Sex & Relationships

8 Secrets from Behind-the-Scenes of a Porn Shoot

It will come as no surprise to most to hear that not everything you see in an adult movie is as it seems. But what really happens behind the scenes on the set of a porn movie?

As a wise porn star once said, “Porn is all smoke and mirrors.” Same as Hollywood, the adult movie industry in the San Fernando Valley is in the business of figuring out what Americans’ dreams are and delivering their fantasies back to them in cinematic form. It will come as no surprise to most to hear that not everything you see in an adult movie is as it seems. But what really happens behind the scenes on the set of a porn movie?

1. Marathon Sex

It’s not uncommon, especially on the sets of bigger budget adult movies, for performers, male and female, to have sex for two hours at a time. That may be one thing if you’re Tantric sex freaks doing it in the privacy of your own home, but try hanging off the side of a fire truck going at it in the midday sun while a crew of 20 looks on. No cake walk for the ladies, surely, but guys who can keep it up for that long must be phallic Olympians.

2. Condoms? Mostly, No.

Of all the adult production companies still churning out sex videos in the San Fernando Valley, only one requires its performers to wear condoms in the sex scenes it shoots, Wicked Pictures. The rest deem condom use “optional,” although female performers who insist upon condoms may find themselves working less than their counterparts who don’t. Generally, porn lore has it that male viewers at home don’t want to see condoms in their porn movies; theoretically, it “kills” the fantasy. So safe sex? Not so much.

3. Waiting For Wood

How do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pat Myne, and Jack Hammer keep it up? The woodsman’s mantra is, “Get it up, get it on, get it off.” It all depends on the dong-for-hire. Some guys have all the luck and are naturally blessed with the uncanny ability to maintain an erection in front of a crowd and cameras until they’re directed to “pop” on command. Other male porn stars aren’t so gifted. They turn to Viagra and Caverject injections (yes, injections; yes, there) to enhance their penile performances. In porn, the one-eyed boner is king.

4. It’s Easy, Right?

The myth of a career in porn is that it’s all fun, all the time. And, in a way, you’d think that’d be true. Having sex for a living? That doesn’t seem so, well, hard, now does it? Spend an hour on a porn set, and you’ll see just how hard making hardcore is. Both the men and the women who get naked under Klieg lights are expected to have perfect bodies. Then, once the filming starts, they’re expected to contort themselves into nearly impossibly positions, all while making sure the camera is getting the best angles. If you’re in a high-profile feature, you may be attempting this erotic feat while balancing on a rock overlooking the ocean. Pimpin’ ain’t easy and neither is porn,

5. Get A Job

Basically, porn stars are independent contractors. That means they must rely on sometimes sleazy talent agents or their own marketing abilities to sell themselves to make a living. Meanwhile, the recession and online content pirating has wreaked havoc on the smut business, meaning the competition for the remaining jobs is tough. That young lady who appears to be having the time of her life in that dirty movie you saw may be thinking about how she’s going to pay her bills as the economic downturn has dictated her pay per scene has been steadily dropping.

6. The Scorsese Of XXX

Of course, performing isn’t the only tricky occupation in porn. Take, for example, the directors, writers, shooters, PAs, and makeup artists without whom porn would never get made. If a low-budget crew is shooting on the fly in a rented-for-the-day house and doing so without a permit, it’s possibly the LAPD may show up and bust up the shoot. In addition, actors and actresses, whether they live in the Valley or in Hollywood, are notoriously, shall we say, difficult, and porn stars can be a real handful for those who make the movies in which they star.

7. In the Valley, Female Orgasms Are Like Unicorns

Indeed, some women work in porn because they just love having sex. Some porn stars have orgasms on camera on a regular basis. Some girls are just like that. But it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that that women you saw orgasming in that movie was, hold onto your hat, faking it. Sex starlets may be challenged when it comes to delivering lines, but when it comes to faking coming, they are Academy Award caliber.

8. Love Ain’t A Thang

Dirk Diggler and Amber Waves had a real connection in “Boogie Nights,” but a lot of porn stars you see coupled up on the screen met each other about an hour prior to the shoot, if that. In some cases, one or both is married—to somebody else. In other cases, they’re married to each other—but they’re pretending they’re not because he’s playing the pizza delivery guy and she’s the oversexed stay-at-home housewife. If you’re thinking about a career in porn, you might want to consider whether or not you want to have sex with someone you may not even like.

Susannah Breslin is a writer, blogger, and photographer.