Life On A Porn Set, It’s Not All Fun And Games

My friend visited an indie porn set - it wasn't what he expected at all.
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Photo – Odditymall

You’d imagine that life on a porn set would be a non-stop sex fantasy – but you couldn’t be further from the truth. A very naïve friend of mine was invited by his new girlfriend, the owner of an indie feminist porn company, to come chill on set for a shoot. Like you might’ve been, he was pumped. Admittedly, I was jealous of him and in lieu of not getting to join him on his erotic outing, I got him to recount his experience to me in full, which I’ve transcribed for you below. To protect their identities, I’ve used aliases.

Chris’ first bit of confusion was actually getting to the shoot. Tracy, his girlfriend, had arrived at eight that morning for setup, so he was going solo. Rarely an early riser, he staggered from bed and took a cab to a ritzy condo in the heart of the financial district. See, most of the porn shoots we watch take place in residences that have been rented out to production companies for that purpose, and this set was no different.

Before opening the door to an experience he’d been anticipating, he entertained delusions of unadulterated hedonism, imagining even that he might find himself framed on camera with a gorgeous performer. Things couldn’t have gone differently.

Tracy escorted him inside the spacious kitchen where a group of husky, middle-aged dudes; grips, gaffers, and a woman – he later informed me, who was in the process of finishing a degree in gender studies and serving as the shoot’s production assistant – were congregating around the craft table, nibbling at chips, pretzels, sandwiches and glugging back soda from red plastic cups. The actors, a guy and a chick, were in the bathroom preparing.

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Photo – Manu Camargo | Unsplash

You don’t get to see beyond the fantasy of porn when you’re alone enjoying a video in the privacy of your own home. In our minds, porn has its own flow, a narrative that excites and arouses and culminates in a money shot or a scene of equally climactic proportions. On set, you don’t get to enjoy this illusion—scenes unfold with constant interruptions without the chronology that is meant to titillate.

With the crew in place, Chris took up his awkward position outside the shot, an observer, an outsider to the erotic happenings. Tracy, who was directing the blowjob scene, called “action!” and it began. The klieg lights – so hot that the kitchen began to get stuffy, so bright that the actors lit up – seemed only to further alienate Chris from the act of sex, and highlighted the fact that he was on set, watching people at their place of work, not play, as he had envisioned.

The actress performed the fellatio enthusiastically, but just as things were starting to get hot, Tracy would shout “freeze” so that they could adjust the camera, or so that the actor could shift over to get a better shot. In between shots, the performers turned off the act and fell into casual banter. Surprisingly, even with everyone around, the actor was able to stay hard. It’s no surprise that maintaining an erection and being able to orgasm (or simulate one) multiple times over the course of an afternoon are prerequisites of being a male adult performer. You spend just as much time waiting as you do having sex.

As for Chris, he couldn’t get an erection to save his life that day, even as two attractive people proceeded through the business of lovemaking on camera.

In porn, sex scenes are rarely shot in order. In this case, they shot the male oral scene first, the intro scene, most of the sex scenes, the female oral sex scene, and finished with her on top. This took up the entire day and some of the evening, too. What Chris saw was immeasurably different from the finished product—a marathon of ‘coitus interruptus’, one might say.

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Photo – Neha Deshmukh | Unsplash

For Chris, the experience was, surprisingly, not as exciting as he’d hoped. The small set of an indie feminist porn company wasn’t all fun and games as he’d hoped. And unlike what you’d imagine, he never found himself in a state of arousal, mostly because there were so many people around, though were he at home, he’d totally have been interested since he admits that he found the lead female talent attractive.

Shooting sex, as fun as the end result might be, is mostly work for those involved and no matter how interesting one job might be, it’s rarely fun to watch people work.

Chris’ last thought was one of appreciation and respect for the actors who could compellingly act aroused and turned on, even as they were, excuse the pun, ‘hard at work’. Speaking of which, if you’d like to check out some parodies that are safe-for-work, here are a few porn parodies you (probably) didn’t know existed.

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Written by Hugh Jasse

An eloquent soul, a lover of women, fine wine, and travel. I can often be spotted aboard a skiff in Santorini, catching rays and artfully plucking at my lute.