Friday, January 20, 2012

PORN IS DYING: AND IN EVERY MAJOR EXTINCTION, THERE IS REBIRTH




Karl Marxxx here, spouting off "socialist" rhetoric about the porn industry....




In his recent review of a Raging Stallion original and sequel film in which Colby appeared, Bay Area Reporter and Nostradamus of porn, John Karr of the Bay Area Reporter (no, not that John Mark Karr who falsely confessed to killing Jon Benet Ramsey and then M2F transitioned) claims that two of his predictions about the adult industry have come true and the evidence is in the new Raging Stallion films, Cowboys Part 1 and 2. And I can't agree more (or less depending on how you look at it). SHOCKING NEWSFLASH! Porn(like every other content driven media platform) as we have known it is dying. And in every major extinction, there is rebirth. Here's what Karr says:



"I predicted two things about porn, and both will be borne out by my upcoming reviews. First, that plotted porn is either dead or dying, and second, that in the future, every sexo will have the same cast."




He's right about both parts, but Karr seems to be naive or is simply indifferent to the factors that are forcing this as he whimsically questions why the studios wouldn't keep porn the way it should be. There's no time for nostalgia or whimsy now and as is the case in capitalism, producers interested in profit follow the market. And for however much lusty sin the religious right wants to project on to the porn industry, it has an even greater vice than it serves, and that is greed. It's all about the money.



The role of plot in many cases is jumping ship from the films themselves to the Survivor-like island of reality in which the performers themselves live. With the advent of social media, the nature of who those performers are changes as well. No longer can fresh off the bus hotties hide their identity behind a nomme de porn and continually re-populate the craven need for newness that the industry and its consumers demand. In this world of immediate feedback, obsessive re-articulation and information saturation, not to mention identity-forcing websites like porn wiki-links, performers' ever-viewed lives trump any canned drama a short 30 second lead-up to fucking a "sexo" could provide. The old studio star is indeed a dying breed, fighting amongst themselves for scarcer and scarcer traditional porn star payouts, seeking immunity in challenges with increasing difficulty.




And the major studios are moving in step with this transition. Michael Lucas interviews his performers about their personal lives before they get busy; Dominic Ford in So You Think You Can Fuck gives the performers the opportunity to set up, design and direct their own scenes as they compete in a reality porn competition like Project Runway; and Randy Blue gives its performers non-stop access to consumers (or is it the other way around) in live pay-as-you-go cam site (shameless plug: where you can see our favorite Colby in the flesh several nights a week).




Karr's first and second prediction are actually becoming one in the same as major studios fight for dollars that are spread thinner and thinner across more and more media platforms. Online sites like Sean Cody and Corbin Fisher turned the industry on its head in the early 2000s, and now amateur porn and the consumption of social media about performers seem to be turning a relatively young digital landscape upside down once again. But there is opportunity in web 2.0 and everyone is seizing it, especially new-cummers (sorry, I had to).




This is hardly scientific, but a recent poll I read on Joe Knows Gay Porn said that about 29% of viewers prefer amateur porn. I can recall a similar one about five years back that suggested about 15% of viewers preferred amateur porn. That's a pretty significant increase and I'd be curious to know what people's actual consumption patterns are. But in the past couple of years, sites like Xtube have exploded with opportunities for amateurs themselves to make money fucking, branding themselves and their porn identity and growing their market. Some have even expanded their amateur beginnings into full-on studio presence. And this is only the beginning, I think. Consumers will continue to want their needs met in new and different ways.




And plot will always be necessary and will continue to evolve. The plot lines of the performers and the lives they lead in between scenes will thicken; amateur stars like Blackspark will push the envelope of what porn is and what can actually be filmed with home video cams and devices like Looxcie, and major studios will find a link between live camming, gaming and trends in contemporary theatre to create pick-your-path/choose-your-own-adventure style porn where the audience decides the plot and fuck scenarios. Let's stop our moaning and hail the evolution of plot in a digital world where we all control the means of production.








11 comments:

  1. sam and i were talking about this last night...

    sam

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  2. But genitalia are the means of production in porn and so in way your do control the means of production!!

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  3. A lot of porn today seems to be about studios no longer controlling the means of re-production and its financial consequences. Karr's two-part prediction leaves me flacid - I'm all for plot and all for variety, which is probably why I'm a big fan of early and later career Joe Gage, and also his '70s contemporary Steve Scott. So much amateur porn/ X-tube fodder - if it appeals, seldom appeals for the right reasons. The internet has allowed the development of greater specialty/fetish exploration and expression - even to the point of a few dubious new ones being introduced - though otherwise I celebrate that. But the stylized representation of sex is an art form. It's best when it's left to artists and professionals, imho. Actually, the older I get the more I realize sex itself is much better left to professionals.

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  4. Another aspect of what is happening in the world of porn/social media is more interactive situations. Take CAM4.com for example. CAM4, where thousands of amateurs from around the world, in every shape, size, kink, color ane combination, "perform" for the viewer, the viewer may interact with the performance, direct what's going on and compen$ate for what they are getting, the workers have, in fact at CAM4, taken over the factory.

    However, they must adhere to the CAM4 rules, no outside solicitation, no mention of outside websites, etc, or risk being banned from their means of income. So, the performers perform under the watchful eye of CAM4 Big Brother.

    Thank you for the well thought out article.

    Your pal in Chicago,
    JAMES.

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  5. What if big budget studios tried to film their videos like amateur porn? A continued sexual act instead of what it is now. The main selling point of amateur porn is you know these people are legitimately horny and desiring each other, the act doesn't stop just to get a better angle or for the gay-for-pay star to get hard. No, they are continuous and you can feel them wanting each other and fucking with "gusto". I feel that is what's missing in porn and how they can revitalize studio porn... Because there is a big difference between xtube and Colby in HD.

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  6. Poor Jean-Paul Marat, first the probable victim of an overwhelming gluten intolerance, then Charlotte Cordey's stiletto.

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  7. Colby this is great. Thanks so much! I totally agree with your conclusion. This is one of the phenomena that Zizek speaks about: the contradictions in capital that demand the further production of technologies that undermine the very notions of private property. Are you familiar with any of his work?

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  8. You kinda nailed it. I don't think the 'plot' driven porn feature will completely die out but it certainly won't dominate porn production the way it did in decades past. Thanks Colby.

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  9. I think some of it may be that scripted, plotted porn seems to not have that spark that the amateur stuff has. It takes a duo that are CLEARLY into each other to make scripted porn work, but the Amateur stuff just seems to already have it.

    As Juan says, the amateurs clearly want it, but the scripted boys seem to be in it to get paid (besides how often have we seen scripted porn with a flaccid bottom?)

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  10. As the music industry has been slow to come up to speed to the new world in which most of it's consumers live and operate in, sadly the established porn houses are still lagging behind it seems. Music marketing, content, distribution, production value have had to radically change among the serious musicians who have creatively broken ties with the industry standards of just how music is produced and reaches its audience. The Music industry money machines have answered change by dumbing down the product by statuation, trending, and basically have entered a reductive loop track. Porn seems to have entered the the same loop, at least the major houses have.
    Scripted porn could be, and has been in the past-excellent. Genet made some of the horniest movies i have every seen, but sex was seeped into the plot line as much as it was the action. But i doubt the greed would allow such a project to see much light of day anymore. It would have to be an 'independent' film.
    One of the most interesting, and dirtiest, and just damn hot fucking producers right now i think is Paul Morris. He has embrace not only making very hot films, but also creating an artistic community that is exploring sex and porn in totally new ways. His actors love to fuck, and it shows.

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