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A Review of the Porn Documentary ‘Hot Girls Wanted’

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Stella May and her mom are having the birth control talk. Stella is visiting home for the first time since she left Texas to do porn in Miami. She tells her mom she isn’t on the pill, but she is taking precautions, ‘Don’t worry, mom,’ she says, ‘The guy does it on you instead of in you.’

Welcome the frustrating and unironic world of Hussie Models, a group of young ‘pro-am’ porn talent who live with their agent, Riley, in Miami. ‘Pro-am’–short for the oxymoronic ‘professional amateur’ porn–has changed every paradigm in smut. Pro-Am has made porn more popular, more extreme in its content, yet more mainstream in its public acceptance.

Hot Girls Wanted,  a Netflix Original produced by Rashida Jones, takes us inside the Hussie house for a stark naked look at this controversial industry.

Here are my notes on Hot Girls (spoiler alert.) I’ve kept it fragmented, something like those little thirty second ‘pro-am’ pay-site trailers. Just like the porn industry itself, I’ll be referring to these young women as ‘girls’ throughout.

THE UNEXAMINED LIFE OF RILEY THE PORN AGENT

Riley--Reynolds--porn--agent--on--couch--with--Michele--Hot--Girls--Wanted

When we meet Riley he’s vetting girls on his phone while driving. He finds a winner: ‘This one is 18, looks like she’s 12, and has double Ds…’ He passes the phone to the starlets in the backseat.

Riley runs Hussie Models out of a one story house in Miami. He and the girls spend most of their time hanging out by the pool, behind the kind of fence a meth cook puts up to keep in his pit bull.

At no point in Hot Girls Wanted does Riley put on a shirt with sleeves. Everyone smokes Black & Milds and Newport Lights. It’s safe to say the neck-beard has replaced the porn mustache as the industry standard.

‘THE GIRL IS JUST THERE TO HELP’

Considering sex is their job, these girls know next to nothing about it. The new girl, Brooklyn, takes the morning-after pill–in lieu of birth control–following her first scene. It cost her $40 at Walgreens, the director gives her $100 to buy it. She gets really excited about pocketing the difference. There’s this belief amongst the ‘Hussie Models’ that there’s no problem a thorough douching won’t fix. After Hot Girls, I’m good in the feminine-hygene-on-film department for a while.

Ava--Taylor--Rachel--Behind--the--scenes--hot--girls--wanted

Then there’s the pornification of rape, or is it rapification of porn? A director tells Rachel, the smart one, and her much older co-star to ‘Keep it kinda weird.’ He tells her not to be ‘fully into it.’ She doesn’t look into it at all. The director tells the male lead ‘You never get the big ‘yes.’

One of the girls shrugs off her own uncomfortable scene, ‘Someone out there likes it,’ she says.

About a month into her career, Rachel is over it:

‘Every scene is the same. It’s always your first time, and you’re always just like ‘I’m dumb as hell and I need $500 so I’m gonna get this guy who I would never have sex with in real life and say things I would never say and do things I would never do…it’s all about the guy getting off, the girl’s just there to help.’

The story of Belle Knoxxx, ‘the Duke University pornstar’ broke during the filming of Hot Girls. The Hussie Models and Riley have strong opinions. They think her take on feminism is whack and dismiss her as a P.R genius. Riley brings up one of Knoxxx’s more degrading scenes on his phone.

Vomit porn as female empowerment is laughable even to these stoned dropouts sitting around the grungiest pool in Florida.

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID

Stella had never been on a plane before she answered the craigslist ad to ‘model’ in Miami. Her employment history consists of waitressing and hostessing. Rachel contrasts $900 in five hours of shooting with $8.25 an hour at her previous highest paying job.

Hot Girls isn’t really about women or sex. It’s about money, money and selfish choices. That’s what’s so painfully relatable. This is a story of entitled millennials making short-sighted decisions in the face of money problems. You could make the movie about student loans and it would be pretty much the same movie–all the talk of getting stuffed would be strictly metaphorical.

Stella starts strong, but after three months, she is no longer in demand. A director offers her $1,000 to insert a large dildo half way. He sends her two, one black and one white, to practice with. She points the white dildo at the camera and wiggles it. She looks like she’s going to cry.

I get the impression that everyone at every level of the game knows something these girls don’t. John, a male performer with a rat tail, smoking a Black & Mild, says girls last a year, tops. A photographer explains that beauty is a given, you have to bring something more to make it.

In her four months in the industry Stella May grossed $25,000. She  retires–if you can call it that–with two grand in the bank. Stella reaches out to fans on twitter to furnish her new apartment.

‘If it wasn’t for the internet, I’d probably be in school,’ she says. Stella isn’t old enough to remember a time before the web.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE CHARLIE SHEEN…

One of the most critical voices in the film is that of Stella’s boyfriend, we’ll call him, ‘White Guy With Buzz-cut #3.’ He says his girlfriend’s job has taught him a lesson about objectification and changed the way he looks at porn. ‘That’s someone’s girlfriend,’ he says, ‘that’s someone’s daughter…’ Uh, how about that’s someone. Or rather, she’s someone. Ass.

He hates that Stella does porn, but feels he has no right to say anything. I get the vibe that he secretly loves it too… As porn becomes more emotionally taxing on both of them, their level of commitment only intensifies. They exchange promise rings <3. She tweets the special moment in baffling English.

Stella--May--Twitter--promise--ring

They talk about the difference between fucking and making love. They say they do the latter and it’s special and different #shitteenagerssay.

At this point I really need a hug.

AMATEUR, MORE LIKE IMMATURE

Stella--May--Tressa--on--couch--with--her--mom--Hot--Girls--Wanted

Riley says it takes about a month for everyone in a girl’s life to find out about her work. He makes a point of being up front about that with new talent.

I don’t blame Stella for avoiding the topic while her dad’s holding a shotgun on their father-daughter hunting trip.

Mom knows. When they have the pop-shot-as-birth-control talk, the cameras capture the agonizing silence that follows. Stella starts making sucking smacking noises through lips pursed in a duck face. Her mom breaks down. Later, they go through her high school yearbook together–class of 2013.

Finally, towards the end of Hot Girls, Stella uses the word that’s been on my mind this whole time: selfishness.

Watching Stella try to quit, I can see now why the porn house is full of puppies, I would have a hard time leaving too.

Life in the Hussie house is like a slumber party with blunts. While I’m sure there are guys who would pay good money to hang out there, it looks boring.

‘IT’S NOT PUKING IF NOTHING COMES UP’

Brooklyn--Daniels--hot--girls--wanted--lingerie

Karly says she doesn’t have sex except on camera. Apparently, the guys she performs with treat her like a princess. That hasn’t been her experience in the real world. Sex outside of porn scares her.

Ava, the oldest, and most jaded girl in the house (25,) puts it like this:

‘Good and bad is your opinion at the moment (sic.) I thought things were bad X months ago I don’t think are bad now.’ She’s talking about a ‘vomit porn’ scene she just did.

The new girl looks uncomfortable just having glamour shots taken in lingerie. The photographer tries to lighten the mood.

Photographer: You’re killing me, my boner’s going down.

Snap, snap, snap

Photographer: I’m just kidding, it’s never going down, I’m Puerto Rican.

* * *

PORN STATISTICS

30% of all data on the internet is porn.
Adult content gets more traffic than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined.
The #1 searched porn term is ‘teen.’
the website Exploited Teens takes in around $10,000 per day.
In 2014 ‘abuse porn’ sites received 60 million hits.
It’s estimated that 40% of porn features violence against women.
(Source: Huffington Post/ Hot Girls Wanted)

Images: Decider.com, IndieWire, Netflix

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Charles Daly - Cut-Rate Curmudgeon

Charles Daly - Cut-Rate Curmudgeon

Charles has stories in a number of small journals, but who doesn't? He lives in east Asia and works on an Olivetti typewriter named 'Lovely Rita.' All his heroes died of syphilis in the 19th century.
http://dalyprose.com/