You really don't want to watch porn with me...

by Shawna Scott September 18, 2014

I am the last person you want to watch porn with. Oh things will be going great at the start. We'll kiss, undress each other slowly and sensuously, and then you'll press Play on your favourite erotic short. I will sit there, silent for a while, before it all comes out.

"I don't like the art on that wall"

"Could they not have emptied the laundry basket in the next room before shooting?"

"Why is he still wearing a jumper? Isn't it like a million degrees in LA?"

"Do they have her kneeling on a tile floor with no cushion? She really needs to ring her union rep."

Let's get one thing straight. I love porn. I love watching porn. I think there are definitely serious issues with the way some porn is produced and equally how it is consumed, but purely as a concept, I really enjoy watching other people bone each other on screen. What I don't enjoy, however, are poor production values.

Before I moved to Ireland 9 years ago, I wanted to be a film editor. I even studied film history and video productions in high school and college, but dropped out when I discovered there were far more editors in the industry than actual editing jobs. So needless to say, I've become a bit of a film snob over the years. This extends to my porn watching habits.

I give amateur pornographers a pass, as I see that more like docu-porn, and the vast majority of those people wouldn't have a background in film anyway. Plus seeing non-professionals having sex in their real-life surroundings can be super hot (though you should still pick up your goddamn laundry. Your mother didn't raise you that way).

However when it comes to some studio-produced porn, I take great issue when small design flaws that cost nothing to fix are not taken care of like moving a light or 2 so the shadow of the cameraman isn't on the performers or simply taking the multiple packs of baby wipes out of the shot before you call "Action!"

I find stuff like that so distracting that it's nearly impossible for me to get off. I have to convince myself that the studio in question have deliberately gone for a cinéma vérité type style, but I know in my heart of hearts they're production team are solely focused on what everyone else in the world is focused on, and that's people getting off (or pretending to get off) for the camera.

That said there is one film that does an exceptional job at poking fun at cheesy porn intros and improvising with what you've got on set. In a genius move by James Deen and his co-stars, they used the lemon trees which happened to be on the set's property to create one of the most ridiculous and hilarious set ups for three people to fuck. Don't worry, it's totally safe for work.

On the other side of the coin you have Erika Lust's short, The Couch Surfer (NSFW), which uses it's set, wardrobe, lighting, editing, and a spot-on script to effectively satirize a well-known home sharing website and it's use of warm, fuzzy imagery and language as part of it's overall branding. This is something I would like to see more of in porn. In a way, porn and satire have gone hand in hand since the start by eroticizing pop-culture and everyday life. Take every porn name ever for example.
Porn has the opportunity to use society's supposed squeamishness around the topic of sex to completely take the piss out of other industries, businesses, products, sub-cultures, and politicians that take themselves too seriously. It can even be used as a political tool. All it takes is a bit of creativity, folks! Until I see you press play on that porno, I will continue to ruin the mood by pointing out any stack of baby wipes and pile of laundry that doesn't follow Chekhov's gun principle.




Shawna Scott
Shawna Scott

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