What do you think is the most familiar trope in porn?

I recently spoke to Andrew Fiouzi, writing for MEL Magazine, about something we’ve all heard of before — the pizza boy who delivers… a side of extra sauce.

Per Andrew:

It’s a tale as old as porn itself: Girl needs pool cleaned. Or lawn mowed. Or sink fixed. Or pizza delivered. Boy shows up to clean pool, mow lawn, fix sink or deliver pizza. But the manual labor quickly becomes that of another kind — namely, fucking.

But rather than *just* relying on the pizza boy trope, Andrew thinks it’s a bit more complex:

We would argue, though, that the pizza delivery boy is just one of the many minimum-wage archetypes on which porn was built. Three other similarly clichéd gigs: the aforementioned gardener, plumber, and pool boy. All of which got us thinking — why? What is it about menial labor and blue-collar work that gets porn all hot and bothered? For answers, we sought out porn performers Kayden Kross and Ryan Driller; porn director, editor and screenwriter Ivan, who also co-owns the PUBA Pornstar Network; and Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist and author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society and Adult Entertainment. And for good measure, we asked a pizza delivery guy and handyman what he believes makes his professions so incredibly desirable.

You can read Andrew’s full piece “Theories on Why Men Working Low-Wage Jobs Are the Most Familiar Trope in Porn” (14 July 2017) right here.

You can also check out my full correspondence with Andrew below — enjoy!

Andrew Fiouzi: Why is the low wage job (i.e. pizza boy, gardener, pool boy, plumber) the most popular trope in porn?

DrCT: I am not sure I would agree that the “pizza boy trope” (or, fill in random worker or anonymous solicitor visiting the home – not all of which are low wage) is the most popular scenario produced in porn – though I would agree that this idea is definitely one of the most popular imaginations of adult content. It’s like the bow-chica-bow-wow of “porn funk” music: it’s certainly been seen over time (or, during specific eras) in porn production, but it’s definitely not as prevalent at the general public’s ideas about porn think it is.

In addition to being kitschy and reified constantly in mainstream media, the “pizza boy trope” does satisfy a lot of sexual fantasies, for both men and women. Things like random sex, unexpected sex, or sex outside of one’s ordinary partner pool are very titillating, as well as possible. Whereas some of the more elaborate fantasies presented in porn may seem further out in the distance of IRL possibility, getting a pizza delivered is very possible – so then the next step seems possible too. This also makes the fantasy very appealing. Taken collectively, this makes it easy for the trope to become popular and almost symbolic, even if it’s not produced as frequently as you’d think.

AF: How did this develop as a popular plot line?

DrCT: I’m not sure where the trope comes from, though it’s definitely “classic” and been around for decades. You see it in mainstream porn – the quintessential scenario you describe (pizza stud and a bored housewife) – but you also see pizza studs with coeds (younger women performers vs MILFs) and in gay porn a lot (pizza dudes with frat dudes and/or daddies, etc).

And it’s basically timeless/transcends production eras. Riley Reid, one of today’s biggest stars, recently did a scene where she is the pizza delivery person leading into a gangbang – “Pizza That Ass,” it’s called. It was released as a web exclusive on her site (of course, it was immediately pirated everywhere too). So this scene shows the classic trope, but in a contemporary iteration (pizza lady, web only scene/modern format and distribution, etc)

AF: Do you think that this character—the low wage worker—will continue to be used? If so why?

DrCT: Yes – see above. (But more, “random visitor” vs low wage worker)

I thought it was very important to point out the idea of random sex, vs low-wage laborer. Plumber’s for instance are highly skilled laborers. Andrew indicated low-wage and blue collar in his final cute, which was important, and Ryan Driller’s commentary also indicated a greater labor/class scope than *just* low wage.

It’s a cute piece that shows the author evolving through his understanding of the subject matter, which I also appreciate. You should check it out!

Bonus history lesson!

Long before he was McDreamy or McSteamy or whomever, Patrick Dempsey was a delivery boy for Senior Pizza — a clear sign that this trope has long since been embedded in our popular imaginations.

 

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Got a sociology question? Need some social justice informed life advice? Contact Dr. Chauntelle right here.

Get Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment on Amazon and CT.com.

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One thought on “Theories on the most familiar trope in porn (commentary for MEL Magazine)

  • August 2, 2017 at 9:30 am
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    While we’re talking about this…it always seems worth remembering the many ways in which such a story can be told, and the value of re-imaging it. This is precisely what is done in Erika Lust’s wonderful first film, “The Good Girl”, which was later re-released, in expanded form, as “To Be or Not To Be a Good Girl”, as part of “Five Hot Stories For Her”. The movie introduces us to a young woman who has always been “a good girl” but who dreams of being as sexually adventurous as her friend. Her fantasies revolve around seducing the pizza guy—but most of them are, how shall we say, “unsuitable”. But one day, she actually does do it, and the way Erika presents the story really is incredible.

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