Sex, for the most part, isn’t pretty. Amateur practitioners rarely look glamorous before, during and after satisfying their primal needs. But as the most basic human instinct behind eating, drinking and not-dying, we cannot help but be fascinated by those who offer footage of themselves doing the deed: adult film stars.
There’s something simultaneously powerful and pathetic about fucking on camera. On the one hand, you’ve asserted that people want your body. And those armed with sex appeal can damn near take over the planet, or at least, break the internet.
But on the other hand, this power proves fleeting. People who offer themselves in this way encourage objectification because, after all, you’re not thinking about somebody’s literary opinions while they're nude. But once time and gravity have done their work on every feature that used to make others drool, that objectification makes you disposable in favor of whoever can do what you did, but better.
And so, this duality proves ripe for the silver screen to harvest. The high of being valued for your body eventually leads to the crushing low of being tossed aside. It’s a tidy narrative arc, especially when factoring in the seedy opportunists who supply the adult stars with their preferred vice or want to get a slice of the action—financial or, ahem, otherwise.
The latest entry into this semi-sordid genre is HBO’s The Deuce, which tracks the rise of the porn industry in Times Square from the early 70’s to the mid 80’s. The film stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a grizzled, yet entrepreneurial sex worker and a mustachioed James Franco as a pair of twins who find themselves becoming a front for the mob.
So as a bit of fluffing before you dive into this latest release, here’s the 10 Best Movies about the Adult Film Industry.