The New New Thing: 5 Titles that Changed the Porn World

By: P. Weasels

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Like any other form of entertainment, porn consists almost entirely of a vast undifferentiated sea of uninspired and mediocre crap, the horizon broken here and there by archipelagoes of quality material - stuff that drives the industry for the next few years, as everyone scrambles to copy its success: remember when you saw your first alt-porn movie, your first transsexual title, the first squirting or MILF or pegging movie, and remember how unusual that was, but how accustomed to them we are now. Every trend has its progenitor, and we love to look back at those now-iconic moments and revel in what they were like when they were fresh. Here are five titles that helped change the landscape of the business you love so much.

  • Fashionistas Safado - The Challenge

    1. Fashionistas Safado - The Challenge

    Studio: Evil Angel

    Sasha Grey's very first film appearance, as a very lucky orgy participant in the sequel to John Stagliano's magnum opus, signalled a change in the way women could enter porn. Sasha Grey wasn't the first star to turn 18 and shoot a fuck flick, but she was the highest-profile and most successful example of a trend in which informed, intelligent young women chose porn as a career path and tout it as a feminist choice. "Fashionistas Safado - The Challenge" marked the beginning of a very successful career for Grey, who went on to performer in more than 300 titles and converted her notoriety into some mainstream success in both movies and television.

    Buy: Fashionistas Safado - The Challenge

  • The Gang Bang Of Bonnie Rotten

    2. The Gang Bang Of Bonnie Rotten

    Studio: Digital Sin

    Another outrageous debut, Bonnie Rotten's first appearance marked the advent of a different kind of star. Although Joanna Angel and her ever-shifting cadre of tattooed hotties had been highly visible as the beating heart of alt-porn for years, Bonnie Rotten shot immediately to the top of the charts as a mainstream performer. This gangbang kicked off a year that saw her winning AVN's Female Performer of the Year Award and netting nine other nominations for nine different scenes. Bonnie was the first alt-star to be so visible, and in that capacity opened up a new appreciation in mainstream porn for girls with extreme tattoos and body modifications. She owes a debt to many other stars for paving the way, but all artists stand on the shoulders of giants.

    Buy: The Gang Bang Of Bonnie Rotten

  • Taboo

    3. Taboo

    Studio: Standard Digital

    We're used to the weak, chicken-hearted equivocation of fauxcest porn, or "family roleplay," as it's so pusillanimously named, these days, but back in the Wild West era of the early eighties, there were brave men and women in the world; some of those men and women made Taboo, a movie about straight-up incest. It may or may not be your thing, but you have to admit that in these days of the word taboo being so watered down that it gets routinely applied to anal sex, which is about as taboo as a grilled-cheese sandwich, this movie, which never once hides behind step-bullshit, still stands tall as a real exploration of the forbidden.

    Buy: Taboo

  • Deep Throat

    4. Deep Throat

    Studio: Arrow

    The landscape of porn is littered with features, not least because they make money in an age when vignettes and individual scenes are eminently stealable, and most of them are either threadbare efforts with ten minutes of plot and eighty minutes of sex, thinly veiled low-budget copies of mainstream movies, or outright parody of varying qualities. But imagine a time when porn was just flat-out illegal in many places and consisted of grimy underground loops everywhere else. Into that world came Deep Throat, which changed the landscape forever. it was a comedy, a reasonably well-made movie, and something suburban couples could go see without fear of censure. It also featured Linda Lovelace's cocksucking talent, which was considerable and iconic in itself, even if her later denunciation of the movie casts a shadow over its ethics.

    Buy: Deep Throat

  • Pirates

    5. Pirates

    Studio: Digital Playground

    Digital Playground's epic adventure, riding as it did the wave of an alleged million-dollar budget, set a new standard for the porn feature - it made back its budget as a porn release, as a media phenomenon, and even as a softcore release for the hotel pay-per-view market (it also saw limited success as a PG-13 release, although not early as much). It showed that a porn movie, could be made well enough using the tools of the mainstream industry that it could crack that barrier - that savvy marketing and careful placement could take an X-rated feature out of the territory normally inhabited by such things; clever, facile and clean-cut, Pirates was the Deep Throat of its age, and if it didn't herald a new dawn of the big-budget action porno, it did provide a moment of legitimacy that porn always sorely needs.

    Buy: Pirates

P. Weasels

About P. Weasels

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P. Weasels has been working in various aspects of the porn industry since 1997, and has been a fan since 1975. He has also worked in the videogame and comic-book industries. In his spare time, he performs as a storyteller at various events in the San Francisco Bay Area and looks for things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area that will make for good stories. He has written for Gamelink, Kink.com, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and wishes he had spent more time playing baseball as a kid, because he thinks he would have made a good catcher. Email if you want to hear his idea about a great escort agency.