Friday, 24 January 2014

Porn News: Moving to Vegas, CGI Bareback and Google[Gl]ass

Three thematically-linked but very different stories caught my attention this morning. The US porn industry has been fighting a drawn out battle to survive following the rise of Tube sites (among other factors). The recent spate of HIV scares and Measure B  - which made condom use compulsory in LA porn production, and which is now being extended to cover the whole of California - only amplified the sense that the US porn industry is floundering.

The first story is that many LA-based studios are seeking to move away from the San Fernando Valley to Las Vegas in order to facilitate production. A number of major studios (such as Brazzers) already operate out of Vegas. One motivation for this shift is to avoid the condom law.

Falcon Entertainment Logo.pngThat leads me to the second story, which provides a safer and less disruptive work-around for the condom law. Falcon Studios have digitally removed the condoms from sex sequences, thereby protecting the performers while preserving the fantasy. There is certainly a market for bareback porn as a kind of fetish activity, but I am less convinced that condoms would spoil the sexual fantasy for other porn viewers. Of course, that is an easy declaration for me to make because I am not gambling any money on such a theory, unlike porn producers. Either way, I am an advocate for condom use in porn to at least protect performers, and CG bareback provides that protection, so I hope it catches on.



Rather than focusing on preserving fantasy, the third story involves making real sex more like watching porn. According to a report about Google Glass, an app is being developed that will allow one partner to see sex from the other partner's viewpoint. The Guardian report (linked) on this innovation suggests that it may provide an ego boost for users, allowing them to "go and f**k themselves". 



However, it strikes me that there are two alternative implications. One is that the app could epically backfire: users will get chance to witness how unattractive they look while huffing and puffing over or under their partner. Rather than an ego boost, this device might provide the kind of vision of oneself that one cannot "unsee" and which will inspire self-consciousness. The product of such self-consciousness might be increased vanity, soaring rates of celibacy(!) and porn use (see above), or a self-oriented detachment from one's partner. 

A far more optimistic interpretation is that seeing sex from a partner's perspective could provide increased intimacy and new degrees of sexual empathy. As long as neither partner is distracted by the rather silly-looking Google Glass headset, or the thought that "I'm having space-age sex from the future!". 

The app is currently called Sex with Glass, which is appalling. If the creators want to buy out my alternative name - Google [Gl]ass - I'm open to negotiations. I'm also taking a book on the first divorce that results from one partner discovering that the other is covertly watching porn during sex. My bet is on October 14th 2016. Any takers?

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