(If this doesn’t shoot up my google search stats, I don’t know what will.)
I just received this call for papers for an academic "Collection on Online Pornography":
Proposals are sought for a new edited collection on online pornography. Although online pornography attracts a great deal of public attention and is frequently the focus of moral, political and legal debate, comparatively little attention has been paid to it by academics. This is a glaring knowledge gap, particularly given the central role of pornography in the development of new technologies and the rapid expansion and development of online pornography. This collection responds to the pressing need for academic work in this area.
Proposals are welcomed on, but not limited to, the following topics and areas: Regulation, censorship and governance / The economics of online porn
/ Reviewing porn: industry publications, experts, communities, fans /
/ Porn and file sharing
/ Commercial porn sites / Celebrity sex tapes
/ Realcore – amateur sex online
/ Alternative porn and subcultures
/ ‘Smart smut’ – online magazines and erotica
/ Pornstars online
/ Sex art /Slash fiction / Retro porn/ Sexblogs/ Porn and shock sites
Proposals of 200-250 words, accompanied by a biographical note of 100 words, should be sent to Feona Attwood at f.attwood@ shu.ac.uk by March 30 2007.
This is certainly an interesting and important field of internet study. There have been claims about how the porn industry has pioneered various groundbreaking uses of different communications technologies, from naughty "prayer books" to phone sex to virtual prostitution.
Still there’s this joke about "participant observer" research…
[Image from the now infamous Trash Talk episode in Second Life]