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They Choose You: Porn for the Unconventionally Stimulated - By - October 7, 2014 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

They Choose You: Porn for the Unconventionally Stimulated

During one of my first forays into amateur porn, the director asked me and my co-stars if, in addition to having sex with each other, we could also pop some balloons by smashing them between our naked bodies or by sitting on top of them — anything that involved squeezing to the point of popping. Of course we obliged, giggling as the shiny pink balloons popped on the cheap beige carpet beneath our bare bottoms. At the time, I remember thinking how bizarre it was that anyone would want to jerk off to a video of college co-eds popping balloons. Now, after several years of exploration in the adult industry and the fetish world, I wouldn't think twice if asked to crush toy cars with my high heels, or dress up like an alien during a porn shoot.

Many porn performers, amateur and mainstream alike, sell fetish clips through a platform called Clips4Sale. As piracy and porn tube sites become increasingly popular and accessible, it has become more difficult for mainstream porn to turn a profit. So, porn that is focused on tits, ass, and cumshots is losing its value as it becomes easier to jerk off to it for free.

However, the market for video-on-demand fetish clips is still treading water as the more niche fetishes like arm-wrestling and the elusive orthopedic brace fetish (I'm not kidding) have steered clear of widespread internet piracy, so that consumers are still willing to pay for the content.

The production values on Clips4Sale vary from professional studios with big-name porn stars to amateur videos shot with the barest of essentials, and the site's interface doesn't seem to have changed since the early 1990s. But when a fetish is important enough to people, they will shell out cash for it regardless of the package it comes in.

It's because we don't really get to choose our fetishes. They imprint on us early for bizarre and random reasons that we can't really control (see this week's “Savage Love” on page 47 for more on this). And once we have them, they're fairly impossible to shake.

There's a scene in the 1991 film The Rocketeer where Jennifer Connelly puts on a pair of nude stockings. It opens with a shot of an old record player and the camera pans to Connelly's stocking-clad feet and curved toes. She slowly slides the stocking on over her porcelain skin in time to the sultry big band music. When she gets to the top of her stocking, we get only the tiniest peek at her unassuming white garter belt and her bare thigh beneath it. She fastens the stocking with her oval fingernails, red as candy apples, and looks up toward the camera.

Re-watching the scene as an adult, I now realize that it's not really a “scene” at all. It comprises about 14 seconds of the film, but it's pretty much the only part of the movie that I remember in perfect detail.

I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back, those 14 seconds of Disney cinema shaped my sexuality in ways that I'm enjoying to this day: I now have a preoccupation with vintage lingerie and I regularly fuck girls with long red fingernails who resemble Jennifer Connelly.

I'm lucky, I suppose, to have imprinted on something as banal as brunettes and garter belts. But there's a fetish born every minute, and there's no telling how, when, or why it may strike.

Sex advice mogul Dan Savage regularly rails against the Old Spice commercials that feature a bare-chested centaur taking a shower. He worries that this ad campaign will result in a generation of people with unrealizable centaur fetishes. Though there currently isn't anyone on Clips4Sale making porn featuring hunky men with horses' bodies instead of legs, who knows what the future may hold?

As fetish clips become more available, consumers are able to get more specific with their desires. Platforms like Customs4U even make it possible for producers and consumers to collaborate on custom videos to fully realize their unique fetishes.

I'll always have a place in my heart for gonzo-style L.A. porn full of tits, ass, and come. But I daresay that the fetish porn industry is helping facilitate the exploration of human sexuality, and that's a cause I can get behind. I got into porn and sex work because helping people actualize their fantasies is like creating a little slice of magic in the world, and if I can do that by popping a balloon with my ass, then so be it.