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Are We Over Porn Stars?

Adult movies have become predictable, leaving the door open for amateur auteurs to fill the market with reality-based fare many viewers say they can't get enough of.

My lover purrs, low and breathy. He is spent—eyes closed and flat on his back, arms limp, legs slack, rotated outward just slightly. His abdomen rises and falls hypnotically. In yoga, they call this “corpse pose”—or savasana. Done correctly, it can stimulate blood circulation and relieve conditions including nervousness and insomnia. Not unlike the toe-curling orgasm that brought him here in under four-and-a-half minutes—and without all those grueling sun salutations.

“You should be in movies,” he says dreamily, half-smiling.

Riiiiiight. You get the camera. I’ll dig out my clear heels, call a girlfriend and hop on the Sybian with a riding crop.

Except he’s not wrong. I could be in movies. And I’m not basing this entirely on my mind-blowing skills, either. The days of the glossy box-cover porn goddess may not be gone, but as media has evolved, so, too, has the material the world jacks to. And guess what? It turns out the world really likes to watch itself fuck—despite the fact that most of it doesn’t look at all like Tera Patrick.

Evolution in Brief

Human nature being what it is, porno flicks were invented about 3.7 seconds after the actual movie camera. The adult entertainment industry has always been at the forefront of technology, and with the advent of video and affordable hand-held cameras, the amateur category was born. Like every other X-rated niche—from instructional soft-core to the 27-inmate conjugal gang-bang—amateur porn flourished in the balmy waters of the World Wide Web.

So why, precisely, is it so hot to watch a zaftig everygirl enthusiastically fellating her boyfriend (still wearing the shirt from his UPS uniform) on the tatty futon in her apartment when you could be watching one (or even three) AVN award winners cavorting on a big, round satin-covered bed?

“The most simple explanation of amateur’s appeal is that most porn consumers are men and the idea that they can have sex with actual women is more believable with less-than-perfect girls as opposed to popular porn stars,” says Bill, a former executive producer for Playboy’s Spice Studios.

Makes sense, but perceived accessibility notwithstanding, there’s gotta be something more to it, right?

Armchair Psych & The Elusive O Face

Ravi, 41, has been watching porn for more than 30 years. His current favorite among the pro starlets is Tori Black. “But a friend of mine wouldn’t shut up about ‘the naturalness’ of amateur, so I checked it out. The more I watched, the more I saw women really getting into it, which was a very big turn-on.”


“Men like to believe it’s more real, that the women aren’t just doing it for a paycheck. And so many of them seem like they’re married—which for some married guys, like me—is very hot.”

Thomas doesn’t necessarily prefer amateur to professional porn, “but I find myself gravitating more toward it because my predilection tends to center on watching women climax. I don’t like the fake, ‘Do me, Baby!!!’ orgasms you find in mainstream videos.”

While Thomas appreciates beautiful women, watching a woman experience genuine, unbridled pleasure is far more important. “A woman who’s only a ‘5,’ but uninhibited enough to have an orgasm on camera is far sexier than a ‘10’ who’s obviously faking.”

Thomas and Ravi share this inclination. In fact, the topic of whether a performer looks into it came up again and again. Is she really coming? Can you see it in her face? Does she look spent when it’s over? This, for me, brought the very essence of the pro-am juxtaposition up for serious debate. Should we really be calling the actors—the ones following a script—“professionals” while the genuine articles, be they hairy gay bears, art-school lesbians or horny cuckolded husbands and their promiscuous wives, are relegated to the amateur bin?

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