Refinery29 recently did a great interview with performer Casey Calvert re her thoughts on the documentary-film, Hot Girls Wanted.

I reviewed Hot Girls Wanted for my UPROXX column about a month ago… and a very interesting (read: odd) reference to that review was included in Casey’s R29 interview. I greatly appreciated the mention, though I wish the writer would’ve actually spoken to me. The point she uses my insights for doesn’t make much sense, and it also implies that I simply weighed in with UPROXX (vs writing a regular column for them).

Here’s the quote:

One consistent theme of the film, reiterated by Jones in her press for it, is that most of the “girls” performing in amateur porn are too young to make the decision to do so. “[There’s the] psychological, emotional, physiological — the physical cost of having sex for a living,” Jones asserts in her VICE interview. “[You’re] thinking about the fame part of it, so you might not be the best candidate to make a decision for yourself.” It’s this tendency to infantilize the “girls” in amateur porn — “girls,” not “women” or “young women,” is the term preferred by the Hot Girls Wanted team — that particularly frustrates Chauntelle Tibbals, PhD, a sociologist who specializes in the workings of adult entertainment, as she shared with Uproxx in a thoughtful takedown of the film. “[The film] highlights the apologetic, shame-filled women, while dumbing down and doubting those who currently enjoy their work,” Tibbals observed.

Le sigh.

Here’s what I would have offered had I been asked — “Girls” is porn parlance, as is “boys.” For example, people shoot a “boy-girl” scene. Casey actually once told me that the only people who are not “girls” are Nina Hartley and (maybe) Lisa Ann. Community members and insiders use these words regularly, and so do the Hot Girls Wanted filmmakers. Over and over again, girls girls girls.

But here’s the thing. For insiders to use community vernacular is one thing, for outsiders to use it is entirely another. The use of “girls” in Hot Girls Wanted is all about infantilizing young women adults, which incidentally is a far more appropriate descriptor for those outside the industry to use.

Oh well.

Read the full piece in R29 here.

PS As a person who is both an industry outsider and insider, I use adult attributions (e.g. young women, women, etc) when speaking in a wider social context and industry parlance when speaking within the porn community.

Casey Calvert

(pictured: Casey Calvert, used with permission)

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