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Why do male porn stars wear socks and shoes?
November 14, 2009 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Why do male porn actors so often wear socks and shoes while otherwise naked in adult movies? It's true that high heels are prevalent among the females but at least one could argue there's some aesthetic point to that. The guys' choice of footwear, meanwhile, is nearly always awful. Is there a practical or cultural reason for the men wearing socks, shoes and sometimes hats and sunglasses?
posted by skylar to Society & Culture (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Porn sets are cold. Cold feet draw blood away from the *ahem* other parts of the body.
posted by Aquaman at 8:35 AM on November 14, 2009


Wait, there are men in porn? I just assumed the dicks were special effects, using some advanced sort of puppet wire.

Seriously, men probably look stupid or ridiculous in porn because nobody cares: they're paid 1/10th what the female stars make, only one part of their body is ever on camera, and they're pretty much interchangeable: I've often wondered if they don't sometimes use three different men in the same scene, since you'd be hard-pressed to notice the difference. They ain't hired for their looks or their fashion sense, you know?

I think the hats and sunglasses are half-assed disguises.
posted by rokusan at 8:36 AM on November 14, 2009


Oddly enough, this has been asked before.

There was no definitive answer in that thread, but some reasons posited were:

-- the floors of the sets are sticky and gross
-- some people might find it a turn-on
-- apathy

Also as empyrean points out:

-- There's definitely a huge portion of mainstream porn where they don't keep their shoes on, either.
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 8:37 AM on November 14, 2009


From what I've heard, the floors of porn sets are totally yucky, and you want to do everything in your power not to walk on them in bare feet. Also, I'd rather see a porn dude in shoes/socks than with dirty soles.

As to the hats and sunglasses: that remains a mystery to me.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 8:37 AM on November 14, 2009


I always reckoned the shoes where for the moments when one of those fellas might need traction to pull off a position.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:38 AM on November 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


The sets are cold, people sweat and if there isn't carpeting, you could slip while doing something that requires traction, and a porn set might have lubricants and/or body fluids on the floor you may not necessarily want to be stepping in.
posted by xingcat at 8:39 AM on November 14, 2009


Arch support?

Not being entirely factious. These guys work on their feet (ahem) all day and I don't think they have comfort mats under their feet. Often these scenes are outside, on concrete. In the rare case where they have a set, the set floors are hard concrete. It's probably a lot more comfortable to have the extra padding shoes provide.

Plus the traction mentioned above.
posted by arniec at 8:45 AM on November 14, 2009


I agree with Aquaman, I have had more than one man tell me it was hard difficult to keep an erection if his feet were cold.
posted by kimdog at 8:56 AM on November 14, 2009


Dan Savage covered socks in porn (not shoes) earlier this year. He says they're incidental. That seems incomplete somehow.
posted by 6550 at 8:56 AM on November 14, 2009


Are you asking about straight porn only? I always thought that all the aesthetically unappealing stuff going on with the male actors in straight porn was intentional, since most straight porn consumers don't want the attractiveness of the guys on their radar.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 9:08 AM on November 14, 2009


It's extrapolating, yeah, and not definitive, but: Damn near the last thing I want to see when I'm getting my porn on is some dude's rank-ass busted up feet. Keep your socks on, buddy.
posted by majick at 9:15 AM on November 14, 2009


I just trolled a couple of massive porn sites and the number of (mostly naked) guys with socks was really low. And I couldn't find a single guy with a hat or a pair of sunglasses. Most of the locations seemed like rich people's homes or hip condos, not cold lube-covered concrete-floored sets.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:17 AM on November 14, 2009


Maybe it's confirmation bias?

I'm not exactly a porn connoisseur, but that which I have seen seems to have fairly few wearing shoes.
posted by Solomon at 9:25 AM on November 14, 2009


I always thought that it was so the content could be shown in places where complete nudity on film was illegal. I don't know why I thought that! I just did! I also only associate it with porn from the 70s and 80s.
posted by malpractice at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there a practical or cultural reason for the men wearing...sunglasses?

The Male Gaze
posted by KokuRyu at 9:49 AM on November 14, 2009


Seriously, men probably look stupid or ridiculous in porn because nobody cares: they're paid 1/10th what the female stars make, only one part of their body is ever on camera, and they're pretty much interchangeable: I've often wondered if they don't sometimes use three different men in the same scene, since you'd be hard-pressed to notice the difference. They ain't hired for their looks or their fashion sense, you know?

None of which explains the prevalence in gay porn, where none of what you just said obtains.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:59 AM on November 14, 2009


I assumed it's because there's no graceful way to remove your shoes and socks.
posted by electroboy at 11:00 AM on November 14, 2009


Or possibly it's supposed to signify that they're so eager to get to the hawt sex there's no time to completely remove their clothing.
posted by electroboy at 11:03 AM on November 14, 2009


Thanks to the user who found a similar question - I did a search before posting my message but didn't find the earlier question. (However the other post is about porn stars generally whereas mine is specifically about the men.) Thanks for your contributions so far.
posted by skylar at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2009


It may come from a time when porn was even less acceptable than it is now (in some circles), where performers had to obscure their faces and or adhere to some other oddball laws like not being totally nude. So its done now in deference to that, that some consumers of pornography might have developed a preference for it.

I remember watching an episode of Kojak where he made a reference to it, deriding a suspect who used to produce porn, and said something about "maybe you want to go back to the black socks and mask business?"

I think too that the sunglasses thing might be a nod to the consumer who wants his or her porn to be as anonymous as possible. For the straight male viewer, he might not want to see another guy's face. For the straight female, perhaps a faceless male makes it easier to fantasize about some other person. Etc. Sometimes it's about fantasizing about being with the actors, sometimes its about trying to see someone else do what the actors are doing.
posted by gjc at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2009


I think Solomon may be onto something. I just did a site search at Christian Sings the Blues, the now-inactive blog of a male pornstar, for "shoes" and "socks." The only relevant info I found was this post (NSFW!!), where Christian says, "about halfway through our scene I realized that I still had my shoes and socks on! lol...what the hell is wrong with me? How weird does this look?"

He doesn't blog anymore, but Christian works pretty frequently and if he thinks it's weird to keep your shoes and socks on during a scene, maybe it is. Maybe most male performers are shoeless.
posted by thebergfather at 12:30 PM on November 14, 2009


Not too mention that, on the whole, men's feet are pretty gross. Just sayin
posted by bunny hugger at 12:43 PM on November 14, 2009


men's feet are pretty gross

If aesthetics were the consideration here, I think most straight men would rather look at feet than balls.

My votes, in descending order:

A) Confirmation bias
B) Cold feet
C) What really? I still had my socks on? Huh. Oh well.
posted by hermitosis at 2:08 PM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


You have to admit, balls are pretty weird looking.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:30 PM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Purely speculation--maybe a height thing? Granted, they're horizontal a fair amount of the time, but they usually stand at some point and most people don't think a man should be shorter than his partner (especially if she's wearing big freakin stilettos).
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:42 PM on November 14, 2009


dirty feet are to people in the porn industry like a bad pun to a writer. you'll get mocked by your colleagues if you have someone with grimy soles in frame. so either you stop everything and have them wash their feet or you just tell them to keep their socks or shoes on.

also: apathy. nobody cares about what's attached to the cock as long as it's not ron jeremy or a midget.
posted by krautland at 10:34 PM on November 14, 2009


the floors of the sets are sticky and gross
yes. full body makeup is disgusting. also why they often bring their own couches to rented locations.
posted by krautland at 10:35 PM on November 14, 2009


I would've guessed that it's paying homage to the dangerous real life phenomenon of The Sock Gap. (SFW)
posted by slimepuppy at 3:47 AM on November 15, 2009


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