Stormy Daniels, prostitution, cell phone video, and the snowflake gynecologists

My Facebook friends have been posting daily about Stormy Daniels, an American porn actress. I’m not sure why living in the suburbs with kids has focused these middle-aged (and older!) folks’ attention on exotic sexual situations that they are unlikely to experience (though maybe not these days?), but now I am wondering too…

So that I don’t run afoul of Biblical prohibitions against gossip (useful, in my opinion, even for non-believers; I’m betting that professional atheist Lawrence Krauss now also shares my fondness for Leviticus!), I have not been tracking the question of whom the young thespian may have had sex with and how much cash she received in exchange for having that sex.

If a porn industry veteran can gather the attention of a nation, or at least its media (repeatedly on the front page of the New York Times, no longer content to leave this subject to the supermarket tabloids), let’s think for a minute about pornography. If professionals such as Ms. Daniels are involved, people are being paid to have sex. This is generally illegal (e.g., California Penal Code 647(b)). It is legal to have sex with, for example, an already-married dentist and either sell the abortion or profit from collecting child support (see “Child Support Litigation without a Marriage” and also “Litigious Minds Think Alike: Divorce litigators react to the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins lawsuit“, which includes a calculation of how lucrative it would be to have sex with a high-income partner in California), but the theory is it is the abortion being sold, not the sexual act. It seems to be legal to have sex in exchange for cash if a camera is rolling, according to the Supreme Court of California in People v. Freeman (late 1980s). How is it then possible to prosecute anyone, at least in California, for participating in prostitution? Everyone has a mobile phone capable of recording video, right? So if two adults are meeting in a hotel room and at least one of them has a smartphone, why isn’t it a defense to say that they were making a video or preparing to make a video (perhaps one of them also has a pocket tripod)? It is not illegal for people to gather near a Home Depot looking for construction work, right? So why would it then be illegal for people to gather at night holding up signs saying “Will act in your porn movie for $100 and I have a tripod”?

Separately, “Stormy Daniels on Being a Porn Star Mom” (8/23/2012) says

When the time is right, Daniels intends to be honest with her daughter about her career. She’s adamant about preparing her for the negative backlash she might experience from people opposed to the adult industry. “I’ll tell her Mommy has a job that some people don’t approve of, but Mommy’s proud of it and it’s for adults,” she says. Yet she also thinks it’s important to describe her career to her daughter in a filtered, age-appropriate way. Just like how police officers, bartenders, and emergency-room doctors wouldn’t share all the details of their job with their children, Daniels believes that discussing the adult industry should be no different.

Thus back in 2012, Ms. Daniels thought that doctors were tough individuals who dealt with situations that would make a child uncomfortable. In 2018, however, it the doctors who will need to be comforted by their children. From “How a crude photo from a Boston surgeon roiled the medical world” (Boston Globe, 1/12/2018):

During a speech to hundreds of doctors at a medical conference, a prominent Boston surgeon showed a slide that had nothing to do with medicine: Displayed on huge screens was a photo of a famous Italian statue of Shakespeare’s Juliet — with the surgeon and a colleague touching her breasts.

As chuckles and whispers rippled through the room at the November gathering, many female surgeons were incredulous — and then angry.

Dr. Jon Einarsson, then president of the large gynecological surgery organization holding the meeting outside Washington, D.C., at first seemed to defend this and another part of his presentation that drew objections. He pointed out that “all tourists’’ in Verona traditionally touch the statue’s breasts for good luck.

But when colleagues responded with a petition in protest, Einarsson, chief of minimally invasive gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, apologized. …

His speech, however, has had long-lasting repercussions, helping to prompt a reexamination of what many female gynecological surgeons say is a pervasive culture of sexism and sexual misconduct in a corner of medicine that is supposed to be all about caring for women.

Two weeks after Einarsson’s address, more than 100 surgeons sent the petition to the board of the AAGL, a leading organization of 7,000 gynecological surgeons who practice minimally invasive surgery.

The AAGL board later sent out a memo apologizing to members and saying it is “taking immediate action,’’ including organizing a task force to recommend stricter policies as well as consequences for violating them.

Board member Dr. Jubilee Brown, a gynecological cancer surgeon in North Carolina, is leading the new AAGL task force. … But “we need to make sure that moving forward [gynecological surgeons] have a way to feel safe with any concerns they might have,’’ she said. “We are all in a new age now.”

[Oddly enough, I inadvertently attended the 2015 meeting of AAGL! See Small-sample Behavioral Economics]

Note that, another thing that has changed between 2012 and 2018 is that the child of the porn star mom no longer enjoys a two-parent household. The Kansas City Star piece states “She has been married and divorced twice. Ex-husband Mike Moz is a publicist in the adult entertainment industry. According to Business Insider, she is currently married to fellow porn actor Brendon Miller. Before she married Miller she had a daughter in January 2011 with ex-boyfriend Glendon Crain.” The journalist, Lisa Gutierrez, deserves praise for working in the following phrase: “Porn fans know her body of work…”


  1. Mememe

    March 13, 2018 @ 1:24 am


    The socio-sexual ramifications of both stories prompt a response attuned to the post-literate, anti-patriarchal spirit of “woke” political consciousness:

  2. Mememe

    March 13, 2018 @ 2:37 am


    To the right, we are much more dignified: we chortle over pictures of Hillary Clinton stumbling down stairs.

  3. Jack

    March 13, 2018 @ 10:07 am


    A running theme on this blog is that someone could commit a crime X but say he is doing Y and have some of the indicia of doing Y — like bringing a tripod and therefore how can you prove he is committing a crime? But the law doesn’t work that way, that if you have a possible explanation for doing something illegal you’re not guilty — I thought it was my rubber inflatable doll i was shooting not Stormy Daniels. It will be left to the jurors’ common sense, which operates differently from how an engineering problem is solved.

  4. Sam

    March 14, 2018 @ 12:16 am



    As a matter of fact, someone already tried the ‘it’s porn, not prostitution’ thing in Arizona. He was recently sentenced to 24 years in prison:

  5. Tom

    March 14, 2018 @ 6:53 pm


    ” we chortle over pictures of Hillary Clinton stumbling down stairs.”

    … getting thrown into vans, etc.

  6. Tom

    March 14, 2018 @ 6:55 pm


    Don’t forget that California also legalized child prostitution in a maneuver similar to what the clever Swedes did with regular prostitution.

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