Hot Girls Wanted

A Review[1]

Even though Pornhub’s End of Year data[2],[3] shows that “teen” and other youthful categories of pornography are super popular, we seem to be suffering from collective amnesia as a society when we talk about porn stars. We know that porn often features young women, and we seek out that kind of porn the world over. Then we want to act like the person on the screen is an individual with enough life experience to really understand the implications of their decision to do porn. In all non-porn related situations, women in their late teens and early twenties are often regarded with little more seriousness than a child, and yet when it’s about them having sex on camera, suddenly they’re adults who made their own decisions and deserve no empathy from the world preying on them? It’s as if they’re only adults when it’s convenient for us to chew them up and spit them out. We want young women to do porn because we want porn with young women in it. We breed our children and teens to think of porn as a viable option for their lives in an overly sexualized culture so that we’re never without, but then we instantly brand them as lesser even as we’re watching them online.

Hot Girls Wanted is a 2015 documentary directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus that follows several young women, most aged 18-22, as they navigate their new lives in the Amateur Porn Industry in Miami, Florida, where that pesky law that porn stars must use condoms doesn’t exist. It takes about 30 seconds to realize that these girls, though technically adults, have all the naivety the rest of us had when were young, and although that’s a natural stage in life, it’s not great for the sheep walking into the lion’s den. These girls pursued porn in search of adventure, greener grass, excitement, notoriety, and, in the beginning, are perfectly pleased with themselves and their decisions to star in porn. As the documentary, and time, wears on, they all express concern, ranging from dissatisfaction with their life, to ruminating about how weird having sex with so many people is, and how it can’t be normal, to an odd, misplaced pride at being able to handle excessive amounts of abuse without being scarred.

Hot Girls Wanted is devastating and hopeful, eye-opening and appalling. It mixes facts with segments of the girls and gives a firsthand look at some of the sets they work on. It does a great job of highlighting the lack of information these girls have about sex and their bodies, and their true youth is really driven home when one of the girls talks about she let an act that could get her pregnant play out because they paid her extra for the Plan B bill, which she heard is always effective. Obviously, nothing is always effective, but she doesn’t seem concerned because they gave her something like $30 more than the pill costs. There’s no mention of the fact that she was also at risk for STI’s, but that $30 makes it all OK. By the time one girl is recounting an experience that left her feeling like a rape victim to another girl, I was well past the point of hoping that the documentary ends with everyone quitting porn.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets out. In that way, Hot Girls Wanted sticks to being a realistic portrayal of the porn industry. No matter the fear, abuse, or misinformation that lands someone in porn, not everyone will walk away. For those women, we can only hope that as a society, we learn to empower our women so that if they do turn to doing porn, it’s at least their educated decision, not the naïve, hopeless tactic we see portrayed not only in Hot Girls Wanted, but in many other exposes into the world of pornography as well.

[1] Jones, Rashida. Hot Girls Wanted. Netflix. Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. 2015.

[2] “2017 Year in Review”. PornHub Insights. (6/4/2018)

[3] “2016 Year in Review”. PornHub Insights. (6/4/2018)

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