Adult Content Producers Moving Up in the World

ThreeMonkeysBRISTOL, England – There was a time when news of a porn studio moving into the neighborhood was cause for alarm, impetus for concerned families and community activists to take to the streets with placards and signs, and reason for residents to voice their outrage to local officials at council meetings and town halls.

Nowadays, it appears the worm has turned. Porno people are no longer at the bottom of the desirable-neighbor totem pole — at least in Bristol, where the nadir of community acceptability is now reserved for migrant workers.

In the St. George area of the city near the River Avon, redevelopment plans for a building that until recently housed a porn studio operated by Cathy and Phil Barry have the neighborhood up in arms. Neighbors said they prefer the Barrys to the tenants the building’s owner hopes will replace them.

Martin Farrell, the architect who drew the plans for the building’s renovation into a “house of multiple occupancy” (HMO), said the spot could be perfect for workers “in a position where they go from job to job.”

Judging by the reaction of the community, however, it sounds like local residents would prefer to continue with neighbors who go from blowjob to blowjob.

“We understand the need for housing in Bristol,” said area resident Annie Bentley. “But ‘transient’ sounds like people who need a hostel or hotel, not offering any kind of quality to the demographics of our neighborhood.”

Naomi Maggs, a mother of two who lives across the street from the former studio, went so far as to say she’d consider selling her house if the renovation plans go forward.

“The porn studio wasn’t really a problem, and any problems we did have we spoke to the owner and it got sorted,” Maggs said. “But this is going to be 40 people coming and going every six months. It’s going to drive people out of St George.”

For someone speaking of people she hasn’t met and who haven’t even so much as walked the property yet, Maggs sounded pretty certain of their dismally poor character.

“HMO is as many people as you can possibly get into a building per square foot,” Maggs said. “It’s people who are on short-term rental contracts, so it’s not people who want to come and be a part of the community. They don’t have any respect for the building, the street, the neighbors in the area.”

If there’s one thing we know about people from the porn industry, on the other hand, it’s they’re always respectful of other people’s property.

Rufus Pleatmont, a London-based advocate for migrant workers, said he’s “shocked and dismayed” at the neighborhood’s reaction to the renovation plans.

“These people are acting like it’s the worst thing in the world to have a working man living next door,” Pleatmont said. “But who do they think is watching all the porn their former neighbors produced? OK, granted, we all know it’s watched most fervently by local clergy and conservative members of the House of Lords, but this is still no reason to treat migrant workers like pariahs. All these men want is to work hard, support their families, earn an honest living, and yes — maybe, occasionally — sacrifice a goat or two on the front step. Who among us hasn’t?”

Fred Collins, a St. George resident who spoke over pints at the Pied Horse pub, said for his part he’ll miss sneaking glances at Cathy Barry’s “cracking pair of thrupney bits.”

“To be frank, her face was bit horsey, sure, but oh what I wouldn’t give for the opportunity to slide my fat little todger betwixt those lovely knockers,” Collins said. “But I fear that shabby man of hers has connections to the mob, or at least to some unsavory blokes who’ve been known to swing a crowbar in the direction of human skulls on occasion. So I’ll probably just keep John Thomas put away — unless it’s time to bleed the lizard, which I’m sure it will be after a couple more rounds.”

 

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Ben Suroeste

Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of pen names) since 2002.

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