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Paul's Sex Term of the Day--Gonzo Porn

What is gonzo porn?

Today's sex term is Gonzo Porn.

The term gonzo is associated with Hunter S. Thompson, not that Mr. Thompson ever directed porn. What gonzo refers to is a certain style of porn that intentionally appears to be low budget and over the top. It is filled with close-up shots and has even more sex and fewer attempts at cheesy plot lines than the usual fare. The actors are often brash, highly enthusiastic and playing to the camera. The camera angle is frequently from the male point of view (aka POV). Names often associated with gonzo porn are directors Seymore Butts and John "Buttman" Stagliano.

Now I realize that to say a certain type of porn is "in your face" is not going to provide an epiphany where you can suddenly tell one genre of porn from the next. But to describe gonzo porn as anything other than "in your face" is like leaving the "S" out of Hunter S. Thompson.

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One of the more unfortunate twists of gonzo porn is that it has become particularly disrespectful and increasingly violent toward the female actors. While I'm happy to go to the mat with anyone who claims that women are more objectified in porn than men, you'll not get any argument from me that gonzo porn has taken disrespect for women to a new low--or should that be a new high.

An exception to the lack of respect for women in gonzo porn is the new Chemistry series that Tristan Taormino has been doing for a mainstream porn company called Vivid. What's unusual is that Ms. Taormino picks a group of actors who she likes on a personal level, puts them in the same house for 36 hours, and lets them have sex that is pretty much spontaneous--or as spontaneous as sex can get when you do it for a living and have a camera crew filming close-ups that would cause the jaw of the average gynecologist to drop. In homage to Chemistry's gonzo roots, Ms. Taormino lets the actors use a "perv cam" where they are the ones who shoot whatever they want, from each other's sex scenes to fully clothed discussions about what they did and didn't like about the sex they were just having.

As for any notions that gozno porn is somehow more artful or has its finger on the alternative porn scene--whatever that might be, fear not. An example of the alt porn genre that people sometimes mislabel as gozno is possibly Eon McKai's work, which began with his infamous Art School Sluts.

 

Paul Joannides, Psy.D., is a research psychoanalyst, author of Guide To Getting It On, and a speaker on college campuses. more...

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