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PORN: Series Credits


Who Watches?

Thanks for watching PORN: A SERIES! While we weren’t sure how much of an audience there was for a dramatic series, we do know that pretty much everybody watches actual porn. There’s no surefire way to prove this, but statistically speaking, if you’re a human with access to a working internet connection, you’ve viewed some form of web pornography in your lifetime; the numbers, and perhaps more importantly the money, lay bare this fact. Despite this, porn is still considered a taboo subject. When people talk about it, it’s in hushed tones among trusted friends, in anonymous online forums or in humorous “I don’t really but I actually do watch porn, and I know you do too” types of comments. Terms like ‘money shot’ and ‘cam girl’ have worked their way into everyday language. Any type of titillating image or video around any subject – food, technology, puppies – can now be referred to as porn.

One of the main reasons why we made this series about porn was to figure out why no one talks about this thing that plays such an outsize role in modern life. Shame is probably part of it: no one feels good about masturbating alone in front of a screen, despite the reality that everyone does it. Perhaps watching porn is the last truly private act in a world where we share everything about our lives, making it a kind of sacred cow. Of course, this doesn’t explain why people watch porn on the subway, in public libraries or, once upon a time and, perhaps on special occasions, in actual movie theaters. 

Even if watching porn is a private act for the viewer, it’s certainly not a private act for everyone involved. The performers in adult films may mask their identities through stage names, but that’s literally all they are hiding from the world. Indeed, as much as porn is a forbidden topic in polite conversation, the social stigma for those who work in the porn industry is even more extreme. Porn professionals refer to those who don’t work in the industry as “civilians” to suggest how stark a divide there is between the two worlds. Yet unlike military service, working in porn automatically precludes an individual from many avenues of public life.

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Kimberly_Noel_Kardashian

There’s a paradox bordering on hypocrisy at play here. To put it another way, all of us watch porn, but how many would be willing to actually appear in a porn video? It’s a rhetorical question, but the answer is exponentially less than the number of “civilian” film and television watchers who would agree to appear in a “legitimate” movie or TV show. There’s even an anecdotal example to support this: Nina Hartley, recounting her experience on the set of Boogie Nights, claims that all but one of her fellow cast members treated her like a pariah. Boogie Nights is an excellent film, one of the main sources of inspiration for this series; its brilliance lies in making the viewer empathize with porn actors and producers, yet given the chance to actually do so in real life, most of the cast felt too much shame or judgement to do so. This type of double standard isn’t limited to one film production from the 1990’s. Kim Kardashian is among the most famous people in the world, yet she was essentially unknown until her sex tape ignited the internet. Instead of her porn video relegating her to the fringes of accepted society, it thrust her to the climax of mainstream culture.



One of our aims in this series is to examine the divide between porn consumers and porn producers, questioning how much separation there is between these two worlds and asking how much there should actually be. We’ve done our best not to take a stance one way or another on the porn industry itself, but we’ve tried to make the characters Bel, Vikki and Grace into relatable, if compellingly flawed, human beings.      




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