Hello, Iran.

So I hear you’ve got some issues with porn. Actually, word on the street is that you want to make it illegal. Your parliament had a meeting last Wednesday and apparently decided that the production of a pornographic film is a crime punishable by death. Is that right? I just want to make sure I’ve got my facts straight. And is it true that the vote was 148-to-5 in favor of shooting all porn stars in the back of the head? Wow. That’s a pretty overwhelming victory. What happened to the five guys who were pro-porn? Did they stand up and give a really inspired speech like, “What this nation needs is more chicks with dicks and hot cum-gargling action?” I mean before they were taken out back and stoned to death.


Normally, I try not to pay much attention to what’s happening in your country. It’s kinda hard to take you guys seriously. I don’t mean any offense but, c’mon, you host a convention for Holocaust denialists and it’s only a matter of time before you get a reputation as the world’s Shemp Howard. But this kooky porn law was difficult to ignore. See, the thing is, I’m part of the adult film industry. Okay, maybe not so much anymore, but a few years ago I made my living writing porn screenplays. And when I left LA, I wrote a book about my experiences called Fast Forward. Have you heard of it? Doesn’t Iran have a Powell’s yet? Well whatever, I’ll send you a copy to pass around. I wouldn’t recommend loaning it to Ahmadinejad, though. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy whose epitaph is gonna read “He loved to laugh.”

I’m not mad at you for waging war on porn, Iran. You aren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last. I don’t know if I’d agree that all pornographers are “corrupters of the world,” but I guess it comes down to perspective, right? You think ankles are a sex organ and I once ate nachos while watching a bukkake video. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. But our cultural differences aside, I’m flattered that you want to pass a bill outlawing porn. Maybe I’m just a glass-half-full kinda guy, but I haven’t been this excited by anti-porn zealotry since Ed Meese. You seriously want to execute porn stars? Why not just send a blank check to Porn Valley? I don’t know if you’re familiar with the phrase “free publicity,” but that’s basically what you’re giving the world corrupters you claim to despise. When you make Jenna Jameson and Rocco Siffredi look like Bonnie and Clyde, you’re actually making them seem more sexy and dangerous and desirable. I hate to be the one to break this to you, Iran, but martyrdom works both ways.

But your questionable logic and lovable overreaction aren’t the reasons I have a beef with you, Iran. What pissed me off is when your parliament listed the “main elements” of a porn production, and then only mentioned producers, directors, cameramen and actors.

Excuse me? Aren’t you forgetting somebody, Iran? (Coughs, points to myself.) Hello? The writers?

Please don’t tell me that you’re one of those sniggering pricks who feigns surprise whenever somebody tells them that porn is scripted. “You mean somebody actually writes that crap? (Muffled laughter.)” Ha-ha, very fucking funny, Iran. Yes, pornos have screenplays. They’re not literary masterpieces, but somebody has to tell Johnny Horsecock what to say before he puts his balls in Jenny Faketitty’s mouth. You think those double-entendres and pizza delivery puns are being improvised? I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but viagra doesn’t improve one’s ability to ad-lib snappy dialogue. Porn actors are retards and writers are the short bus that takes them to retard school.

Y’know, this is just so typical, Iran. Even here in godless America, porn writers get no respect. Care to wager a guess how many writers are recognized each year by the Adult Video News Awards? Two! We get two lousy awards! There are something like sixteen different awards for gangbangs, but only two fucking writers walk away with a statue. Any idea who gets less awards at an AVN ceremony than writers? Fem-Dom Strap-on Videos. That’s the message the industry is sending to their writers. “We consider your creative contributions to be just slightly more valid than female actresses who penetrate the assholes of their male partners with strap-on dildos.”

Let’s take a closer look at your list of porn accomplices worthy of corporal punishment. You put actors at the top of your list, and I’ll happily agree. Sure, the men and women who exchange viscous fluids on celluloid deserve most of the credit. I have nothing but respect for what they do, and they’ve earned preferential treatment at Muhammad’s chopping block. Do you have any idea what it takes to get a boner on cue? Especially when you’re surrounded by strangers, all of them staring at you and judging you? I can’t imagine what that must be like. From my experience, erections can be fickle. Honestly, I’m shocked every time I get one. There are just a myriad of ways it can go wrong.

Like, okay, here’s a story I think you’ll enjoy, Iran. Back in the mid-90s, I was at some exclusive health club in Chicago with my writing partner and his dad. It’s the kind of place where you can only get a membership if you’re super-rich or semi-famous, and my writing partner’s dad just so happened to be both. So we’re sitting in the steam room and who should walk in but Mr. T. You know who I’m talking about? The black dude with the mohawk from Rocky III. You must’ve gotten that movie over there by now, yeah? So Mr. T walks in and we’re all naked and he says, I assume in jest, “I hope none of you white boys are planning on getting a hard-on. I know I’m pretty to look at, but that ain’t an excuse to start saluting me with your peckers.” We’re all laughing and making it very obvious that we’re in on the joke. But he’s planted the seed of fear in our heads. You know what I’m talking about, Iran? I wouldn’t have thought twice about it if he hadn’t said anything. But now it’s like the inverse of erection anxiety. Worry about trying to get a boner and it won’t happen, but worry that you will get an erection and blammo, you’re sporting wood. Even though I’m not in any way attracted to Mr. T, I’m panicking and telling myself, “Don’t get hard don’t get hard don’t get hard please don’t get hard.”

Later that night, I’m trying to have sex with my girlfriend, but I’ve done such a stellar job at psyching myself out of a chubby that I’m still completely flaccid. She’s stroking it and rubbing it and at one point even slapping it, and still nothing. The possum isn’t coming out to play. She asks me, “What am I doing wrong?” But what can I say? How do you tell your girlfriend, “It’s not you, it’s Mr. T?” How do you say something like that without her thinking, “Ooookay, guess my boyfriend is gay?”

I don’t know how porn actors do it. Even if they’re not being haunted by thoughts of Mr. T, their erection self-control is awe-inspiring. I’m telling you, Iran, those infidels are the heart and soul of this business. So yeah, go ahead and kill them. I don’t begrudge them their infamy. I’ll even give you the directors and producers. Bunch of immoral sleazebags and smut-slinging heathens. Round ‘em all up and send ‘em to the internment camps.

But it really chafed my ass when you included cameramen in your porn jihad. Have any of you even seen a porn film, Iran? They just point the camera at the genitals and push record. That is not what I’d call cinematography. A monkey could do it. There are no Vittorio Storaros working in this industry. And besides, are you really sure you want to be thinning the cameraman herd in your country? Don’t you need as many as you can get? If you kill every cameraman who took a day’s work to shoot Ass-Munchers Volume 17, who’ll be left to shoot the hostage beheadings? (Oh, wait, my bad. Those have nothing to do with you, do they? Wink, wink.)

When you make a public indictment against the adult film industry and purposively leave out writers, you’re slighting a lot of very talented people. It’d be like an American politician saying, “The terrorists must be destroyed, and by terrorists I mean the Sunnis,” and you’re all like, “Yo, how ’bout a little love for the Shi’ites, bitch?” You see what I’m saying, Iran? This kind of hurtful talk can have a negative effect on so many careers.

Here’s a perfect example: Last year, I was hired to ghostwrite Ron Jeremy’s autobiography. You know who Ron Jeremy is, right? Fat dude with the mustache and gigantic schmeckle? Ring any bells? Well, Ron was such a nice fellow that he actually gave me a byline. This didn’t require me to do any publicity for the book, but I did what I could, like the occasional radio interview and bookstore reading. Now, let’s say that Ron wants to promote his book over in the Mideast and his publisher decides to send me with him. Yeah, yeah, I know, the odds of that ever happening are infinitesimal. I’m just talking hypothetically, okay?

So I’m guessing that Ron wouldn’t get more than ten feet across your border before he’d “disappear,” am I right? Oh man, I bet you’d just love to get your hands on Ron Jeremy, wouldn’t you, Iran? A Jewish porn star with a big dick? That’s gotta keep you up at night. Or do you think he’s just another hoax like Auschwitz? My point is, your boys from the Islamic Republic would likely meet us at the airport and immediately throw Ron into the back of an unmarked truck. And of course, I’d assume that I’m joining him. But while I’m covering my face and screaming, “don’t shoot don’t shoot,” under your current porn law, your sergeant would just look at me and shrug and say, “Our orders don’t say anything about a writer. You’re free to go.”

There’s only one word for that kind of behavior, Iran. Insensitive. You think that doesn’t bruise my ego? What do you think would happen if I showed up to the bookstore after Ron gets dragged away to be beaten to death in some underground cell? “Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Eric Spitznagel, a writer deemed by our glorious government to be unworthy of Allah’s wrath.” How much of the audience do you suppose would stick around for the reading? Not many, Iran. Even the ones with pipe bombs strapped to their chest would be gone before intermission.

Well, I’ve got a message for you, Iran. I am good enough. I may not have corrupted as much of the world as Ron Jeremy, but I’ve done my share. When Ron insisted that we include a chapter in the book about safe sex, which consisted mostly of advice like “slap your dick in warm water after sex and you’ll never get an STD,” I never protested. And when my publisher for Fast Forward asked to include my unproduced porn screenplay “BUTT CRAZY” in its entirety as an appendix, I never said, “But what about the children?” I said, “Fuck yeah! Let’s corrupt a few more young and impressionable minds!” For all you know, there might be a Muslim kid somewhere thinking, “I was gonna go to the mosque tonight, but I think I’ll just stay home and read Spitznagel’s latest attack on morality.” It’s a long shot, but it could happen.

If you don’t do it for me, Iran, do it for the hundreds of porn writers who need the recognition. Even if you don’t want to condemn any of us to death, then at least consider adding an addendum to the bill. Something like, “And as for the authors of these porn atrocities, we shall remove their right hands as punishment for composing such degrading and filth-ridden and yet strangely compelling sin scripts, all praise to Allah.” C’mon, Iran, how hard is that?

I thank you for your time.


(This story originally appeared on TheNerouvBreakdown.com)