Behind the Scenes

A deleted scene and featured discussion about the roles women play in the series and the adult film industry itself

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Women in PORN


"Old friends?"

PORN, Feminism and the Age of #MeToo

Does a series about female porn stars have a place in a culture that’s rethinking how women are subjected to unwanted sexualization and sexual advances? It’s a good question, one that we’ve asked ourselves here many times in creating, producing, editing and now distributing this series. Interestingly, pornography and feminism have a complex and dynamic relationship. The radical activist and second wave feminist Andrea Dworkin famously campaigned against what she perceived as the prevalence of sexual abuse and rape culture in porn. However, Dworkin and other like-minded second wavers often found they had more in common with cultural conservatives and evangelical Christians than feminists who advocated for sexual liberation. Contemporary feminist thinking has evolved towards the sex positive philosophy, which ascribes a value to pornography for women to enjoy it and benefit from it through pleasure, work or all of the above. Advocates for sex positive views include the legendary porn star Nina Hartley, who has devoted her later career to sex education and activism. If “slut shaming” now has a negative connotation, it’s largely due to the work of these sex positive feminists.

None of this is intended to whitewash the sexual abuse that undoubtedly occurs within adult film. In fact, PORN: A SERIES does acknowledge this as a real obstacle that women who choose to work in porn the business face on a consistent basis. For example, in one scene, a sleazy porn agent tries to force the aspiring porn actress into performing an unwanted sex act in order to become his client. In another, the same actress finds the producers of a porn shoot try to pressure her into more than she agreed to do. In both the show’s depiction and reality, the adult film industry is no idealized feminist paradise. 

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Yet, if anything, the #MeToo movement has revealed that sexual harassment and abuse is a societal problem, one that pervades almost every industry where powerful men have influence over women’s careers and lives – i.e. too many of them! In fact, the recent revelations about influential Hollywood figures suggest that the “legitimate” entertainment industry might actually be worse for women than the adult entertainment industry.

At its core, the series is not a chronicle of how men sexually harass and abuse women in the porn industry. This is because the story has always been intended to be about the women themselves. The aim of the series is to present these characters as human beings with complicated inner lives and conflicted emotions towards their life decisions, including but not limited to their work in porn. If Bel, Vikki and Grace are sexualized, it isn’t because filmmakers have chosen to turn them into objects via the male gaze, but because the characters themselves have chosen a sexualized identity as a means of personal fulfillment. Whether or not that identity is personally rewarding to the characters… well, that’s kind of the big question of the entire story. Watch it to see if you can answer it!

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PX Trailer (90)
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Stay Tuned! More extra content and provocative debates is on the way.

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