Penthouse Files Bankruptcy!

by Brenda Pitt


Although we at BUST are always sad to hear about a fellow print publication struggling, I can’t say I’d miss Penthouse. Due to the availability of pornography on the internet, the porn magazine is having trouble making ends meet. Los Angeles Times reports, “the California company that owns Penthouse magazine, [online dating sites like FriendFinder] and a host of […] adult websites filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday.” The company believes that filing is “the most […] cost effective way for the company to continue to operate [the] business.” 


What does this mean for the company? Anthony Previte, Chief Executive of FriendFinder, explains that the company plans to “refinance long-term debt, reducing interest expense.” Penthouse and company’s common stock will dissolve; they will not trade on the open market. The company is still in business. 


Gloria Steinem once made the distinction between pornography and erotica. To her, “pornography” is about dominance and objectification, while “erotica” is a celebration of mutual pleasure. At BUST, we celebrate sex-positive erotica (check out our One-Handed Read)! 


Penthouse-style pornography and feminism have a long, contentious history. In the midst of the second wave, activists like Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin suggested that this kind of pornography glamorizes the unfair and cruel notion that male sexuality inherently involves the desire to overcome vulnerability and to harm women. That said, many feminists might disagree with my views on mainstream pornography’s treatment of women, and their opinions are equally valid. 

Hopefully, the bankruptcy will pave the way for more compassionate and feminist representations of sexuality. Porn doesn’t have to be cruel and objectifying; we can celebrate sexuality in a kind, pleasurable, and empowering way. And in that domain, BUST has you covered! What do you think? We’re eager to hear your thoughts in the comments. 


Thanks to Los Angeles Times

Image via D-ListedCurie Kim/ The Dartmouth

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