I’m not a consumer of porn but I find porn stars extremely interesting. I love Annie Sprinkle, Vanessa Del Rio and Harry Reems, but ultimately I find nudie-cutie/sexploitation cinema far more interesting and appealing. John Waters compared hard core porn to “watching open heart surgery”. I feel that way too although the feeling I get when trying to watch it is more akin to watching autopsy footage. I’ve enjoyed pretty much every documentary I have seen on porn and was hoping this would be a good viewing but I found myself angered by its selective nature and victim narrative.
“Everyday a new girl turns 18 and every day a new girl wants to do porn…. I will never run out” – Riley.
Hot Girls Wanted is about a couple of girls from Middle America who enter the amateur porn circuit in search of fame and money. They hook up with a man called Riley via Craigslist who pays for them to come out to Miami and live in his house and do porn.
The film focuses on four or five girls with Tressa/Stella, an ex cheerleader, the main focus of the documentary. Stella is all bright eyed and bushy-tailed and of course, becomes disillusioned with porn. Stella is not from an abusive or broken home, she has good parents, well yeah… but webcams and free porn have changed the entire porn world: its acceptable and its mainstream. I don’t think the “___ abused me” myth is applicable anymore. Just like tattoos, porn has infected our culture so much that it’s no longer the freaks and horndogs who are doing it… it’s the girl next door.
To me the most uncomfortable part of the film is when Stella’s mother and boyfriend basically bully her into quitting porn. Her mother asks her boyfriend “how can you even date someone like that?”. To me that was just so tragic and uncomfortable to watch the people she loves make her feel ashamed of herself. I am sure that the (non-explicit) “facial abuse” scenes will strike fear into the heart of many who know nothing of the porn world but really, come on, your ignorance to perversions doesn’t make it more shocking. If a teen is too dumb to figure out that facial abuse is going to be a very taxing and horrible thing I have about as much compassion for them as the chick who flew from the UK to work with Max Hardcore (again, clue, HARDCORE) and has extreme apprehension about it and says she doesn’t want to be abused ON CAMERA! Then go do vanilla porn you complete idiots! Leave the porn to the professionals.
The problem I had with Hot Girls Wanted is that it looks at the amateur porn world which is not representative of the mainstream porn world and I think a lot of people are not seeing a difference. There’s your big clue right there! Amateur! And not in a cool Jamie Gillis way either. Some of these girls are pimply and gangly and have no idea how to wield their sexuality (one tries to make a porn face and looks like she is biting invisible pickles). Not only that but they are not enthusiastic. Ava Taylor in particular is extremely mopey and you can see revulsion in her face as she has to have sex with a middle-aged man who sure, is no Orlando Bloom, but he’s not hideous. Hot women graciously fucked Ron Jeremy and here’s this spoiled brat acting like she should be having sex with studs and raking in the big bucks!
I just can’t get over the fact that it’s teenage immaturity people are lauding the film for. From my nascent understanding, the porn industry is regulated by federal and state law and performers have contracts and know what they are in for. There is a total absence of all of that in this documentary yet people see this and deem all porn to operate “unethically”. If anything harsher regulations on the mainstream porn industry have lead to this need for amateur porn where they don’t adhere to regulations (see articles on goggles and condoms). Hot Girls makes no attempt to show the benefits of the legit porn industry.
I don’t like tearing other women down but these girls are just dumb kids. They are not sex-positive people and do not have the age, wisdom and moxie that it takes to be a successful porn star. It seems to me that to really pull through and make a career and survive porn you have to do it for the sex and not the money. The girls pretty much acknowledge that they are not comfortable with what they are doing, but they made that choice in return for “fame” and money. If anything it did make me think there should be some sort of psychological evaluation and education for performers to make sure they can cope with what they are doing, consider future effects and maybe open up a bank account.
If you love victim narratives then you will lap this film up, but I tend to view women as being their own keepers. Victims are people with pretty much no choice in the matter. Yes men do prey on women but there’s no cure for immaturity except for time and if there is any message to take away from the film it’s that 18 is probably too young to do porn. I blew all my working money at 18 on guitars and CDs but at least I only cleaned dishes for that crap. A friend told me a teen hooker would shout her friends pies from the petrol station after jobs. We all make stupid mistakes, the girls in the documentary just have a bigger audience for their mistakes and that’s the real problem. Their shitty choices are there for the world to witness, devour, and watch over and over forever and ever.
Available on Netflix.