CAMPUSPEAK


Conner Habib Photo

Whether you enjoy it or despise it (or both), pornography has an enormous impact on our society. Millions of people view pornography regularly. Almost all college-aged men access porn, and over a third of viewers are women. It’s become a part of our everyday lives, and it’s not going away. Yet porn, sex work, and sex in mainstream art and media are taboo topics, leaving them vulnerable to misinformation and misconceptions. Informed adult conversations on sexual topics without shame, shock, condemnation and assumptions are difficult to find.

These are the issues that Conner Habib discusses when he visits campuses. Because of his experience in the pornography industry, and his academic background, he has a unique perspective on the tensions surrounding these subjects. 

As a gay multiracial teenager growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Conner discovered porn, and with it, hope for a life in a community where his sexuality would be acceptable and enjoyable. In his words, “When you grow up like I did, every porn is an It Gets Better video.”

After attending and teaching at competitive colleges in the Northeast, Conner moved to the West Coast to pursue a career in pornography. He’s won awards for all three of his professions: teaching, writing and pornography.

Conner addresses valid concerns about the porn industry, while also addressing assumptions about it that contribute to stigmatization of viewers and performers and that may lead to unhealthy behaviors and misguided policies. 

“Students are hungry for intelligent and open discussion about these issues,” Conner says. “These topics are constantly intersecting with students’ experiences, but they don’t have a safe atmosphere or someone with firsthand knowledge to talk with.”

Conner provides an open space to discuss one of today’s most pressing and interesting topics. His work as a scholar in sex and culture, as well as his experiences, encompass a broad range of topics, including sexuality, spirituality, bias, relationships, gender and popular culture. His campus keynotes challenge assumptions surrounding an urgent set of issues in an intelligent, friendly, and good-humored context.



Discussing Porn (Without Getting Hot and Bothered)

Pornography is something millions of Americans engage with, but few want to talk about.  When it shows up in popular media, pornography is almost always portrayed in a negative light. When it’s discussed on college campuses, it’s often assumed to be wholly exploitive and harmful. Why is something that so many people consume so difficult to think clearly about? Why is so much shame created around something that brings many people pleasure?

In this keynote, author and porn performer Conner Habib speaks from personal and professional experience as a gay man, a performer, and scholar of sex and culture. He believes that students are eager for an intelligent discussion about the realities of pornography, instead of the demonizing and shame-inducing perspective they most often hear. Is it possible to consider pornography as something with potential for both good and harm? Can adults truly have a thoughtful, reasonable discussion about the role of porn in our society?

Being a Sex Positive Person in a Sex Negative Culture

Surprise! Many college students spend a lot of time thinking about sex. Unfortunately, as products of a sex-negative culture hyper-saturated with sexual content, they end up ashamed of their feelings, their behavior, and the conflicts they feel. With all the sex shame, many turn to unhealthy behaviors - from alcohol and drugs to disastrous interpersonal relationships - to cope with the negativity.

In this campus keynote, Conner Habib will challenge students to frame sexuality in healthier, more positive context. In addition to his work as a porn performer, his work as a prolific author and media sex expert addresses issues surrounding sex negativity, its treatment, and its appearance in popular culture.

Beyond guilt, shame, and confusion, students have the possibility to cultivate healthier communities with progressive and positive attitudes about sex.

In Defense of Porn

For those campuses wanting to host a lively debate about pornography, Conner Habib is happy to argue for the defense. You provide the other panel members, or put him in direct debate with someone wishing to prosecute pornography and those involved in the industry, and Conner will hold his own, sharing his personal and professional perspective.

Note: Those wishing to put together this sort of point/counterpoint program will only contract with CAMPUSPEAK for Conner’s involvement. Other participants will be handled separately.

Conner's Bio

Conner Habib is an author, porn performer, and lecturer. His book on sex and culture, The Sex Book: Myths, Positions, Taboos and Possibilities will be released by Disinformation Books in 2015. For two years, Conner hosted his own web show, Ask the Sexpert, on Logo TV’s NewNowNext site, where each week he answered his viewer’s difficult questions about sex and sexuality. He is the author of dozens of articles, featured in Salon, Vice, The Stranger, Slate, and more. Conner gives lectures around the country on sexuality, pornography, and culture. He lives in Los Angeles.


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