By Julia Feeser
Hot Girls Wanted is not a documentary for the faint of heart.
Hot Girls Wanted premiered on Netflix last month and has since been generating buzz. And not the kind of buzz you usually see from a film featuring attractive women – instead, this documentary exposes not only the realities of working in the porn industry, but the skewed vision of sexuality and intimacy that young people hold.
Hot Girls Wanted was produced by writer and actress Rashida Jones and follows the lives of four girls, all between the ages of 18-19, as they take their first steps into the world of amateur porn.
The film is rife with numerous scenarios that most people would find disturbing: girls seeking these amateur porn jobs from an ad they found on Craig’s List, the depiction of abuse that many girls suffer (because, as one porn star puts it, “In the amateur porn world, you’re just processed meat. As long as you have [a body] that’s all that matters. They don’t care who you really are.”), girls as young as 18 put in scenes with much older men, and the overall belief among the girls that sex is a commodity, something that can be separated into distinct categories of physical sex (porn) and intimate sex (a romantic relationship).
I went into watching Hot Girls Wanted with an agenda: I was going to highlight just how messed up these young girls’ view of sex and sexuality was and how our society holds no value for real sexual intimacy or waiting until marriage, etc., etc., etc.
And while I could very well go on about those things that I did see prevalent in this documentary, I actually came away with something altogether different and deeply humbling:
I understand why people want to watch pornography.
Porn is, without a doubt, alluring; it’s mysterious, it’s forbidden, it’s shocking, and it appears to be an easy way to get a sexual “fix.”
Porn showcases a desire that is already within me: to experience sexuality, touch, intimacy (although porn is mostly devoid of that), and relationship. I have always thought of porn as a disgusting means to this end, knowing the type of scenarios porn depicts. However, porn’s hook is that it calls to these desires, awaking something in you that says, “If you watch this, you can feel a little bit of what you’re longing for.”
But porn is also incredibly dangerous to those who watch it, leading to deeply negative consequences such as broken relationships, addictive behaviors, and a warped vision of sexuality, to name a few.
It’s easy for me as a non-porn user and sexual integrity advocate to stand on the sidelines and point fingers and say, “Watching porn is bad and you people who watch porn are unhealthy and twisted and have no self-control.” But the truth is, a majority of people who watch porn are those who have become trapped in a world of using pornography to fulfill otherwise normal sexual desires.
And as I was watching Hot Girls Wanted I had this realization that I could just as easily be one of those people sucked into turning to porn for sexual pleasure and fulfillment of a much deeper longing.
Watching porn is not something anybody should be doing, and yet the truth is that every single one of us is susceptible to porn, in one way or another.
We are sexual beings, and whether we are actively seeking it or not, we crave the feelings and experiences that come along with sex and relationships, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. But as sinful beings, our sexual brokenness leads us to often seek after those things in ways not good for our well-being, porn being one of them.
What I discovered by watching Hot Girls Wanted is that I’m not exempt from this temptation, and I would wager a guess that this is true for the majority of us as people who are curious about sex. Because of this, it’s deeply important we understand where we are turning to for information about sex and how we are experiencing sexuality, because most of us are capable of going about this in a way that is not only unhealthy for ourselves, but unhealthy for those we are in relationships with, myself included.
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