Handjob Performers Are Severely Underpaid

November 19, 2015
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Handjob Performers Are Severely Underpaid

Many years ago, I was working for a porn company that was just starting to produce its own content. Up to that point, we had always redistributed third-party content, but the market was shifting and catch-all porn “megasites” were falling out of favor with consumers, who had begun to flock to smaller ‘niche’ content sites, many of which were producing their own movies.

As we made the transition, we were confronted with a whole new set of logistical challenges, like how and where to find performers, where to do our filming and whether to produce full-length movies, or stick with producing scenes one at a time as ‘vignettes.’

Some problems were more easily solved than others; we very quickly learned the importance of establishing relationships with the major L.A. talent agencies, for example, and the nature of the porn we were producing (so-called “reality porn”) dictated that most of our scenes would be shot inside of homes and vehicles, as opposed to studio space.

We also had absolutely no clue back then what represented a fair wage for porn performers, but it didn’t take long to learn the industry ‘standard’ (in a porn industry context, one must use this term loosely) where payment for performance was concerned.

Not surprisingly, the amount a performer expected to be paid varied based on several factors, one of the chief variables being the sort of sex acts that were to be performed. Generally speaking, a solo masturbation performance ran less than any sex involving a partner, girl-girl scenes paid less than boy-girl scenes, anal sex came at a premium and gangbang/group sex scenes carried the highest price tag.

Looking over the news this week, however, it is now very clear to me we severely underpaid one category of performer: Those who appeared in handjob videos.

How so? Well, according to our beloved Federal Communications Commission, just under three seconds of handjob footage is worth $325,000.

Granted, the FCC isn’t buying handjob videos at such a price; it’s fining Roanoke-based TV station WDBJ for briefly broadcasting video of a penis being stroked by a hand – in a tiny box at the very edge of the screen, only visible to viewers watching the broadcast on certain models of televisions, at that.

Still, if tiny handjob footage is worth over $100,000 per second in any context, it has to be worth more than $500 to jerk a guy off for minutes at a time at full-screen, HD resolution… Right?

Then again, as I read the FCC’s description of the wanking overshare in question, I must admit this bit of stroking sounds like no ordinary antenna-adjustment.

“We find that, in context, the depiction of the sexual manipulation of an erect penis was extremely graphic and explicit,” the FCC wrote in the notice proposing the maximum fine be levied against WDBJ. “We also find, and it seems self-evident, that the stroking of an erect penis on a broadcast program is shocking.”

I’m not so sure I agree with the second part of the above statement; I’ve watched enough political commentary on TV that it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if at some point a frustrated Crossfire guest were to pull out his cock and at least wave it around a little bit in S.E. Cupp’s general direction.

No matter how you slice it (umm… sorry for the castration image I may have just planted in your brain, fellas), $325,000 for three seconds of cock-stroking footage seems a little stiff to me. Plus, when you consider how much time the media spends talking to people like Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich, you realize display of dickheads on live news programs is hardly a rare thing.

Either way, Jeffrey Marks, President and General Manager of WDBJ, has made it clear he’s not too happy about the fine.

“We are surprised and disappointed that the FCC has decided to propose to fine WDBJ7 for a fleeting image on the very edge of some television screens during a news broadcast,” Marks said in a statement released by WDBJ. “The story had gone through a review before it aired. Inclusion of the image was purely unintentional. The picture in question was small and outside the viewing area of the video editing screen. It was visible only on some televisions and for less than three seconds.”

But Mr. Marks, the FCC has decided erect penises and the stroking thereof constitute an “extremely graphic, lewd, and offensive” display; how dare you suggest otherwise? Have you no decency?

After all, instead of showing that lewd and offensive imagery of someone having something done to them which feels good, you could have been showing tame, non-offensive, family-friendly news material – like the latest footage of ISIS beheading a journalist, or some of that cool airstrike footage the Pentagon trots out every time we drone-blast a wedding in western Pakistan because someone tipped off CIA that the ring-bearer might be a terrorist.

A Very Modern Spat

Coleen Singer is a writer, photographer, film editor and all-around geeky gal at Sssh.com, where she often waxes eloquent about sex, porn, sex toys, censorship, the literary and pandering evils of Fifty Shades of Grey and other topics not likely to be found on the Pulitzer Prize shortlist. She is also the editor and curator of EroticScribes.com. When she is not doing all of the above, Singer is an amateur stock-car racer and enjoys modifying vintage 1970s cars for the racetrack. Oh, she also likes porn.

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