Book Review

Watching Porn: And Other Confessions from an Adult Entertainment Journalist

By Lynsey G

 

If Carol Hanisch said the personal is political, Lynsey G. extends this claim and dares to cross frontiers which are as daring as Hanisch’s back in 1969.  In Watching Porn: And Other Confessions from an Adult Entertainment Journalist (New York: Overlook Press, 2017), G. interweaves personal narrative with a fresh and funny journalistic look into an industry that most of us would be too embarrassed to admit to enjoying.   The twenty-one chapters of Watching Porn present the reader with an entertaining account of G’s initial steps into the field of adult entertainment, punctuated by several anecdotes that satisfy a little of the curiosity we all have about the backstage of the porn world. 

As Lynsey G. makes her way into the adult industry as a writer while learning to deconstruct her own paradigms, so does the reader, who is on the receiving end of a true insider narrative about an industry that is unveiled as it is being discovered by the author herself.   The mystery behind the “green doors” of the pornographic world is unfolded through an approach to the industry and its participants which refuses to set them apart from the “rest of society” – by dismantling all preconceived notions and stereotyping without resorting to pink-colored glasses, Lynsey G. is able to bring up issues which constantly need to be addressed – racism, gender bias, the economics behind the production and the consumption of pornography, to name a few – in a very candid and honest way, in a both informative and hilarious manner, as she narrates her professional development as a journalist who works from inside the pornographic industry. 

Lynsey G. takes the matter of looking deep inside the pornographic industry and pulling it apart without kid gloves but, at the same time, treats performers and production with extreme care.  Her pornographic eye is the much needed political eye over an issue America fails to address effectively: the silence forced upon adult performers by fetishizing the reality of their career, thus making the adult industry uncharted territory and, therefore, something to be feared.  G.’s mishaps and tribulations – from misplacing a huge box full of porn DVDs to dealing with the “nasty corners” of suitcase pimps and the “Creepazoid Zone” – presents us with an entertaining conversation about a still relatively unknown area of society without, however, letting it slide into empty confessional discourse. On the contrary, Watching Porn provides material both for serious debates about the place of pornography and the vast plethora of sexualities in contemporary society, this way becoming a reference in the documentation of the progress and development of the adult industry in the last ten years.

Watching Porn: And Other Confessions from an Adult Entertainment Journalist is bound to become one of those works which caters to both the academic audience and the curious passerby.  Because, when it comes to porn, deep down we are all just peeping Toms.

April, 2017