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May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience" 
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Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Porn is the pro-wrestling of the film world. Glitzy and glamorous is seems, but underneath is a dark underbelly of drugs, suicide, and destroyed lives.

Don't get me wrong. I have watched my fair share of porn. That said, let's not gloss over the facts. Recently the California Health Dept. released statistics on Adult Industry performers and it is shocking.

*
66% of porn performers have Herpes, a non-curable disease.
*
13 porn stars died from HIV, suicide, homicide and drug related deaths in 2007.
*
Between 2003 and 2005, 976 performers were reported with 1,153 positive STD results.
*
The largest group viewing online pornography is ages 12 to 17.

I don't know if these stats are correct, but I have read of the suicides of performers.


This industry uses and abuses women, plain and simple.
I know that and still watch but not without a bit of guilt now....

I am NOT TRYING to preach here, but check out

http://www.thepinkcross.org

or

http://www.xxxchurch.com

Just check these sites out to get a different perspective, that's all I am saying....


Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:28 am
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
cmgww wrote:
This industry uses and abuses women, plain and simple.
I know that and still watch but not without a bit of guilt now....

I am NOT TRYING to preach here, but check out

http://www.thepinkcross.org

or

http://www.xxxchurch.com

Just check these sites out to get a different perspective, that's all I am saying....


The Pink Cross? Really?


Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:59 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3203
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
cmgww wrote:
http://www.thepinkcross.org

or

http://www.xxxchurch.com

Just check these sites out to get a different perspective, that's all I am saying....


You'd have more credibility if you provided links to "neutral" sites rather than those operated by evangelical groups. The stats are also skewed, by the way. That's why I dislike statistics - they can be manipulated to say just about anything.


Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:39 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
James Berardinelli wrote:
cmgww wrote:
http://www.thepinkcross.org

or

http://www.xxxchurch.com

Just check these sites out to get a different perspective, that's all I am saying....


You'd have more credibility if you provided links to "neutral" sites rather than those operated by evangelical groups. The stats are also skewed, by the way. That's why I dislike statistics - they can be manipulated to say just about anything.

Yeah, plus sites like those rarely ever state actual facts, they mostly just try and manipulate people into believing them, which makes it difficult ot take thme the least bit seriously.


Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:32 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Also, when it comes to female porn stars: well, given the right circumstances, people will do almost anything, and money is one of the strongest motivators around. Is it any surprise that porn stars mostly come from lower-class backgrounds? To me, it isn't. If a girl has the looks, physique (natural or enhanceable), and needs money, porn can be seen as a very viable means of making a living.


And now I'm weighing in. Hi Ragnarok. Actually, in my experience very few porn stars come from "lower-class" backgrounds. Most of my models were college degreed, raised conservative, and from traditional nuclear families. Vicky Vette, before she went into mainstream porn, appeared first on my site as Vicky Heart. She spoke English flawlessly, as a third (out of four) languages, and had worked in two technical careers before deciding to go into adult entertainment (at nearly 40 years of age). She was an excellent storyteller, broad and deep range of knowledge. Of course my shoot didn't call on her to use any acting skills. She just seduced my assistant and her boyfriend and I was a documentarian. People trying to break into porn strictly for the money tend to not get through the application/interview/screening process. They have to have some kind of burden for sexual expression--enough to overcome the challenges. Sure, some porn stars have appeared fresh out of jail, broken homes, or off the street, but those really are the exception.

Secondly, porn isn't a viable way to make a living. Most of the money has been sucked out of the industry in the last two years, but even before then, for all but maybe the top 20% in the industry, the work isn't worth the effort in monetary compensation ... and this is coming from a guy who pays double the industry averages. There's a lot of porn out there, and not all of it is very inspiring. Every now and then you find someone with a striking face, body, personality, and enthusiasm that truly, truly inspires. Does this person get paid well? We always hope so. But what I know is that I'm grateful to have seen such a vital being in that way, putting him/herself out there and doing something that surpasses most of our fantasies with a smile, making us marvel and stare hypnotically.

I know that in your statements you were referring to the cliche, mainstream porn models--plastic surgery and money--and that stereotype exists for good reason. But in the whole realm of porn video performers, the stereotype is actually a slim minority.


Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:31 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
AlexFirestone wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Also, when it comes to female porn stars: well, given the right circumstances, people will do almost anything, and money is one of the strongest motivators around. Is it any surprise that porn stars mostly come from lower-class backgrounds? To me, it isn't. If a girl has the looks, physique (natural or enhanceable), and needs money, porn can be seen as a very viable means of making a living.


And now I'm weighing in. Hi Ragnarok. Actually, in my experience very few porn stars come from "lower-class" backgrounds. Most of my models were college degreed, raised conservative, and from traditional nuclear families. Vicky Vette, before she went into mainstream porn, appeared first on my site as Vicky Heart. She spoke English flawlessly, as a third (out of four) languages, and had worked in two technical careers before deciding to go into adult entertainment (at nearly 40 years of age). She was an excellent storyteller, broad and deep range of knowledge. Of course my shoot didn't call on her to use any acting skills. She just seduced my assistant and her boyfriend and I was a documentarian. People trying to break into porn strictly for the money tend to not get through the application/interview/screening process. They have to have some kind of burden for sexual expression--enough to overcome the challenges. Sure, some porn stars have appeared fresh out of jail, broken homes, or off the street, but those really are the exception.

Secondly, porn isn't a viable way to make a living. Most of the money has been sucked out of the industry in the last two years, but even before then, for all but maybe the top 20% in the industry, the work isn't worth the effort in monetary compensation ... and this is coming from a guy who pays double the industry averages. There's a lot of porn out there, and not all of it is very inspiring. Every now and then you find someone with a striking face, body, personality, and enthusiasm that truly, truly inspires. Does this person get paid well? We always hope so. But what I know is that I'm grateful to have seen such a vital being in that way, putting him/herself out there and doing something that surpasses most of our fantasies with a smile, making us marvel and stare hypnotically.

I know that in your statements you were referring to the cliche, mainstream porn models--plastic surgery and money--and that stereotype exists for good reason. But in the whole realm of porn video performers, the stereotype is actually a slim minority.


Asia Carrera is another porn star who is supposedly very intelligent.

This is slightly offtopic, but how do you feel about piracy Alex? It's my impression that piracy hits the porn business way harder than music or film. Am I mistaken?


Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:51 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
ed_metal_head wrote:
Asia Carrera is another porn star who is supposedly very intelligent.

This is slightly offtopic, but how do you feel about piracy Alex? It's my impression that piracy hits the porn business way harder than music or film. Am I mistaken?


Oh, you know you're not mistaken. Yes, Asia Carrera is a classical pianist who has performed at Carnegie Hall and she's a member of Mensa (the IQ genius club). If I'm not mistaken, she's held a very high position in Mensa, too. Something like a regional director. Like myself she blogs and avidly follows financial news. She's tech, money, and culture savvy, charitable, and supports many causes.

Of course she's a "shining" example of some of the brains within porn talent. Proud of her as I am, the whole industry can't ride her intellectual coat tails. There are multiple porn performers who put themselves through college to become doctors, surgeons, lawyers, media experts, successful publishers, and so on. My previous comments were not so much about the top 5% of performers, but the caliber of the typical porn performer. The median education, intelligence and emotional stability level in the industry would surprise the casual observer. Some of the best people I've ever met are in the porn industry (and I'm a former seminary-trained minister). Sure, in porn there are some sleazy operators with desperate and shifty talent working for them, but that can be said of hospitals, colleges and government, too.

About piracy? Well, I guess it depends on the scale. If someone downloaded my entire site that I've spent eleven years building, and then offered it as their own, pocketing all the money, I'd be buying swords and spears. I'd sell my own kidney on the black market just to hire lawyers. But I fully expect people who love my work to share copies of it with friends. All digital media will be pirated in the form of person-to-person file sharing to some degree. The biggest problem facing the porn industry isn't piracy, though. It's the new tube sites with free product. Producers are losing probably 5 times as many customers to the free porn sites than they ever would have lost from file sharing.

Thanks for asking.


Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:53 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
AlexFirestone wrote:
And now I'm weighing in. Hi Ragnarok. Actually, in my experience very few porn stars come from "lower-class" backgrounds. Most of my models were college degreed, raised conservative, and from traditional nuclear families. Vicky Vette, before she went into mainstream porn, appeared first on my site as Vicky Heart. She spoke English flawlessly, as a third (out of four) languages, and had worked in two technical careers before deciding to go into adult entertainment (at nearly 40 years of age). She was an excellent storyteller, broad and deep range of knowledge. Of course my shoot didn't call on her to use any acting skills. She just seduced my assistant and her boyfriend and I was a documentarian. People trying to break into porn strictly for the money tend to not get through the application/interview/screening process. They have to have some kind of burden for sexual expression--enough to overcome the challenges. Sure, some porn stars have appeared fresh out of jail, broken homes, or off the street, but those really are the exception.

Hi Alex. Sorry for taking so long to reply to this, but I was just going through old threads and noticed that you decided to weigh in some 2 months after the previous post in the thread. You mentioned that few of the girls in the porn industry that you've known came from a lower-class background. Do you know if that's the case for the majority of female porn performers in the industry? If so, do you have any numbers or stats that back that up? Are the majority of porn girls more like Vicky Vette than Stacy Valentine? My personal opinion is that they aren't, so I'd like you to disprove that, please.

AlexFirestone wrote:
Secondly, porn isn't a viable way to make a living. Most of the money has been sucked out of the industry in the last two years, but even before then, for all but maybe the top 20% in the industry, the work isn't worth the effort in monetary compensation ... and this is coming from a guy who pays double the industry averages. There's a lot of porn out there, and not all of it is very inspiring.

So where does the money get "sucked out" to? The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar one from all indications, so if porn isn't a viable way to make a living, why is it so? Do porn actresses not get paid a lot of money for performing on film, not to mention what they make dancing in strip clubs as a result of the exposure they get through their films? Again, your experiences may not represent the industry as a whole, especially considering that much of the income from porn films isn't necessarily *legal* income.

One more point: I wasn't saying that the porn industry was a viable way to make money. I was talking about how it can be perceived that way by a girl who needs money and is attractive sexually. Again, this goes back to my assertion that porn performers come from lower-class backgrounds. You may have indeed known girls who didn't come from such backgrounds and were very well-educated, but that doesn't mean that it represents the industry as a whole.


Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:09 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
After stumbling across this rekindled discussion, I would like to add some observations and thoughts.

First off all: why would one want to discuss the topic at all? Most likely because "mainstream" and "porn" acting appear to be close cousins, and shifting from one to the other seems kind of obvious. Otherwise, we could as well talk about carpenters or hairdressers starting to break into Hollywood.

But are they really that close? Would you say that news anchors and game show hosts are also "kind of" actors? All of these professions require to work in front of a camera. But "mainstream" cinema/tv films usually base on a story and characters, whereas the other examples (including porn) do not. Sure: you CAN include a story into a porn flick (and many do), but it's not the main reason anyone would watch it. Who cares WHY these people have sex? Who cares if they live happily ever after? Whenever someone injects too much story into a porn movie, it starts to drag, like putting 15 minutes of a Jane Austin novel into the middle of Terminator. It's simply not what you came for (pun intended). One or two minutes to establish a situation are nice, but then I want to see some action!

Having said that, of course that doesn't mean pornstars are incapable to act in a story/character way - anyone might be blessed with more than one talent. It's just not really necessary to have both to make a career in porn. On the other hand: there are a number of "mainstream" acters who also are kind of a one trick pony; Michael Cera, Jessica Alba or Jason Statham, anyone? Obviously, it is not required to be an Oscar aspirant to become a "moviestar".

Another matter: porn actresses, if they don't happen to be also famous for something else, are (as far as I know) never included in those "100 hottest women" lists you find in "mainstream" magazines or on "mainstream" websites. It's simply as if they don't exist - and it surely has nothing to do with some of them being no "hot" or famous enough to make these lists. More likely, the editors don't want to admit they know them, or they don't want to "scare away" their readers? Whatever the case: porn stars are somehow the black sheep of celebrities.

So, bottom line: there surely are porn actresses (purely based on their looks) I would like to see in movies, IF they happen to be able to act (to some degree). But on the other hand: to fantasize about an actresses naked body and to imagine how she would look like having sex is maybe one of the major forces that drives the rise to stardom. By "playing with open cards", a porn actress might give away too much too early to preserve a certain layer of mystery.


Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:52 am
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
After stumbling across this rekindled discussion, I would like to add some observations and thoughts.

First off all: why would one want to discuss the topic at all? Most likely because "mainstream" and "porn" acting appear to be close cousins, and shifting from one to the other seems kind of obvious. Otherwise, we could as well talk about carpenters or hairdressers starting to break into Hollywood.

But are they really that close? Would you say that news anchors and game show hosts are also "kind of" actors? All of these professions require to work in front of a camera. But "mainstream" cinema/tv films usually base on a story and characters, whereas the other examples (including porn) do not. Sure: you CAN include a story into a porn flick (and many do), but it's not the main reason anyone would watch it. Who cares WHY these people have sex? Who cares if they live happily ever after? Whenever someone injects too much story into a porn movie, it starts to drag, like putting 15 minutes of a Jane Austin novel into the middle of Terminator. It's simply not what you came for (pun intended). One or two minutes to establish a situation are nice, but then I want to see some action!

Having said that, of course that doesn't mean pornstars are incapable to act in a story/character way - anyone might be blessed with more than one talent. It's just not really necessary to have both to make a career in porn. On the other hand: there are a number of "mainstream" acters who also are kind of a one trick pony; Michael Cera, Jessica Alba or Jason Statham, anyone? Obviously, it is not required to be an Oscar aspirant to become a "moviestar".

Another matter: porn actresses, if they don't happen to be also famous for something else, are (as far as I know) never included in those "100 hottest women" lists you find in "mainstream" magazines or on "mainstream" websites. It's simply as if they don't exist - and it surely has nothing to do with some of them being no "hot" or famous enough to make these lists. More likely, the editors don't want to admit they know them, or they don't want to "scare away" their readers? Whatever the case: porn stars are somehow the black sheep of celebrities.

So, bottom line: there surely are porn actresses (purely based on their looks) I would like to see in movies, IF they happen to be able to act (to some degree). But on the other hand: to fantasize about an actresses naked body and to imagine how she would look like having sex is maybe one of the major forces that drives the rise to stardom. By "playing with open cards", a porn actress might give away too much too early to preserve a certain layer of mystery.


They almost ALL read from a script, so...

Inimitably: "I'm not an actor I'm a movie star!"


Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:29 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
After stumbling across this rekindled discussion, I would like to add some observations and thoughts.

First off all: why would one want to discuss the topic at all? Most likely because "mainstream" and "porn" acting appear to be close cousins, and shifting from one to the other seems kind of obvious. Otherwise, we could as well talk about carpenters or hairdressers starting to break into Hollywood.

I think you could count the number of mainstream actors that switched to porn on one hand and still have fingers left. I can't think of any at all. I don't even see how porn "acting" and mainstream acting even appear to be "cousins". If you are implying that they're pretty much the same, then I wonder at your standards for acting ability, quite frankly.


Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:46 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
@Ragnarok73:

Of course I don't want to imply that, rather the opposite. I was wondering why James startet the topic in the first place, and the sentence you quoted was intended to make this clear. Seems it didn't.


Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:25 am
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
@Ragnarok73:

Of course I don't want to imply that, rather the opposite. I was wondering why James startet the topic in the first place, and the sentence you quoted was intended to make this clear. Seems it didn't.

I ignored that part of your post deliberately, but obviously you didn't see that. Since it discusses films (specifically attempts by porn stars to break into mainstream films), I feel this thread is just as valid as any other in this forum.


Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:48 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I ignored that part of your post deliberately, but obviously you didn't see that.


I did, but had the impression i didn't make myself clear. Instead, you choose to put the rest of my post out of context - so there's no reason to discuss this any further, I guess.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:32 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I ignored that part of your post deliberately, but obviously you didn't see that.


I did, but had the impression i didn't make myself clear. Instead, you choose to put the rest of my post out of context - so there's no reason to discuss this any further, I guess.

Since the point of your original post was just to question the validity of this thread as a topic of conversation, it's not like you really came to discuss anything to begin with, now is it? It seems like the last 5 letters of your name are accurate.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:53 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Now you isolate the part you first ignored from the rest of my post and make it the whole statement. I wonder, who is trying to troll here?

By the way, I picked that nickname from the RuneQuest creature long before message boards (and thus trolling) became popular, and it simply stuck.

Whatever: you and me discussing is getting nowhere. Maybe someone else has something more interesting to add; I'll check back later.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:15 am
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
Now you isolate the part you first ignored from the rest of my post and make it the whole statement. I wonder, who is trying to troll here?

By the way, I picked that nickname from the RuneQuest creature long before message boards (and thus trolling) became popular, and it simply stuck.

Whatever: you and me discussing is getting nowhere. Maybe someone else has something more interesting to add; I'll check back later.

I wonder if you even read the rest of this thread before coming in with your "insights", none of which added anything to the original discussion of the topic. The funny thing is that your original post supports my arguments in this thread, but you'd know that already if you had been following the discussion from the start, I'm sure. Feel free to let me know if you have anything new to add.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:05 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
I didn't think Dunkeltroll was attacking anyone. His questioning of the reason for the discussion led right into his own analysis of the issue (which I found pretty interesting).

Ragnarok, I think you read "why would one want to discuss the topic at all?" and it somehow drove you into a rage. I think in context, that hypothetical made sense--since he answered the question in the next line and went on to examine whether or not the answer was valid.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:21 pm
Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
Trevor wrote:
I didn't think Dunkeltroll was attacking anyone. His questioning of the reason for the discussion led right into his own analysis of the issue (which I found pretty interesting).

Ragnarok, I think you read "why would one want to discuss the topic at all?" and it somehow drove you into a rage. I think in context, that hypothetical made sense--since he answered the question in the next line and went on to examine whether or not the answer was valid.

Dunkeltroll took a wall of text to say something that could be summed up with the following: porn stars are stigmatized for working in films that leaves nothing to the imagination, compared to mainstream films. Wow. That added nothing to the discussion, as it's only looking at stuff I and others in this thread mentioned already when this thread was at its busiest months ago. I and others had already gone deeper and touched on WHY porn stars are looked at differently from mainstream film stars, something Dunkel seems to have missed before jumping into the thread.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:34 pm
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Post Re: May 29, 2009: "The Porn Star Experience"
I'd say a porn star that crossed successfully to mainstream films is Sibel Kekilli, the female star of the German film Head-On. She's starred in a half-dozen other mainstream films and has won awards for both Head-On (where she's excellent) and Eve dönüs. She'd previously acted in pornography under the name Dilara, which was revealed by a German newspaper after the release of Head-On

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Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:28 pm
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