Video: Porn industry losing its shirt?

By
CNBC
updated 1/7/2009 9:45:02 PM ET 2009-01-08T02:45:02

Seems everyone is lining up for a government handout, but in the case of the porn industry, you may wonder where the hands have been.

TMZ is reporting that Hustler's Larry Flynt and "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis are asking for a $5 billion federal bailout of adult entertainment because "the economy has made America's appetite for sex go limp."

The Web site claims adult DVD sales are down 22 percent in a year, numbers which are sure to deflate expectations at this weekend's AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

Porn may not be as recession-proof as originally thought. Not only are people spending less, but there's a lot of free competition available.

TMZ says Joe Francis, hounded by legal troubles, plans to go to Congress to ask for his own ... stimulus package. "Francis sees his industry like the big three automakers, only BIGGER" says TMZ. "Sounds like someone has a bone to pick."

Gee. Where to put that $5 billion? Subsidize silicone? Provide consumer incentives ("buy one, get one free")? Zero-percent financing to shoot the next installment of "Lex the Impaler"?

Times have apparently gotten so tough that Larry Flynt is now suing his nephews. Today's Los Angeles Times reports that Flynt has filed a trademark infringement suit against Dustin Flynt and Jimmy Flynt II, brothers who formed Flynt Media to release such adult films as "Positive Exposure" and "Sex at Your Service." The elder Flynt is concerned that "knock-off goods" will dilute the power of his brand. "To come into the adult entertainment business and use my name not only confuses people who buy my products, but if they're not maintaining a certain quality, it could also hurt my name," he tells the LA Times.

The nephews say they have every right to use their own name, and Dustin Flynt tells the Times he believes his uncle is dealing with "inferiority issues." Apparently growing up in the porn biz isn't as invigorating as it sounds. "I spent a lot of blood, flesh and tears working directly for my family," says Dustin Flynt, "and it wasn't easy."

You can Read more of CNBC’s Jane Wells’ "Funny Business :-)" blog here.

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