aNewDomain — Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus’ documentary demystifies the thriving amateur Internet porn industry and the damage it inflicts upon the multitudes of young women who churn through its revolving doors.
The sexual development of teens has always kept up with porn; the proliferation of Internet sex has accelerated those rites of passage. Gone are days of kids having to pore over The Joy of Sex to get a vague idea of how people get off.
Porn has turned into a rebellious rite of passage for girls eager to experience fame. Social media has bred a competitive hunger for Internet popularity to which every porn actress aspires.
And now that young people are easily able to explore cutting-edge sexual desires (in a social-media-obsessed world), it’s a standard rite of transition into adulthood.
Hot Girls Wanted shows how clever porn merchants have turned this desire of young girls for Internet fame, and their inability to feel any qualms about baring all, into big business.
Riley is a 23-year-old Miami “talent agent” (and sometime talent himself). He posts a “Hot Girls Wanted” ad on Craigslist that racks up numerous replies from just-turned-18 girls eager to get away from their parents and declare their independence. The self-described “doing well” Riley has a constant supply of would-be porn stars paying rent in his sparse Miami tract home.
He has two dogs, a refrigerator full of booze, and a pool to keep the girls happy.
Riley comes off like a frat boy pimp. His charges’ suitcases explode beside mattresses on Riley’s floor in a scattered array of shoes, make-up and “cute tops.”
This young entrepreneur’s nubile sex performers each receive a psychologically and physically exacting crash course in the brutal reality of male exploiters who lay in wait for them anywhere they go in the world.
This ordeal does have a maturing effect. In only a month or two, most of these headstrong girls will be finished with the short work-cycle of Internet porn.
You’d be hard-pressed to imagine a tougher hard-knocks indoctrination program into capitalist society. In the end the film becomes one for all of us.
We follow along as girl-next-door Tressa (aka Stella May) goes home for Christmas to her traditional Texas family. Tressa’s mother has figured out her daughter is a porn star, and the two talk frankly of her worries. But Tressa is afraid to confess to her father what she now does for a living, and the two share awkward silences during her visit. Meanwhile, Tressa’s new boyfriend, Kendall, is pragmatic about porn and initially supportive of Tressa’s career. Forget about preconceived notions of porn stars coming from dysfunctional families. The film shows how it truly attracts girls from all walks of life.
The porn-star dream is alive and well in economically ravaged America. The insatiable demand for amateur porn means that a girl who turned 18 last week, making $7.50 an hour in her hometown, can buy a plane ticket to Florida and tomorrow be earning thousands a week filming porn.
The film details how girls set up social media accounts and start accepting porn jobs from “producers.” Each job pays anywhere from several hundred dollars to over a thousand. The higher-paid gigs are for such outré sex acts as bondage and “facial abuse.” The film shows humiliating clips from these films, where girls are slapped, called names, choked, slammed to the ground, restrained on wooden slabs, and other forms of classic sexual abuse turned into titillation for porn consumers.
All these recent past years of America’s open policy of extreme (police and military) torture appear to have pushed sexual fads in the country toward kinks previously considered bizarre.
“Thirty percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn” (The Huffington Post). Of that content “nearly 40 percent depicts violence against women” (Hot Girls Wanted). That awful truth reflects epochs of racism, sexism, and brutal humiliation that came before. A film such as Hot Girls Wanted helps us face who and what we are, head-on.
The situation boils down to simple economic reality: any douchebag with $800 and a video camera can hire a girl to let him abuse her sexually for eternal public display.
Porn star Belle Knox is analyzed by the young recruits as she submits to interviews by incredulous media who act astonished that a college coed would perform porn. Jade (aka Ava Kelly) watches Knox’s troubling “facial abuse” video on Riley’s cell phone. She notes that in all of Knox’s media interviews, she never discusses the most violent aspects of the job. She talks about female sexual empowerment, and not being ashamed.
Belle Knox “wants to get notoriety and not be scarred,” Jade notes with insight. “Not everyone can come back from that … She was one of the girls that didn’t know what she was getting herself into.”
Hot Girls Wanted is a crash course on the risks and minimal rewards of being a porn star, and the complicity of viewers in the dirty business of “professional amateur” porn.