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Without reservationsHotel-room porn helps drive global market for human flesh
Hotel-room porn increases the global demand for female flesh; traffickers help meet it

Date published: 6/23/2008

(We regret the necessity to reproduce language in the following editorial that may offend some readers. However, the vocabulary of euphemism befriends the social evil we address.--Ed.)

WELCOME to a night at the movies, with such wide- ranging selections as "Hard Core Sluts," "I Screwed My Friend's Wild Mom," and "Bi Oral: All Oral," plus the fetching "Teeny Thais." Welcome, in other words, to millions of rooms in thousands of chain and franchised hotels, including several in Greater Fredericksburg. Welcome, in other words, to 21st-century slavery.

Pornographic pay-per-view movies watched in a hotel room and women and girls dragooned into whoredom before a camera are as connected as the links in a shackle. Although it is hard to prove that woman X in porn film Y is a victim of sexual trafficking, the roaring commercial demand for smut exemplified by hotel porn--by one estimate, a $500 million-per-year business--has stimulated a supply of unwilling human flesh so vast that some call this the second age of slavery. The International Labor Organization puts the number of people held in bondage--including sexual bondage--at 12.3 million. Of the 800,000 people annually trafficked across national borders, reports the State Department, most are females forced to earn money for their masters on their backs.

Forced prostitution and the technology-triggered explosion of pornography--the $5 million to $10 million in U.S. retail sales generated by hard-core porn in 1970 is now matched by the annual profits of a single Internet site and represents just 1 percent of yearly hotel-TV sales--are parts of a sex industry that can't be "disaggregate[d]," says Ambassador Mark Lagon, director of the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. "Pimps need new women and girls as the sex market flourishes."


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