The Encyclopedia Of Smut: A Is For Amateur

Nov 15, 2012 | Posted by Ottimo Massimo in Fetish

Yep, we decided to start the alphabet over again. It was fun hopping from topic to topic, but we need structure in our lives! The last time we did this letter, we looked at a very specific style of censorship, so today we're dealing with a broader topic: amateur pornography.

Amateur? Yes, Ma'amateur!

We all know what amateur porn is, why it's made, how to find it, and how to make it, but why is it watched? Think about it: no one ever eschews watching the Olympic 100-meter dash in place of watching people run for the bus, yet amateur porn is every bit as popular as professional porn. So what makes homemade smut so special?

We believe that the key lies in the purpose of porn, which is, in our opinion, to display the sensations and intensity of an internal experience to an external audience. Ideally, you'd be able to do this without having the ultimate external goal taint the internal experience, but it's not (entirely) possible because of the observer effect; in other words, even though you might not realize it, you fuck differently in front of a camera.

Since a large part of porn enjoyment comes from voyeurism--seeing the unseeable, the private, the forbidden--consumers get turned off by the idea that they're being sold sex with no internal experience behind it, pure performance without any passion. Many believe that sex between people who have been paid for their services is inherently less real than sex between people who are filming it for fun, and so amateur porn is viewed as a more authentic (and thus more enjoyable and easier to empathize with) representation of the act captured on film.

We've even heard people argue that amateur porn is morally superior to professional porn because amateurs aren't driven by money.

[Above: Try to see if you can pick out all the things that make this a piece of amateur porn, via PornHub (pornhub.com)]

Don't Call It Amateur

There's a lot of gray area between amateur and professional smut. It's usually called Pro-Am, but that's only when the porn makers admit to professional influence, and that doesn't always happen. Heck, even if you know all about the performers in a given video, who filmed it, and who distributed it, it can still be hard to find the line between amateur and professional.

Many big porn producers have caught on to the idea that grainy resolution from a handheld camera and bad lighting can make professionally shot porn look amateur, and will therefore be viewed as "real." Even sites that say they have "100% Real Amateur College Orgies" often have pornstars embedded in a crowd of civilians so they can do all of the heavy lifting and fancy fucking. It doesn't matter if they're lying or not because even though all porn tries to give you a glimpse at authenticity, the medium forbids it and ultimately everything is about performance.

It's hard to even say what makes an individual an amateur. If you make a sex tape with your loved one and later on decide to sell it, are you still an amateur? What if you have sex with your lover knowing full well that you're going to be paid for it? What if you're having sex with a pornstar on camera but aren't being paid (such as in those "Fuck A Fan" and "Handjob Winner" movies), are you still an amateur or does that make you a brand new pornstar?

Consider cam girls: some of them make significant cash by having sex or masturbating in front of their computers, but even after filming a thousand shows, a cam girl retains more of an air of authenticity. Is it her distance from mainstream Porn Valley that preserves her realness? Since Camille Crimson lives and works in Canada, does that mean she's an amateur?

And we won't even get in to the question of amateur versus independent; we've been there before.

[Above: This threesome doesn't look much different than the one above it, yet you know it's professional. Why? Via "Home Made Threesomes 4"]

Can We Mature Beyond Amateur?

There are some who refuse to call amateur porn amateur at all; Cindy Gallop is one such person. She thinks that as a term, amateur is "a label that implies that the only people doing it right are the professionals and the rest of us are bumbling idiots," and as a genre, amateur porn only mimics the tropes and techniques of professional studio porn. Even though she rejects the label, she pursues the same core concept: she wants to show people having sex they way they have sex and not the way they have sex for cameras. Gallop is all about exploring the rifts between the porn world and the real world, and she discusses them on her site, Make Love Not Porn, and will soon be distributing and promoting it on MakeLoveNotPorn.TV.

But even though her newest site boasts, "We are not porn--porn is performance (often an exceedingly delicious performance, but a performance nonetheless)," we're not entirely sure it's possible to offer videos of people having sex that don't come with some level of performance. If it's just you and your lover in the room, you're performing for each other; if you're rubbing one out by yourself, you're still performing for yourself, and that doesn't mean what you're doing isn't real. Even if amateur porn has become a watered-down version of professional porn, it's every bit as real and unreal as a passion filled night between two newlyweds.

So instead of trying to find porn that's "real," we urge you to try to find porn that you like.

[Above: We're pretty sure no one uses fluffers anymore, so "Fluffers 7" is a strange mish-mash of real things and fake things fucking each other silly. Some videos courtesy of AEBN Porn Pay Per View Network and Video On Demand (theater.aebn.net)]

[At top: Lily LaBeau just happened to be at a college party that submitted its nasty orgy footage to Dare Dorm (gallys.realitykings.com)]

Tagged in: Video, Amateur, Fetish, top, Educational, Encyclopedia of Smut

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