chapter  24
24 Pages

Porn 2.0: The Libidinal Economy and the Consumption of Desire in the Digital Age

ByJulie M. Albright

As a point of entry into the consumption of porn in the digital era, I o er the following case example: With a slight tilt of her head, eyes sparkling, and a bright smile, blonde and vivacious Jesse Logan was the image of the all-American high school cheerleader, the kind of girl many aspire to be. In an increasingly common act among teens today, Jesse took and sent sexy, nude photos of herself to her teenaged boyfriend, seemingly without much thought to the consequences. Fueled by passion and hormones but not enough maturity to weather the inevitable storms, the relationship $ amed out. When it did, Jesse’s boyfriend, perhaps feeling jilted and as an act of revenge, digitally distributed the photos to classmates at school. Soon, Jesse’s grades plummeted, and she began skipping school to avoid bullying by the girls, who in Mean Girls fashion, threw objects at her and called her a slut, whore, and porn queen. Humiliated, depressed, and ashamed, Jesse went on television to warn other teens of the dangers of taking and distributing nude photos. In the taped interview, disguised in a cloak of anonymity, she can be heard saying, “I just want to make sure no one else will have to go through this again.” Two months later, her mother discovered Jesse hanging in her bedroom. She was 18 years old (Celizic, 2009, para. 2).