Does Porn Matter?

When I tell people I’m an adult film producer, their reactions vary from shocked to intrigued to disgusted to, well, amused. Porn is one of those topics that can make people uncomfortable, titillated and giggly, sometimes all at the same time. No one can argue that adult films haven’t left a mark on society and culture, but few can agree what that mark really is “ or what it should be.

Many porn films, like the burlesque acts of yesteryear, make fun of sex “ and of porn itself. Even the recent “parody trend supports the notion that triple X films are for laughs as much as for getting off. After all, who really jerks off to Bart Simpson or The Incredible Hulk? Yet both of those characters were featured in recent porn parodies, and I’m assuming those movies managed to find an audience (I admit being a bit curious about who got off to images of the Incredible Hulk’s bright green dick.)

Meanwhile, the less “silly side of porn is regarded as far more disturbing. It’s generally thought to be damaging, degrading, cold and “sleazy, and features sex acts few of us in the “real world have tried.  Pile drivers, gangbangs and cum shots to the face are the par for the course. It’s this type of porn that makes many women “ and men “ recoil, and reject the notion that adult films could appeal to anyone but reprobates.

But despite porn’s tendency to exist on the extreme ends of its polarity (either very, very silly, or very, very hardcore) the adult industry has survived, and thrived, for decades. Despite our assertions to the contrary, most of us buy porn (or steal it on the Internet) and watch it regularly.

So what effect does it have on our collective psyche? Does porn influence the way we have sex, think about sex, and relate to each other in bed? Do producers have a responsibility to their public, and to society at large, to depict sex a certain way? Anti-porn feminists have long argued that porn objectifies and degrades women and should thus be done away with, but is that the only thing to worry about?

It surprises people when I tell them what I’m most concerned with in terms of porn’s portrayal of women and sex. It’s not spitting, choking or cum shots to the face (I like them myself sometimes, in my private life, even though I don’t generally depict them on film). I’m not put off by “rough sex, on camera or off.

Because I’m a woman, many assume that I’ll default into “women shouldn’t be objectified rhetoric, and that my “brand will be “positive, happy, female-oriented porn.  This is all but entirely false. I actually think the bedroom is an appropriate place to act out primal power struggles and “inappropriate dynamics. I believe sex is the proper arena to express our wild, ferocious, animal selves with other consenting adults.

What I’m most concerned with in terms of porn’s “influence, is the depiction of cold, unrealistic body language. I’m alarmed that we’ve created an entire genre of explicit films that depict sexual intercourse as a clinical, passionless act where men keep their hands behind their backs during “doggy style and women keep their arms flat and motionless at their sides during missionary, never daring to grab their partner’s ass as he thrusts into her.

I’m afraid that we’re depicting “hot sex as just the opposite. Cold, boring, orchestrated “ where no one breaks a sweat or blocks the shot of the “action by grabbing for each other with wild abandon.

And with that in mind, I set out to do one thing in my sex scenes: to depict real body language. Not to find the explicit shot, the “hardcore shot, the clinical close up of genitals banging together. The shot I want is of sweaty, intertwined bodies and mouths pressed firmly together, tongues probing each other’s mouths, eyes closed, hips thrusting toward and against each other, rather than “opened up toward the camera.

Sex captured on film the way you’re doing it at home (when sex is really, really good at home.)

I’m not aiming to make women comfortable, to tone sex down and make it more “vanilla, or to (god forbid) make it “safe to show your girlfriend. This is not my agenda, and I get a little tired of explaining that. My movies are for anyone who wants to see sex depicted in an intense, real, raw, sweaty manner. Sometimes the encounters are rough; other times relatively tame. Some days it’s a young, slender girl filling my lens, other days it’s a 50 year old man rocking love handles. But whatever the age or physical appearance of my performers they must feel comfortable with one thing: having intense orgasms achieved through more intimacy than they’ve ever experienced on a porn set “ or maybe even off.

That’s my boilerplate. And that’s my “brand.

The goal of my films isn’t to provide new positions or novelty acts for my audience to try “ acrobatics don’t equate with great sex. I also don’t want the girls to look as “pretty at the end of their scene as when they started (it’s customary that my female performers are missing eyelashes, have runny mascara, and are covered with their own and their partner’s sweat by scene’s end.)  I want the viewer to come away from my movies with the thought, “I’m going to kiss my girlfriend like that the next time I’m fucking her. I’m going to look into her eyes.

If porn is going to influence the next generation of sexually active adults, let them remember to connect, to kiss, to look at and grab at each other with a fierce intensity, even if they also do a little choking and spitting (and don’t be too quick to judge choking and spitting until you try it. You might surprise yourself!)

Sex is our last bastion of primal, animal behavior, and for many, the most exhilarating, intense way to connect with another human being. When we have sex, we are rewarded with surges of wonderful brain chemicals and satisfying orgasms. Humans love to have sex and we love to watch others having it. We don’t need to apologize for that, nor do we have to laugh at it. We don’t have to make it cold and clinical and uninspired to capture it on film.  Nature wants us to love each other and love each other hard. And when we watch a porn movie, we should be reminded of that tremendous, terrifying, extraordinary goal.

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive, women-principled adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Good Vibrations has always included all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. 11/11/2012

    […] you can create sexual media that focuses on the pleasure of the performers, that you can capture authentic connections on camera, that you can show a wide range of sex acts, orientations, genders, body types, and races […]