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March 01, 2016 09:04am
The Directors
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland

Rich Moreland The Directors - Part two of a seven-part Consent Series by Rich Moreland

No director wants to cope with a disgruntled performer. Cajoling and coaxing to go beyond her stated limits invites a complaining girl to speed dial her agent. Should she walk off the set, the day is lost.

Though directors have different levels of flexibility, most review the scene with talent before shooting commences. To get a picture of how that happens, the legendary Dan O'Connell and B Skow of Girlfriends Films describe their protocol.

Dan shoots girl/girl only.

"Consent has never been an issue on my sets. Everyone arrives knowing what is expected of them. We talk about the sex scene beforehand and go over each girl's 'don'ts.' So nobody goes into the scene not knowing what to expect."

"I tell every girl that she can, should, and is encouraged to stop the scene if she wants to use the bathroom, consume water or discuss what's going on. Nobody has ever stopped a scene except for water, to use the bathroom or blow her nose."

B Skow sends a similar message.

"I never shoot scenes that push limits... but I can tell you if I felt either performer was uncomfortable, I would stop shooting and make sure everyone respected each other's boundaries and start shooting again if we all agreed."

New Sensations/Digital Sin's feminist director Jacky St. James explains her protocol.

"I don't delve too deeply into what is required of a performer prior to a shoot unless I am tackling territory that might be challenging for them."

Jacky cites her award-winning series, The Submission of Emma Marx, as an example of establishing limits. She wanted to make sure the star, Penny Pax, "was comfortable with each of the BDSM activities we were going to film."

Overall, Jacky says, "I would never ask talent to do something that made them uncomfortable. I want to make their lives easy so we can really focus on nailing their characters."

Internet sites, especially those geared for gonzo or all-sex shoots, are beholden to satisfy their online members. How does this influence limits?

Billy Watson, who directs for the interracial conglomerate The Dogfart Network, runs his own facility in LA.

"Essentially, when someone walks into my studio, I always go over what's expected and what I want and what I need," Billy begins.

He uses licensed agents exclusively and relies on them to tell the girls what the shoot entails, "so they know what they are getting into when they come here."

While the girls are in the make-up chair, Billy reviews the scene, everything from "the sex positions themselves to what names we can call them during the shoot."

That's important because for Dogfart, language can create issues. Girls don't like the b-word and male performers, with a few exceptions, dislike the N-word.

Occasionally in a gang bang scene, for example, things can get dicey. "Invariably somebody will actually slip and say 'bitch,'" Billy comments with a shrug.

Apologies immediately follow and the shoot moves on. No harm done.

The other name-calling issue is sensitive and complicated because the site is member-driven.

"We show a lot of interracial porn and a lot of the members love it when the girls call the guys the N-word. This is a tricky thing because it goes both ways," Billy says.

Some male performers get offended, while others don't mind.

Has he had an incident that caused filming to stop?

"No, never. I've never had any kind of drama because we're really careful not to violate anybody's boundaries."

There are times, however, when "my boss says the members are looking for a really crazy, over-the-top scene."

In those cases, Billy will try to book guys who are comfortable around the N-word. Those who are not make their feelings known.

In a reversal of the norm, it's the men who feel violated.

Do some directors nudge a performer's boundaries? I've heard stories, but no names.

Billy concedes that there are still people around who regard the girls as "chattel" because they'll never shoot them again. It's a throwaway attitude. However... "A lot of those guys seemed to have gone away," he adds. "The 2008 perfect storm (the birth of the tubes sites and free porn) killed a lot of those dudes."

Well, at least something positive came out of those days.

Next, we'll look at what the job means for a new girl.

###

Watch for Part Three of this seven-part series coming tomorrow! Previous parts of this series are linked in the Related Stories box in the top right of this page.

About Rich Moreland

Rich Moreland is an adjunct professor of history at Frederick Community College in Maryland (USA) and writer in the adult film industry. His column appears online at Adult Industry News (AINews.com) out of Los Angeles. Rich's blog (3hattergrindhouse.com) covers relevant issues, film and book reviews and interviews with industry people.
A Washington, DC metro area resident, Rich has a bachelor's degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master's degree from Salisbury University. He finished post-masters work at the University of Maryland with Advanced Graduate Specialist recognition. He is a lifelong educator and a former competitive triathlete.

For a concise history of feminism in adult entertainment get Rich Moreland's book "Pornography Feminism: As Powerful as She Wants to Be" linked above.

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