Warning: this post contains upsetting content regarding the porn industry.
The most popular theme in pornography is “teen.” The teen genre features 18 year old girls who are supposedly virgins and being deflowered by older, more experienced men, and pseudo-child pornography where the 18 year old is made to appear younger and has to act out an incest or molestation theme.
In Gail Dines’ book Pornland, she has a chapter called Children–the Final Taboo where she describes the connection between the sexualization of underage girls in popular culture, the pseudo-child porn genre and actual child porn. Dines begins by describing several fashion and magazine images that appeared in the last few decades that sexualize teenage girls and pose them as if for a porn shoot.
“As pop culture begins to look more and more pornographic, the actual porn industry has had to become more hard-core as a way to distinguish its products from those images found on MTV, in Cosmopolitan, and on billboards. The problem for pornographers is that they are quickly running out of new ways to keep users interested. So one of the big questions they have to grapple with today is how to keep maximizing their profits in an already glutted market where consumers are becoming increasingly desensitized to their products. The solutions for them are the same as for all capitalists: find innovative ways to expand both market shares and revenues in existing markets, bring in new customers, and find new market segments and distribution channels. Thus the major task for the porn industry is to keep looking for new niche markets and consumer bases to open up and exploit while staying within the law, or alternatively, working to change the law—an option that the now-mainstream pornography industry increasingly employs.” Gail Dines, Pornland, p.142.
Dines describes how the pornography industry got a law changed on child pornography so that although it was still illegal to feature anyone under 18 in porn, it is legal to make an 18 year old appear to be under 18. So this means that as pornographers look for innovative new ways to catch viewers’ attention, they create more and more abusive types of scenes having to do with teen girls.
“If, as researchers argue, real child pornography is used by some men to prepare them for actual assault on a child by both arousing them and desensitizing them to the harm done to children, while at the same time offering a blueprint of how to commit the crime, then is it not possible that PCP sites could play a similar role?” Gail Dines, Pornland, p.144.
In PCP, [pseudo-child pornography], teen girls are often dressed in school uniforms and have props near them that signify childhood such as lollipops and teddy bears. They are marketed with words such as “cute,” “sweet,”, “small,” and “tight” to signify childhood and virginity. Dines provides an excellent analysis of the way the girls are made to appear to enjoy being initiated by an older man and how actual child abusers see this as a sign that young girls do consent to their abuse.
In the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, they interview Rachel, a teen girl who is working in the amateur porn industry. They follow her to the set of a site called Virgin Manipulations.
On the set, Rachel and an older, adult male performer are on a bed listening to instructions from the producer. The male porn star explains: “The story is, the girl is going away to college and she’s still a virgin. And I am the real good friend of the family that is looking to take advantage of that.” He even jokes, “You know I feel all predatory and shit.” The producer says “Tony, my main line for you is ‘I’ve known you since you were little,’ and her main line is ‘Well no I’ve never looked at you that way because I consider you like my uncle.’” The producer continues explaining to the man, Tony. “And you kind of, without even getting a yes, start to kind of keep going with it… and eventually you can just tell her you can kind of just move over and just start taking ‘em off you know what I mean?” Rachel is visibly uncomfortable while listening to these instructions. She sits with her body closed in, arms and legs pressed together, tense, looking away from the male performer. She nervously plays with her fingers. The producer says, “And here’s the key point: You’re never fully engaged into it.” You can hear someone else saying “this is kinda weird” in the background.
After the scene, Rachel says, “That last part I fucking hated! There is absolutely nothing sexually arousing about that at all. And, I mean, a lot of porn is like that, and you’re like, this is so just work right now. In the amateur porn world, you’re just processed meat.”
The film shows the marketing for this Virgin Manipulations film she’s just made. The cover says “Because morality is always negotiable” and “Her first penetration was the WRONG ONE.”
Then it shows some other links to porn in this genre: “A small town girl,” “An innocent face to cum on,” “Stranded babe picked up and… (text cut off),” “She needs the money,” “Daddy’s girl gets filled,” “Doe eyed teen gets wrecked,” and “How could I say no?”
Rachel talks about the porn shoots where you’re a Dumb-Girl-Who-Needs-Money. “Everything is the same shoot. Like, it’s always your first time, and you’re just like well I’m dumb as hell and I need $500, and I’m just gonna get this random dude that I would never have sex with in real life and have sex with him and say things that I’d never say and do things that I’d never do. And it’s all about the guy getting off. Like the girl’s just there to help. As long as you have boobs and a vagina and an ass that’s all that really matters, they don’t care about who you really are.”
They also interview Michelle, another young woman doing amateur porn. Her first shoot is for Exploited Teens. She says “It was just like him one-on-one like pretty much I’m a fucking creeper and I’m gonna mack on you little teenage girl.” Her friend Tressa answers her: “Yeah, that sounds about right.” Cut to the actual film and you hear the voice of the male performer saying “We just met and here I am already got my old man hands on your young teen ass.” Michelle dutifully giggles for the camera.
She continues to describe the scene, saying that it was “kinda gross,” that he hurt her, and that it was not the type of thing she really wanted. According to the documentary, there are over 700 girls on Exploited Teens.
I’m going to restate that “teen” is the most popular genre of porn. That means the main theme of porn is the abuse of a teenage girl by an older man. Sometimes the girl has to pretend to enjoy the abuse and sometimes she is marketed specifically as being exploited. These girls in this documentary entered the porn industry on their own, but many others are there because they are being trafficked. Even those girls who entered the industry on their own report that they do not like the molestation theme.
Several things are notable here. One of the issues that stands out is that these girls, even though they enter the porn industry willingly, have no control over what happens on the set. It is the producer or owner of the porn site who decides. This is not a consensual situation at all. If she has no control over the script and has to put up with acts she finds repugnant then it is NOT consensual sex. Sex without consent is rape.
Another important issue is that the overall theme of porn is exploitation of the innocent—older men using their power to molest young girls. There is barely any difference between teen porn and child porn. The only difference is that the teen has reached the age of 18—an age where suddenly the theme of older man initiates girl into sex becomes acceptable.
When you put these two issues together, you realize what the situation is here. Real teen girls are being raped by older, adult men on camera, and the videos are being marketed exactly as such—they are marketed as exploited teens and manipulated virgins. This is the most popular genre in porn. This is male supremacy, it’s the celebration of pedophilia, and it’s violence against women and girls. This only happens in a society that is controlled by capitalists with no ethics and where men are in power and women and girls are hated.