In Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment, Chauntelle Tibbals exposes readers to her PhD research on the San Fernando Valley adult entertainment industry. Double standards, a lot of mystery, a thin line between real and fake characterize pornographers, content, distribution and the people working in this legal industry. Whether you’re in favor or against it, adult entertainment is a hugely influential cultural component in the U.S., and therefore interesting from a sociological point of view as well.
Tibbals met many industry professionals, watched a lot of content for both professional reasons as well as voluntary work as competition judge, worked as PR official in one of the companies, visited trade shows, and watched in film sets. The author shares what she saw, though not providing her full thesis here. Neither is the book itself adult entertainment. You’ll be surprised about the many unexpected industry insights, stigmatized workers in their powerful moments as well embarrassing scenes. It’s a fly-on-the-wall account of a multi-year research, including scientific analysis.
No one is a neutral observer, and Tibbals does affirm that her exploration is as subjective as any other’s. She’s positive about the industry, sees little or no real dangers. There’s no mentioning of addictions, almost nothing on STD. Both producers and consumers have their dreams and desires. In the end, the porn industry is a business like any other, according to Dr. Tibbals. Exposure is well-written, free from scientific jargon and leaves room for a personal choice regarding the actual consumption of the industry’s products and services.
About the author
Chauntelle Tibbals, PhD is a sociologist specializing in gender, sexualities, work and organizations, new media, and popular culture. Dr. Chauntelle’s research has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including Stanford Law and Policy Review and Gender, Work & Organization, and is featured in W.W. Norton‘s The Real World (4th ed, 2014). Her essays and op-eds have appeared in popular periodicals, including Men’s Health and Playboy. She has been quoted and cited extensively in news and media outlets, including Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and CNN.