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Posted at 01:26 PM ET, 03/20/2012

Santorum's presidential porn talk

Smut, be gone. That’s what Rick Santorum, who has vowed to end America’s “pandemic” of porn, desires.

Good luck with that fantasy, Rick.

A Santorum campaign position paper states that as president, Santorum would order his attorney general to “vigorously enforce” existing laws to “prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.”

On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, the Republican primary candidate went one step further. He accused the Obama administration of being soft on porn, saying that it has “not put a priority on prosecuting these cases. And in doing so they are exposing children to a tremendous amount of harm.”

He cited the Bush Administration as an example of how to toughen laws against porn when it created an Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, which focused on smaller distributors who produced fetish, bestiality and fringe porn.

Guess what? All of that type of porn still exists. Just take a cruise around the Internet.

Doesn’t Santorum know that Americans – liberals, conservatives, men and women – love sex? Well, they do. They like porn. They like erotica. They like sex toy shops. They like strip clubs. The list of people’s particular fetishes is longer than a tally of political candidates’ campaign promises.

When I was researching and writing “Sex in the South,” I learned a valuable lesson: The more society represses, the kinkier it bubbles. In the South, preachers and family values groups have long tried to shut down sex shops and strip clubs and ban book stores from selling porn and erotica.

Perhaps, Santorum has been busy on the campaign trail and hasn’t read about the latest book taking mid-America by storm.

50 Shades of Grey” by a British mother named E. L. James contains explicit scenes with a strong bondage theme. This new “Mommy porn” has landed on NBC’s “Today” show and at the top of the New York Times e-book and print bestseller lists. Two more books in the trilogy are soon to hit e-readers.

Santorum may have also missed the news about the hot new teen idol. No, it’s not Ryan Gosling (although we certainly give him props for generating a naughty fantasy or two). It's a Jewish man who calls himself James Deen. No, not the 1950s teen dream, but rather this Deen is based in San Fernando Valley, the center for all-things porn in America.

Yes, he is a mega-porn star.

Deen has a rabid following among teenage girls. They follow him on Twitter and Facebook. They watch his videos on YouTube. They want to marry him.

He also has a tweet or two to say about Santorum’s porn war. Over the weekend, Deen tweeted: “Suck it santorum!!!” when someone told him about the proposed porn ban.

Santorum and his porn czar will certainly have their hands full trying to tame today’s lustful America.

They will have to storm underground bondage clubs in Alabama, a state that Santorum won last week over rival Mitt Romney. They will have to shut down palatial strip clubs in Atlanta and Dallas. They will have to make mothers who are PTA presidents by day and amateur porn stars at night stop their secret digital endeavors.

Porn industry tycoons (some who are Republican supporters) and stars say they aren’t losing sleep over Santorum. They don’t see him even winning the GOP nomination.

Still, with 10 states already in the Santorum victory column, the triple-X crowd might do well to gird their loins for battle against the pros and cons of porn -- at least for a while.

Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.” Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker

By  |  01:26 PM ET, 03/20/2012

Tags:  Rick Santorum, porn, 50 shades of grey, erotica, family values

 
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