Porn Star Philosophy

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About John Dwyer

John Dwyer is the co-editor for The Strip (adult language but SFW). Learn more about him on his website or contact him through email, Google, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. wellokaythen says:

    When you make your living with your body, especially in a visual medium, then it makes some sense that your skin might be a canvas for art or for personal messages. I can also imagine that tattoos are somewhat individualistic in a medium where people really do start to look alike. Perhaps they even act like a bit of documentation, like a signature? “You refuse to pay me because you said I wasn’t in that movie, but I was, and I can prove it to you!”

    I think tattoos also serve as a kind of personal property in contexts where you may not feel like you own your life. I suspect people in prison get tattoos in part because they don’t really get to own anything but their own skins. You can have everything taken away from you in prison, but it’s hard to steal a tattoo.

    And, it could be that the primary audience for a porn star’s tattoo is not the porn viewer. The main message may be from herself to herself.

    I know there’s a whole subfield of criminal justice/corrections that’s compiling an encyclopedic database about all the tattoos found in jails and prisons and all the coded meanings they seem to have. Perhaps there needs to be similar funding to study porn tats?…..

  2. I always assumed women in porn got tattoos for the same reason the rest of us tattooed women did. Because it meant something at the time we got it or because it was the in thing to do or because it seemed like fun at the time. Usually it’s one of those reasons that I hear from the non-porn public. My reasons are because mine meant/mean something to me.

    I try to not analyze why people get tattoos too much and that includes porn actresses because realistically there are sometimes just no deep reasons. Sometimes it’s as simple as it makes my ass look hot and eve hotter when I wear this bathing suit or this pair of jeans.

    I’m honestly a little surprised when I see tattoos in mainstream porn on the girls since from what I understand from a vocal bunch of men some men just don’t like seeing that stuff on women. Though I suppose to a degree the actresses in porn are a dime a dozen… here for a couple scenes and then gone again. No real staying power in this industry anymore.

  3. John Dwyer says:

    I really love the idea that you could use a tattoo as proof of identity that wellokaythen put forward. That’s a side I hadn’t even remotely considered. It’s also a very valid point that both of the commenters here make that the audience for the tattoo may just be the starlet herself. I don’t want to say that you have to have deep reasons or think of others before getting a tattoo, in fact that’s what I tried to touch on with tribal tattoos and simpler designs. I just wanted to get into the designs that might spark more conversation, so admittedly, I rushed past the “just cuz I wanted one” tattoos.

    I completely agree with Kat about the surprise, and I think you understand where the article came from, then. If you’re making money by showing you skin to an audience (among other things) and that audience has their own preferences, any conscious alteration makes a difference in the audience you’re appealing to, the money you can make, etc. So it is surprising and worth thinking about when a mainstream star has a tattoo, which is why I tried to specifically find stars that had made a name for themselves and weren’t terribly niche.

    I would say this porn star tattoo argument actually extends to non-taboo film stars as well – look at Angelina Jolie or Alyssa Milano and the discussions that erupt over their tattoos. I just find porn stars to have more interesting ink (maybe even a little more thought under the surface as well).

  4. What do porn stars communicate through their tattoos? Who, beyond their friends and family, cares? Very few people are watching porn for any messages conveyed by the performers’ tattoos.

    This also answers Kat’s question. Even guys who prefer their women tattoo-free are not going to be so bothered if an otherwise attractive woman in a porn flick has a tattoo. Know why? Cause they’re about to watch her perform sex acts, that’s why. Tattoed actresses in mainstream films, on the other hand, often have to get their skin ink covered up.

    Anyway, I can’t help but think this article was written as a dare.

    • “Even guys who prefer their women tattoo-free are not going to be so bothered if an otherwise attractive woman in a porn flick has a tattoo. Know why? Cause they’re about to watch her perform sex acts, that’s why.”

      Not true. Guys have appearance standards for the porn they prefer, and for some of us those standards include the presence/absence of tattoos. Just as a guy who like “big uns” won’t watch flat-chested ‘barely legal’ porn because those women don’t appeal to him, a guy who hates tattoos will turn off someone like Jenna Jameson because he finds the tattoos a turnoff.

  5. This post just landed you on the Poseur Alert section on Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/10/poseur-alert.html

    Sorry.

    • John Dwyer says:

      Thanks for the heads up, and I am assume you’re not Mr. Sullivan so no need to apologize. That’s unfortunate that someone thinks I’m a poseur, but more unfortunate that the humor and thoughts behind the piece did not have an effect on him. Some people benefit from a second reading, though, and some day I am sure I would benefit from getting around to reading whatever sort of article it is that he writes.

  6. sedanchair says:

    Jeez, what a load. Do you feel a little better about whacking off now?

  7. Is this a joke? I learned nothing here.

  8. I sincerely and honestly cannot tell if this is a prolonged sarcastic attempt at humor, or if the author is actually being serious. If the latter, for the love of God, go get yourself laid. I’d pay good money to see what these porn starts would have to say about your deconstruction of their tats. They’ have sex on camera for money; they’re not profound existentialists.

    • John Dwyer says:

      Some might be profound philosophers. Have you ever seen Zombie Strippers? It’s got Jenna Jamison and more Sartre non sequitors than you can shake a stick at. That movie is actually what pushed me to put this out, but I didn’t want to admit to watching that movie with the volume turned on.

      But prolonged sarcasm aside, you bring up a good idea that I am trying to follow up on myself – I really would love to see what any of the ladies mentioned here have to say. I just hope they firmly grasp the respectful humor here that seems to be a little too dry for some. Buh-dum-ching.

  9. wellokaythen says:

    There’s also this interesting self-referential thing going on, where women dressed like old-fashioned pin-up girls are wearing tattoos of pin-up girls that look just like themselves. They look like the tattoos and the tattoos look like them. Now, if only the tattoo of the pin-up girl had a tattoo of a pin-up girl….

    The tattoo as documentary proof idea is just total speculation on my part. I keep thinking like a labor lawyer. Never underestimate the business acumen of porn actresses.

  10. I came over from the Dish. I enjoyed your post and wish you well.

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