LOS ANGELES — The world of mainstream media, especially its edgier incarnations, has had a long fascination with the inner workings of the adult entertainment industry — which sometimes leads to insightful, positive portrayals of the personalities behind the porn.
For example, in Vice’s recent “Behind the Website That’s Basically Netflix for Independent Porn,” author Jake Hall profiled PinkLabel TV — the breakthrough brand founded by filmmaker Shine Louise Houston and porn star Jiz Lee.
“It can be easy to get stuck in a porn rut, but adult filmmaker Shine Louise Houston has the solution to your wanking woes: PinkLabel TV — a subscription-based streaming service that’s essentially a sexy equivalent to Netflix,” Hall wrote. “From ‘boygasms’ and sexual sci to softcore flicks and instructional ‘edu-porn,’ the streaming subscription service has something for everyone.”
“Better still, it’s fantasy with a conscience. Gone are gross, fetishizing labels, replaced instead by tags like ‘POC Porn’ and ‘The Feminist Porn Gaze,’ Hall adds, characterizing the site as “quite literally the erotic future liberals want.”
Hall explored the impact of the experiences from Houston’s Pink & White Productions and Lee’s 2015 book “Coming Out Like A Porn Star,” on PinkLabel TV’s development, noting that “Together they’re helping to lead somewhat of a porn revolution, building a loyal fanbase on the back of their dedication to sensitively and sexily representing trans and non-binary bodies.”
One aspect of the discussion was how technology is changing the industry.
“DVD sales really tanked around 2007 or 2008, so we made the shift and went online because that’s where the market is. There are limitations to the type of technology we can develop, but if something is new out there — like the streaming model — we can consider it,” Houston says. “This is the Trekkie in me speaking, but part of me really wants [VR porn] to be like a holodeck one day when VR realizes its own potential — imagine how awesome that would be, that’s my fantasy!”
Paying for it is another matter, however, with crowdfunding providing an attractive option, such as the current effort to fund “Chemistry Eases the Pain,” positioned as “a ‘straight-curious’ film about a staunchly lesbian woman of color grappling with her sexuality — a fusion of porn and dark humor which explores the terrifying question: ‘What if I’m actually straight?’”
“Crowdfunding has definitely made life less challenging for us, as well. We can’t exactly go knocking on the doors of investors, and I like being self-funded because it means we have creative control,” Houston confides. “There’s no waiting for a green light; I’ll greenlight myself, thank you! Also, there are some doors which are locked to adult filmmakers — we can’t exactly go looking for a bank loan!”
The discussion encompassed a variety of topics, including the notion that porn can lead to truly positive changes in peoples’ lives and even provide useful sex education as society fully embraces sex-positivity — as well as how evolving sextech will continue to transform sexuality.
The full interview can be read here.