After Porn Ends (2012)    1 Stars

“Can they really live a normal life after porn?”

 

After Porn Ends (2012)

Director: Bryce Wagoner

Cast: Asia Carrera, Tiffany Million, Richard Pacheco

Synopsis: After Porn Ends is a documentary that not only examines the lives and careers of some of the biggest names in the history of the adult entertainment industry but what happens to them after they leave the business and try and live the “normal” lives that millions of other Americans enjoy.

 

 

 

Randy West, one of the former porn stars featured in Bryce Wagoner’s examination of the typical porn star’s lot in life, estimates in After Porn Ends that the average female star’s career in front of the camera lasts just two years, while for a top male star it’s around six or seven years. It’s an estimate that suggests a high degree of burn-out in the industry, particularly for the women, and through a series of interviews Wagoner tacitly suggests that, with a few exceptions, the women pay a far higher price for choosing such a career than the men.

It’s surprising that nobody has thought of making a movie like this before. While pornography still has a stigma about it, it’s arguably no longer considered the exclusive domain of dirty old men fumbling with themselves in seedy, near-empty cinemas. The emergence of the video quickly did away with the theatrical release of porn movies, and the advent of the internet and the digital age meant that pretty much anyone could star in a porn movie if they had a mind to. Plots — which were always risible in porn movies — were more or less abandoned completely, so that the genre has basically become stripped down to its prime components: two people having sex in front of a camera.

This evolution — for want of a better word — of the porn industry gives all those scratchy old porn movies from the 70s and 80s an unlikely air of nostalgia, and there’s a definite sense of loss in terms of the industry’s relatively tight-knit community. The individuals who worked in the industry were all of a kind — damaged individuals who, if they weren’t damaged would never consider such a career. And some of the interviewees bear this out: a couple of the women speak of difficult and abused childhoods, or of low self-esteem because of weight or looks issues as a child, and of prostitution and substance abuse. Of course, none of them initially intended to become a porn star, they all kind of drifted into it, and few voice any real regrets — although sometimes the look on their face seems to belie the truth of their words.

Although Wagoner’s film is entitled After Porn Ends, most of the movie focuses on the subjects’ years in the industry, with only the last twenty minutes or so examining their lives after their careers ended. Wagoner does a good job of keeping an impartial viewpoint, allowing them to speak for themselves without offering any narration. A few of them allude to the amount of money they made, but Asia Carrera then goes on to reveal how she had to plead for money from her fans through her website when her husband died. Mary Cary, still relatively young at 32, returned to the industry after the movie was filmed, as did Raylene, because of financial difficulties. Many of these stars know nothing else outside of the porn industry, and you’re left wondering just how they will survive once their looks fade.

The excesses of the porn life also seemed to trigger some kind of reaction within some of the women. Crissy Moran became a Christian activist, while Shelley Lubben, a former prostitute and addict, also found God before establishing the Pink Cross Foundation to aid women in the industry. Tiffany Million, probably the happiest of the former female stars, even thrived as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman. With a few exceptions, though, there’s a sense of sadness about their lives which is undeniable; even after leaving the industry, their lives are still defined by their time as porn stars. Randy West, a bullish 63-year-old when the film was made, calculates that he had sex with 3,000 women during his career, but he lives alone in a cramped apartment surrounded by DVDs of his movies, and voices his regret at never having fathered a child.

 

After Porn Ends Documentary – Official Trailer

 

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