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|Articles - September 2013|
|Monday, August 19, 2013|
Page 1 of 6
BY APRIL STREETER
A strip club is a strip club is a strip club. Except perhaps in Portland. Long touted as the exotic dance capital of the U.S., Portland has so many clubs — now more than 60 — that a dark stage, a dance pole and supple women removing their clothing are no longer enough to guarantee patronage.
Instead, clubs are driven to differentiate and to tap new customer streams — similar to many consumer industries. While much of the coverage of the sex business in mainstream media portrays Oregon’s I-5 corridor as a hub for prostitution and sex trafficking, there’s also a legal and flourishing side to the sex industry. Its backbone may once have been strip clubs, but it is moving beyond these to experiment with other products, services and client bases. In true Oregon style, the legal sex industry here gets its start from our state constitution, written to expressly safeguard manifestations of free speech. Now the pleasure industry is expanding by innovating and catering to alternative-market segments, including sustainably minded and female consumers.
Nationwide, the sex industry is realizing that women are an untapped resource, says Kassia Wosick, an assistant sociology professor at New Mexico State University, whose research focuses on gender and sexuality. Increased sex-product consumption by women is undeniable, Wosick says. In particular, “we see women consumers investing their money in the industry through sex-toy and novelty products.”
Such products are now available through Oregon startups such as Hood River-based Bunnyjuice and Good Clean Love out of Eugene. Online, Sean Suhl and Selena Mooney have also had success with their soft-core, membership-based online site called Suicide Girls, launched in Portland in 2001 and now located in Los Angeles. Specializing in alternative, goth, punk and indie female models, Suicide Girls gets millions of page hits per week and has spawned knockoff competitors. Then there’s Club Sesso, a Portland swingers club getting in on the diversification of the industry by catering to a sex-positive and youthful demographic.
These new business models do more than suggest the mainstreaming of the sex business and its growing attraction for women. They also point to an effort at reconciling a long-standing contradiction in American culture: between sex as either an expression of idealized romantic love or crude adolescent fantasy. That is, in the U.S., there is a common cultural impression that society is obsessed and oversaturated with sex. Yet the images and the products we’ve had available to consume, like strip clubs, have tended to be somewhat pubescent, aimed at the same younger-man’s demographic that drives mainstream Hollywood action films.
|Thursday, February 27, 2014|
BY ERIC FRUITS
Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.
|Tuesday, February 25, 2014|
BY LINDA BAKER
An intellectual property attorney by day, 48-year-old Stoll Berne attorney Tim DeJong is a singer and guitarist by night.
|Tuesday, January 21, 2014|
High-density living is the mantra for many urban planners in Portland, Eugene and other Oregon cities. But readers aren’t so keen on policies encouraging construction of apartments and condominiums.
|Friday, February 14, 2014|
BY MIKE GREEN | OB BLOGGER
Oregon Business speaks with Patrick Quinton, executive director of the Portland Development Commission, about tech startups, equity and community impact.
|Tuesday, February 25, 2014|
BY BRANDON SAWYER
A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum.
|Wednesday, January 22, 2014|
BY SOPHIA BENNETT
There is one bright spot in Oakridge’s economy: tourism, specifically its growing reputation as a major destination for mountain biking.
|Tuesday, February 25, 2014|
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.
|The more they change, the more they stay the same|
|The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The 2014 List: The Top 33 Small Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The future of money|
|Rival banana firms to merge|
|Blood test predicts Alzheimer's disease|
|Cerberus Capital to buy Safeway|
|U.S. adds 175,000 jobs|
|Bitcoin creator revealed|
|Staples closing 225 stores|
|EU to offer aid package to Ukraine|
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