Trends (2014): Interracial
In celebration of Adult Empire’s 20th anniversary, we look at some of the porn trends and genres that shaped the company’s history. In this edition: INTERRACIAL.
Race relations are among the thorniest issues in contemporary American politics, but interracial porn exists in a different sphere. “If Hollywood has been lacking in honest and open explorations of the complexities of interracial sexual attraction, pornography and sexploitation cinema have at least been willing to explore what more polite forms do not,” said Linda Williams in an essay from her book Porn Studies.
In porn, the “interracial” designation typically has been reserved specifically for sex between black performers and white performers. Movies with this theme date back to the earliest adult entertainment, but 2014 marked the year when it became a truly dominant genre, thanks to Greg Lansky. His label Blacked debuted on DVD in August of that year and became an overnight success. Combining the elegance of high-key photography with the hardcore edge of the best interracial porn, Lansky captured the porn-watching public’s imagination to such a degree that he has arguably helped revitalize the industry. For Lansky, choosing the interracial theme had as much to do with aesthetics as it did with politics or even the long-time popularity of the genre. “My vision for Blacked before the site was even started was always and still is about beauty. I’ve always been a big fan of fashion photography and always appreciated the beauty of the contrast between two skins colors,” Lansky said in a 2015 Reddit AMA.
Even so, the genre inevitably courts a certain degree of controversy. Porn commentators, including LukeIsBack in their 2010 interview with Isis Taylor, have sometimes wondered why the term “interracial” is used in such a specific way, rather than applying to any combination of races in a sex scene. It’s also interesting to observe that interracial porn is largely an American phenomenon. Glance at the DVD catalogs for European studios like Marc Dorcel, Harmony, or Bluebird Films and you’ll find very few movies from the interracial genre. “Interracial as a genre is a purely American construct, based on our country’s history. A white girl with a black man is a genuine fetish for many people especially in the South,” pornstar Casey Calvert said in the book Watching Porn: And Other Confessions of an Adult Entertainment Journalist.
Despite some of the baggage associated with the genre, many in the industry find that the Lansky/Blacked influences have given interracial porn an attractive new energy. “I absolutely love this new trend,” said director Jacky St. James in a 2015 interview. “I’ve never been a fan of IR films involving cuckolds or scenes where racial slurs are used. I don’t like pornography that is presented in this fashion – even though I do understand, some people might get off to it. It’s great to see more studios branching out and embracing this new trend.”
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