The Six New Porn Plotlines

Farewell, my pizza boy.

by Jeremy Harlin

If you hear a joke about porn, it's usually about a pizza guy, a pool boy, or a plumber. But tragically, it's been a long time since anyone in porn actually ordered a large with extra sausage, at least unironically. In place of these classics are new porn tropes that will slowly percolate up into respectable culture, return-of-the-repressed-style, probably becoming the stuff of Saturday Night Live sketches by mid-2016. What are these strange new premises? What killed the pizza guy? Read on:

1. The van of ill repute

It's new relative to the '70s classics, but the "let's find female pedestrians to offer rides in our creepy van and then convince them to have sex with us" scenario is actually already on the way out. Maybe it's gas prices. Or maybe the more of a cliche it becomes, the more implausible it seems. That's a big problem, since a feeling of authenticity is the most important part of all the new porn tropes. The whole point of the van trope is to make a universe of unlimited sexual possibilities — one where men can sleep with anyone who catches their eye — seem totally plausible. BangBus.com still makes a lot of money off of this fantasy. Unfortunately, the rest of the Bang Bus fantasy is about offering women money for sex and then driving away without paying, which makes me wonder if their fans are turned on by the idea of sexual availability or just the idea of being mean.

2. The dutiful male stripper

Clothed-female-nude-male porn has been around a long time, but its current prominence can be attributed to Dancing Bear, a much-emulated series of videos in which a male stripper dances for a horde of drunk, screaming women who eventually offer him sexual favors. Again, perceived authenticity is key. These women aren't porn stars. No, they're just regular people who got invited to a bachelorette party and got a little drunk. (Dancing Bear plays up this possibility by warning you that you might see your girlfriend in the room, but you probably won't.) This also plays to the fantasy that most women are only a couple of drinks away from becoming totally feral.

As over-the-top as the Dancing Bear videos are, there's actually a seed of truth in the whole thing. About ten years before Dancing Bear got popular, I remember seeing a series of old home videos taken by chubby black women, generally in Atlanta, at raucous male strip clubs. The strippers humped the patrons spastically, and everyone seemed to have a good time. The cleaned-up, predominantly white, commercial version features attractive girls and shifts the focus of all actions toward pleasuring the male. The authentic is replaced with "the authentic." In other words, bootleg Atlanta videos = Sex Pistols; Dancing Bear = Blink-182.

3. The casting couch

In another porn trope that prominently features "real" women (I hope you're seeing a trend here), young porn-industry hopefuls are invited to an interview in which a "casting director" will audition them for a series of high-paying jobs. During the interview, which he warns is being recorded, he tries to get them to take off their clothes and then perform sexual acts with him — you know, just to make sure they can do it. The trick is that there is no job and he has no intention of paying them. (Just laying them! Heh, heh. Ahem.) But the authenticity thing gets a weird twist here. If "authentic" means "not a porn actress," and these girls are supposedly aspiring porn actresses, what's the difference?

NEXT: "Most real college kids aren't well-endowed group-sex enthusiasts..."

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