After Porn Ends Review
Review: After Porn Ends (and where it should start)

I’m the first to admit I’m a woman with a very active interest in porn; from a feminist, social and sexual standpoint.

I come from a household with 4 older brothers which collated an accidental collection of ‘family porn’. My mother was mortified, constantly trying to hide what four virile teens and a casually interested father could not.

This meant I began watching porn in my living room (when everyone else was out) at an usually young age. Perhaps not so young in today’s context, with a world of it our fingertips; but in the days of dial-up, having an extensive porn DVD collection in the living room cabinet and easily accessible bedroom drawers was a luxury for which I was very grateful. For those who may be interested, Fuck Truck 4 by British film aficiano Ben Dover was a particular favourite of mine.

This is a habit which still goes on today and after over a decade of viewing pleasure I have become to get to know some of the key players and often after an…indulgence go on to watch videos about how porn stars walked in on their boyfriend murdered, their childhood abuse, drug abuse and their homelessness. Suddenly it’s not so sexy anymore.

However what is clear is that porn itself  (i.e film, TV, photography, literature or anything else intended to create or satisfy a sexual desire) is not the issue. Porn is as old and natural as the act itself, phallic bronze instruments and homoerotic neo classism line the walls of every gallery and museum across the globe. The problem with porn however is the industry.

It’s awash with glassy eyed and glossy lipped women, getting double fisted in a cowshed for a streamable 3 minutes and 45 seconds. That is neither sex nor sexy – and it’s desensitising a generation to seeing the outline of a nipple through a chiffon nightie at 10pm on Channel 5 and that providing months of mental foreplay.

So this might explain why I was so interested to watch After Porn Ends – a 2010 documentary film that follows that lives of some of the LAs biggest porn power players, after the cumshots and creampies have ended, to be replaced with childcare and contrition.

There was the expected mix of characters. Beautiful woman many of whom had seemingly difficult pasts; getting involved in porn to support their children, because they were homeless, because they got drugged or needed to feel love, attention and fame for the first time in their life. The documentary also featured three men – all of whom got into porn because they were struggling musicians, a much less harrowing avenue into the “play den of the damned” and all of whom seemed notably less emotionally effected by their experiences.

Raylene, who thanks her son and husband for changing her life went back into porn shortly after the film due to financial difficulties…

All except Nina Hartley, of course, who is proud of her career, her sexuality, her achievements and her current instructional videos tailored to allow people to get the most out of sex (40% of which star a hitachi magic wand massager). What Nina does say, however is that many woman do not (and cannot) feel the same way about themselves, their bodies and the industry – resulting in a trend of post porn stars “finding God” looking for an out, and for acceptance. Crissy Moran is an example of sweet girl turned bad turned God.

I noticed that those who had been involved in porn during its earlier years were less haunted by its ghosts in the present day. Porn in the 70s and 80s was a very different industry – there was a narrative, lines, acting and in a lot of cases a real sense of artistic and cinematic pride. Sex acts around that time were performed perhaps twelve times a year rather than the industry standard now which is around twice a day.

Watching After Porn Ends has not done anything to change my mind on the absolute Okay-ness of porn, but it has clarified the damaging impacts that the ease of access to porn has resulted in.

Since the emergence of free porn streaming, desktops and smartphones, consuming porn, for many, consists of a 6 minute flirtation with pornhub (just enough time to get yourself off, no more, no less). There’s no intrigue, no story, no time spent on enjoying porn, no variety. Amidst all the threesomes and bukkake and BDSM there’s no sex anymore. Where’s the passion? The intrigue? The tension? The only tension in how we inhale modern porn is hypoxyphilia.

Porn isn’t bad. Porn is fine and healthy and not something feel bad about enjoying (men or women) but the cut profit margins on porn mean that it is becoming an increasingly low paid profession, with less gloss, less investment in quality, shorter clips and fatter dicks.

Next time I sit down to some porn, I am going to invest a bit of time, maybe give myself an afternoon, get to know some characters, get involved in a plot.

Hell, I might even pay for it. Now, pass the popcorn.

After Porn Ends is available on itunes.


4 Comments
1 Comments
  1. So it was you who broke Fuck Truck 4 then!

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