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How do male porn stars do what they do?
August 24, 2007 6:27 AM   Subscribe

I understand that it's, um, hard to be a male porn star. How do they do it?

You have to be able to get it up, essentially on command, keep it up for as long as it takes to shoot the scene (because everything stops if you lose your erection), and ejaculate, again essentially on command. And do all of it with a dozen lighting, makeup, sound, and camera people standing around watching. Obviously, this is a feat of considerable mental discipline, the secrets of which would be useful to the rest of us mere mortals. Has anything been written about how these guys do it?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I expect v14g7a is involved. End of story.
posted by daveyt at 6:35 AM on August 24, 2007


Porn existed long before "V" did. I'm sure it's a combination of overcoming performance anxiety, extreme concentration, and fluffers.
posted by Brittanie at 6:37 AM on August 24, 2007


Such performances were routinely made well before pharmaceuticals were available to these thespians.
posted by mmascolino at 6:38 AM on August 24, 2007


I once read a magazine article written by the girlfriend of a guy who went into porn. The guy was always horny, could get it up on command and practiced a lot at "finishing" on demand as well.

Think of it as a sport and these guys are just natural athletes.
posted by GuyZero at 6:44 AM on August 24, 2007


I don't know how things are in the US, but cute UK porn director Anna Span has the following tips for guys (from http://www.hush-hush.co.uk/pornbus_annaspan.html):

Many guys dream of being a pornstar, the reality is...

a. You MUST get it up whether you fancy a girl or not! It's your job to override any negative chemistry when you're working. That is what you are being paid for.

b. You have to keep it up 1-4 hours and perform acts you may not like doing (not all guy are into anal).

c. You have to cum on command! Some producers will pay you nothing if you don't do all of the above.

d. Men get between £150-£350 per scene (circa autumn 2004) depending on the producer. This is why there are so few male performers who work regularly!


She has an email address at that link if you feel like you're, ahem, up to the task.
posted by Ted Maul at 6:48 AM on August 24, 2007


More info from Cecil Adams.
posted by TedW at 6:53 AM on August 24, 2007


mmascolino, there were performance-enhancing drugs well before there were pharmaceuticals. there were also cock rings, and there was editing - he did it twice in 15 minutes in the movie, but in real time, uh, no.
posted by bruce at 6:53 AM on August 24, 2007


Are you familiar with the concept of fluffing? You might enjoy the movie Fluffer for getting a better look at that idea. Also remember that male porn stars aren't just in those jobs because they have huge wangs, they are also in those jobs because they can maintain an erection, or get one at will, or ejaculate at will, or some combination of those. So, the fact that it's tough for mere mortals is also not that surprising because these guys have been selected specifically because they can do this. Or, as Nina Hartley says
"If you want to know what it takes to be a porn stud," said Nina, "Get ten of your best friends in a circle. Then get naked, get in the middle of the circle and masturbate to ejaculation while all of them point and laugh."
There are also things like poppers, but you can't really maintain on them long enough to have a porn career in most cases.

You'll also notice that a lot of porn scenes have a few camera angles which can give the guy a bit of time to get it back up again if he's losing steam before he's back on camera. You know the type: switch to cock, back to facial expression, oh there's the cock again... etc.

Intrestinly, the idea of "orgasming on command" is a big deal in the BDSM fantasy biz, so while it's got on application in vanilla porn -- either gay or straight -- Googling winds up often getting you into mind control territory.
posted by jessamyn at 7:01 AM on August 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not that I would know, but I suspect that being a male porn star is a lot less glamorous than it seems. Essentially you're a boner machine that has to deliver on cue. I'm sure that there are some guys who find this comes naturally (pun very much intended) and I would think that if this isn't the case then physical practice and especially mind-over-matter would play a big part (as I'm sure coke did at least back-in-the-day). Basically being a male porn-star is hard (pun again intended.) Personally on my list of things that I'd aspire to so much that I'd have to practice (if I didn't have a chosen career path) then porn-star wouldn't even make the list, but hey, if you wanna give it a go then I applaud you lustily.
posted by ob at 7:04 AM on August 24, 2007


True, such performances were routinely made well before legal pharmaceuticals were available to these thespians. There have always been less than legal means, as jessamyn notes, poppers and coke were pretty common in the "good" old days.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:04 AM on August 24, 2007


Louis Theroux Explores the Porn Industry has a fair amount about this, and is a good watch. Pretty SFW (it was on BBC), but it is about porn.
posted by OmieWise at 7:18 AM on August 24, 2007


The AV Club had an interview with Ron Jeremy a couple weeks ago, and he said it's more difficult to get a job as a male porn star for a guy these days because more men can do it with Viagra, implying that older porn they were pretty much hired based on the ability to maintain an erection and such.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:29 AM on August 24, 2007


mmascolino, there were performance-enhancing drugs well before there were pharmaceuticals.

Good point...I was speaking from a strictly "legal" standpoint.
posted by mmascolino at 7:59 AM on August 24, 2007


I remember reading some years ago an interview with a porn director who said (pre-Viagra) that basically it takes a certain kind of mindlessness to be able to 'maintain' as long as you had to, and that the best porn studs were the complete morons.
posted by kimota at 8:38 AM on August 24, 2007


The phrase used in the pre-V days was "Waiting for wood." So not everyone working in porn necessarily had the abilities you list and the ones described above.... just all the people working consistently, or getting hired a second time.

There's a number of books written about the industry if you really want to hear more detail, but you might also want to consider the fact that, yes, all the things you list above are a challenge. So are all the things necessary to be a successful football/basketball/running star. The world's a big place, so the quantity of people in the top 0.1% is still a pretty big number, and probably a larger pool of candidates than is strictly needed by the business.

So, how do they do it? They're the people who are exemplary in that field.
posted by phearlez at 9:12 AM on August 24, 2007


There are periodic "porn star technique" asides in the Ron Jeremy Documentary.
posted by nanojath at 9:13 AM on August 24, 2007


Part of it is that porn isn't exactly shot the way you're thinking. For one, some of those long that go on forever are actually several scenes stitched together. At times you even find repeated clips thrown in. So actually everything does stop sometimes, and starts, and stops, and then is put together to seem as it was one continuous scene.

Also, it's a mistake to think porn stars never deal with difficulties performing sometimes. I remember an interview years ago where a male porn star admitted it got difficult to perform the longer he was in the business. To get himself up he now had to think about the most perverted things he could imagine (he wouldn't even say what it was) and when he needed to keep going when he felt like climaxing he thought of very disgusting things. Didn't sound like fun but it got the job done.
posted by gtr at 9:51 AM on August 24, 2007


Ron Jeremy can not only come on command, he can count down from ten and come. That is amazing IMHO.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:21 AM on August 24, 2007


Louis Theroux Explores the Porn Industry has a fair amount about this

Yeah, good show. And he shows the downside... when you have problems performing, suddenly it's your fault that everything is being held up. So even more pressure, which makes it even more difficult...
posted by smackfu at 2:08 PM on August 24, 2007


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