December 29, 2007 05:41pm
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Dave Pounder
Lousy Cheap Blowjobs - Understanding Male vs. Female Rate Structures in the Adult Industry.
I am writing this opinion piece in an effort to help motivate male performers in the adult industry to demand higher rates for blowjob (BJ) and handjob (HJ) scenes. I believe there is a generally accepted rule in the adult industry that males should receive a lower rate for these types of scenes, but there is little data to help support this claim.
Let's begin by looking at the female talent rate structure. When a girl does a solo scene she gets a certain rate; when she does a BJ scene she gets a little more than her solo rate; when she does a boy/girl (B/G) scene she gets a little more than her BJ rate; when she does a boy/girl anal (BGA) scene she gets a little more than her regular BG rate, and so on.
The reason the girl gets more money in each scenario is because she is required to do more work and is being 'penetrated' in a different area, which makes each 'jump' in scene type a little more difficult for her to do for two primary reasons. First, sex is more emotional for women, so taking a penis is the vagina is a little more involved emotionally than taking a penis in the mouth, most especially from a guy she does not know. Second, it is much more physically demanding for a woman to do an anal scene as opposed to a vaginal scene, and so on.
Now let's look at the male talent rate structure. When a guy does a BJ scene he gets a certain rate, let's say that rate is $300. When a guy does a B/G scene, the rate grows to let's say $600. Let's assume for a moment that this rate bump is due to the same factors as to why women are paid more money for increasing scene complexity (e.g., going from a BJ to a B/G), even though we already know this is not the case. When a guy does a BGA scene with a girl, he still gets the same rate as if it were a non-anal scene. How is this possible? If we were to follow the earlier logic, the male talent's rate should now jump to something higher than $600 for an anal scene, but it doesn't.
The reason the rate does not jump is because the guy's job in the production of an adult film is to get an erection and climax - that's it. Whether he sticks it in her mouth, vagina, ass, ear, nose, throat, or any other opening on her body - the guy just needs to get hard and cum. This requires the same amount of physical and emotional work regardless of whether the scene is a BJ, B/G, B/G anal, or anything else.
I would even argue that B/G scenes are generally easier for a guy to do as opposed to BJ scenes since it generally makes climaxing easier, and I believe that most guys would 'prefer' to have sex with the girl as opposed to only receiving a BJ. Under these assumptions, guys should technically get paid *more* to do BJ scenes as they are less desirable, just as an anal scene is less desirable to the average girl, hence the higher rate.
If you look at the tactics that the gay content companies use when trying to solicit straight males to perform in gay scenes, then the increasing male talent rate structure makes sense using the same logic as the female rate structure as earlier described. It would be much more difficult for a straight male to do a gay scene both emotionally and physically, which is why these gay content companies pay straight males significantly more money to perform in those types of scenes. Straight women, on the other hand, do not get paid more money to perform in lesbian (i.e., girl/girl (G/G)) scenes because the emotional and physical components associated with these scenes are much less.
Now let's approach it from the staff/crew perspective. A camera guy, lighting guy, production assistant, agent, or any other production support member makes the same rate regardless of scene type. The videographer, for example, doesn't get paid less money to shoot a BJ scene as opposed to a B/G scene. Why? Because the camera guy is doing the exact same work regardless of scene type. He is still using a tape, still bringing all his equipment, still recording a scene and looking for good angles, etc.
The guy renting his house doesn't charge you less money because you happen to be shooting a Bj vs. A B/G scene at the location. The agent referring the model does not make a lower referral fee for a Bj vs. A B/G scene. Why then do male performers reduce their rates to perform the same task ( i.e., getting hard and climaxing)?
Let's approach it from the consumer end. If you go to any adult DVD store you will notice that BJ DVDs sell for the same retail price as B/G DVDs. Wholesale costs on BJ vs. B/G vs. BGA disks are pretty much the same. Most manufacturers don't charge a lower rate to their wholesalers because a certain title is in their BJ line vs. their B/G series. It costs the consumer the same amount of money on average to join a Bj pay site as it does to join a BG pay site, so effectively the money generated from BJ vs. B/G content is generally the same assuming equal demand in the marketplace, and it is assumed that most companies are producing products to maximize customer demand.
My theory behind the generally accepted rule in this business that male performers should be paid less for BJ and HJ scenes is that one day a bunch of greedy producers all got together and said, "hey, let's increase our bottom line by paying guys less for BJ scenes. We'll just tell them the girl is making less money, so that is why you are making less money. After all, it's just a BJ scene, isn't it?" that argument makes sense on the surface, until you quickly realize that these same producers do not follow their own logic once they being to shoot anal scenes. You don't hear these same producers saying, "Listen, she is making more money to do an anal scene so your rate is now $X more."
It is for these reasons that I tell producers I have a minimum scene rate of $X per pop; and as you can imagine, it's the same reason I never get hired to do BJ or HJ scenes because there are always other guys that will do it for much cheaper. However, if all male performers banded together and demanded higher rates for these types of scenes, producers would have no choice but to comply.
To be fair, I do understand the producer's perspective as well. I shoot content myself and know that clients often times pay a lower rate for BJ content as opposed to BG content. I can usually discount what I charge a client for a BJ scene (relative to a B/G scene) by the rate difference between the girl's BG and BJ rate. Consequently, I effectively make the same rate for shooting the scene, irrespective of scene type. Thankfully, 99% of the time most clients are okay discounting the content bid solely by the difference in the girls BG and BJ rate. Even though this is the case, most producers, including myself, continue paying guys a lower "BJ" rate just because we can, and as a result it adds more money to own bottom lines. I guess I just need to start producing more BJ scenes myself and performing in less of them for other producers.
President, Dave Pounder Productions
Boca Raton, FL