Last Thursday, Ron Jeremy, the world’s biggest porn star, came to Northeastern to debate pornography with a pastor named Craig Gross. Gross founded an anti-porn website, xxxchurch.com, and claims God avenges masturbation by killing kittens; he also ministers to porn addicts and former adult film stars. Jeremy and Gross met at last year’s Erotica LA convention. We’re not making this shit up.
Hordes of porn-crazed students milled about the Blackman Auditorium, anticipating the titanic clash. Allison Romano came looking for “a good debate.” She also predicted a victory for Jeremy, in no small part because the Hedgehog “can suck his own dick.”
Inside the auditorium, the debate began dubiously. The moderator demanded a substantive discussion, with “fluff questions” kept to a minimum; the instructions set the room all a-titter.
Boos and laughs peppered Gross’s introduction, but the audience did seem impressed by the 60 million hits xxxchurch.com has logged. More impressive, though, was Jeremy’s résumé of over 1,800 adult films, and his bold wardrobe choice—a Hawaiian shirt paired with red and black track pants.
Gross, the young and confident underdog, got things started. “I started my website because of people like you, who’ve been misled about pornography,” he said. “I don’t want to shut down the porn industry, but for some people, it leads to a dead end. Porn is all about creating fantasies, but the fantasies are creating unrealistic expectations of what you should expect in sex.”
Gross also laid one-third of the nation’s divorces at the feet of porn-related relationship dysfunctions, and warned, to more twitters, “Porn is a parasite on your brain. Get off now while you still can.”
“Why he picks on porn, I don’t know,” Jeremy countered. “It’s consenting adults having consenting sex, and being watched by consenting adults. If you have a problem with it, don’t watch it.”
He continued, “Any kind of addiction is not good. But if you have a good job, you’re a productive member of society, and you want to go home, watch porn, masturbate and go to sleep, that’s OK. Why do you have to stop watching porn? Why stop having cream cheese on your bagel?”
During the debate’s Q&A session, the crowd seemed maddened by Gross’s refusal to sensationalize his argument. He wouldn’t say that porn creates murderers and rapists, but only that it might establish behaviors and expectations that can undermine monogamous relationships.
Two streakers interrupted a discussion about the merits/evils of double-anal penetration. The guy screamed his devotion to Jeremy and then escaped out a side door, but when his female companion reached the auditorium stage, she froze; not knowing where to go, she threw her hands in the air, turned around and galloped back up the aisle she’d just run down—right into the arms of an NUPD officer.
“Wow,” Jeremy marveled, “this is the first time I’ve ever been upstaged. I’ve spoken at colleges all across the country, and never been streaked.” Then he became introspective, musing, “She had a pretty nice body … ”
Streaker Girl wasn’t the evening’s most humiliated female, though; that honor was won by a student who suggested to Jeremy that porn degrades women.
“It’s sex—it’s not dehumanizing,” he replied. “What are you referring to, a pop-shot on your face?”
The student said that, while money shots weren’t the specific thrust of her complaint, they were problematic. So Jeremy suggested several other ways of finishing off a guy without taking a blast to the kisser: “On your stomach, your back, your shoulder, your breasts, in your mouth, a towel, a condom—there are lots of ways to do it.”
However, the Hedgehog added, “Some girls don’t mind a little sperm on their face,” and requested a show of hands to prove his point. A girl in the balcony stood up, and received an ovation from several guys nearby. This caused the first student to blurt out, “I don’t want men to cum in my face, ever!”
“Why not?” Jeremy asked. “I let girls squirt on my face!”
At that point, the moderator stepped in and declared the event over. “Thanks for coming,” he said, to even more laughter.