The .XXX Debate, as delivered by a woman named January Seraph

| 5 Comments

I recently read about a woman named January Seraph on Anthony Kennerson’s blog, in an article about Adult Performers Association (APA). The article states that APA is, more or less, a community hub for talent discussions and that it is run by January Seraph and Nica Noelle. Both women are performers in the adult industry.

Cindi Loftus used January Seraph’s instant realtime tweets to report on the .XXX sTLD’s debate, held at XBiz Euro this September 23rd, 2011 between Free Speech Coalition‘s Executive Director, Diane Duke, and ICM Registry’s Chairman and President (and Chairman of IFFOR Board of Directors), Stuart Lawley. You can read the tweets in order from top to bottom at Cindi’s site here (NSFW).

The tweets are definitely pro .XXX and pro Stuart Lawley, but why would anyone from the adult industry support this outsider’s extortionist attempt at costing the adult industry extra money in very expensive domains when the industry doesn’t need the extra domains and the majority of the industry doesn’t want them, nor ever advocated for them?

By now everyone knows Lawley has a lot invested in this. It’s been reported on extensively since 2004–most notably (at least from my own research), in this 2004 CNET article which quotes Lawley as saying, “I have no current or historic links to the adult industry in any form.” The article also reports that ICM Registry applied to run the .XXX sTLD’s in 2001 before Lawley entered the picture, and was denied by ICANN, to which Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, responded by demanding,

to know why ICANN didn’t approve .XXX “as a means of protecting our kids from the awful, awful filth which is sometimes widespread on the Internet.”

What’s interesting about this situation is that in 2004 the adult industry was still booming. At this point, Lawley’s simply gouging an industry that has already taken too many financial hits. He invested millions and must be scrambling to recoup what he can. Furthermore, his moneymaking venture poses possible regulation problems for the industry. It’s simple, if the industry opposes .XXX and yet the sTLD’s were pushed through anyway, what is to keep regulation from happening regardless of Lawley’s assertions that he plans to see, “a vibrant, profitable adult community on the web,” in five years? After all, and in his own words, he has, “no current or historic links to the adult industry in any form.” That’s a pretty specific statement, so allow me to rephrase my question: If a group with more power over the internet can disregard the adult industry’s voice, what’s to keep a group more powerful than IFFOR from disregarding their voice?

So back to my original question, why would anyone from the adult community support this kind of business proposition? And what’s the beef with FSC? On the APA website, a post reads “A Positive, Resource Rich Association for Adult Performers”:

This isn’t an “anti” group.

This isn’t a group that is trying to compete with anyone.

This isn’t an attempt to form a labor union.

All that this site represents is an effort to create a resource rich, supportive, educational, association for adult performers who choose to opt in, and who wish to have a voice.

Yet, support of Stuart Lawley’s moneymaking .XXX sTLD’s and anti sentiment towards FSC does not at all seem like a positive start. It seems a very obvious split in alliance to work from inside the adult industry, yet cozy up next to non-industry people who do not care for the industry overall.

A very overt emphasis of negativity towards FSC was on display when Seraph’s only reference to Diane Duke in her tweets was a dig at Duke’s not being “classy” in something Duke said, without actually stating what Duke said that was not-so-classy. Seraph also didn’t reference FSC’s twitter ID at all, while .XXX and Stuart Lawley’s twitter ID’s were used consistently. I don’t understand the blatant snubbing of FSC when it is trying very hard to fill the gaps with a responsible and ethical system to replace AIM during a time when the industry is being attacked on all sides and needs a solid testing system in place. As witnessed recently through FSC’s Adult Production Health and Safety Services (APHSS) and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)/Talent Testing Services’ (TTS) exchange with Patient Alpha and the press, APHSS was able to halt production and run several tests that now document Patient Alpha as negative for HIV, while AHF took rumors and ran with headline stories without actual proof that there was absolutely an HIV positive performer. In fact, they ran with an “outbreak” story. Why would any industry person support companies that gouge the business and run hysterically with any information given them?

Furthermore, Michael Whiteacre pointed out in the comment thread at Cindi’s site that January Seraph was involved in the .XXX Panel during Webmaster Access (and is, basically, a kind of spokesperson for .XXX?), which would be safe enough to assume by the angle of her tweets, but none of that information is available at APA. The “About” doesn’t actually address the group’s founders and members at all. It simply reads:

“This is an open invite for adult performer’s to get involved and participate.

The goal is to discuss and implement beneficial ideas.

Flaming of individuals, or groups, will not be tolerated. Feel free to voice opinions on people, just not here

If you’re an adult performer and would like to join in the discussion and contribute knowledge, ideas and time, leave a comment with your email address and someone will get back to you shortly.”

That’s all fine and well, I suppose, but a group coordinated for talent probably should have a bit about the people behind it and what they advocate inside the industry and without. Anything one does within the industry effects everything else. I mean, if it’s really about sharing information, all motives and affiliations should be transparent, right? For instance, is it true that Nica Noelle (along with AHF’s Michael Weinstein??) supports TTS even though TTS maintains a database as flawed as the now defunct AIM Healthcare? Is January Seraph really a spokesperson for .XXX? And if so, why? I’ve seen Seraph quote statements made by Lawley, but what does Seraph think independently of his quotes? Why be behind it, really?

I’ve found others asking similar questions. PronInsider has a series of posts dedicated to APA and questions about various things as recent as this past Saturday, but no answers as of yet. In fact, PronInsider tweeted its links and excitement to Seraph on its twitter page:

We love the idea of the @AdultPerformers Assn.but we have questions for @NNoelle @madisonyoung @januaryseraph proinsider.com/?p=283

And:

@NNoelle @AdultPerformers @madisonyoung @januaryseraph We’ll be posting our questions this week.! Send us responses: anon@proninsider.com

The only direct responses from Seraph, so far, in her tweets aren’t answers, but questions of her own:

@PronInsider Are you aware that Charity’s ‘honor code’ has nothing to do with #APA? @NNoelle@madisonyoung@MsMaggieMayhem

And:

@PronInsider By “posting your questions” did you mean writing misinformation? #APA @NNoelle @AdultPerformers @madisonyoung

Yet I think asking questions is healthy. The industry is beset on all sides by anti groups and traitors from within, and now more than ever industry people are picking sides to resist the onslaught. Asking for clarification when it would appear deals are being made that are not in favor of the industry’s best interests is not too much to ask, especially when something as significant as a talent-driven association is in the works, especially when its key people could be aiding to usher in a whole new set of problems for the industry, whether naïvely or knowingly. What is misinformation and what is not? Does Seraph think that an affiliation with .XXX and opposition towards FSC doesn’t in any way interfere with APA’s core values? If so, why?

I think most people would agree that a talent-driven group could be a positive development, and regardless of whether or not the issues are related, I’ve yet to hear a good set of reasons for being in the adult industry and in support of .XXX. But if good reasons exist, I, personally, would really like to hear them. I tend to agree with Mike South’s take on it in this statement about Exxotica Miami 2011:

“I had planned to attend this show, I have attended before and I was going to be signing and possibly participating in a seminar. When I found out that one of the sponsors is none other than that lowlife shit stain Stuart Lawley and ICMRegistry I cancelled.

I encourage everyone else to do so too. To support anything that has anything to do with .XXX is traitorous activity, not to mention just plain fucking stupid.”

I couldn’t agree more.

 

 


You may quote this site's original content in incomplete excerpts with credit to © Julie Meadows Entertainment and a direct link to quoted material. Thank you!

Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

5 Comments

  1. january Seraph is one of those dommes who can’t separate her domme persona from her real life. It would be sad if she weren’t so ridiculous and hateful. I sincerely hope she gets the help she needs, but if she doesn’t, and ends up disappearing down some deep dark hole — heyl, I won’t miss her.

    However, the MOST ridiculous part of the January Seraph/.xxx fiasco is that ICM has REALLY had to scrape the bottom of the barrel thus far. ICM is SO removed from the adult industry, that they think this fringe player has clout and respect. It’s just like AHF signing on with Shelley Lubben — they bought her crap because they have no concept of what the icky “straight” porn world is like.

    But, ICM is throwing big money around, and I’m certain that they will get some “name” adult stars to speak on their behalf in the near future. It’s inevitable — but it’s also beside the point. A terrible idea doesn’t become a good idea when its proponents hire an appealing spokesperson.

    Put a blonde wig on a turd and it’s still a turd. Or, it’s Shelley Lubben

  2. I just wrote a detailed post pointing some of this out. And you know, it doesn’t really matter if the observations are polite if they are accurate. Reason, people, reason!

  3. This goes to show how desperate the ICM Registry really is. They get turned down everywhere, so they try to hire people who no one has ever heard of.

    GFY/AVN turned down its advertising offer so they hired Chris 2.0 to troll the board and fly his dotxxx sig everywhere. As a result, Chris 2.0 got flamed into oblivion.

    ICM Registry couldn’t find a respectable industry photog that would accept their money, so they hired this NALEM guy who no one had ever heard of. Result: NALEM got shitlisted everywhere and even banned from certain conferences.

    The ICM registry is a sinking ship and it looks like this Seraph person was paid to come on board.

  4. Hmmm… How very interesting. At the recent show in Amsterdam I saw January Seraph and Greg Dumas (one of the people behind .xxx) practically joined at the hip every time I saw them. Now it’s all starting to make sense.

  5. Yes, Eric and Jay — it does make sense — doesn’t it?

    @Jay – January was the microphone girl at the .xxx panel in Amsterdam, too.

    ICM Registry is actively BUYING other porn star support too. They’ve managed to get some people who used to be “names” in porn to come on board, too. Lawley has a lot of money invested in this.

    What amazes me is they call this a SPONSORED TLD — the sponsorship community is supposedly ADULT BUSINESSES. But all one needs to tell ICM in order to get a .xxx domain is that one is willing to put up an adult .xxx site. NOT that one already runs an adult business, but that one is willing to glom onto the adult online community and complete with existing online adult businesses through a .xxx site.

    What a great deal for the online adult community!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.