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trilobite May 11th, 2009 04:07 AM

Age & Porn
 
The Veg Porn request for models states,
"Veg Porn is always looking for models of all genders, colors, and sizes."

Conspicuously absent (intentionally or otherwise) from this list is age. Where are the older models? It's not as if either porn or vegetarianism is a modern phenomenon.

I presume that there's no deliberate discrimination and that there's just a lack of older would-be models, but it does tend to reinforce the idea that younger=sexier. Even being in my mid-thirties, some of the pics make me feel a bit old.

What do other people think about this?

Volodya May 11th, 2009 11:58 AM

While i cannot relate to the feeling that you have experienced, i do think that from the political stand-point the word "age" is missing. And while we are on the subject "ability levels" or something similar needs to be in there too, i'd think.

Alternatively it's possible to just say "everybody" and then give "examples" which makes it less embarrassing when you miss an important category.

furrygirl May 12th, 2009 08:06 AM

I have never received a viable submission from an older model. There was one woman a few years ago who was in her 40s or so, and she was bummed when I told her I don't accept sets of 5-ish photos. (I require, and spell out clearly, that I must get 50-80 photos.) She was not discriminated against on the basis of age, I told her I'd be happy to see a real submission in the future, but never heard from her again.

If you want to see some "older" porn, make some "older" porn, plain and simple.

This reminds me of the unconference I was just at where a bunch of different people were loudly criticizing the conference organizer for not having various _____ panels, but ANYONE could do a talk and the whole thing was organized on an email list.

No one has any room to complain about anything they aren't taking steps to remedy.

furrygirl May 12th, 2009 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Volodya
While i cannot relate to the feeling that you have experienced, i do think that from the political stand-point the word "age" is missing. And while we are on the subject "ability levels" or something similar needs to be in there too, i'd think.

Alternatively it's possible to just say "everybody" and then give "examples" which makes it less embarrassing when you miss an important category.


The list could get very long if I try to include a word for everything. Age, ability levels, height, weight, class, BMI, whether or not a person is a parent, income level, immigration status... it goes on and on.

While "age" was never purposefully excluded, I think that it's obvious that Veg Porn is one of the most open and inclusive porn sites ever made. (I'd count NoFauxxx.com as my non-veggie sister.) I don't recruit, so anything that's not on the site is "missing" because no viewer has submitted it yet. I'd be happy to get submissions from people older than their 20s, but for whatever reason, making porn, even alt/indie stuff, appeals almost exclusively to 20-somethings.

Volodya May 12th, 2009 08:14 AM

To be fair you have to realise that trilobite was talking about what it says on the site, not about what models are here.

Volodya May 12th, 2009 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by furrygirl
The list could get very long if I try to include a word for everything. Age, ability levels, height, weight, class, BMI, whether or not a person is a parent, income level, immigration status... it goes on and on.


Yeah, i suppose that's reasonable.

trilobite May 13th, 2009 06:10 AM

Hi furrygirl, Veg Porn is very open and inclusive in the way porn ought to be. There wouldn't have been any point in raising the issue otherwise! I was hoping to get some discussion on how people think about age, porn, and sexuality, not having a go at you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by furrygirl
The list could get very long if I try to include a word for everything. Age, ability levels, height, weight, class, BMI, whether or not a person is a parent, income level, immigration status... it goes on and on.

Again, without meaning to antagonise, I do think that age is different from most of the other properties you've listed there, for several reasons:
  • Height, weight and BMI are already pretty much covered by "models of all... sizes"
  • Income level, class, immigration status, and to a substantial degree parenthood are all properties which you can't tell by looking at a person naked.

Age (and disability) aren't just abstract political categories which attract discrimination; they are specifically relevant to the politics of porn. Veg Porn already explicitly challenges the mainstream/porn norm of physical perfection by "looking for models of all genders, colors, and sizes". That norm is also skewed towards youthful appearance and lack of visible disability.

In the case of age (as opposed to visible disability), the skew is particularly unrepresentative of the population at large. There are more UK citizens in their 30s than in their 20s, and yet more in their 40s than in their 30s. Based on figures from the UK Office of National Statistics, it looks like people in their 20s form only about 1 in 5 of the adult population. (I expect this is mirrored in other industrialised countries.)

Of course, the body-fascist norm is even more discriminatory with regard to size and shape, but your call for models challenges that directly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by furrygirl
I'd be happy to get submissions from people older than their 20s, but for whatever reason, making porn, even alt/indie stuff, appeals almost exclusively to 20-somethings.


Well I assumed that the submissions weren't flowing, since it seemed unlikely you were discriminating. To me the interesting question is, given that 20-somethings are outnumbered by 30-somethings, why would this be? Are 30-somethings less willing to take risks? (Probably.) Are we just less interested in sex? (I doubt this.) What role does the age-centred attractiveness norm play? (Some, I'm sure of it.) Or perhaps 30-somethings just have less free time / energy to organise photo shoots than younger ones do? (Seems possible.) Plausibly, the age demographic of Veg Porn's viewers is mostly in the 20s, although this wouldn't explain why there aren't more older models in mainstream porn.

Of course, you don't have any duty to actively solicit contributions from older models; I just think you'd be more likely to get them if you spelled it out that they were welcome. Does that seem reasonable? The fact that your existing models appear in their 20s is likely to have something of a self-perpetuating effect otherwise (unless those models continue to submit sets as they get older).


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