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ISSUE 117 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/21/2003

Sex on the hill

By Jennifer Hancock
Online Editor


Friday, November 21, 2003

The pornographic apocalypse is here. The day has finally arrived in which anyone can be a XXX performer. The latest Pay-Per-View reality series, “Can You Be A Porn Star?” features 28 eager female finalists who will meet to compete and win a $100,000 check and a one-year contract with a major adult video distributor.

The show is designed to be highly interactive, with at-home viewers sending in votes for their favorite performers via the Internet. The 28 women are given pornographic “challenges” and judged in areas like enthusiasm, imagination and initiative. The judges range from young XXX actresses to washed-up former porn stars, including Veronica Hart and Amber Lynn.

Morbidly fascinated, I applied to be a porn star on the show. The application was simple: name, address, e-mail, telephone number and, most importantly, physical attributes and measurements. Height, weight, eye color, hair color, bust, cup, waist, hip and dress size. Within two hours of submission, I had received an e-mail from one of the show’s agents asking for photographs and a resume. I have yet to respond.

There is also the option of applying to be the featured “Woody” who will perform with the show’s winner at the end of the season. I applied to be a Woody too. The application was more involved, asking about penis length and girth (while erect) and questions like “Can you stay hard for half-an-hour or longer?” and “Have you ever participated in an orgy?” I would have submitted the Woody application, but they required a photograph.

Most interestingly, I applied to be a Porn Judge. “Ever fancied yourself a ‘Porn Connoisseur’ who can tell the difference between fake tits and big naturals?” Yes indeed, I thought. That application was the most brief: two questions asked me to list previous adult film experience and a personal statement explaining why I wanted to be a judge on their television show. What I wouldn’t give to read some of the other applicant’s entries.

The show is largely without innovation except for one thing: the notion that the American public will be partly responsible for the creation and career of the next great American porn star. This is a porn enthusiast’s dream-come-true. I would guess that most porn fans get off on the thought of playing a small but integral role in the show.

The show’s interactive quality is designed to make viewers feel like porn directors themselves. The American audience judges what makes a good money shot and what doesn’t, what lesbian action is hottest and which deep-throating is most satisfying. According to the show’s website, “While the show airs, you’ll be able to vote online for your favorite contestant as they compete in a series of hot and nasty Sex Challenges all specially designed to separate the real porn [stars] from the ‘wannabes.’” What power.

While I can understand being bashful about the idea of being a porn star, who wouldn’t want to judge pornography? I believe that many more people applied to be judges rather than the next porn star or Woody. Why? Americans often think they have more class than other Americans, and are therefore more qualified to consume and judge shady means of entertainment, like pornography. Despite our blatantly disgusting enjoyment of adult entertainment, we think we’re above it. Through the creation of a judging system for pornography, the inherently trashy and sexist nature of adult entertainment is somehow eliminated. “After all,” we think, “there’s a team of judges! There must be SOME value to it!”

Listen: dog shows have judges. So do needlepoint competitions. And while Sir Feingold believes “’Can You Be A Porn Star?’ will become an enjoyable, addictive series,” I can’t see any good coming from it. Be you a porn star, Woody, judge or at-home viewer, “Can You Be a Porn Star?” is an absurd exploitation of American women and men and has the potential to be the trashiest television show of all time. In a sick way, I’m still looking forward to it.


– To pay our sex columnist’s cable bill, e-mail sexcolumnist@stolaf.edu. She is available for questions and comments on all subjects sexual.


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