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Porn industry after $5 billion federal bailout

As the 2009 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo opens in Las Vegas this week, Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis and HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt are hoping to get a financial bailout for the adult entertainment industry, a spokesperson for Francis announced today.

Adult industry leaders Flynt and Francis sent a joint request to Congress asking for $5 billion in federal assistance, "Just to see us through hard times," Francis said.

A stimulus, if you will.

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"Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment."

But, according to Flynt, the recession has acted like a national cold shower for the porn industry.

"People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt said, "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such, but they cannot do without sex."

While not to the same degree felt by banks and automakers, the adult entertainment industry has been hit hard by the effects of the economic downturn. DVD sales and rentals have decreased by 22 percent in the past year as viewers turn to the Internet for adult entertainment. It is estimated that roughly half of all Internet users visit adult sites, with the number of unique visitors to adult websites (including GirlsGoneWild.com and Hustler.com) has grown to more than 75 million per month.

But the "saltpeter" effect remains.

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the furthest thing from their mind," Flynt said, "It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”

"The popularity of adult entertainment in America has grown steadily for the past half century," Francis said. "Its emergence into the mainstream of popular culture suggests that the U.S. government should actively support the adult industry's survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people."

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