systematic evidence base.
Debates about aggression in porn
Our interest in the topic of violence and aggression in pornography came out of reading and hearing claims both in the popular media and in academic circles that pornography is becoming "worse and worse."
Part of this argument has been the result of
scientifically dubious claims about pornography being addictive and users needing to constantly "up the stakes" in order to be satisfied.
According to this logic, porn viewers -- who are mostly men -- become desensitized to "soft" pornography. This forces producers to increasingly generate videos that are more hard-core, creating a growing demand for and supply of violent
and degrading acts against women in mainstream pornographic videos.
However, we found no evidence to support these claims, and most of the existing evidence for the idea that porn is more hard-core than before was anecdotal.
Studies on the presence of aggression in pornographic videos have produced wildly diverging estimates, ranging from about
two per cent to
90 per cent . Differences in the way porn is studied can cause this wide gap in results: Researchers who have looked at aggression in porn have looked at different forms of media and have used various methods to both study and choose their
They have even used various definitions of aggression. Aggression can be strictly defined as a purposeful act resulting in harm in which the target of aggression
attempts to avoid the harm , or more broadly defined as a purposeful act that
results in harm to either the self or another . The choice of definition can have an impact on what is considered aggression, creating the potential to either under- or over-estimate prevalence.
Previous studies have not examined systematically changes in depictions of aggression over time, nor the relationship between aggressive contents and the popularity of videos.
Testing the claims porn is more violent
We set out to test the accepted wisdom of the "harder and harder" argument.
We also tested the assumption that viewers prefer increasingly hard-core pornography by analyzing 269 videos uploaded to PornHub over the past decade.
one of the world's top adult websites and, according to Alexa Internet, the 36th most visited site on the Internet as of 2017, with more than 80 million daily visits. PornHub is a freely accessible video-sharing website similar to YouTube.
Most of the videos we analyzed were frequently watched, but we also analyzed a smaller random sample of less frequently watched videos so that we could compare the highly popular videos versus the less popular ones.
We tested two related claims: One, that aggressive content in videos is on the rise and two, that viewers prefer such content. We used both the number of views as well as the rankings ("based on likes") for videos containing aggression
to help us assess popularity.
We used multiple definitions and measures of aggression (including visible, verbal, non-verbal and non-consensual aggression). Our results offered no support for either of these two claims. Viewers did not show a preference for violent content.
Visible aggression was present in slightly less than 40 per cent of the videos, non-consensual aggression appeared in about 12 per cent of the videos, and nearly 10 per cent of video titles clearly suggested aggression.
None of these showed an upward trend.
In fact, while in 2008, nearly 13 per cent of the average videos portrayed non-consensual aggression, by 2016, this figure had dropped to less than three per cent. This decline in non-consensual aggression and a similar decline in aggressive
video titles suggest that aggression has become less frequent in pornography over the last decade.
We also found that videos containing aggressive acts were both less likely to receive views and less likely to be ranked favourably by viewers, who preferred videos where women clearly demonstrated pleasure.
Whether the women are actually experiencing pleasure is another matter altogether, which our study cannot assess. Nevertheless, videos where women respond with pleasure are more likely to be watched and be "liked" (given a thumb's up by
These findings clearly challenge the assumption about the popularity of aggression, at least among those viewers who choose to share their preferences.
Indeed, it seems like the majority of mainstream viewers are gradually moving away from depictions of aggression and degradation, particularly non-consensual aggression.
This shift away from non-consensual aggression may signify lower demand and, depending on the responsiveness of producers to the preferences of most consumers, might result in reduced distribution of material featuring non-consensual aggression.
That said, surveys and interviews with porn viewers are needed to further explore preferences for aggression-free pornography.
Our research suggests that those making the "harder and harder" argument may be confusing supply (what a substantial portion of mainstream porn still looks like) and demand (what most viewers actually want to watch.)
An era of adult television has come to an and, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times , which reported that the Time-Warner owned, pay cable network HBO has spent the summer, quietly and without fanfare, removing its once-prodigious
library of erotic documentaries and entertainment programs from the network and the HBO streaming platforms, HBO Go and HBO Now.
Since the 1990s, HBO has produced and broadcast such series as the influential Real Sex , the Las Vegas brothel reality series Cathouse , and recurring instructional sex specials hosted by adult performer Katie Morgan.
But HBO has not produced new adult late night programs for several years, and now the network will no longer offer repeats or archived shows from its adult category either.
While HBO's new owner, the telecom giant AT&T, informed HBO employees earlier this year that it planned big changes for the network, the elimination of HBO's erotic fare, network execs told the Times , was not mandated by AT&T and in fact
began well before the telecom conglomerate took over. The reason that HBO is ditching their late night lineup, according to what one spokesperson told the Times , is simply that HBO viewers have lost interest, most likely due to the proliferation
of adult content online.
US moralists always want more. The Parents Television Council writes:
The Parents Television Council applauds HBO and its corporate parent, AT&T, for removing the pornographic content from its platform -- but urges AT&T to make the same move by removing X-rated pornographic content from DirecTV. PTC
President Tim Winter whinged:
AT&T's HBO made a wise decision to remove pornographic content, even citing that 'there wasn't strong demand for this kind of adult programming.' While that is a huge positive step forward, the same logic should also extend to AT&T-owned
DirecTV, which still offers hardcore pornographic content to subscribers.
How can a company that says it is built on responsibility continue to deliver and profit from pornography? How much does DirecTV porn really increase the earnings per share? Is this a reasonable tradeoff for a so-called responsible company?
Given that AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson was the 36th National President of the Boy Scouts, it's hard to reconcile that role with the DirecTV pornographic lineup. Are the explicit pornographic titles on DirecTV about grandmothers, mothers,
or stepsisters what he wants his scouts to be thinking of?
Europe's taste for bare skin is in retreat. Nudist beaches and resorts, topless sunbathing and nude unisex saunas are declining. In recent years, commentators across the continent have remarked on a new prudishness.
The Council of State Administrative Law division has upheld restrictive rules for brothel owners, that were initially introduced in 2013, but have been postponed due to a legal challenge.
The brothel keepers in Amsterdam's Red Light District must ensure that prostitutes should meet the minimum-age requirement of 21.
The owners are also obliged to interview sex workers in order to spot signs of human trafficking. A previous 2015 court judgement requires that Dutch brothel owners must speak the languages of the sex workers they hire. Reports of these
interviews should then be made available to municipal supervisors. However personal data of sex workers obtained during interviews does not have to be shared with municipal supervisors.
Among rules not upheld by the court is the requirement for the owners of window-based brothels to be held responsible for violations of hygiene rules, including cleanliness of the rooms and sex toys.
The decision by the Council of State is irrevocable and leaves no room for another appeal, the Parool reported.
The City of Toronto has closed what claimed to be North America's first known sex doll brothel a week before it was set to open.
Aura Dolls planned to open September 8 with a choice of six silicone sex dolls for rent 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But the plan was thwarted by the miserable councillor John Filion who dragged up an old bylaw he introduced two decades ago that restricts adult entertainment parlours in North York to industrial areas. City officials then deemed Aura Dolls to be
Israel's state prosecutor's office has issued a miserable new directive clamping down on such lap dances in the country's strip clubs, claiming that under some circumstances dances could be considered an illegal act of prostitution.
Deputy State Prosecutor Shlomo Lamberger has instructed police to increase the enforcement against such lap dances, which, in certain circumstances (such as the duration of the dance and the nature of the physical contact between the dancer
and the customer) will be considered as an act of prostitution-- which does not have a legal definition.
According to the new directive, law enforcement officials will be able to act against owners of strip clubs by issuing closing warrants, discontinuing the clubs' business licenses, and in case of violations of the directive, filing indictments
against such institutions.
The police have begun issuing warning letters to strip club owners around the country detailing the change in policy and warning the owners of potential future police action. Anti-prostitution activists have hailed the new policy for giving the
police an effective enforcement tool that will make it easier to close down strip clubs on the claim that prostitution activity is occurring on the premises.
The new policy was developed after a Tel Aviv district court judge ruled that a strip club near the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange could not be granted a license as a place of entertainment. The prosecutor's office then assembled a team to look into
grounds for deeming strip clubs as places of prostitution.
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