Episode 016

The cultural democracy of amateur porn

 

 

 

 


 

 

 
 

Commentary

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly talk with Susanna Paasonen on her research into amateur and user-generated porn. They talk about the long and poorly documented history of user-generated erotic media and how this has both reflected and stimulated changes in technology. Susanna discusses the way that tube sites (web sites like porntube.com that imitate and duplicate the functionality of YouTube) have taken over much of the process of distribution and the effects that that has had on amateur production.

The questions we discuss spring from one inquiry. Does amateur porn stand outside the market place as an example of a self-selecting community engaged in a participatory culture of a more or less democratic nature? Or is it simply a shallow reflection of the dominant culture? The answer, you will be pleased to learn, proves not as simple as that.

We look at the ways in which this has varied over time, just as the definitions of pornography, and the kinds of pornography that interests people, have shifted and changed. We conclude by glancing at beautifulagony.com, a long-standing porn site