Even in not-so-naughty Southwest New Mexico, the "adult-entertainment" business is booming—and becoming increasingly mainstream. By Jeff Berg If you are reading this, like it or not, it is because of sex. Sounds simplistic in a way, because you may have been attracted to this treatise by curiosity, seeing as how the word "sex" is in the title.
Or perhaps you just read Desert Exposure for the articles. Unless you are a clone or someone who was created from artificial insemination, at some point, some years ago, a man and a woman got together and had sex, thus beginning your creation. Whether it was a loving married couple, a one-night stand between two lonely souls who never saw one another again, or even if you are adopted watch Desert Exposure for my upcoming in-depth article on this subject , the sperm met the egg, and voila, you are now one of my readers.
My thanks to your parents. And like most people, you probably have your opinions on sex. You may enjoy a healthy robust sexual life with a life partner. You might be someone who is taking a hiatus from such activities; perhaps you are a virgin if so, I would like to interview you if you are over 30 and not a church employee. Then there are those who spend or make money on sex.
And that, would-be voyeur, is what this article is about. Las Cruces is home to exactly one "adult merchandise" store, Eros Video on Amador. That is more than evident by the fact that the entire building is undergoing a major renovation on the outside, and the inside also looks like it may have been recently remodeled. There are at least five employees on duty, including one gentle-looking young woman. Another man is mopping the lobby of the already tidy and well-lit store. As the manager makes a phone call to the boss to see if I can interview him, I walk around the store.
Nothing unexpected here, but the volume is astounding. DVD movies, with something for every taste or lack thereof , take up about half of the store, with magazines, novelties and sex toys filling the rest of the space. Although he's willing to talk to me, the manager extends his apologies and says that the district manager in Albuquerque says no, thank you, we try to keep a low profile.
Eros' manager tells me he has been there for 11 months, and that the movies are the most popular item. Our prices are half the price as they are out there. Which is weird, since that is where most of this stuff comes from. It is an industry trend. There is a small but steady stream of customers while I visit with the manager. No sign of trenchcoat-wearing weirdoes, although he does keep an eye on one customer who he claims had been troublesome in the past.
As I prepare to leave, the manager offers me a copy of a past issue of AVN, the monthly trade magazine of the industry. This issue is pages, and 75 percent of the blonde women of the US between the ages of 18 and 30 must be in the ads. It is an incredibly bulky and well-designed publication. After about 10 minutes with it, however, I find it unbearably dull and repetitious.
Those opposed to pornography and its relatives, like the businesses in AVN, have a long uphill battle ahead of them. If you "Google" the word "sex," you'd better not plan on sleeping for a while, since there are million Web pages that offer information about procreation and such.
According to an article by Jerry Ropelato on toptenreviews. According to that same article, there are 4. Ropelato does not cite his sources or say what year these figures are from.
But another Web site, healthymind. One can only imagine the increase as of About a week after my visit to Eros, the store plays host to an event that includes a visit by a young woman who is said to be a rising star in the adult entertainment industry. The woman, Monique Alexander, is on hand to sign autographs and to have her picture taken with fans or potential fans.
Alexander has her own Web site, and the affair at Eros probably gives attendees the rare chance to see her with her clothes on. This event also somehow merits two "remote" broadcasts from a local radio station, Magic The station sends its party van out to Eros Video with a new Harley Davidson in tow, which is the grand prize for some upcoming contest.
This hoopla also, perhaps obviously to most readers, shows just how mainstream so-called adult entertainment has become. Mike Jones is a local photographer who also makes some money from this burgeoning industry. He runs an online business called Red Sky Nudes. I meet Jones through a classified ad that's been running for several weeks in the Roundup, the twice-weekly student-run newspaper published by NMSU.
Through the ad, Jones is hoping to recruit models for his adult content Web site, which features various young women in different states of undress. Jones' site also offers access to various services that help keep children from viewing adult material.
It seems that after the initial call, the would-be models remember that Las Cruces is still a pretty small town in some regards, and decide that the notoriety from someone seeing a friend or acquaintance nekkid online is not worth what Jones is willing to pay new models.
But then again, would one want to go to their neighbor and say, "Hey, I saw you naked on my computer last night? Nonetheless, Jones has hired about 25 out-of-town women to work with him. On his site, several are depicted in places such as White Sands, or with an Organ Mountain backdrop.
Jones was born in Las Cruces, but left at around age 20 and moved to the West Coast. He returned here awhile back when his father decided to move back to Las Cruces. He has not always been a photographer. Previously, he was self-employed in different areas of construction, specializing as a welder fabricator.
Today he is neatly dressed, and equipped with a terrific sense of humor. Jones says he turned to photography about 10 years ago. It just became too painful to do the work. Red Sky is a site where visitors must pay to join to see all of the 6, posted photos.
Jones explains, "There are lots of different photo areas that a person can work in—advertising, weddings, but I have always felt that I have a knack for erotic glamour. I started focusing on that, and use the landscape of New Mexico as part of that. So starvation actually brought about the creation of Red Sky Nudes—necessity being the mother of invention! But that all changed when he attended an adult site webmaster convention in Costa Rica.
The place was filled with young men wearing sunglasses, many with a number of piercings and tattoos. Jones, who is not tattooed nor pierced and who leans more toward middle-age, laughs when he recalls the scene.
Every sentence started with 'dude-this' or 'dude-that. These guys are probably billionaires, and they had rented the whole resort, with all the food and drink we could handle. Here is what you do.
I couldn't even afford to fly there, but one of my models paid the way, since she wants more business, too. Jones does not feel that his models are being objectified at all, and also volunteers that he would "be glad to personally execute child molesters.
It is a craft. Each one of us lives within our own world, and that worldview becomes the way we function within our own environment. The driver was an attractive woman. Their world is different, and it took a while for me to grasp that concept. Their personal power comes from their sexual power.
The on-demand adult movie industry that is on cable is astronomical. It is my business, and it has been the happiest period of my life. Many friendships have developed, and usually when a model comes to town, she stays for a few days to visit.
One exception he notes in the portfolio that he has brought to share is a something woman he was standing behind in a checkout line one day. She is now posed au naturel along some abandoned railroad tracks. Attitude and energy also matter. After looking at some of Jones' photos, I note that long hair is definitely another plus. I ask Jones about the stripper-type shoes many of his models wear, while usually wearing little else. There are so many girls at Jaguars you can always find one that will give you the quality of dances you want.
This particular establishment is right down the highway in El Paso, home to a number of such businesses. For each club listed, the site offers prices, hours of operation and a place for reader comments and a bevy of other things, including access to more lurid Web sites. Texas has much more lenient laws than New Mexico when it comes to such things. The El Paso clubs, if they do not serve alcohol, allow nude dancing. But of course, you can bring your own alchohol, and get charged by the establishment to bring it in.
An odd concept to say the least. Those establishments that do serve alcohol are limited to having "only" topless dancers. New Mexico law is pretty simple when it comes to such things, and the law does not allow completely nude dancing.
There are a handful of such places, mostly clustered in and around Albuquerque, but Santa Fe and Hobbs each have places where tassels and high heels are used as business attire.
The state law is straightforward, and statute As used in this section, "female breast" means the areola, and "exposing" does not include any act in which the intimate part is covered by any nontransparent material. Also curious is the fact that the publication in which I found this edict covers only places that serve alcohol.
It also does not cover still no pun, honest! The New Mexico indecent exposure law might prevent scofflaws from having a non-alcohol-related club, but the above statute clearly uses the word "public," whereas a business might be considered private.