Yale Student: 'I'm Here 'Cause I Love Porn'

Porn stars and porn preachers engage in fiery "Face-Off" during Sex Week.

ByABC News
February 5, 2008, 3:53 PM

Feb 19, 2008 — -- Yale University is the academic home to numerous Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates, several U.S. presidents, senators and award-winning actors.

On Friday, the college, which is also known as a hotbed for student debate and political discourse, held a discussion on an unlikely topic porn.

As part of "Sex Week at Yale University," two divergent sides met for the second "Nightline Face-Off," in which they asked the question: Is America addicted to porn?

"Porn king" Ron Jeremy along with Vivid porn star Monique Alexander squared off against "porn pastor" Craig Gross and former porn producer Donny Pauling.

Nearly 500 students, alumni and a smattering of current porn stars filed in to the LoRicco Ballroom located just outside of Yale's sprawling New Haven campus.

Sporadic chants of "We love Ron" filled the stairwells as students waited in line. Porn detractors arrived wearing "Porn is Bipartisan" T-shirts and waving anti-porn signs.

"This has been the most hyped event of our Sex Week here at Yale," said one freshman male. "I'm excited to see Ron Jeremy in an academic setting. I'm coming in with an open mind, not really knowing what to expect."

Other students were a bit more biased. "I'm just here 'cause I love porn," said Constance, a freshman English major. "And I'm not ashamed to say it at all."

The debate, moderated by ABC News' Martin Bashir, highlighted the vast differences in both sides. Jeremy and Alexander argued for their right to free speech and the importance of free will, while the porn detractors shared anecdotes highlighting the dark side of the porn industry.

After the initial arguments and several heated moments, the debate was opened to Yale students. Hands shot up, and many students asked questions on a variety of topics.

Alexander, who at 25 has been in the porn industry since she was 18, was asked what her parents thought of her career. Another student asked about the prevalence of amateur pornography.

There's no question that pornography is a booming business in the United States. Despite a decline in the sales and rentals of porn videos, it's still a multibillion-dollar industry, and the rise of amateur videos, revenue-sharing Web sites such as XTube.com and technological advances bringing pornography to your cell phone and beyond means that porn is as prevalent as ever.

The Adult Video News Media Network, a trade publication, estimates that the industry earns $14 billion annually. The adult film industry may be innovating and evolving, but is porn really just another form of entertainment, or is it an addiction?

Is porn dangerous or harmless? Is it necessarily degrading to women, or could it be empowering?

In 2006, "Porn King" Ron Jeremy and "Porn Pastor" Craig Gross embarked on a series of debates about porn in America, organized through Wolfman Productions. They have held 16 debates to date on the pros and cons of pornography, including debates at college campuses such as Ohio State University, Colorado College and the University of Missouri.

Last spring, the first "Nightline Face-Off: Does God Exist?" pitted actor and evangelical Kirk Cameron and his partner at the Way of the Master against two self-proclaimed atheists.

The second "Nightline Face-Off" features Ron Jeremy and Vivid porn star Monique Alexander on the pro-porn side, while Craig Gross and former porn producer Donny Pauling argue the anti-porn side.