Porn snafu

Larry Flynt accidentally sends smut to skateboarding fans.

Published May 4, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

Usually, teenage boys must employ surreptitious methods to procure and consume pornography, whether it's sneaking peeks at the corner store magazine rack or surfing Web sites behind a locked bedroom door. American porn kingpin Larry Flynt made it a little easier last week when his publishing company accidentally mailed out porn rags to subscribers of a skateboarding magazine.

Among the many irate customers was Becky Barrington, a mother of four from Ellet, Ohio, a suburb of Akron. Last week, Barrington opened a gray plastic package addressed to her 15-year-old son, thinking it was a copy of Big Brother Skateboarding. She had ordered the magazine for the teenager, Justin Noga, a student at Ellet High School, and was shocked to discover a copy of Hustler Taboo, which describes itself as "America's Most Twisted" porn publication, boasting "explicit fetish on every page."

"I was horrified," Barrington told the Akron Beacon Journal. "I don't want my son seeing that stuff."

Instead of articles and photographs about skateboarding, Barrington was treated to the image of a nude blond woman, tied up and wearing nothing but spiked high heels.

"I have never seen anything so gross," she said. "Luckily, my son was out of town or otherwise I may never have known." The alert mother immediately called up LFP Inc., the Beverly Hills, Calif., publisher of both magazines, to complain.

Larry Flynt, who began his pornography empire in Columbus, not far from Akron, also was not pleased with the snafu. "Larry was really [expletive] off that it happened. He was livid," said Jerry Awang, vice president of operations for LFP, which publishes more than 30 porn magazines.

According to Awang, LFP mailed out letters of apology to all subscribers of the skateboarding magazine. "It was a screw-up, man," he said. "We have every quality-control plan in place. The impossible happened. I can't tell you how devastated we are." He would not say how many copies of Taboo were actually sent to teenage skateboarding fans, but added that Flynt fired the person responsible for the mistake.

Barrington was not impressed with Flynt's gesture. "So it was one guy's mistake? That's inexcusable," she said. "I don't see how this could happen."

Barrington's son will have to look elsewhere for his pornography -- as well as for his skateboarding news -- because his mother intends to cancel the Big Brother subscription.

"I don't take a stand on many issues," the mother added, "but [Flynt] is pretty bizarre and I don't want to make that guy any richer."

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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