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  1.  (576.1)
    Lately I've become really fascinated by the idea of producing porn. Actually, I've been fascinated for quite some time. Lately, though, I seem to be more driven to do so. Currently, I'm writing scripts and putting together a porno-comics anthology of mostly-sci-fi/genre stories (even though, really, that's not the kind of porn I like, I just seem to be able to write it (possibly) well), but I'm also thinking of starting an indie porn magazine or even producing porn films. My partner's not exactly thrilled with the idea; while we both enjoy porn, he's not as keen as I am to put a camera in front of two people and ask them to fuck for us. He's well aware that I'm obsessed with sex and I think that one of the great American injustices is our societal attitudes toward sex and violence, being all fucked up and backwards like they are.

    Right now I'm enthralled by the rash of hundreds of guys, and a few girls, who are willing to shoot themselves with a webcam and post it on any number of YouTube knock-offs around the web. This kind of easy exhibitionism being practiced by hordes of 18-27 year olds made possible by the explosion of flash video technologies and high-speed internet access. It absolutely fascinates me, even if it doesn't always turn me on.

    That and the explosion of indie-punk porn sites like SuicideGirls and Burning Angel, and how there aren't any really good variations of these for straight women or gay men.

    So, I don't really know where I'm going with this, other that to ask if anyone else around here has similar desires or motivations toward producing porn. Or anything to say about porn. I know that's a whole 'nother can of worms. Advice, suggestions, comments or condemnations. Basically, I'm looking to have a conversation with someone other than my partner on this entire subject.

    Johnny
  2.  (576.2)
    I agree with you that the vision the world has toward sex, as if it's something from hell, is ridiculous. I think we can thank mainly the catholic church for this. Sex is beautiful, even if done only for fun. Jack Nicholson once said something that sums it up nicely: "If you suck on a tit, the movie will be rated R. If you hack the tit off with an ax, it will be PG".
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      CommentAuthorEgon
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.3)
    Maybe I have some weird hang-ups, but anytime you introduce plot and fucking...

    "The Pizza Guy Is Here!"

    "But Hey, We Didn't Order Any Pizza!"

    [Insert Greasy Funk Music Here]

    ...I laugh like a demon and any kind of eroticism you try to introduce gets chucked out the window.
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      CommentAuthorFredrik
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.4)
    I think that's the whole challenge right there, writing something that's more sexy than campy.
  3.  (576.5)
    I think that's the whole challenge right there, writing something that's more sexy than campy.


    Exactly. Although camp has it's place, it's probably not in porn. At the same time, I would like to see porn that has more of a sense of humor. Not everything is about candles and silk sheets. Filmed romanticism can be just as off-putting and unrealistic as camp.

    As far as plot goes, I think there are time when it's necassary. I don't know, I'm like pretty much anyone else, my taste in what I want to see in porn changes every time I look at it. There's only so many times I can see two strangers put in a room and watch them fuck and find it arresting, entertaining, or arousing. Plots can be cheesy, or they can be fantastic. There's a move in the "mainstream" indie-film market (and I use those words only because I don't have better ones) to make more sexually explicit films that are otherwise very much not porn. I'm thinking of The Dreamers, 9 Songs, and specifically Shortbus. Shortbus is one of my favorite films of all time. The characters engage me, and I can relate to them, and I can be attracted to them. And it treats sex as a Good Thing, and an essential part to being in a romantic relationship, and it recognizes that it's not always a good thing, and that, yes, there can be bad sex, but that sex itself is not bad, it's not a weapon, it's not a tool, it's essential. It can be fun, and scary, and realistic and sexy. I don't know, I could ramble on for hours about that movie, but I won't.

    I would like to see more porn do that. Is it odd to think that I would like to see porn be more sex-positive?

    Johnny
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      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.6)
    Not at all.
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      CommentAuthorEgon
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008 edited
     (576.7)
    This Film is Not Yet Rated will probably shed some light for you on why a lot of sex-positive stuff is missing from mainstream movies. Not quite Vivid Video levels of sex, but certainly sex positive. It totally expands on that Jack Nicholson quote.

    But I guess what you're going for is some kind of Vincent Gallo/Brown Bunny kind of thing? Indieplex Quality film with actual intercourse.

    Veering back to comic-porn, if I can just ask a favor and no 80's Toy-Line Porn, please.
  4.  (576.8)
    No, no 80's toy-line porn. And, I have to say, I think Brown Bunny is one of the worst films ever made, although it does fit into the group of films I was talking about. Kind of. I don't think the film has any quality to it. I think Vincent Gallo filmed himself driving around the country so he could pretend he was making an art-film, for the sole purpose of getting Chloe Sevigny to blow him without PJ Harvey getting pissed and leaving him, even though she did anyway.

    And I don't have any problem with porn for porn's sake. While I think that pornographers should struggle to make high quality porn, and maybe add something more than just fucking to it, I don't think there's any need to make porn art, or art porn, although those areas certainly cross more than anyone would like to think. My general reaction to "is it art, or is it porn?" tends to be "who cares? Do you like it?"

    As far as the comic-porn goes, there was a paying company who was looking for sci-fi porn comic writers, and I wrote a submission on a lark that they showed a lot of interest in until they stopped writing me back one day. I know that sounds like I wrote something bad, but there was a great deal of love shown for my script. I just wasn't able to come up with more original storylines that fit what they needed, which was a very niche-specific kind of porn (on the far, far away spectrum of stuff that I'm not interested in. The money was good, though.) Unfortunately, during the course of trying to pitch to them, a couple of the ideas got stuck in my head, and I felt that I needed to write them anyway, so now I'm writing genre porn. Maybe it will bring me a little cash when it's done, and I can use that to convince my partner that there really is money to be had, and if I could just make a movie...

    I don't know.

    I'm reading "XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits" by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and his portraits are intercut with writers as varied as John Waters, Lou Reed, and A.M. Homes, as well as the non-existent JT Leroy. And on one side I think it's great, and fantastic, but I'm also weary of over-analyzing porn and making it too academic in a way that makes it "safe" to talk about. There's a great documentary that goes along with the book, though, called Thinking XXX, that everyone should look for if they're interested in this kind of stuff. Fantastic work.

    Johnny
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      CommentAuthorEgon
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.9)
    Yeah, sorry. I probably should have tagged on a "but i'm sure yours will be much better" after that Brown Bunny comment.
  5.  (576.10)
    Porn intrigues me.
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      CommentAuthorViceroy
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.11)
    I don't think you can mix Porn and Humor with any sort of success. It's just not possible.
  6.  (576.12)
    I think it's possible, but it perhaps becomes something else, not pornography. 'Erotic entertainment', perhaps. Maybe you wouldn't jerk off over it, but kinky fun may please in other, less onanistic fashions.
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      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008 edited
     (576.13)
    @Viceroy:

    I don't think you can mix Porn and Humor with any sort of success. It's just not possible.


    Two words.
    Annie. Sprinkle.

    And one more...
    Xxxenophilia.
  7.  (576.14)
    I think there's a difference between mixing porn and comedy, and making porn have a sense of humor. I mean, seriously, sex is kind of funny. It can't be serious all of the time.
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      CommentAuthorVespers
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.15)
    Xxxenophilia.

    That's a good point, for the mix of Porn and Humour. Not always that sexy unless you're into crazy things like people fucking centaurs, but occasionally it is indeed sexy. And it's always hilarious.
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2008
     (576.16)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I want more realistic but still hot actors. I hate the porn chicks who dress and look like trannys. Big hair ,fake boobs ,tacky underwear and 7 inch heels
    all scream "you were born a dude" to me. I just watched a pretty decent low budget porn called "bookworm bitches " The "plot" was terrible but the girls were both real looking and hot and you could tell with one girl especially that she was really into it. The guy really needed to quit talking though.

    I could see internet and porn distribution being leveraged to bring well written sci fi that has some explicit sex as part of the actual story rather than with either the story or the sex tacked on.

    MMMH Chloe I would make a lot of bad films for a shot at her.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2008
     (576.17)
    I'm interested in the idea of using pornography as vehicle for statements about sex, relationships, and societal expectations. Porn doesn't just have to be something you watch while you masturbate - what if it could have literary value as well?
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      CommentAuthorsebfowler
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2008
     (576.18)
    2 more words. Russ Meyers. Especially "Up!".
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      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2008
     (576.19)
    Surely porn, by definition, is not art. The two things are mutually exclusive. That's not to say that art can't feature explicit depictions of sex - and it has become fairly common in arthouse film over the last decade or so - it's just that once it becomes art, surely it's no longer porn, and vice versa? From an artistic viewpoint, once you start introducing things just for the sake of it, it becomes bad art or exploitation film. Films like 9 Songs feature long scenes of real sex, but at least in its intentions it's not gratuitous. If you make a film and say 'ok there's a sex scene here, but rather than just show that the characters have sex, I'm going to put in a full-on explicit real sex scene that people will be able to jerk off to at home' then you're making a film that performs a <em>function</em>. Two things that I think can't be art are porn and advertising, because they're there to perform a function over and above having any artistic merit.

    I know some people will disagree and maybe the line is a bit more blurry than that, but I don't buy the attitude of people on sites like Abby Winters, who think that what they're looking at is somehow art because it's not Teenage Crack Whores Volume 9.

    Then again, I do have to consider whether this fits in with my idea of art in general. Hmmm.

    I'm not condemning porn by saying it's not art by the way, just so people don't think I'm attacking something when I'm not.

    As for production, have you considered a foley artist? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeo5dGh8bnU
  8.  (576.20)
    Artemis, I've been considering something similar, only with an educational bent (I'm continuously looking to eradicate religious bunk with scientific knowledge; not sure that porn's the best place to do it, yet), or a political bent. There's a fantastic film called Raspberry Reich by Bruce LaBruce that heavily mixes politics and pornography, as well as humor. It's not always the most erotic film, but it's definitely a great piece of filmmaking. My partner and I still walk around screaming "The Revolution is my boyfriend!". (And that phrase, coincidentally, is the name of the extended porno-version of Raspberry Reich, which is already fairly pornographic. Haven't seen it yet, but I would love to.)

    For a few years now I've talked about putting together a comic anthology that was sexually explicit, but had the specific point of highlighting American hypocrisy towards sex. While it's certainly not what I'm working on right now, it's still something I very much want to do.

    I suppose that, if I were to put more thought into it, I would try to do more what Robert Heinlein was doing with his fiction, trying to explore sex, relationships, and most of all societal expectations, as well as religion and politics, but right now I don't have the resources for it. That, for me, is something that needs to be explored in a long-form story, and right now I'm working in 6-8 page stories, because I can't expect much more out of artists who are working only on the notion of back-end pay. So I'm doing pulp sci-fi. I hope it's funny, and I hope people don't take it too seriously, unless I ask them to. Come to think of it, the only story I have produced so far is pretty serious, written for an artist who has a great kind of '50's horror comic, almost Bernie Wrightson style. I'm thinking about creating a .pdf or .cbr version of it and giving it out for free, although it doesn't work perfectly out of context with the other stories.

    That's another thing (gah! So many topics!) I've been thinking about. I'm very much of the "if you give them free copies, they might buy it anyway, and it will certainly spread it far and wider than if I only charged for it...", and the Creative Commons movement. I would love to see it applied to pornography, although I think it might not work. Porn is pretty much a one time experience, where people are constantly seeking the new thing, not so much wanting to retread what they've already experienced. So, if they have one free digital copy...

    There has been, to my knowledge, only one CC-licensed porn film, a short called The Good Girl, and the free distribution of that film was ceased after it was picked up for a short film anthology (although, to the best of my knowledge, a CC-license is permanent, legally).

    -Johnny

This discussion has been inactive for longer than 5 days, and doesn't want to be resurrected.