My Porn Collection and What It Means to Me: or, porn titles are so lame

So I’ve been going through my stacks and stacks and stacks of porn DVDs. I haven’t counted the pile-o-porn just yet, but I’m guessing it’s holding at just over 200 all together, and I’m still waiting for the friends and colleagues to whom I’ve loaned out some of the better ones to return them to me, so that when my show at apexart opens on March 21, I will be in possession of nearly every porno DVD that’s ever been mailed to me for review. I’m hoping the number will be somewhere in the vicinity of 300. As of a few weeks ago, before a few new additions came in, this is what the stack looked like (photo snapped on my phone):

C’est magnifique, no? Ah, how proud I am to own such classics as Sperm Sponges, Fuck Truck, Throat Yogurt, Fucked Up Handjobs #3, Chestnuts, and the classic Elastic Assholes #4! Such testaments to the human creative capacity! Such shining examples of the dignity of our 1st Amendment! It brings a tear to my eye.

…Ok, yes, I’m being facetious. As these DVDs have amassed themselves in my giant Rubbermaid trunk of smut over the years, it’s been easy for me to forget about the bottom-of-the-barrel titles like Sperm Receptacles and the at least half-dozen iterations of Fresh Faces and other barely-legal bilge that I’ve been mailed. I tend to remember, and to actually review, the titles that stand out in some way. That seem to tell a story that might be interesting, or that have truly creative titles, or that simply don’t seem to cater to the lowest common denominator of perversion.

But I’m not being all facetious about my pride at owning even these bargain-basement homages to our filthier nature, either. It really is a beautiful thing that our freedom of speech extends to such things as naming movies that highlight gaping assholes with absolutely no irony, much less a real need to mask what those movies are all about. Porn, though I often try to cloak it in higher-minded language, is filthy, and that’s why it’s so fucking important. I’m absolutely not a fan of being able to see the inside of an anal cavity lit up and focused upon by an HD camera–surprise! it’s pink inside, just like everything else!–but it does give me this odd stomach-flip of grossed-out-ness and simultaneous joy that it’s ok for people to distribute that material.

And furthermore, these movies–Buttworx, No Cum Dodging Allowed, Ass Stretchers POV, and the like–may not be on my top-ten lists for most important films ever made, and they may not be what I’ll point to if I’m ever recommending my favorite stars’ ouevre to a porn novice. But they are what make the world of porn go around. As much as I love to point people in the direction of some exceptional movies that my faves have made, or to fun/funny parodies, or to excellent scenes sizzling with chemistry, the reality for people who are making their livings on pornography is that you can’t be so picky. Most days, you pack up your bags, head out to some house somewhere, do a scene with some specific act in it, and go home. That scene gets smooshed into a movie with a bunch of other scenes that are similar, packaged with a stupid title, and sent out to DVD warehouses… and sold separately online on VOD sites. You never see it, you never hear about it, you never get paid for it after that one day’s paycheck. And if you don’t just keep doing this, well… You don’t last in the industry very long. So, much as I might not be a huge fan of Big Ol’ Black Booties because it’s not the most politically interesting, or the most progressive, or the most thoughtful porn film out there, I can’t denigrate anyone involved in making it or pretend that it’s not important in its own building-block kind of way.

Just a few thoughts to chew on before the Superbowl. I won’t be watching–got an interview scheduled for my art show and plenty of other work-y things to do. Hope y’all have fun, and have a brew for me!

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