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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Consider This: The Porn Industry Exploits Men Too

Posted By on Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Are women who work in porn being exploited? That question has come up more than most since I've been writing about people who work in the adult industry. While it is a valid question, it is also grossly incomplete. Women are not the only gender that works in this industry. Men do, and transgender folks do as well. We never talk about men as being exploited. We don't even ask the question of whether it's possible for men to be exploited in adult videos.

It's the greatest job on earth right? Have you ever see Boogie Nights? While fiction, it was loosely based on real life. I attended a panel while I was at the AVN Awards earlier this month. The discussion moved around to male models and how hard a job they have. First of all, your dick has to be a certain size. Unless you're well endowed, there's a good chance your cock will not be seen on the screen.

Men have been called "dildos with a pulse" in this industry. Most male actors only exist in pornography to make the girl look good. Let's add to that! They need to get hard at the drop of a hat, and they need to cum on cue. Men are well aware of how disposable they are in this job. Unless you have a huge following and know how to market yourself, your career will not last long. The pay is not that great either. At times a man will be paid as little as $100 for a shoot.

Now let's consider the parameters that exist for men that do not exist for women. Women can fuck men as well as women on camera. It is socially acceptable for women to fuck other women on camera. They get more work because of it. But, that same rule does not apply to men. If men are sexual on camera with other men, they had better be sure about that.

He might have cleared $100 for this day of work.
  • He might have cleared $100 for this day of work.

It may be 2012, but men are still not given the option of experimenting with their sexuality the way women are. I have talked to several men who do porn, who may be bi-sexual in real life but not on screen. They know if it comes out that they are bi-sexual, they will not be cast for certain films. You are either gay or straight. If you are a man in this industry, there is no gray area.

That double standard bothers me for a number of reasons, the main one being that it feeds into a long running stereotype of men. Men are penalized for admitting to being sexual or even just thinking about being sexual with another man. Why is this? Two women fucking is less scary to society for some reason. I also believe that ignorance regarding how HIV is contracted and transmitted has something to do with this.

All in all, men are treated like props in these films, and I don't see that changing. The only time I find this rule not to be true is with queer porn. There is a new brand of adult films that I really enjoy. It's way hotter to me than mainstream movies. The sex is real, and so is the kink. Queer films in my opinion explore the sex most people relate to. These films also tend to give their male actors more options in terms of boy-on-boy action.

The mainstream industry's double-standard really bothers me, because stigmas are still stigmas when people still believe them. I believe that more men than we think want to be sexually experimental with other men, but they are terrified to admit it because of the potential harm that may come to them once they do. It will be nice when men are given the same freedom to experiment sexually that women are.

Next time you are watching a XXX movie, ponder that exploitation happens across the board. While it is mainly consensual, not all of it is. Realize that men can be exploited as well as women, and we need to think about that. Stay with me, folks.

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Vanessa L. Pinto (aka Fleur De Lis SF) documented a year of her sex life on her blog Whatever You Desire. She also blogs for the Huffington Post and is a contributing writer with Whore! Magazine. She has a degree in political science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Vanessa L. Pinto

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