What Does “Porn for Women” Mean? An Interview with Jacky St. James

We hear a lot of people asking for different kinds of porn, but there aren’t too many folks who are actually doing something to make it happen. Jacky St. James is taking it on!

One of the more common complaints people have about porn is that there’s very little storyline to give the sex some context and even when there is, the story is often pretty banal. As a writer, Jacky is creating movies that are fun to watch for the stories as well as for the sex. We took some time to talk about what she’s doing and what makes it unique.

1) There’s a lot of talk about “porn for women.” How would you describe what that means? What makes it different from other porn? And is there any info about how many women like which kinds of porn?

It’s funny, because the definition of what “porn for women” means, is not necessary the kind of porn I actually watch!!! Porn for Women usually involves more kissing, foreplay, more of a connection between actors, an actual plot, and usually fewer (if any) close-ups on penetration. While that might sound boring to some, a lot of female-oriented porn on the market today is highly entertaining! You can find everything from artistic 1920’s film noir/erotic lesbian flicks of Maria Beatty’s Bleu Productions to the extremely high quality to the light-hearted Rom-Coms done by the New Sensations Romance series. It’s fantastic that the industry is embracing the idea that women can’t be categorized into one small box when it comes to adult films. People have diverse palates and I’m glad the industry as a whole is exploring that.

Most of the statistical information out there about pornography has been conducted by religious organizations-whose information I wouldn’t deem as credible. So unfortunately, I wish I could provide some hard numbers for you about how many women like what kinds of porn, but unfortunately that information isn’t easily accessible.

2) What’s your vision for the porn that you write? What impact do you want it to have?

For me, it’s all about high quality, which is why I’m selective about who I shop my stuff to. Because my scripts  actually have a personal meaning to me, I want it directed by someone who understands the message I’m trying to get across and can produce an end-product that everyone can be proud of. I try and push the envelope of what’s already out on the market today.

A lot of scenarios are regurgitated, so I try and come up with something unique…or expand upon a popular theme by taking it in a different direction. For me, I want to write scripts that make audiences laugh, with a message that is clear. I want people to realize that porn can feel almost like an unthreatening, “date night” flick. A lot of people still view pornography in a negative light and those are the people I most want to effect. I want to open their eyes. I want to reach those that are seemingly unreachable!:)

3) What got you interested in writing porn? What inspired you to start doing it?

Because I come from a creative background and writing and pornography have always been two of my greatest passions, I figured, “why not marry the two?” After a close friend (who works as a Director of Photography in mainstream film) introduced me to The Romance Series film, “The Wedding Day,” we both were astounded that there was a company out there producing pornography of that caliber. From there I began studying a bunch of romance films, but kept returning to The Romance Series because their quality was consistent. One day, a lightbulb went off and I said to myself, “I can do this!”

So, I pulled out my laptop, wrote, Dear Abby in about 72 hours and since then, have spent nearly every free moment writing. I currently have over 7 completed scripts ready for production and several stories swirling around in my mind that have yet to be written.

4) In most porn features, there’s maybe 20 minutes of dialogue in the entire movie. How much do your movies focus on the plot and character development? Are there any challenges to making that flow?

My scripts are 100% plot driven. Regardless of the fact that people are having sex in my movies, there still needs to be a story, otherwise why invest in the characters? Mind you, a lot of people will fast forward through the dialogue to “the good stuff,” but for those that don’t, my goal is to provide them with something both unique and entertaining. The challenge for me is in trying to create four solid character relationships (most scripts call for four sex scenes between four different couples). It is really hard to make the story believable and the relationships meaningful in 35 pages, but the more I do it, the easier it is becoming. You have to be efficient. You have to be willing to cut out the layers of fat that just are excess baggage to the story and get to the meat of things more quickly (no pun intended).

Writing porn is forcing me to think beyond what I know and to tell stories that aren’t already out there. You can only make so many “young guy is seduced by his girlfriend’s mother” movies-without it feeling like the same thing you’ve seen 8000 times before. Not that I mind that so much, but I strive to be original whenever possible.

5) How much do you interact with the performers? Do you get any feedback about your scripts from them?

On set, I absolutely interact with the performers and some have even become friends outside of the set. I’m a social person by nature and I love getting to know people and hearing their stories. I tend to ask a lot of questions and take a vested interest in people’s lives. That’s the writer in me.

I have gotten great feedback from the performers, some of whom have even asked me to write scripts for them. In mainstream, writers are often not involved in the overall production process and I think I’m quite fortunate that I’ve actually been on set and been able to interact firsthand with the actors and address any questions about the script they might have.

Gonzo-style pornography is still the bread and butter of the industry so most performers have more non-scripted credits to their name than scripted credits. Working in gonzo, the dialogue (if any) is all improv, with a brief scenario provided to the performer (ie: You’re a teacher punishing your student for his poor grades). I imagine that those kinds of sets might be fun to work on because you can go any direction with the dialogue you see fit, but I think the beauty of the scripted dialogues is taking what’s given and bringing something of your own to it.

In terms of specific experiences they’ve shared with me on those sets, well, the nature of the beast is that there are good experiences and bad experiences working in porn.

6) What’s next for you?

Right now, I’ve got a movie in pre-production for the Romance Series at New Sensations and it’s one I am incredibly excited about. It’s totally out-there and different and I’m going to actually direct one of the sex scenes, which I couldn’t be more excited about! Eventually I do hope to direct a feature on my own, but for now I’m enjoying the experience I have writing for a wonderful company and working with wonderful people. After that, I don’t  know. Maybe total world domination? 🙂 We’ll see. I’m open to anything.

Check out Dear Abby and the rest of the New Sensations Romance series!

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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