A long while back — September, 2015 to be exact — I communicated with Ozy writer Laura Secorun Palet re “culturally relevant porn.” The piece never seemed to see the light of day, but the conversation was interesting…

…and you can read the transcript in full below — enjoy!

LSP/Ozy: How important do you think is for the porn consumer to watch movies that are culturally similar to their reality? Do you think people like things to feel familiar or is porn all about evasion? 

DrCT: These are tough questions, and the answers are really variable. From film to comedy to written narratives, being able to connect with media and/or performances on some level is important, and the significance of cultural cues and things like age and era matching are well documented. Given that porn is simply another form of media expression, I can’t imagine resonance with viewers being any less important than it is in any other type of media. That said, porn is also all about fantasy, and for many people it’s a significant form of sexual exploration.

From a social-psychological standpoint then, for many consumers I’d imagine it’s a combination of resonance and fantasy – connecting with the media, but also still titillating in whatever way it is that the viewer wants to be aroused.

 

LSP/Ozy: How diverse (or not) is the American porn industry when it comes to ethnic backgrounds of the actors? and culturally different story lines? 

DrCT: The US porn industry tends to feature performers from the US, though you certainly also see performers from abroad featured in US-produced content, some quite prominently (Cindy Starfall, for example). Though it does still happen some, people going outside the US to shoot content (obviously featuring performers who are not from the US) happened quite a bit more frequently in recent heyday years. I don’t really think this is too different from casting tendencies in other countries’ industries though – UK producers tend to feature mostly performers from the UK, Japanese producers feature mostly performers from Japan, etc etc.

In terms of story lines focusing expressly on cultural variability, we are starting to see more and more.

culturally relevant porn

(pictured: when you Google image search “culturally relevant,” this is one of the first results)

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