The future of American porn.

As astute readers here know I am friends with Adam Barta. He’s a great guy. One of the many reasons I consider him a friend. His, inexplicable, fascination with doing the duets with Octomom are an aside as far as I’m concerned. We all have our quirks. I got to thinking about him as I read about how Octomom was going to be stripper in Florida. Given that stripping is the main source of income in most of Florida, this is not a surprise. Of course, as the Octomom shows others how to collect food stamps while working as a, wannabe, porn star, others, such as Amanda Warren, wonder if they could make a living with a career as a porn star. The advice that she should work her way up from lesbian porn is priceless. It may be the most unintentionally funny article I’ve eve read. Go ahead and click the link. Of course that doesn’t hold a holy candle to the couple who wanted evangelist Pat Robertson to save their souls while they had sex.

My husband I would be naked and making love in our bed all the while Pat Robertson will be constantly attempting to save our souls and the female to have ongoing dialogue trying to sell us an Ab Rocket in 3 easy payments.

God, I love Craig’s List.

But not all online ads lead to divorce or harassment. Some lead to happy pets. Assuming, of course, that your pet likes pole dancing.

Bad economic times lead to more abandoned pets and Hurricane Sandy only made things worse. However, many homeless pets have some brand new advocates: NYC’s finest pole dancers.

To support the no-kill shelter Animal Haven, Ajia Maximillian, a dancer, instructor and choreographer contributed her time and skills to the fundraiser, saying “what could be better than having pole performances that benefit our furry friends?”

HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill enjoyed the conversation, getting to cuddle up with Dorito, a shelter dog brought on set by Tiffany Lacey, executive director of Animal Haven.

Also joining in were Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, and HuffPost Live’s own Caitlyn Becker, an owner of a rescue dog.

So the guy got a temporary cuddle? I’m thinking there may be a new career for that dog.

In other fun news, Las Vegas recently hosted the AVN (Adult Video News) Awards where Natasha Nice, probably not her real name, delivered this glorious quote; “I spend a lot of time there, especially in my scenes. I like lesbian scenes a lot, and we find ourselves in the bathroom regularly.”

No, it’s not you, she really makes no sense at all.

But, if that’s the kind of girl you want to bring home to mom, then Andy Campbell has all the advice you’ll need.

Angel slipped out of her stripes and into something more comfortable: a pair of high-heels she called her “Vegas Sneakers,” a pretty black skirt and a peacoat. On the short walk to KISS Mini Golf, I had a million questions for her. The 32-year-old former Rutgers student has dated in and out of the adult industry — full disclosure, her last 6-year relationship was with James Deen, and now look who she’s on a date with! — but she had some tips for those “civilians” trying to impress a sex goddess.

“People think that porn stars don’t have basic needs, and don’t want cute text messages and nice dates,” Angel said. “There are not a lot of guys that can do it. First of all, they get really intimidated, and second of all, I really do have high standards. Let’s be honest, I need to have good sex, but I want that connection too.”

Yeah, James Deen had to boink Lindsay Lohan in a low buck thriller. So it seems to me that Angel got out while the getting was good. God only knows what’s living in is bloodstream now.

Then again, it seems that not even the porn industry is safe from recession. Except for the fact that it’s more popular than ever the industry is struggling. Why? Because everything is free and free don’t pay the bills.

Walking around the Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) in Las Vegas, you’d never know the porn industry was at half-mast, sales-wise.

There are floor-to-ceiling billboards of scantily clad sex actresses and HD TV screens showing every conceivable type of fornication (and a few unconceivable ones as well). Fans can take pictures with stars like Lisa Ann (the porn version of Sarah Palin), Julia Ann (no relation) and Alexis Texas (formerly Alexis Texass). If polite enough, the fanboy or frangirl might even get to touch a breast.

If the AEE was one’s only exposure to the industry, the crowded convention hall might seem proof that porn is truly recession-proof. But insiders claim the business has gone limp — metaphorically speaking — because more people are watching porn for free over the Internet instead of purchasing it.

The end result means fewer gigs for hard-working porn performers like Dave Cummings, a 72-year-old porn actor who has also produced three series: “Dirty Dave’s Sugar Daddy,” “Sex Fun” and “Kneepad Nymphos.”

“The piracy has killed the industry,” Cummings told HuffPost. “I’d say 80 percent of the companies that were around five years ago either don’t exist or are hanging by a thread. The day a new video comes out, within 24 hours, someone has set up a tripod in front of their TV to copy it and then uploaded it illegally.”

Cummings is staying home in San Diego this year, and feels the piracy has forced him into a premature retirement. “I’m not able to cover production costs, so why do it?” he said. “Companies that are still in business are either paying less in salary or having McDonalds do the catering instead of craft services.”

Nate Glass, who runs TakeDownPiracy, an organization battling online porn copyright infringement, estimates DVD sales have dropped by 50 percent since 2007.

“A mid-level company that might have earned $350,000 a month in DVD sales before that was earning maybe $150,000 to $200,000 when the recession hit,” Glass said. “That may have partly been due to the recession, but there hasn’t been a bounceback like in other industries.”

It’s hard to track how much money the porn industry has lost, because it’s nearly impossible to figure how much it typically earns. Theo Sapoutzis, the CEO and Chairman of Adult Video News (AVN), a trade journal that covers the porn industry and organizes the AEE, estimates that the pornography business made $10 billion in 2012, but admits getting exact figures is close to impossible since many porn companies are privately owned and tend to “inflate” their figures.

Sapoutzis “guesstimates” the industry made as much as $13 to $15 billion during its peak in the mid-2000s, before the recession. He accepts Cummings’ suggestion that 80 percent of porn companies are now defunct or struggling, but Sapoutzis sees that as a sign that the porn business is maturing, not dying.

“There are more performers than ever before, but they’re working as cam girls at home interacting with people, rather than in a studio,” he said. “From a company standpoint, there’s bigger competition. It’s more difficult to enter.”

Darren Roberts, who was the CEO of AVN between 1996 and 2010, said the last few years have been rough on sales of filmed fornication, but it’s hard to know how much the companies are struggling.

“The companies are tightly held, so you have to take what they say with a grain of salt,” he told HuffPost. “Otherwise, you can check sales at the retail level, the distributors or even the printer to see how many box covers were printed. But, even then, everyone refutes the figures anyway.”

“The only thing for sure is video sales,” said Roberts, who is also the author of The Unsexpected Story, a new book about the porn industry. “Sometimes, you can check which films did well on hotel cable systems because those are publicly traded companies.”

No one can or will say how much money the porn industry has lost, but porn insiders won’t deny that fewer films are being made, forcing actresses like Tanya Tate — a 33-year-old who specializes in playing cougar roles — to adapt.

“The budgets have been slashed,” she told HuffPost. “Performers often have to do their own makeup.”

Tate’s solution has been to diversify. She started a PR agency, Star Factory PR, that represents herself and other adult industry actresses, and she also directs films.

Tate also has tried to broaden her base by capitalizing on her interest in cosplay, and dressing up in sexy superhero outfits. “I don’t say I’m a porn star,” she said. “I just say, ‘I’m Tanya Tate and I have a cosplay site.’ It’s SFW [safe for work], but if they do further research on Facebook or Twitter, people will make the connection.”

Other adult stars and companies are trying to make up for lost revenue by breaking into new products, according to Sherri Shaulis, the senior editor of Pleasure Products for AVN. “Video companies are breaking into novelties like sex toys or lingerie,” Shaulis said. “The idea is that you can’t download the novelty.”

If times are as tough as porn industry insiders say, it’s possible they could get worse with the passage of Measure B, a controversial condom-only porn measure that Los Angeles voters approved in November. The law requires adult film producers in the city to obtain a health permit before filming and performers to use condoms while engaged in sex. It also calls for health officials to be present on working sets and makes violators subject to fines and criminal charges.

But that’s only, Akira says, if authorities can figure out how to implement it. “No one knows what’s going to happen or how it will be enforced,” she said. “Porn was illegal to shoot not that long ago and it still happened.”

Roberts said despite the economic hardships the business has apparently faced in recent years, he thinks things are bouncing back. “I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “DVD sales are coming back from two years ago. It was doom and gloom for a while, but people who put out good high quality product survived.”

Ladies and gentlemen, a world without porn is a world without innovation. Allow me to share a small part of a much larger example.

You are reading this. That fact alone, that you can read, is almost entirely attributable to porn. See, back in the middle ages almost no one could read. There weren’t any books and even less of a need. The rich saw no reason for the proletariat to be all uppity and learned and the proletariat had no idea what any of those words meant. Sure some guy named Guttenberg invented a method for printing the bible, but that was of interest only to priests and that one crazy guy who talked to corn. Then, in 1524, along came this guy named Agostino Caracciand he printed a book called “I Modi” (literally “The Ways”). The book contained words and pictures. And, while the pictures were of graphic sex acts, you couldn’t truly appreciate them unless you could read the words. Because, I Modi wasn’t just porn, it was an erotic instruction manual. And if you wanted your special someone to do that special something you needed to be able to explain the steps and you couldn’t do that if you couldn’t read.

Sure Pope Clement VII jailed anyone involved with it and ordered every copy destroyed but that was about as effective as demanding that people stop breathing. It was translated from its original Latin into every European language. But, because it was in Latin, and the bible was in Latin, regular people could read, understand and, eventually, question what they were being taught.

And when people finally realized the true power of literacy there was this fun little thing called The Renaissance.

As you can see, the world owes a lot to the adult entertainment industry. So, if you want to keep getting cool innovations like streaming video, interactive cell phones and, of course, basic literacy, stop stealing porn and pay your fair share.

Picture Perfect from Double Helix on Vimeo.

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