Written Porn vs. Audiovisual Porn

I recently decided to do some, ahem, research for my erotica writing by checking out some porn on the Internet.  I go through phases with porn-watching…or maybe I mean binges?  Anyway, it’s been a while since the last one.

Whenever I watch professionally produced porn I always feel like a distanced observer — not even a voyeur, because I know it’s a performance which is meant to be watched, a staged setting that’s properly lit and mic’d, and which the director/cameraman control my experience of because they choose what to focus on, what angles to film, what cuts to use, how long it all lasts. (Amateur porn, on the other hand, does sometimes give me that voyeuristic thrill, but even then it’s like, “Well, you filmed it and put it on the Internet — thereby purposefully inviting me in to observe your performance and consequently controlling my experience of it…”  Rinse, repeat.)

On another level, I feel like a distanced observer because I get easily distracted by various things: the size and shape of the dicks and the balls, whether the breasts are real, whether that’s just a shadow I’m seeing or in fact pubic hair, how much saliva is getting produced, whether the poor person getting jackhammered from a weird position is really enjoying it (answer: fucking kudos to you if you are, damn), whether the ejaculate in the facial come shot is going to end up in someone’s eye….

One of the benefits of reading porn, to me — and I should specify I mean reading well-written porn — is that it allows me to take a ride through someone’s head without all of those distracting and distancing elements.  In fact, I bring some of myself into the reading experience, because I use my imagination to fill in the gaps of descriptions and setting and sound.  I can integrate my own audiovisual preferences rather than be forced to work with whatever a particular porn production has served up.  I’m a more active participant.  And I not only feel more in control of my experience, I also feel a sense of shared intimacy which is actually far more arousing to me than the mere site of other people’s body parts interacting.

That said, sometimes you just wanna watch people fucking, you know?

The best audiovisual porn, for me, is able to overcome those distractions and that observational distance by making me empathize and identify with whatever desire/lust/arousal is actually experienced by the actors. It seems to me a lot of porn stars — in the US, anyway — profess to truly enjoying the sex and enjoying their jobs generally.  I mean, why wouldn’t they?  It would kind of put a damper on things for the audience if they said it actually all sucked (with the exception perhaps of the segment who like dubious consent/reluctant sex….).  But which porn actors do I actually believe?

In my latest binge I found a few who managed it.  I first stumbled across a video of Kayden Kross being given half a dozen orgasms or more from some French dude, in about fifteen minutes of footage (the copyright watchdogs have since removed the video, alas).  Kayden is a screamer, so you might want to put headphones in if you’re clicking on any of her stuff.  In that one video she also had this cute giggle after each of her orgasms, sort of like, “Oh, my God, I had no idea this could be so amazing but it fucking rocks,” which totally sold me on her for life.

Kayden also writes a fabulous, funny, articulate and intelligent blog (note: there’s a full-on picture of her genitalia front and center in the most recent entry), and recently did an entertaining Ask Me Anything Q&A session on Reddit.

Through Kayden, I found Manuel Ferrara.  I know now this guy is pretty famous in porn circles, but I am not in porn circles, so he was a pleasant surprise.  What I like about him is that he’s a talker — he’s basically always muttering and cursing under his breath, whispering lovely urgent words to his partners, moaning and groaning….  And he does this furrowed brow thing which makes him look like he’s thinking, “Fuck, this is so hot and I’m so goddamn close but I have to keep going, have to make it good for her, have to make this gorgeous woman come on my cock for the fifth time….”

Most of Manuel’s stuff with Kayden is gold (I think they may even be dating?), but I really liked their sweaty threesome with Asa Akira and Katsumi, and also the video in which he provides the first cock taken onscreen by lesbian porn actress Dani Daniels (also a screamer).  And here’s a video where Manuel charmingly promotes a new realistic dong based on his dick.

I’ve also only just learned about Keni Styles, a Thai-British porn actor who’s made it reasonably big in the US.  This is, incidentally, relevant to my interests because I’m an Asian woman — you get plenty of us in American porn but not a lot of Asian men.  Actually, this very thoughtful interview with Keni sort of implies that he’s it — he’s the token who currently fills the niche for the industry.  Shame.  Anyway, I’ll be checking out more of his work.

Note: I do watch some gay and lesbian porn, although not as much as het, so I don’t know any names off the top of my head.  Well, other than the Peters twins — Salon did a profile of these Czech brothers who have made a business of fucking each other on film.

So for my next binge…any recommendations?

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