Orgasm.com Interviews Jon Millward: He’s the Guy Who Told Us The Average Female Porn Star is Born in California, Brunette, 5’5″, 117 pounds, 34-24-34

Back story: www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=57589

from www.orgasm.com – Once in a while a study about porn offers the general population a richer look into this often misunderstood industry. Jon Millward, an accomplished writer, took it upon himself to create one such study entitled Deep Inside: A Study of 10,000 Porn Stars and Their Careers which delves into the careers of porn stars using the The Internet Adult Film Database (IAFD) as his main data source. Dave Kingsley of Orgasm News had a chance to speak Millward about this ambitious study and its fascinating results.

Dave Kingsley: What initially inspired you to study porn stars and their careers?

Jon Millward: I’m always on the look out for interest sources of data that haven’t been studied before, so when I found a way to scrape the IAFD database, it seemed the perfect opportunity to tackle the subject of porn stars.

DK: Your main source for this study was the IAFD (Internet Adult Film Database.) How did you get acquainted to the site and what are some of the limitations of using this database?

Jon: I can’t remember how I first heard about the site, but I’ve known for a long time that it would be a very rich source of information for a study. The strengths of the database are that it contains a lot of records and, for the most part, the information seems reliable. It’s naturally limited in some ways though – it can answer the ‘what’ questions (like what do they look like, what do they do), but not the ‘why’ questions (why do they choose this career? why do some women perform certain sex acts but not others?)

DK: After reading your reports, I like think of you as the Billy Beane of porn! Do you believe that your research can (or will be used) by porn studios and/or members of the adult industry?

Jon: Something I’ve been quite surprised by is how much interest the project has had from a diverse range of people. The longer PDF on the work has been requested by all sorts of people, including college professors, statisticians, documentary makers, porn stars themselves (Julie Andrews, Joe Blow, to name two) and – of course – fans of porn. I also noticed certain porn stars tweeting about the article, seemingly because they liked it for its objective, comprehensive analysis of the industry (Nikki Benz shared it a few different times, in fact). I don’t think the article will ultimately change anything though, because change comes from the inside in most cases.

DK: So far, what has the reaction been from your collogues in relation to the study?

Jon: I’m a freelance writer, so I don’t have any colleagues. But the reactions from every one else has been great – over 10,000 tweets, thousands of comments around the internet, hundreds of emails to me: 99% of people said they enjoyed the article.

DK: One of the goals of the study was to find what the average adult performer looks like. Did the final image result surprise you?

Jon: The average porn star face should be taken with a pinch of salt, for sure. The ten performers used in it were inspired by the rankings found at FameRegistry.com (where they use lots of of different criteria to compile an ever-changing list of the most popular performers).

However, the ‘most popular’ is still a subjective evaluation, so the ten I used and the final facial composite should be seen more as a fun ending to the article than the ultimate representative average. That said, it’s still interesting that the end average wasn’t black, or chinese looking, or blonde. There’s still something intriguing about that.

DK: Another one of your goals was to determine how porn stars have evolved over the last 40 years. Can you give us a take home message in regards to this?

Jon: It seems that the way the industry has evolved has shaped the careers of the performers. The ’70s (the Golden Age of Porn) were all about real movies, with actual scripts and set film budgets. Performers were very much like movie stars.

They therefore seem to have had longer careers, while performing in fewer films, doing a more restricted number of different sex acts. The 90s and 2000s changed the face of porn with the introduction of cheap, mass produced porn titles.

An explosion of new porn occurred and heaps of actresses flocked to Porn Valley to be in them. Now the turn over rate for performers got shorter and the variety of things they did on film increased. Now we’re in the age of internet porn, things are changing once more. Really successful performers today must leverage social media and their online presence in general to stay at the top of the pile, in the top 10% of talent. The IAFD doesn’t yet track web content, but when it does – or rather, once it has done for some time – it will be incredibly interesting to see how long men and women are now staying in porn, what they’re doing on camera, and so on.

DK: Do you believe that there is enough education about porn amongst the general public? If not, what do you believe needs to be done to raise awareness?

Jon: I don’t have any particular agenda when it comes to porn. I don’t think it’s bad, but beyond that I don’t feel the need to raise awareness. Having said that, I think a lot of people do misunderstand the nature of porn and its production.

They don’t know just how unerotic it really is under the hot lights, with dozens of people milling about, maybe a male performer who can’t get it up, or a female one who is throwing a tantrum, or even not showing up at all. Like many ‘fringe’ areas of life, porn could benefit from having a lot of its stigma taken away, I think, because ultimately I don’t think stigma does anything positive – porn will persist whether people hate on it or not, so we might as well face it as a topic without condemnation or prejudice. People will do what they will do – and that includes having sex on a film and selling it.

DK: What were your thoughts on porn before doing this study? Did your attitude towards porn change over the course of your research?

Jon: As I said above, I have no anxiety or malice regarding porn. I’m exceptionally liberal in most regards, so I don’t find anything in porn particularly shocking, and I just don’t buy the knee-jerk ‘it’s degrading!’ reaction so many people have to it. Like I said in the article, before you say something is degrading, you have to define what degrading means, whether you can tell someone else they are being degraded (without them knowing or agreeing!), and what type of porn you’re even talking about.

That’s not to say there aren’t some dark corners of porn, and some people really shouldn’t get into it, just as they shouldn’t get into stripping, MMA Fighting, or any other sort of ‘out there’ occupation. My attitude didn’t change over the course of the research – porn is porn. It’s interesting.

DK: What is your favorite statistic to come out of the study?

Jon: I liked the disparity between the average number of on screen sexual partners for the top ten most prolific men versus the top ten most prolific women. The men on average had more than five times more than the women, which really says everything about the way porn relies on a handful of top woodsmen to get the job done time and time again. I also liked the odd coincidence of the most common male and female first and last name being the same – Lee – even though it’s only the 24th most common last name in the US.

DK: Although your research is based on ‘professional porn’, would you consider doing additional research on homemade or amateur porn?

Jon: I wouldn’t consider it for some time, because I’m wary of getting ‘typecast’ by certain topics (as I almost was after doing two studies of call girls and their Johns). But maybe one day I will revisit porn from another angle.

DK: Thank-you for your time Jon! And to check out the full Infograph of the study, please click here. Jon can be reached via Twitter @j_millward.

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