|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Women Movie Ethical dilemma Human sexuality|
The adult entertainment industry is one of the sectors with the highest number of workers and the audience in the world. Arguably, adult movies are America's leading cultural export; a study by Ropetalo revealed that every 39 minutes, new pornographic material is created in the U.S. (13). The adult industry generates more revenue than technology companies such as EarthLink, Netflix, Apple, eBay, Yahoo!, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google combined (Ropetalo 13). Therefore, while most people - both teenagers and married couples - hide the fact that they watch pornography, the product has more consumers than any other entertainment item in the world. According to a U.S. survey done in 2006, there were 4.2 million pornographic websites - which made up 12 percent of the existing ones, 68 million search engine requests (25 percent of all the searches) of sex materials, and 42 percent of all internet users watched porn (Ropetalo 14). Arguably, with the current developments in internet speed, streaming services, and accessibility to smartphones and computers, the industry keeps growing. While viewer anonymity is often maintained, the actors expose their nudity, which for most societies, is deemed inappropriate and unacceptable. The field study covered in this paper involves watching several adult industry documentaries, to uncover why entertainers - especially women - chose to venture into the field despite the prejudice they face, and how the experience affects their lives.
Adult industry documentaries were the better choice for the field trip study because they allow the viewer to see sex workers not only from the society's perspective but in that of those directly involved. Generally, people are prejudiced about sex; if they hear someone uses her sexuality for a living, she is deemed immoral. However, the workers must have a good reason for choosing to engage in erotic activities in front of a camera for money. To discover such motives and the attitude of adult entertainers towards their work, one has to listen to their direct words, as they are interviewed in the documentaries.
The study aimed to identify apart from money, what other reasons people choose to venture into adult entertainment, and if they are exposed to any risks. Also, the study was to be conducted to reveal whether there are any required qualifications to become an adult entertainer, and how the industry protects its workers from the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Other objectives were to find out how the sex workers deal with a negative attitude from the public, whether they live normal lives outside their jobs if they consider the possible effects on their families - including their future children - and whether they are comfortable with what they do.
The documentaries After Porn Ends, 9to5 Days in Porn, and Naked Ambition were used to study what goes on in the adult industry. In After Porn Ends, the filmmaker interviews former adult entertainers about their lives after leaving the industry. In 9to5 Days in Porn, the filmmaker closely follows the lives of the actors and others who work in the industry and tells their stories without demeaning or glorifying them, to shed light on their lives and the industry. Naked Ambition analyzes the AVN Awards, where American pornography is shown, honored, and celebrated. The documentary films revealed pornography addiction can not only occur to viewers but also to the performers. The porn stars feel like theirs is a job like any other, they are not ashamed of their bodies, and they love what they do. However, the models - adult entertainers - enjoy their work when they are young, life gets harder as they grow older. They enter into the business because they easily make a lot of money - about $30,000 per month, with or without good education; however, they have to ensure the market needs them. Therefore, if one grows old and cannot meet the director's needs, they quit; if they do not end up with enough money, they have challenges fitting in the community and paying bills. However, after a successful career, some go to higher positions in the industry, for example, directors. Only a few actors end their careers with sexually transmitted infections; they are responsible for their own health but if suspected to be infected, the company fires them.
Before watching the film documentaries, I thought that the performers get into the adult entertainment business. However, the documentaries revealed that apart from the huge pay, the actors love what they do, and consider it as a job. For instance, a couple interviewed in 9to5 Days in Porn stated that they are both into the business and for them, sex with other workers does not cause emotional attachment or affect their relationship. The husband directs adult movies involving her wife having sexual relations with other men, but that does not bother him.
While the stories were fascinating to watch, some were shocking because they defy conventional human morals. For example, while other people hate infidelity to the point of ending marriages if it occurs, the performers consider it as part of their jobs. Also, despite the tremendous public criticism they receive, the actors love their jobs, and wouldn't consider taking any other occupation. Arguably, just like homosexuality was accepted, adult entertainers will be gradually accepted by society.
The film documentaries are recommendable for other people they maintain neutrality but at the same time narrate stories about the lives of adult entertainers when they are not working behind the camera. The documentaries eliminate the feeling of prejudice against sex workers and create understanding. People are always quick to judge others for any behavior they find sexually immoral; however, they are hypocritical because they are the very same consumers of the product. Therefore, being informed on the lives of the performers helps to not praise or degrade pornography, but change one's perception towards the actors, and others working in the adult industry.
The experience teaches that human sexuality can be subjective, not guided by society's moral code. While most people and religions view sex as an act that should only occur between people in a relationship, others see it as a casual activity only meant for pleasure. As long as each party is comfortable with the terms of the sexual relationship, no conflicts can arise.
The study changed my thinking towards the performers, but not the adult industry. The product goes against religious and moral conservative perspectives since it advocates for polygamous sex, which is not in line with family values. However, the actors should not be attacked with the same hostility driven towards the industry because if they are wrong to act in the films, the people are wrong to watch them. Instead of being hypocritical, porn stars can be taken as part of society, with the respect every human being deserves.
Ropetalo, Jerry. "Internet pornography statistics. 2006. Age 18.24 (2019): 13-61, cityvision.edu/courses/coursefiles/418/Appendix_2_Internet_Pornography_Statistics.doc
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