‘Hot Girls Wanted’: The Rise of The Amateur Porn Industry

      By Siân Ryan

Image source: Netflix

“Every day a new girl is 18” Image source: Netflix

In 2014 Rashida Jones produced a documentary which was created to highlight the growing amateur porn industry in the US. Jones titled the documentary ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ after discovering ads from porn star agents on Craigslist, trying to recruit teenage girls. The film follows three excited teenagers who are about to embark upon a career in the porn industry and shines light on the reasons why a generation of young girls are aspiring to become famous porn stars.

The three teenage girls are frequently referred to as ‘teeny boppers’ by their agent; their young age and naivety clear from the very first scene. The girls all have a casual and almost nonchalant attitude towards the emotionally complex world they are about to enter. It is evident that some of the girls answered ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ ads not really knowing what they were getting in to. The promise of big bucks and a free flight to Miami seemed like an opportunity too attractive to pass up, and only once living with their agent, were they able to consider the magnitude of their decision.

Empty Promises

The girls are not trafficked or forced to make films against their will, they are lured into the industry by the promise of earning a lot of money in a short space of time, and most importantly, becoming stars. Director Jill Bauer explains why: ‘These girls have grown up in an era where famous people have done sex tapes. The ‘pornification’ of pop culture has been growing since the 1980s… Recent music videos from Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and a slew of rappers walk right up to the edge of pornography.’ Celebrity status seems to be at the top of these girls’ agenda, and seeing the sex industry as a launch-pad into mainstream pop culture doesn’t seem as impossible as it once might have done.

The Truth

As the documentary continues, the dreams and aspirations of the amateur porn stars seem to disintegrate. Rapidly. A male sex partner states that the career span for a teenage girl entering the industry is at best six months to a year, yet more likely to be over by the third month. By that time a girl may have shot up to fifty films. When the work starts to dry up and girls are desperately chasing their fame dream, they are forced to explore niche films such as bondage and abuse. Forty percent of pornographic material involves violence against women, and a lot of the harrowing content is focused on violating teenagers.

Opposing views

Years ago Radical Feminists denounced sex work as ‘the absolute embodiment of patriarchal male privilege.’ (Kesler, 2002: 19) Pornography perpetuates male privilege, which is clear to see as we watch the male ejaculate time and time again, in many cases, at the expense of a woman’s emotional and physical pain. The idea of mainstream pornography is detrimental to women’s status in society, but also harmful to the sex workers in the pornography industry. It can be argued by many feminists that these teenage girls are being exploited and abused both by those in the industry and those who watch the films online.

Many people fiercely disagree that sex work and pornography degrades women. Post feminists argue that a woman’s body is hers to do with whatever she chooses. Pornography and sex work are ways to become liberated by earning money, and sometimes, a lot of it. Leanora Volpe writing for the Independent criticises feminists who ‘shame’ women for choosing to enter the sex industry, believing that if a woman enters the industry freely, her choice should be respected and celebrated. ‘”Your body does not belong to them” they cry. The last time I checked, it doesn’t belong to you either.’

Making money in Miami Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/ocean-drive-miami-beach-florida-654933/ Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/ocean-drive-miami-beach-florida-654933

Approximately 12% of the websites on the Internet are porn which equates to 25 million sites. The industry is vast and amateur porn stars are key to the continuation of it, with ‘teen’ and ‘babysitter’ being two most searched for key words on porn sites. The hundreds of amateur porn stars who flock to Miami, and all over the world to studios and castings are not important, as there always thousands of others to replace them.

Whether you believe these girls are entering into the porn industry freely, and are liberating themselves by making money through their body, or are being exploited by a dangerous industry, it is clear to see through ‘Hot Girls Wanted’, that the dreams and aspirations of these amateur porn stars are almost never fulfilled.

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