Hot Girls Wanted documentary (a review)

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Watched Rashida Jones‘ documentary Hot Girls Wanted about the amateur porn industry and can honestly say I have no idea what I think of it.

Part of the challenge is I have no idea what the point of it was other than to document the experiences of several young women (18-25 y) as they approach and experience the lifestyle. We can argue day and night about whether the lack of an overt agenda or POV is a good thing, but to my mind, it presented the women as neither victims nor empowered…simply as women who made a choice.

To be blunt: These women chose to go to Fuck Camp to make money and escape home.

It is interesting to watch the impact of their decisions on their lives and particularly their relationships with families and boyfriends. And I had to laugh at the irony of one woman who was clear in her rationale about her decision until it came to talking to her father about it.

And I must admit that I was surprised at how cavalier (my biased standards, not theirs) the women were about what they were doing, the potential hazards of the situations they found themselves in, and any thoughts as to how this might impact future life decisions beyond the 3-6 months they made money (not a typo…a woman’s “marketability” typically only lasts 3-6 months).

One of the few images I'm willing to show

One of the few images I’m willing to show

Over its 82-minute span, the documentary drags a little in places and often covers the same ground, no doubt to reinforce some of the more graphic elements. And it is graphic, stopping short of showing the actual sexual acts, but giving you enough of the rest (e.g., nudity, bondage, choking, vomiting) to bring across the essence of what these women are doing.

And in the end, the take-away is whatever you take away from this story.

No matter what your opinion going in, this will only reinforce that opinion. It doesn’t seem to be aimed at making you change your mind about the merits or evils of this industry. The same woman who feels exploited in one scene expresses a sense of empowerment in the next, and in some cases, about the same act.

Adult women making adult decisions about the adult industry. Good or bad is for you to decide for yourself.

An actress and a producer discuss the documentary

An actress and a producer discuss the documentary

Becoming the Mole

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Life used to be one giant game of Whack-A-Mole, the arcade game where you stand above a series of holes with a mallet or bat and try to smack moles as they arise randomly. In my case, however, those moles were work assignments, social responsibilities and general life requirements.

Just as I would deal with one call for my attention, it seemed two or three others would raise their ugly heads. Distracted and disoriented, I would reach for one task only to watch it recede and yet others arrive.

As a 60-second challenge in an arcade or amusement park, the game can be quite fun; a way to exercise your peripheral vision and reflexes.

As a lifestyle choice, however, it was exhausting.

A change—well chronicled in this blog—took place a couple of years ago, and my approach to Whack-A-Mole changed with it.

I still play the game, but now the moles are of my choosing. I know where the next mole will arise because I put it there.

A novel writing episode. A hockey game to attend. A poem to create. A book chapter to read. Words to cross in a puzzle. All of my choosing.

Movies to attend with friends. Colleagues to meet in a pub. Media on which to socialize. I can say yes…and I can say no.

As I learned to give up control of my life, I also made sure I gave up any over-arching sense of responsibility for the happiness or satisfaction of others. I do my best to fulfill my commitments, but I make sure I understand where my commitments end.

The result? I have never been more in control of my life.

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Ironically, in my divestment of control came an unexpected freedom that has manifested itself as a muse that comes unbidden. I do not search or wait for the muse; she sits with me constantly. An earnest voice who insists on being heard.

I have become the mole. Now, it is my turn to pop up in other people’s lives—hopefully welcomed—to offer exciting new creative opportunities.

A new sketch or monologue. A book that needs illustration. An idea for a video. An invitation to photograph animals at the aquarium.

Go ahead. Gimme a whack!

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(Images are property of owners and are used here without permission, but I thought I’d take a whack at it.)