Entertainment

The Naked Truth About How Porn Shoots Operate

Sloane Steel knows just about everything there is to know about the porn industry.

Before she started her current job as the Director of Social Outreach for MetArt, Steel spent two years as the "Director of Miscellaneous” for Bangbros.com (that was actually her real title) and saw a lot of really, really, ridiculously weird sh*t. After a very telling Reddit AMA, we got in touch with Steel and asked her some burning questions about porn that, we felt, needed some answering.

From her collective years in the adult industry, Steel gave us the answers that we've been searching for ever since we heard the term "fluffer."

Spoiler alert: fluffers are real. (Another alert: MetArt, which you'll read about below, will give you a free username and password when you share this article and tag Supercompressor.) 

 

When did you realize you wanted to get into porn?
I’ve loved sex and sexuality from a very young age. When I was eight years old, I would rip out pages from my Dad’s hidden copies of Hustler and I would take a glue stick and paste my favorite girls into my diary. My mom found the diary (and I’m sure my dad found his ripped up Hustlers) and we had a long talk about why those magazines weren’t appropriate for someone my age.

At that point I knew that I loved porn because it was something for adults only. Like any kid I wanted to know what the adults knew. So I read everything I could about sex in books and magazines (stolen from the library!). I thought about becoming a sex therapist in college but then decided it was too much work and settled for a degree in English.

After I graduated school, a friend I had told me about a job in the porn world and I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to get to work in an industry that I loved so much. That was three years ago, and I can’t imagine doing anything else, ever.

What was it like watching people have sex? 
The first time, I just laughed. I’m the kind of person who laughs at a funeral. It's nervous laughter. On my first Bangbros shoot, we had this girl dressed up like a Chonga and she was getting f*cked...and everyone was just standing around and checking their phones and eating sandwiches. That made it feel more like a job than a voyeuristic act, and it becomes mechanical and less sexy. 

You've been in the scene for a while now—what's the weirdest thing you've witnessed?
Genki-Genki is hands down the weirdest, most insane kind of porn out there. It’s Japanese (see photo above) and it features girls [having sex] with things you usually scream and stomp on in real life—like worms and cockroaches. Instead of me describing Genki-Genki, let me just tell you the names of some of the movies from this genre: The Cockroach Is Jealous of an Earthworm in a Vagina to DislikeThe Insect That A Cockroach Makes Noise in Witty GreedThe Helpless Eyes by the Neck TortureThe Earthworm is Vagina in an Adhering to Desire and a Spiral. Hopefully that answers your question.

Let’s talk pay—how much does a female performer earn as compared with a male performer?
Female performers make double their male counterparts. The amount of money a girl makes depends on the scene, what she’s doing in the scene, and if she’s got some porn star pull. Obviously the big name porn stars make a lot more money than a brand new model. As for actual dollar amount, it’s completely different from movie to movie. There’s no industry-wide set price.

What's a common myth you often hear regarding porn? 
That all the girls have suffered some kind of sexual and or physical abuse. There’s a great study about this that says female porn workers are just as likely to have been abused as a female accountant. Basically the study is saying that it’s more likely for us to hear about sexual abuse from a porn star who’s been abused because she’s vocal about it.

Think about it this way: I work in the sex industry so you asked me questions like, “Is a fluffer real?” You probably wouldn’t ask that to a school teacher or a dentist. Same thing with “have you been a victim of sexual abuse?” Howard Stern asks all the porn stars he interviews that question but he doesn’t ask regular actors.

Wait—are fluffers real? 
Yes, but they’re only real for group sex movies and bukkake movies. There are so many penises around that they need to be “entertained” between takes to keep the erection going. Fluffers are often just regular ol’ porn girls who want to make some extra cash. It’s a job like any other. You wouldn’t seen a fluffer in a "Gonzo" movie set or a boy-girl film, but if it’s a gang-bang—you do need a fluffer. 

Well, I suppose it's hard to stay excited for that long—especially with the pressure that you have to ejaculate on command. 
Funny story: that's also not always real. A lot times, it’s faked with a [ejaculate]-like substance. Here's one I've seen—and it has the texture and taste of semen. They want a realistic experience.

What’s the food like on set?
At my old company it was BYO— but at my new company, the actors, actresses, directors, sound guys, and the rest of the crew eat a big family meal together. Usually something Italian. The only thing they try to avoid is Mexican. Mexican is my favorite, but the rule of thumb is, 'If you wouldn’t eat it before a big date, don’t eat it before a porn shoot.' If you think you’re going to potentially get laid you wouldn’t want to eat a giant burrito, right? Same for adult stars.

How long are the days? 
The days are as long as a regular work day, usually about eight hours. And the performers take as many breaks as you typically take in a day at the office. Instead, except checking ESPN.com, they’re stretching and taking showers or reapplying makeup. It’s really hard work to shoot a porn. It’s not all fun and games.

​What’s your favorite porn character trope?
Sexy plumber, mechanic, pizza delivery man. I’ve had a broken pipe, a busted fender, and I eat pizza once a week. Not once have I thought, “as soon that guy unclogs my tampon stuffed toilet I’m going to suck his d*ck,” or “instead of eating that delicious Pizza Hut party box I’ll bend over and get railed by this 20-year-old acne covered delivery man.” I’m sure there are really sexy mechanics out there, but I have yet to meet any of them.

What’s the best kind of food to eat while watching porn?
Something hands free. Because, you know your hands are busy. In my dream porn-watching scenario, I have a sexy manservant in my employ who serves me Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supremes and hand feeds them to me while I masturbate.

How many people are typically on set during a “Gonzo” shoot?
It’s typically the actor, actress, and cameraman. It’s a pretty small group, because you’re usually filming in tight places, no pun intended. A lot of the shoots are in the backseats of cars, or in bathroom stalls, or places that aren’t able to fit a huge crew.

Making the jump from the hardcore BangBros to the more soft-core MetArt must've been a huge change. What's the biggest difference? 
There's no comparing the two. When Bangbros first started they were at the top of the "Gonzo," amateur game. But that was what, 14 years ago? Their brand hasn’t really evolved and the guys that originally liked that material have all grown up and the allure of watching guys be really mean to a “stranger” that’s been picked up off the street, used for sex, and thrown out of a moving vehicle, has lost its appeal.

It seems like MetArt is more...passionate. 
Guys (and gals) still want amateur content, but I’ve seen a trend where people want to watch movies featuring girls who look natural and appear to really be enjoying sex. MetArt, SexArt, TheLifeErotic, VivThomas, the entire MetArt Network of sites are all about plot-driven, natural, beautiful woman enjoying sex and it’s a totally different experience than BangBros.

Bangbros is funny and silly and the girls all have the big tits and the fake nails and colored contacts, but in my opinion, it’s pretty soulless, vapid smut. I like my smut to mean something! MetArt also shoots couples having sex (some of our actors and actresses date in real life) so we’re essentially watching two people in a relationship having sex. It’s a very sexy, erotic experience, and it’s one I think that guys and girls alike will enjoy.

There's some female-empowerment happening in porn, it seems. 
Bangbros skews towards a very male audience; there’s nothing female-friendly about their content. I’m not saying their stuff is bad—it’s great if you want to watch a girl have sex and tossed in a trash can.

But if you’re a guy, trying to convince your girlfriend to watch porn, you’re going to have better luck getting her to watch a beautifully made film from SexArt. But, like all sexual things, I guess it’s just a matter of preference!


Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and his favorite porn character trope is the lemon-stealing girl