In recent months there have been so many stories emerging about the changing face, and sometimes dark side of pornography. From Bella Thorne amassing $2 million by charging her 50,000 subscribers on OnlyFans $200 for “nudes” in September, to Pornhub deleting 10 million videos after it was revealed that the platform was being used to show videos of child abuse and non-consensual sexual behaviour in December. The trend culminated shortly after when Penrith Panthers player Kurt Capewell was forced to issue awarning to young people following the reemergence of pornographic material that the now 27-year-old filmed back in 2013. Star Observer this month, took a look at what the true reality is for adult performers and makers of pornography in Australia.

Filming porn or [the] distribution/selling of pornographic material is not legal here in Australia. Unless you are in the ACT, which even then it still has a lot of rules and regulations with what can and cannot be filmed. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In fact, we have seen many different illegal porn companies’ come and go over the years,Australian porn star and producer Richard Savvy told Star Observer.

Savvy’s experience in the porn industry began in the UK back in 2006. At that time Savvy met a photographer who offered free photo shoots to male escorts, to help them with advertising, in exchange for doing a solo jerkoff scene for his porn company. Returning to Sydney in 2008, Savvy found a profile on Gaydar which offered to pay guys to be porn models. Savvy then  attended an interview which led to him doing a solo porn scene that very day. 

Everything was legitimate as far as payments and release forms go. The men explained to me the legal side of the porn industry here in Australia and told me that he films the footage here in Sydney and then uploads it onto an American porn site… I ended up doing another scene for him a few weeks later.

Porn is always cash in hand work even though you still have to fill out release forms and give them a photo of your current driver’s license or passport so that they can sell it or host it on an overseas porn site.

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 In 2015, Savvy with a group of friends began filming titles under the title of The Guerrilla Porn Project in Sydney. However, to combat the legalities, no performers were paid for their involvement. Since then, Savvy has also worked in the USA with such companies as Hairy & Raw and Treasure Island Media.

We started filming under the title of The Guerrillia Porn Project in 2015 and made a porn movie called Feeding Dick Savvy, which was a series of different porn scenes celebrating the positive side of erotica queer porn.

Everyone involved had a lot of input to the scenes that were being filmed. Everything was negotiated and planned by everyone that was involved, especially the actors themselves, as we wanted everyone involved to be 100% proud of what we were creating.

As much fun as it was – we created some amazing footage – we struggled to find people wanting to get involved mainly because of all the stigma surrounding the porn industry.

In Australia, it is estimated that 76% of men and 41% of women had looked at pornographic material in the past year. Despite this, the stigma around being involved in pornography and adult entertainment still exists. As fellow Australian adult performer Zack Acland explained.

I think Australians still find porn a bit taboo, admittedly not as much as they used to. As a result, it can be difficult to find people willing to put their face on camera. Many are turned on by the idea of exhibitionism but when it comes to the crunch, they worry that their career or family would be put at risk. As time goes on the conservative views seem to be giving way to more open-minded youth and that’s a really good thing.

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 Acland himself, began working in the adult industry in Australia back in 2010 but says that gay productions have slowed considerably in the wake of the departure of Raging Stallion, running in Sydney at the same time as PistolMen. Following this, Acland moved to Toronto, Canada in 2013 where he was cast in a advertising campaign for Squirt.org‘s 10th anniversary. But Acland says his career really took off after shooting Rocco Steele’s My 10 Inches.

Being an adult performer (I hate calling myself a star, lol) is a lot of fun, but it’s also hard work. It’s great for the ego and the notoriety when you get recognised on the street, but the flip side to that is it can be hard to go out and enjoy a quiet drink with friends.

I’ve also found that there’s a degree of judgement and stigma that comes with sex work. People seem to think my value to contribute to community conversation is exceptionally low or that my involvement is somehow connected to a thirst for fame as opposed to altruism.

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 Indeed, much has changed about the adult entertainment industry since either Savvy or Acland began working in the industry. From shooting and distributing material on DVD and VHS, to now where pornography is more accessible than ever thanks to advancements in technology and of course the internet. But what has this meant for those working in the industry?

“We are now starting to see a number of famous actors and sport stars creating their own OnlyFans pages with a mixture of G and R rated material. Even some of the RuPaul’s Drag Race stars are creating porn on OnlyFans,” said Savvy.

It’s a really interesting time at the moment with sites like OnlyFans, as it’s giving everyone a platform but then again like most things there is good and bad in everything. Now we have a time where people like me can produce their own porn scenes and so long as you are owning and creating your fine – and you are getting a larger cut of the money.”

To this point Acland enthusiastically agrees adding, that “one of the great things about OnlyFans and JustForFans is that it cuts the middleman out between the content you make and the money going into your pocket. With the studios dropping the paycheck, its a way to use your brand, or build if that’s where you’re starting and line your pockets with the money you deserve to be paid.

Its also great that it opened the way for so many people. As I’ve always said, there is a niche market for anyone and everyone to find and sell what gets them off.

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