The Sporadic Beaver

The Business of Smut: Critique #1

June 14, 2011

Tags: Slate, smut, LA Weekly, Larry Flynt, Prisoner of X

As a public service, I’ve taken it upon myself to read the “five great reads about the business of smut” recommended by Slate, and began with “Scenes from My Life in Porn,” a 10,000-word opus, by Evan Wright, that ran in the April 6, 2000 edition of LA Weekly. I started with Wright because his experiences seemed similar to my own in certain ways, and he did transform his life after his three-year stint in porn, publishing books and getting high-profile magazine assignments.

Thumbnail Critique
Plot: Total loser lands job at Larry Flynt Publications (LFP), writing “girl copy” and reviewing porn videos. He meets porn stars and directors.
Format: Anecdotal
Mood: Depressed and depressing
Highlight: Watching a gang bang video with its naked, HIV-positive star, Brooke Ashley.
Sample Quote: “Fortunately, LFP provided a safe, nurturing environment for disturbed individuals exorcising their personal demons through pornography writing.”
Sample of Wright’s Girl Copy: Dee is “now free of the psychiatrist’s drugs that once made her a complete zombie with no will of her own, nor any control over what she did with her body.”
Also See: Prisoner of X by Allan MacDonell