They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They? Susannah Breslin on recession and adult biz

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41 Responses to “They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They? Susannah Breslin on recession and adult biz”

  1. Anonymous says:

    FYI, the scene described in the first page is from the site “Meatholes”. The girl goes by the name “Trinity”, and the man behind the camera goes by the name of “Khan Tusion”.

  2. toyg says:

    “But some adult pornography, I am suggesting, is just as worthy as all child pornography of being illegal to make”

    The problem being the definition of “some”. As of today, most Western countries use age and biology to define who can or cannot take part in pornography. These parameters can be easily measured and verified. When you start including things like the level of personal distress, it all gets very difficult to define.

    Even with existing regulations, the “broken” girl in the article could probably sue the director. It would be much easier to use the process of Common Law in this sort of circumstances.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kyle is right. The first page is truly haunting and sickening. It is rape, pure and simple. I know this gets some sick bastards off (then again, so does beating wives and killing puppies), but everyone involved should seriously be thrown in jail for 2nd degree rape. At the very, very least.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I like reading and watching and learning about the porn industry because I find it makes it easier not to masturbate by myself. When I start to care about the people involved, I stop getting turned on by it. I find it also means I have better sex with my girlfriend.

  5. philipb says:

    The piece of legalize I don’t understand is this: If I hire a women (or man) to have sex with me, we are both breaking the law (except in certain Nevada counties). If I set up a video camera and hire them to have sex with me we are now legal?

    I’m not planning anything, just never understood the distinction.

  6. Sal Paradise says:

    Internet Law #395 :
    Only prudes say they are not prudes.

    That is all.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t read the article, since it’s NSFW and I’m at W, but…

    @KyleA “Ashley Blue” would be one I think to ask about the whole “degrading porn” thing. I don’t know a lot about her outside of knowing she’s a total doll who gets extra-freaky, but I can’t imagine she goes back for more because she’s an addict or desperate. Damaged, perhaps, but not destitute.

    Anyone who knows more about her should chime in and correct me if I’m wrong, but I would say that her willing provision of that sort of “brutality kink” is representative – at least in part – of the women in the pornography trade: to make money in their chosen career, they go where the money is and do what’s requested.

  8. Egypt Urnash says:

    The future of porn is user-to-user. I know, I’m part of it.

    Let me tell you about a little website called Furaffinity. It’s a place full of furry art. Artists of all skill levels drawing it, writers posting stories on the theme, users looking and commenting and bookmarking.

    And artists saying “Hi! I feel like doing some commissions!” and negotiating with the users directly. Now, not all of these commissions are dirty, not by a long shot – there are tons of people who don’t draw that kind of thing for whatever reason, and people who want art they could hang on their living-room walls. But there are also a lot of people who love to draw certain kinks, or will draw damn near anything. Sometimes we’ll say “I’ll draw whatever”, other times we’ll say “I feel like drawing this specific kind of craziness, tell me what kind of spin YOU want on it”.

    I’m doing that this week – I got the urge to draw some crazy things I wouldn’t quite normally draw, posted a message in my gallery, and got some wonderfully strange and primal ideas that I’m being paid a few hundred bucks to draw. I get to have fun drawing beautifully weird things, I get beer money, they get beautiful images of the scenarios they can only conjure forth in text, the whole community gets to see the end results – everybody wins, nobody gets oppressed (except maybe in a fantasy way that makes them really hot, I’ve seen and done more than a few commissions of “your self-insertion character having a sexily degrading thing happening to them”), it’s pretty cool, and in sharp contrast to the depressing world behind the cameras in the Real Porn Industry.

    Video of unenthusiastic people being paid not much to fuck on camera? Booo-ring. Strange fantasy porn involving your own self-insertion character doing something impossible that tickles your kinks really, really hard? Awesome.

    Meanwhile, a friend who codes at Linden Labs used to have a co-worker who was heavily involved in teledildonics. (I say “used to” because I think they moved on to Google or something. But they still play with hooking toys up to the net.)

    The future of porn is making it with your friends on the net.

  9. BookGuy says:

    Wait, female porn stars fake orgasms?

    As Jimbo Jones once wisely said: Now I don’t believe in nothin’ no more. I’m going to law school.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @kylearmbuster,
    You said:
    “You may counter, “Don’t be so simpleminded; some women actually get off on that.” –To which I reply, “then they would be willing to pay for the service.” As it is, they only do it when someone else is paying them. That right there tells me this isn’t what they really would like to be doing with their time.”

    Well, I wouldn’t be so sure they only do it when someone else is paying them… just saying. Check out fetlife.com for evidence to the contrary. And don’t tread on the 1st Amendment, bub.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Let me tell you about a little website called Furaffinity.”

    NO.

  12. querent says:

    wow. thanks.

  13. mermaid says:

    the first page is going to haunt me

  14. greengestalt says:

    I think computer generation is the future of porn. VR fizzled in the 90s because it was tried too ambitiously and too early with all the “Cyberpunk” enthusiasm. The technology’s matured and VR headseats are still made and make-able, even by hobbyists now.

    Also, 3DCG is getting so that Amateurs or people who couldn’t afford or know how to use Maya can quickly render stuff. There’s even a new market for props, check out various 3D galleries like Daz and Renderosity.

    Poser, originally designed as a “Virtual Wooden Dummy” for comic book illustrator aspirants (remember the “Comic book” boom?) has become quite the outlet for pornography… Renderotica, anyone?

    So, I think the future will be “Virtual” porn, especially for stuff that would be rather expensive and/or a trip to jail in RL. A few more upgrades to Poser, allowing for interaction and VR interface, IMHO…

    Out of politeness, I won’t describe various fantasies…

    But-and here’s why I’m posting this-here’s how the current batch of porn producers and actors could adapt:

    The porn companies could invest in this new medium, esp. the VR stuff. Lots of out of work programmers, under-worked technology companies, parts laying around and a public still willing to spend “Decent” money on high-use “Entertainment” consoles. Why else are video games still doing so good?

    Likewise, the Porn actresses could license their images/voices/personalities for “Individual Use”. They could milk the ‘ethics’ of “Support what you like in the media by buying it!” There could be a “Rent/Buy” option where you could have a session with your favorite porn star one night or archive the construct permanently so she could be endlessly romanced, bedded, taken to the dungeon and stretched on the rack, fed to Great Cthulhu who dwells at the bottom of the “Garbage Disposal” pit…etc. And when the tentacled lord squirted out some goo with bones, push “Reset” and she’s ready for more fun!

    So, what we’d see is a post-renaissance of porn. RL porn becomes a tinier “Niche” of the best (looks AND talent) models but then becomes a thriving career which pays royalties from virtual sales long after the “Grade A Meat” period ends. A few older, classic porn stars will also find new life through this… Maybe some could even earn some needed cash now by selling future rights to speculators?

  15. Alpha Omicron says:

    Hey now, Young and Anal is quite good.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The first page of the article was pretty disturbing, but I wish Breslin had interviewed the woman afterwards so we could know if her interpretation of what that woman was going through was accurate; could be that the pain of the whipping was bringing tears to her eyes, but she wasn’t actually bothered that much by the scene on an emotional level. On the other hand, she might have been just as traumatized as the article suggested. Knowing what is “typically” felt by the actresses in these kinds of degrading porn shoots would make a difference to how sympathetic I’d be to Kyle Armbruster’s arguments.

  17. Anonymous says:

    >> “It’s not near as fun as it was. They’re just shooting content to fill these specs they need for some website they’re shooting for,” he sniffs reproachfully. “They’re not being creative,” he pouts. “They’re not doing anything interesting.” <<

    Wait… isn’t this the complaint Jackie Treehorn had in the mid 90′s about, I’m guessing, people like the speaker himself?

  18. EH says:

    I appreciate the enthusiasm, but CGI/VR porn does nothing but raise the uncanny valley and clog some decent flickr groups.

  19. DefMech says:

    CGI porn is about as fun as watching two marionettes collide against each-other.

    • greengestalt says:

      Rant on, fellas…

      They also said the Internet would never be a challenge to porn because it would cost too much (bandwidth $ download time) and a HDD wouldn’t have enough space for too many of them in even remotely photographic quality.

      And the Music Industry was broadsided by MP3s. They fought like a stray animal captured by a retarded person facing it’s 20th daily “Temperature Reading” to get the “Mini-Disc” ruined, for the feared the mini-disc would replace the “Floppy” and have sufficient space to copy CDs while the real CD burners were $4000 and up at the time. They feared people using CD readers (or the mike) to copy onto a Mini-Disc file, then copying and trading the discs. Like the porn industry, they thought it would take to F*cking long to transfer the data over the internet, too few computers would have enough space to hold even one CD and only a handful of people, mostly “Professionals” even had a burner since a CD player was the only way of listening to it…

      When MP3 trading popped up, they freaked out and panicked since they were done shoveling dirt on the mini-disc so efficiently. And on that note, the “Jump Drive” phenomenon came by to replace the demand that the Mini-Disc was meant to fill, and ended up holding much more data than those things would have, also making the “Portable MP3 player” feasable… Along with the very “Personal Trading” that even enhanced “MP3 CD” and “MP3DVD” trading.

      So, while yes, most modern CG porn is amateurish and / or still images, there’s a lot of potential for growth, and whole markets ready to be born. The appeal won’t be from “Computer generated entertainment”, it will be from the ability to participate in it, including using special ‘attachments’ thanks to Japan and it’s incredible population of people so perverted and lonely they make most warped/nerdy Americans seem normal;-)

      And I’m saying this not to be a troll, but to hope somehow the Porn people reading this will look into this and consider investing. Imagine the graphics in a modern MMORPG or good PC game being harnessed into a personal interactive VR enviornment, but then have it be “Erotic/Fantasy” themed versus “Smash troll, get killed by RL troll, buy magic super sword from Chinaman Pharmer, “Mom! Bathroom!”

      • querent says:

        greengestalt is a fucking prophet. i head his words, and i fear them….

        this will be the first thing we get right. and the government will take it. and they will use it against us.

        they will know how to please us! they will know the structure of our minds!

    • gunnar11 says:

      Hey, I liked Team America. It was fun watching two marionettes collide into each other.

  20. benher says:

    The uncanny valley has been responsible for more than a few lost erections in my day.

  21. coolvoodoo says:

    Thank you Susannah!

  22. Cheaplazymom says:

    Professional pornography is artistically and morally bankrupt. C’mon, watching hairless people slam against each other and make weird faces is hardly erotic. I am not surprised that the actress confided that she didn’t climax- its pretty easy to see that nobody is really having any fun. He’s disassociating because he has to stay hard and she’s dissociating because it’s boring and humiliating (or worse painful and dangerous). The “growth” area of porn is amateur– non professionals getting it on with a camera running. Many of these just try to ape the pro stuff, some of it is creepy and illegal, and then there’s a bunch that is just regular folks sharing their good times. Here is where you will see touching, perhaps tenderness, a sense of play, laughter, normal bodies, pubic hair (!), and sometimes a real orgasm. A peak into the bedroom, a curiosity about how other people “do it”, the guilty pleasure of being a voyuer– these are some of the reasons that people turn to pornography in the first place. Watching strangers who don’t know or like each other humping for hours while barely touching each other is just a mechanical meat show. Fewer of these films are being made? Good riddance.

  23. Hools Verne says:

    On the one hand I’m inclined to agree with cheaplazymom. The porn industry is a cesspool, and while I’ve never been a fan of obscenity laws Al Franken might want to look at some of the contracts adult entertainment industries draw up. There are sites, such as Kink.com, that do make a welcomed effort to be ethical while at the same time accommodating sexual fetishes and minorities. These companies, however, do not really account for the majority of the industry.

    On the flip side, while I am all for armature couples and models cutting free from the industry and going into business for themselves in an environment of their own design. I fear about the amount of people that are aping the industry. At least the industry is regulated, however poorly. What’s the fallout going to be if the floor falls out from under the industry?

  24. Hools Verne says:

    PS: While I am a fan of some well groomed fur on my partners, there are people that go bare for comfort. I can’t help but squirm when people jump to define it as unnatural or psychoanalyze it. I like my beard, but I don’t think that men who shave are mentally stunted adolescents.

  25. GlenBlank says:

    …”porn valley,” the epicenter of the adult entertainment biz.

    The San Fernando Valley is home to the densest concentration of film and video production – the industry colloquially known as “Hollywood” (though most of it left Hollywood back in the 1930s) – in all of Los Angeles.

    Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney, Dreamworks, Focus Features, New Line, Miramax, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC America, Nickelodeon, BET, Dolby Labs, Deluxe, and hundreds of other production companies, studio facilities, post-production houses, effects houses, equipment suppliers, processing labs, props rentals, costume suppliers, and on and on call the San Fernando Valley home.

    It’s the ‘world center’ of almost every kind of entertainment production, from major studio blockbusters to edgy ‘indy’ films, to B-grade action and horror, to network televison, to music video – and, yes, even porn.

    Porn is shot there because everything else is shot there; because more of ‘working Hollywood’ lives and works there than any other place in LA.

    For a long time, porn’s low budgets meant it was shot in the crumbling old soundstages left over from glory days of the ’20s and early ’30s in Hollywood, back before it turned into a slum; recruiting its ‘stars’ from the starry-eyed naifs fresh off the bus, wandering Hollywood Boulevard, wondering where the movie business had gone.

    Then, in the early ’80s, the Southern Pacific shut down a freight spur that ran down Canoga Avenue from Chatsworth, and the sudden availability of cheap tilt-up industrial warehouses in a now-quiet neighborhood lured low-rent porn producers out of the slums of Hollywood and into the Valley, where so much of the real film industry had migrated some 50 years earlier.

    So it gets really tiresome hearing it referred to as ‘porn valley’, as though porn is the only thing made there.

    Oh, and please look up ‘epicenter’ – it doesn’t mean ‘the very most central center’. Here’s a clue: “epi” means “near”.

    It’s like hearing people use ‘penultimate’ as a superlative because they think it means ‘the very most ultimate ultimate.’

  26. endymion says:

    greengestalt, you, um, write a lot.

  27. fnc says:

    The best part of the whole fascinating grotesque parade is a quote from the oddball director on page seven:

    “It’s a lot more than I can say for a lot of the companies in America, pieces of shit, like Madoff, and Enron, all of these son of a bitches the Bush administration funded that do nothing but take, take, take! Here, I just give, give, give! And this is a fact!”

    Holy social and culture commentary literary juxtaposition device Batman!

  28. Hools Verne says:

    @Kyle

    I don’t think it was your intention to dismiss the “some girls get off on that stuff” entirely but you kind of did. It’s important to remember that there are people of both genders that get off on that kind stuff. Some of them like to get paid to participate in this kind of stuff. The problem is that not all girls get off on this stuff, and the way the industry works right now it can be very hard to tell if a girl (or a guy for that matter) is doing a scene because she wants to or because she’s being coerced. Porn blurs the line between fantasy and reality so much, and often because the fantasy is the product even a production that is not exploiting the performers will go out of its way to hide that fact.

  29. Kyle Armbruster says:

    The first page hasn’t left my psyche in the 12 hours since I read it. This is very much what I suspect is happening with a lot of the hardcore porn being produced these days.

    I’m actually very tired of the “free speech” defense of the porn industry, although I also think obscenity laws are highly problematic (my favorite author, William S. Burroughs, may have been unknown if the anti-obscenity people had had their way). Basically, it comes down to this: Do we want shit like what is happening on page one of that article to be legal? People in dire financial straits allowing themselves to be tortured, physically and psychologically, for our viewing pleasure? It. Is. Fucking. Sick. And I’m sick of the defense of it.

    There aren’t just two sides to this: Puritanical prudish censorship or hedonistic abandon. There are degrees of “okay” and “not okay.” And if you’re okay with people–almost always women–being beaten up and raped (do you think she was still into the scene after being “broken?” –Or did she realize that she was completely powerless to stop it?) so they can pay rent, then you are not a Good Person.

    As another poster suggested, I think the way this can be handled is just with contract law. Regulate the hell out of the industry, define what acts are deemed safe or too dangerous, and lock up any producers found to be violating these laws. You don’t even have to regulate the content of the videos, which brings in the censorship debate; you just have to regulate the contracts and watch the production closely.

    Finally, how about this? Set up a provision in these contracts that if at any time after a scene has begun, an actor wants to quit, they still get paid in full? This would make it hard for them to be hired again, so they probably would only use the escape clause if they really wanted, and may lead to people taking advantage of it and eating into the producers’ bottom lines, but… Who cares? These people are vermin.

    I’m sure I’m going to be flamed for being prudish (I’m not) or for not supporting free speech (not true–if it were, I’d be proposing rounding up all the old videos that would now be illegal to make, and/or prosecuting people for possession or redistribution–I’m not in favor of that at all), but at some point we have to snap out of our internet-all-is-permitted love-fest and realize that there really are lines that should be drawn to keep people safe and to create a society in which we’d actually like to live.

    • StRevAlex says:

      I won’t “flame” you only because I immediately expect opinions like yours when articles like this appear on Boing Boing and elsewhere and I’m almost disappointed that more people don’t share your view. Of course, I disagree entirely. I wholeheartedly enjoy rough, quasi-degrading pornography and yes, I still feel I am a “Good Person.” At the least, I’m not a patronizing, simpleminded person like yourself who prefers to deny the unspoken realities about what kind of women do this and the economic and as you dismissively put it, “free speech” issues involved in regulating pornography. “Internet-all-is-permitted love-fest?” Nothing is true, everything is permitted and the only limits are those of the imagination. Grow up.

      • Kyle Armbruster says:

        Nothing is true, everything is permitted and the only limits are those of the imagination. Grow up.

        Yeah, that’s just it; I already have.

        As for the rest of your comment, I’ll just let your words speak for themselves.

      • Kyle Armbruster says:

        Meh, no. I can’t let your words just lie there. I am too weak-willed.

        I wholeheartedly enjoy rough, quasi-degrading pornography and yes, I still feel I am a “Good Person.”

        Actually, that’s fine. That’s exactly what I don’t want to regulate. You like it; that is fine. I am absolutely against anything that tries to regulate your imagination or your thoughts or what turns you on. And yes, I even extend that to child pornography. I am very uncomfortable with a lot of the laws surrounding that issue, as they seem to seek making people’s private thoughts illegal, and that is very much a bad thing.

        But some adult pornography, I am suggesting, is just as worthy as all child pornography of being illegal to make, in that its production is a violation of someone’s basic human rights, preys upon the weakest members of our society, and creates other social problems that we all have to sort out just so someone can get their jollies.

        That is not a censorship argument; that is a simple health and safety argument.

        I’m not a patronizing, simpleminded person like yourself who prefers to deny the unspoken realities about what kind of women do this

        And this right here is what I simply cannot let go. What do you mean by “what kind of women do this” (emphasis mine, obviously)?

        I’ll tell you what kind of women. Women who have been sexually abused growing up, or who have been otherwise raped, or who are addicted to drugs, or who are desperate, or who are a combination of some or all of these things. There are very, very few women involved in porn–and I would expect virtually none in the world of the most degrading porn–who woke up one day and thought, “I’m going to let strangers with no condoms who fuck a lot of other people with no condoms fuck me.” “I’m going to let some guys cum in my eyes.” “I’m going to let someone choke me until I pass out.” No, there are very few people in their right minds who make those decisions.

        You may counter, “Don’t be so simpleminded; some women actually get off on that.” –To which I reply, “then they would be willing to pay for the service.” As it is, they only do it when someone else is paying them. That right there tells me this isn’t what they really would like to be doing with their time.

        I’m tired of pretending things that are clearly not okay are okay just because I don’t believe in prosecuting thoughtcrime. I want child pornographers prosecuted; I want vile adult pornographers prosecuted. Everyone else’s personal dark secrets and antisocial proclivities, as long as they stay in their heads (or even on their screens), I’d like left to them to sort out.

        I hope I’ve been clear. It’s not a position I see around the interblogs very often, and I don’t want to be mischaracterized as an anti-speech neo-con or something.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I enjoy stuffing myself with a pint of Haagen-Dazs before bed every night. I’m not that interested in being criticized for it, and I certainly hope that it remains legal. But I don’t parade my addiction as a sign of mental health or emotional maturity, either. It’s just a creepy addiction that I hope to shed someday.

  30. Anonymous says:

    @ Kyle Armbruster..

    THANK YOU, for the things you said. You are right on.

    THANK YOU.

  31. bogusphotographer says:

    Slightly off topic, but does anyone know the name of the font used for ‘they shoot porn stars’? It really reminds me of the one used for the ‘Porn Theatre Ushers’ albums and 12″s – hence I guess the reason it’s used here….

  32. john hammond says:

    So, what we’d see is a post-renaissance of porn. RL porn becomes a tinier “Niche” of the best (looks AND talent) models but then becomes a thriving career which pays royalties from virtual sales long after the “Grade A Meat” period ends. A few older, classic porn stars will also find new self publishing life through this… Maybe some could even earn some needed cash now by selling future rights to speculators?

  33. octopod says:

    “call[ing] forth an ancient being from another time and world who bridges the cosmos to shove his massive tool up their asses,”

    I’m like, omg that just sounds so awesome, but it’s prolly /meh.

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