Cristen Conger

Why is online porn the trend piece du jour?

Why is everyone talking about porn? (Getty Images)

So far in the world of online (and print to some extent) journalism, 2011 is shaping up to be the Year of Porn. It's everywhere, people. Porn in The Atlantic, porn in Salon, porn in New York magazine, and onward. No, the reputable publications aren't trying out some new profit model based on Adults Only sections or anything like that; they simply can't stop talking about pornography -- especially Internet pornography. And while I'm sure this isn't the first time journalists have been interested in the social, psychological and interpersonal effects of the inconceivable amount of smut floating around0nline, for some reason it's this winter's red hot trend piece.

Here's a round-up of what I'm talking about. And keep in mind, all of these stories have been published in the past month or so, and it doesn't account for BlogLand reactions:

All of these articles are completely PG-rated -- well, maybe PG-13 -- and have compelling points to make (even Natasha Vargas-Cooper's rage-inducing Atlantic piece). I just want to know what's in the water these days. Why is pornography on every editor's mind, obvious answers aside, please. Are these top-tier sites just goading traffic by plopping "porn" in headlines, or does online pornography deserve such a top, down and sideways cultural examination and re-examination?

Any non-NSFW (yes, that's a double negative)thoughts, enlightened readers?

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