Reality porn for your brain and your libido

Director Tristan Taormino reworks the genre, finds success

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Video Camera

As the writers strike wages on, reality television has taken over the coveted primetime spots once filled by hits like The Office and Grey’s Anatomy.

At some point, American Idol and Dance War will become as tedious as Friends reruns (if they haven’t already). How will viewers fill the void?

How about with reality porn?

Porn directors like Tristan Taormino are pioneering the new genre. What separates the newest vein of reality porn from gonzo porn (where viewers feel like part of the movie through the use of close-ups and amateur actors) or even Girls Gone Wild fare, is that real porn stars are featured and the sleek production is reminiscent of shows like MTV’s The Real World. Luckily, that means no drunken, barely legal co-eds being pressured to show off their assets.

In Taormino’s Chemistry, seven porn stars are thrown into a house. They’re given 36 hours to spend together with no script or schedule. What results, of course, is lots of sex, but what’s interesting is that unlike most porn films, everything is distinctly real. That means no fake orgasms, no exaggerated moans, and " like more family-friendly reality television " no unwanted hookups.

And the reality TV influences continue. In between hookups, the porn stars enter a confessional booth and discuss their personal lives, views on sexuality and experiences in the porn industry. They’re even equipped with a so-called “perv cam” that is meant to lend a Blair Witch feel to the film. The emotional aspect of the flick makes it way more than your average porno " it’s almost like a social experiment.

And for porn fans, it’s an appealing option. The success of the original Chemistry film resulted in Taormino releasing two more volumes. The film also won a handful of different industry awards, including two Feminist Porn Awards and an Adam Film World Guide Award for Best Couples Movie. Clearly reality porn, in the hands of a director like Taormino, has equal-opportunity appeal.

In 2006, Taormino also released House of Ass, a porno that’s more reality-inspired than purely real. Namely, each porn star was given one scheduled pairing. Still, the Real World references continued. Confessionals about the stars’ sexual histories and favourite sex tips abound in the flick, lending a distinctly intellectual element.

With reality porn that appeals to the loins and the brains, porn fans can get dirty and still feel good about it.

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