Fishbein Addresses UCLA Human Sexuality Class

AVN President Paul Fishbein gave a brief overview of AVN and the adult industry to a UCLA human sexuality class on Thursday.

Fishbein was invited to address the class by UCLA clinical psychiatry professor Walter Brackelmanns.

“The idea beyond the course, Human Sexuality: A Lecture Series for Mental Health Professionals,” Brackelmanns told AVN, “is that couples therapists also need to be sex therapists. And those two have been two distinct groups for a long time. And they really need to marry. And so my point of view is that couples therapists need to know about sex.”

Hence, Brackelmanns has invited several members of the adult industry, including Fishbein, to lecture his class.

Brackelmanns said he asked Fishbein to speak to his students “because he’s one of the most important people in that industry, an expert, and has a great deal to say about what that whole industry is.”

“I have a personal interest in de-mystifying and de-Satanizing the adult film industry,” Brackelmanns added. “I don’t happen to feel it’s a miserable thing,” but one that can help couples explore their sexuality.

Fishbein addressed the class of about 25 mental health professionals for an hour, giving them an overview of AVN, briefly touching on the annual AVN Awards Show as Brackelmanns projected a clip from the 2005 Awards Show DVD on a screen. Fishbein also discussed the adult industry’s various free speech battles with the government over the years, including the threat posed by the current Bush Administration.

“This administration, and this Justice Department, had a 24-attorney obscenity unit ready to pounce in 2001 on the industry,” he said. “And they were really looking at interstate transportation of obscene materials, but focusing also on the Internet. And only because 9/11 happened, did the focus of the Justice Department have to change, and 50 of my top clients did not get hit.”

“That’s still the agenda of this administration — they say it — and I know they owe political paybacks to a lot of their contributors from the Christian right wing,” Fishbein continued. “And we’ve waited for it and waited for it and waited for it, but so far, it has not happened. But I think that’s in the back of everyone’s mind — and some of this material is pretty strong. So if they indict some of these people in Alabama for interracial gangbangs, the government would have a much stronger chance of conviction there than in California or some other more liberal area.”

Following Fishbein’s remarks and a Q & A session, the class perused a stack of adult DVDs and copies of AVN and The AVN Guide to the 500 Greatest Adult Films of All Time that the AVN president brought to the class.

Other adult industry figures who have, or who are scheduled to address Brackelmanns’ class include AIM’s Sharon Mitchell and Nina Hartley.

Photo of Walter Brackelmanns and Paul Fishbein by Mike Ramone.