The Wolf’s Den: The Porn People Actually Want vs. What Some Say We Should Want

People don’t want to talk about this. No one wants to go on the record, because they feel like the moment they go on the record they’ll be labeled any number of things. And the problem with that is people don’t engage around the facts. 

Let’s start with this idea that people say they want something. My entry point into porn was as a consumer, and I consumed what I found. As I found more, I gravitated towards the things I found hot. That typically meant fantasies that I could relate to. So I think the people who speak up most loudly about what porn is lacking are those who are hunting for content and have a hard time finding it. 

I don’t really give a shit what social justice warriors say in this space. We don’t have control over what does and does not turn us on. The head of a very large porn company said to me he was so excited about the lineup of models this year because “it looks like a United Colors of Benetton ad.”

To me, that has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with presenting a certain image to appease critics. Now, if he’d said the lineup was wildly talented, hung, and would broaden the scope of the company’s offerings, that’s truly something to get excited about. But that he phrased it that way makes it sound like mere virtue signaling. 

If you decide you’re going to make a ton of porn because there’s specific market for it, I think that’s awesome. But if you’re doing it to make a statement, I find that problematic. That becomes almost more fetishistic than hiring guys because they’ll fulfill the requirements of a model’s job: to perform, to fulfill a certain aesthetic fantasy, and to enjoy their work. When individuals who may or may not be consumers speak up about wanting a type of porn they’re not seeing, I respect that. But pandering is bad business.

Then there’s the members of online cancel culture, who enjoy stirring the pot and calling out what they perceive to be bad behavior because it doesn’t adhere to their rigid rules. There’s a thing about people in this self-righteous cancel culture where it’s more exciting and interesting for them to tear something down than actually enjoy something. Their orgasm comes by way of pissing on every one else’s fun. That’s not just happening in porn, but it definitely extends to porn.

I have a unique perspective on this. When we first got into porn, we had an opportunity to work at the University of Minnesota doing surveys of men who have sex with men. What we found within the academic setting is that no one wanted to publish some of our incidental findings. For instance, among the data we inadvertently collected is that, when surveying Asian men who have sex with men, the majority said they prefer to bottom. That’s seen as a stereotype in many circles, but we actually had the data to make a case for its veracity.

When you start talking about taste and data, things can get gnarly because you start bringing up issues of race. And I think that’s really unfortunate, because I think we close down the chance for nuanced conversations about things that make us different and we should celebrate that. Yes, as humans, we are all the same. Frankly I imagine a future where we don’t have separate countries and we see each other as one giant family. And the small differences among us in taste, talent, etc aren’t bad, they are awesome! If you really want to know how we should approach porn, we should look at what most people want. Most people want straight porn. So that’s the majority of the porn produced. And the same rule will apply to every subdivision of porn. And if the majority want to see fit, lean bodies doing a particular thing, then that’s what ultimately will be created. But I have to imagine that people who are smart and see niche opportunities will forge into that territory and give viewers what they’re hungry for. 

Just like what people include in their Grindr profile is less important than what they actually do in the bedroom, what really matters is what people will click on and buy. So if you want porn you’re not seeing much of, be sure to support the studios and the performers giving you what they want. That’s the most effective way to create change. Either that, or go out and start making the porn you want to see. That’s what we have done, and we have quite an amazing life!

Legrand Wolf is the owner and CEO of Carnal Media and publisher of The Gay Goods.

The Gay Goods is dedicated to engaging with a range of opinions and viewpoints. To share yours, email editor@thegaygoods.com.

6 Comments

  1. sidenote:

    Mister Legrand Wolf, in another article of yours back in July’21 “https://thegaygoods.com/the-wolfs-den-why-porn-deserves-your-piggy-banks/” you mentioned 2 things
    1) The option to download everyting on Carnal+ is just around the corner
    2) The false advertisement on Masonicboys (weekly updates), that would be a mistake you’ll make sure to fix it

    Regarding (1)
    Since there’s heavy advertisement for Carnal+ going on I’d like to ask if you’ve incorporated downloads for Carnal+ by now.

    Regarding (2)
    Masonicboys is still falsely advertising for weekly updates but in fact only updates every 2nd week.

    • Forgive me if I misunderstood initially.
      Also, thanks for giving such a well explained reply. now It is making sense to me. But in the article when you wrote people have no control over what arouses them the statement seemed quite open and wide since anything under the sun can come under it and in that case not all criticisms can be invalidated. Also, I mentioned it because it felt very much related to the central concern of article since you also mentioned race issues in data collection, cancel culture etc.

  2. I respect your passion and professionalism towards porn. But, I respectfully disagree on certain aspects.
    Nothing that exists in the human world can be independent of society. Everything that comes out of a human mind has certain social-political-economic-cultural context, especially any form of art. Among all human creations Art can be argued to be the most social in nature. Porn is a form art and therefore can’t be isolated from society. Now, what I find problematic is that it seems as if you see Porn as something Beyond Criticism and something in the ambit of which ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING CAN BE JUSTIFIED.
    How can anything be beyond social-political criticism (especially an art) ?

    • Sarah, thank you for your response. Here’s what I wrote regarding SJWs

      “I don’t really give a shit what social justice warriors say in this space. We don’t have control over what does and does not turn us on.”

      My point was about arousal, not art or porn. Specifically I was saying that we as humans have no control over what turns us on. We of course know this from years and years of failed reparative therapy, and centuries of failed efforts to change sexual orientation through repression. And if a gay woman is not turned on by a man, does that make her sexist? Or vice versa? Certainly not in the way that we think of sexism as being problematic. I have heard from more than one social justice warriors that celebrating what turns someone on just fine, as long as it is “inclusive” otherwise it is NOT fine. But since arousal is innate, this SJW logic is horribly misguided. Thus my statement that things that turn someone on, by themselves, are nothing to be ashamed of because humans have no control over what turns us on.

      So it seems you either there is a misunderstanding (me not understanding you, or you misunderstood my point), or you are ascribing things to my article that I didn’t say.

      As for your interest in social-political criticism of the pornographic art form, I’m all for it. Never said otherwise. Just wasn’t something I was talking about in this article.

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