Porn drama Pleasure shows what Netflix's Hot Girls Wanted didn't dare to do

I’m not here to find girlfriends. The standard sentence of every bachelor candidate who wants to be perceived as strong, independent and cool, especially by men. Just “different” than the other women. In the drama Pleasure, however, someone else says the sentence – one Up-and-coming porn actress. And it has only one goal: to make it to the top as quickly as possible.

Actually, as the film shows painfully clearly, you need girlfriends, especially in the porn industry. Otherwise only the people who remain make money with your body want. And Pleasure protagonist Bella Cherry (Sofia Kappel) has to find out faster than she would like in Ninja Thyberg’s debut film.

Pleasure shows the porn industry in a much more differentiated way than the Netflix documentary Hot Girls Wanted

We know the story of the young woman who wants to make as much money as possible in the scene as quickly as possible and mercilessly underestimates what that does to her as a person. At least since the Netflix documentary Hot Girls Wanted, which Porn industry as a girl-eating content machine showed, in which every new face is no longer interesting after a few months. Unless the performers are willing to engage in increasingly harsh practices.

The Netflix documentary Hot Girls Wanted made waves:

Hot Girls Wanted – Trailer (English) HD

Play

Pleasure draws a clear differentiated picture of the adult industry, in which not everyone is a victim and hardcore shoots don’t necessarily have to end in trauma. There are moments of touching intimacy and mutual respect. But they are few and far between. This is also due to the fact that the film builds up a palpable distance to its characters, despite all the nudity.

Bella has no past, no clearly stated or at least honest-feeling motivation. Bella isn’t even her real name. She is a reflection of the cravings of others who, by her own admission, has only two interests: money and penises. There’s no room for real feelings. Or female solidarity.

The pleasure cast consists mostly of real porn stars

The most Bella can achieve in porn is to be a “mirror girl”. So working for Mark Spiegler, one real icons of the porn industry, which helped break out actresses like Sasha Gray and Abella Danger (from the Netflix documentary Rocco). In general, 90 percent of the pleasure cast consists of real porn actors. The Life as a mirror girl would also mean for Bella: there are no more borders. She has to do what her agent tells her. It doesn’t matter if she’s comfortable with it or not.

Protagonist Bella Cherry in a BDSM shoot

So Bella, who actually wanted to take it easy at first, races from one hardcore shoot to the next. She wants to impress the stars of the industry and not only sacrifices others, but also herself. Gangbang becomes gaslighting. Can it be rape if the victim was paid to do it? The porn agent says no. What Bella says is irrelevant to anyone. She doesn’t get paid to speak.

The porn drama sheds light on the dark side of the industry that hardly anyone talks about

The most disturbing situation in Pleasure, however, is not the one in which Bella is shown over and over again as a powerless young woman surrounded by manipulative men. Most disturbing are the moments when Bella takes out her frustration about her own helplessness on other women and with it even part of the problem will.

There are many real porn stars in Pleasure

Documentaries like Hot Girls Wanted build an easy-to-understand world in which the good guys (young women) versus the bad guys (the porn industry) have to put up a fight. Thyberg’s debut film goes a step further and asks what it means to solidarity and a sense of justice as a woman having to survive in an industry that is so misogynistic at times. And more than once raises the question of who we should really sympathize with here.

Those who feel powerless can only find strength and the opportunity to stand up for themselves in the collective. That’s why the porn bosses are happy about young actresses who are in their colleagues not allies, but competition see – and also support them in this approach. Let’s remember: Bella didn’t come to Los Angeles to find girlfriends. It was probably her first big mistake.

How do you like Pleasure?

Leave a Reply