Rashida Jones’ documentary shows how porn companies lure teenage girls

29 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Hot Girls Wanted’: A Good Film About Porn That’s No Turn-On.

While Rashida Jones is best known for getting laughs on the big and small screens, the actress has taken on a serious role as producer of a documentary called “Hot Girls Wanted.” The movie focuses on the lives of young women featured in so-called amateur porn films, and Jones stopped by TODAY Wednesday to share why she got involved with the project. “I think porn is now prevalent,” Jones explained. “I mean, it’s almost part of our mainstream.Consider this: Netflix is the single biggest driver of internet bandwidth, accounting for over one-third of all downstream usage during prime time hours.So declares Rachel, a former porn actress known as Ava Taylor, who, at the age of 18, moved from Oswego, Illinois, to Miami to try to make it big as an adult film star.

But if we step away from single companies and look at genres instead, there’s one category that receives more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. Though Jones boasts the producer title of the documentary and Ahearn the composer, the two have collaborated on two iterations of the track called Wanted To Be Loved — one is the atmospheric, ethereal original cut, while the other is a stripped back acoustic version.

It’s a totally unregulated industry.” “This particular part of the industry, amateur porn — which is not really amateur porn, it’s just made to seem like amateurs are involved — they attract 18-year-old girls to come work with the promise of glamour and success and fame, to be big stars,” she said. “And, you know, the reality’s a little different from that.” “This is not about people who come from broken homes to fill some hole in their heart,” Jones said. “I mean, these girls have great families and boyfriends. It spends time with a few young women involved in the “amateur porn” subset of the genre, finding out why they’ve chosen this work, and how their initial expectations compare to their subsequent realities. Jones’ gorgeous voice aside, she has been outspoken in the past about pornography, having penned a paper called Why Is Everyone Getting Naked? for Glamour Magazine on the pornification of pop culture. I saw this trend about 16 years ago in South Florida where young females would leave school, turn 18 and start dancing in strip clubs…then go on to do hardcore movies.

Billed as “a documentary about porn, the Internet and the girl next door,” the film examines the burgeoning amateur porn industry and the young women who enter into it. It’s co-directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, and produced by actress Rashida Jones. “Many have just graduated high school, it was a free ticket out of their small towns, it was quick money, and they don’t have a lot of opportunities — they weren’t on the college track,” she says. “It was opportunity; it was freedom.” Several of the women profiled in the film had limited sexual experience before entering the porn industry — many have had just one or two intimate partners in their lives. “With hookup culture, sex is no big deal,” says Bauer. “It seems like a lot of girls and boys are not getting what they want, they feel that they can be hurt very easily, and that it’s not OK to express that they want something more than a hookup. After an initial montage of sex-positive pop culture—Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian are among the dignitaries acknowledged—the filmmakers’ implication is that female role models can influence suggestible people into thinking sex work is a path to wealth and fame. You’d think Tressa and other girls who share an apartment-cum-office with Riley would become suspicious of their new boss’ worldview when he flips through potential new stars on his laptop and remarks approvingly of one, “She’s 18, she looks like she’s 12—with double-Ds!” Ick.

The genre is easy for brand-new performers to break into, as the demand for inexperienced performers is what keeps the industry running. “Everybody, when they’re 18, makes stupid mistakes,” Jones told Vanity Fair. “[But] the cost of this is pretty high. There are certainly, certainly women that are making porn and it is empowering for them and it works for them — sex is a very nuanced topic and so is pornography. At first elated to be enjoying a sorority-house atmosphere and making hundreds of dollars per porn-shoot, Tressa soon finds herself in a loop of arduous labor and pain. Jones, who starred on Parks and Recreation and The Office, throws back the covers on the culture that supports the amateur-porn industry and reveals the unsettling consequences for the teenagers who leave their lives behind for porn.

The cameras follow her on return visits to home, where her mother is sad and her father is clueless (Tressa doesn’t tell him what she’s doing till long after her mother knows). Riley, the 23-year-old talent agent who brought the girls to Miami, describes amateur porn as “regular girls pretty much gettin’ freaky-deaky.” The female stars are supposed to look like young teenagers — the typical girls next door. She says starring in adult films impacted not just her personal relationships, but her physical health as well. “There’s no room for a normal relationship — you can’t even have sex after you get off of a set,” she says. “You’re messed up.

One woman says, “You’re just processed meat.” The filmmakers make sure we know just how massive the viewership is for the work Tressa and others are doing. You have to go to the doctor every two weeks to figure out what’s wrong with you, to get some type of antibiotics; some kind of medication to get you back on track, and then it’s messed up instantly right after that. But when people in her small hometown of Oswego, New York, found out, her attitude changed. “The news traveled through the high schools, and then someone had sent a picture to my parents,” she says. “And then my brothers and sisters had the shock waves go through them. Riley, the agent tasked with hiring the talent, finds most of his girls through Craigslist; he posts ads looking for models and “female talent,” luring them in with promises of flights to Miami and big paychecks. Toward the end of the film, when a new batch of girls arrives at Riley’s five-bedroom Florida home, we hear a chorus of “Craigslist!” when the girls are asked how they found the gig.

Rachel discusses her discomfort after arriving to what she thought was an oral sex scene only to find it was actually a “forced blowjob.” “I was scared,” she tells a friend. “I was terrified. In the beginning, at least, they seem perfectly happy with these choices. “We’re free right now,” Rachel tells the camera early on while smoking a blunt. “The world is in our hands.” What we see as the film progresses, however, is an environment in which this freedom begins to disappear and is replaced by confines and industry pressures. The lifestyle is expensive to maintain — the girls must pay for regular STI tests, underwear, makeup, nail care and rent — and eventually, the psychological toll of the job begins to show. “There’s something of a protection of people’s private sexual fantasies, I think, which is kind of a funny contrast in this country cause everybody’s like obsessed with sex,” she told the Associated Press. “I personally have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is that the tipping point — it became that it was so pro forma for women to be sexualized on a mainstream level that it’s the only way to be sexy.

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