Ticky-Tacky, or Why Most Mainstream Het Porn Bores The Pants On To Me
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Ticky-Tacky, or Why Most Mainstream Het Porn Bores The Pants On To Me
by Greta Christina
"Little boxes, on the hillside
Little boxes, made of ticky-tacky
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same..."
Malvina Reynolds, "Little Boxes"
No, don't worry. This isn't a rant about why porn is sexist and
oppressive and demeaning and generally a Bad Thing For Our Society. I
like porn quite a bit. I whack off to it all the time. And I have a very
squishy soft spot in my heart for video porn. Real actual people having
real actual sex, right there in real life videotape in the privacy of
your own living room -- what could be bad?
But Lordy, Lordy, am I ever tired of the formula. I am so tired of flat
stomachs and big fake boobs and long ratty bleached-and-permed hair. I am
super-tired of pussies shaved into the Hitler moustache. And Christ on a crutch, I am so far beyond tired of cum shots that I could just plotz.
It's not that I could never find any of these things arousing. I'm just
tired of the repetition. I'm tired of seeing the same types of bodies and
the same hairstyles and the same four or five sex acts over and over and
over again. And I'm tired of what this repetition, this sameness, says to
me about the porn industry.
You see, it seems to me as if the folks in the mainstream het porn
industry are not really trying very hard to turn people on. They seem
instead to be trying desperately hard *not to turn people off.* The
decisions about what body types and hairstyles and sexual variations get
put on video seem to be based, not on creating images that customers
might find arousing, but on avoiding images that customers might not want
to see. The very narrowness of the erotic vision speaks to me of
marketing meetings, and lowest common denominators, and fear.
I have this mental image. Joe-Bob Jones in Bumblebrain, Idaho writes an
irate letter to the Veryhot Porn Company about their recent release,
"Suzie Sucks South Dakota." The shot of Suzie with two dicks in her mouth
has apparently put him right off his lunch. Those dicks were actually
touching each other! he rants. What do they think he is, anyway; some
sorta faggot? If he wanted faggot porn, he'd rent faggot porn. He's never
renting another Veryhot video again.
The marketing dudes at Veryhot are appalled. "We've lost a customer!"
they shriek. "And you know there are a hundred more like him who didn't
bother to write! Send a memo to all personnel immediately -- no more
double-blow-job shots ever!"
A month later, Billy-Bob Baker in Deadwood, California writes an enraged
letter about another Veryhot release, "Lust's Labour's Lost." One of the
girls, it seems, had a belly that was actually convex in shape. Ew! Fat
chicks! He doesn't wanna look at fat chicks. If he wanted to look at fat
chicks, he'd rent a fat chick video...
...and a month later, they get an infuriated letter from Jim-Bob Harper,
complaining about the scene in "Lovely Rita, Peter Maid," where Rita put
her finger up the guy's butt...
...and then one of Veryhot's competitors, Hothothot Video, releases
"Blonde Supermodels With Big Plastic Tits, Part 1," and the sales go
through the roof (cutting directly into the sales of Veryhot's own new
release, "Brunette Supermodels With Small Natural Tits, Part 1")...
...and then Veryhot does a sales analysis and realizes that "Crossfire 3"
isn't doing nearly as well as "Crossfire 2," and they wonder if maybe the
black guy on the box cover turned some people off...
...and the bandwidth just gets narrower and narrower, until eventually,
Veryhot Video, along with Hothothot Video and Superhot Video and everyone else in the mainstream het porn business, is putting out the same damn movie over and over and over again. Sometimes they're fucking in a ski resort, and sometimes they're fucking on a park bench, and sometimes
they're fucking on Mars...but they're all made out of ticky-tacky, and
they all look just the same.
Gripe, gripe, gripe. I know, I'm just being another nattering nabob of
negativity. Can't I ever say anything nice about anyone? Accentuate the
positive and all that?
Sure. Positivity coming right up. Here are some things I would like to
see more of in het porn movies:
Women with short hair.
People of color -- both men and women.
Masculine women and effeminate men.
Wet pussies. (I'd think this one would be a no-brainer. Why on earth
wouldn't you want to see dampness and juice and lovely squishy slippery stuff oozing out of the woman's cunt while she's getting fucked? But I almost never do. Not on video, anyway. I guess Jim-Bob and his friends
got grossed out by it or something.)
Lubed assholes. (This one truly makes me cringe. Every time I see some
huge porno-dick pushing into some woman's asshole with no visible means
of lubrication, my poor little clit curls up in a fetal position and puts
its hands over its eyes. I don't think it's violence against women or
anything; I just don't get it.)
Women fucking men up the butt.
Men sucking women's strap-on dicks.
Cunnilingus scenes in which the cunnilinger isn't just lapping away
delicately at the cunnilingee with the tip of his/her tongue; or, to be
crude about it, faces shoved right up into pussies.
Two guys/one girl scenes in which the guys don't go through absurd
circus-like contortions to avoid touching each other.
Orgies and puppy-piles, ditto.
Sex toys. Vibrators and butt toys especially.
Shots of people's faces when they come.
Whole-body shots of the couple (or triple, or whatever) when they come.
Shots of the couple (or triple, etc.) coming in which the guy doesn't
pull out and shoot all over hell and gone when he comes. (I know, I'm
living in a dream world. I'd like to see Ru Paul elected President, too.)
Shots of the women's orgasm. Whether that means female ejaculation, or
close-ups of her face, or even some very persuasive moaning and
screaming, doesn't matter to me. I just want to see the women come (or
fake it convincingly, anyway).
Now, I realize that, with a little leg work, I can find fetish videos
with any one of these variations. But I don't want fetish videos. Well,
alright, sometimes I do, but that's not the point. The point is that I
don't see why sexual variation has to be fetishized. I don't see why I
should have to choose between an all-skinny and an all-fat cast, or
between lily-white performers and racial fetishization.
And perhaps most importantly, I want to see more than one of these
variations at a time. Sure, I can get a video featuring people of
color...but they're all going to be skinny and young with shaved pussies
and no two guys touching each other. Sure, I can rent a bi video...but
they're all going to be skinny and young with shaved pussies and white as
the driven snow. Sure, I can find a video showing women with pussy hair,
but...you get the drift. The fetish videos (the ones I've seen, anyway)
work by following the narrow-bandwidth formula in every area except for
the one being fetishized. And that just looks like more ticky-tacky to
I know I'm exaggerating, and I know there are exceptions. I could even
name you some. But I don't think I'm exaggerating by much; and even the
exceptions don't stretch the envelope very far. Yeah, I might get to see
a guy in a funny monster mask fucking a black woman, or a woman with
short hair licking another woman's butthole. But videos with the sort of
exuberant, eclectic, polymorphous sort of sexual exploration that I'm
talking about are very, very hard to find. (If you have any titles you
can recommend, please please please let me know.)
I think what I'm getting at here is that I find variety, in and of
itself, arousing. And when I say that I want to see more round bellies
and more wet pussies and more guys getting it up the butt, I think what
I'm really saying is that I want to see more variety, period. I want to
see more of everything. I want porn that gives me new fantasies and new
images and new ideas about fun stuff to try. And I want the mainstream
het porn industry to quit saturating the market with ritualized, rigidly
circumscribed, formulaic, ticky-tacky sex in a box. It insults my
intelligence -- and it insults the intelligence of all porn customers. We
Copyright 1997 Greta Christina. Previously published on Fishnet.