The Fine Details of Directing Porn

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I scan probably about thirty porno scenes a day.  This is because I have a subscription to Videobox, which provides five full-length porn movies a day, split into scenes with multiple preview screen-caps, and I feel obliged to drop by and see what sort of filth is on tap for the morning. I can preview a DVD, and then download the scenes I think are hot.
I watch only out of obligation, of course.  Why, I have mistakenly given my money to this purveyor of smuttery, for which I cannot procure a refund, so it’s only in my best interests to not let this expenditure go to waste!  What a shame, Margaery, but let me reap some small guttering light of enjoyment in between my bouts of rickets and my inevitable demise to cholera.
Anyway, what I’ve come to notice is that I download scenes in clusters.  You’d think I’d just download scenes according to my kinks, but most porn DVDs leave me cold, even if the subject matter is technically up my alley.
But a few DVDs, I’ll download every scene from.  Further analysis shows that this is all due to the directing.
What’s fascinating is how personal porn direction is.  And why not?  The director is trying to put his hottest masturbatory fantasies up on-screen.  I can usually tell, just by glancing over the screen caps for a given DVD, what turns that particular director on. In this sense, the porno director’s trying to connect with an audience.
There’s a lot of fine choices about what goes into porn, and the first one is “the women starring in the porn.”   If you’re a woman watching straight porn, well, I feel sorry for you, because the men are usually this sort of blurry afterthought, reduced to a set of mushy abs and a cock.  No, what gets the starring role is the female at the heart of it.
And I don’t doubt there are some real-world restraints in terms of who they can get, but most porno DVDs – at least the ones that aren’t compilations – have a very similar look in women from scene to scene.  Even though there are three women here, featuring a blonde with a short bob-cut, a brunette with long curly locks, and a redhead with frizzy hair, all of them are so skinny they have that ladder-look between their boobs but quarter-bouncing tight butts.  Or they’re all naturally stacked, with big lips and a bit of jiggle in the belly.  Or they’re all white trash harlots, looking like they stepped out of the trailer park in jeans and a belly cut-off T-shirt.  They all fit a kind of archetype, what the director (or perhaps the producer) says, “These are the women worth fucking.”
So if you have a DVD full of so-called MILFs who are actually thirty-year-old strippers with overinflated implants teetering around on high heels, that’s not gonna do it for me.  I tend towards the slightly goofy natural look, women who giggle during the act, who can at least pretend to have a good time.
Then comes the story – do we have one?  I like the ones where people talk for a bit before they fuck – yes, it’s artificial, but at least I know who these people are and am kind of invested.  But we have the other range, where people are just naked and fucking from camera one.
Then: how do they fuck?
I feel bad that American society is so repressed, because if the world was a little more honest, we wouldn’t use a universal noun for “fucking.”  Well, I guess we have two in the sense that there’s “fucking” versus “making love” – a useful distinction – but realistically, there’s so many styles of having sex that I wish we had a greater, agreed-upon vocabulary to describe it.   Hell, there’s about ten different ways of approaching cunnilingus alone, from concentrating on fingering with a touch of tongue, to the “focus all the attention upon the clit” frenzy, to the G Spot Tornado, to the gentle tease… and while you can use and combine any of these techniques, it’s clear in watching porno that there are schools of fucking, and some directors subscribe to them severely.
For me, the number-one goal of porno fucking is “The woman has to look comfortable.”  If I’m watching some poor girl balanced to hamstring-breaking proportions on a cold piece of wood, I think, “God, she can’t be having a good time” and something turns off within me.  Please.  Get that girl a comfy couch.
But some directors are clearly into porno fucking, which is to say you both swap positions every three minutes like some sort of dick-infested Chinese fire drill, contorting both women and men into these gymnastic methods that can only be done by the most physically fit.  It’s a bizarre abstracted style of fucking, bereft of actual enjoyment, but very athletic.  (And I’m sure some of you do enjoy this “All right!  Stand on your head now while I squat!” fucking, but my sneaking suspicion is that if you do like it, you like it because it makes you feel like you’re in a porno film.)
Others are into “women as object” fucking, wherein the woman is a doll to be fucked, and any attempts by her to, you know, participate are actually annoying.  I see that all the time in porno, and it vexes me – “She’s trying to suck your dick!  Let the woman use her skill instead of you just grabbing her fucking head!  She could demonstrate – oh, no, you’ve flipped her over the couch.  Why not just get a RealDoll, you idiot?”
(This is different from, say, face-fucking, where the woman is expected to be used.  You can see these poor porno actresses reaching for the cock, trying their best to actually pleasure the man, and being overridden.  Worse, I’m pretty sure there are men who get off on this overriding.)
Still others are into a strangely gentle kind of porn, long slow grinds where positions are held for minutes at a time – a classic 1980s porn riff, usually to terrible music.  This gets kind of boring, actually. I’m sure it’s nice for the woman, but I’m fast-forwarding.
There’s a ton of little bits.  Is there kissing?  What kind of kissing – genuine kissing, or that little snake-hiss you get when the actress actually doesn’t want to kiss anyone?  Is cunnilingus treated like an actual act where the woman gets to react, as opposed to some sort of brief aperitif before the inevitable penetration?  Is it all genitals, all the time, or can attention be given to, say, the back of the neck or the belly?  And what the hell is wrong with the missionary position, anyway?
(Don’t even get me started on how imaginatively bereft most MFF scenes are.  Having been in my share of the glory, I’m going to tell you that there’s so much bad MFF positioning that I can barely watch them.  You have no idea where all the fun is, people.)
And finally, you can have all the elements for hotness and have it taken away by the directorial style.  For example, what gets me off is watching women’s reactions.  I enjoy the kind of naughtiness where the woman knows she shouldn’t be doing this, but oh, what s/he is doing to me is just making me fucking mad.  That’s cool. So I watch to see faces.
So when I get mechanical close-ups of pounding genitals, it turns me off.  I mean, everyone has those.  If you watch porn, you’re gonna see more than your share of genitals.  They’re not that exciting, particularly the dangling balls in close-up, boinging around like some constricted ping-pong tournament.  But a lot of porn directors think that this is hot.  A lot of people, including some I know, agree.
But the porno director focuses in on what they like.  Hey, are they a big butt fan?  You’re gonna know, even if this isn’t a big butt video, because hey, rear entry closeup.  You’ll get a lot of headless body shots if they think that’s the stuff.  And that can kill your porno-buzz right there.
Basically, what you come to realize is how varied and multi-tonal the human sexual impulse is.  You’d think watching two humans humping would be hot, and it is at first, but as your personal porno tastes become refined and you see enough to see how others’ tastes trend, you come to realize that sex isn’t just one thing.  It’s a host of many tiny things, like atoms aligning in the cell to create chemistry, and sometimes you wind up with a dead organism.
Sex is not sex.  Sex is not necessarily sexy.
This is what happens when you get a damn Videobox subscription.  And watch probably too much damn porn.

3 Comments

  1. a friend
    Oct 3, 2012

    I hate all the same things in porn you do. Found a director/group I’m really enjoying. I don’t particularly find the people in it attractive, but they seem to, largely, put a premium on realistic sex, reactions, and faces. Story is minimal, but there. Take a look at Dane Jones (a quick google will get you lots of free samples online)

  2. Frelance
    Oct 3, 2012

    I’ve similar thoughts. “God, she can’t be having a good time” totally kills it for me. Hell, there’s plenty of “God, HE can’t be having a good time” to go around, too. Ever looked at behind the scenes talks about how hard (har har) they have to work to keep going for film-making durations? Not, like, to suppress finishing early, but to not just give up & go home. Two people really enjoying themselves is about the hottest ideal there is to me.

  3. Jo
    Oct 5, 2012

    Man, I thought it was just me! After more hours spent watching porn than I care to admit, and even attending a few lectures and debates to make it all seem more dignified, I’ve realized just how unsexy sex can be. I can now describe my tastes in a list of tags commonly found with clips I enjoy. I’ve often wondered if I could take my connoisseur knowledge and taste for things unavailable, or at least not well done, and make a career change…

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