Thread: Age & Porn
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 8

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.

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.

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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