TV Review: Date My Porn Star, Channel 4

 

Last night, Channel 4's Date My Porn Star offered a guided tour of the sex factory floor and it was grim viewing indeed. Three weeks into the Real Sex season and here's yet another set of self-confessed porn addicts willing to speak openly on television: 20-year-old Leytonstone lothario Kevin, five-times engaged Jonathan and wannabe gay porn star Danny. Where does Channel 4 find them all?

At least this time the incentive is clear. In exchange for their honesty, they were flown out to Los Angeles to visit films sets before meeting their favourite porn star for a one-on-one "date".

The first half of Date My Porn Star consisted mainly of unedifying footage of three men watching live sex shows while attempting to hide their arousal, but if you lasted until after the commercial break, it got more interesting. While Kevin and Danny obviously found certain sights uncomfortable, 40-year-old Jonathan was particularly adamant in defence of the industry and its practices. "It's just er... supply and demand, the laws of commerce," he reasoned.

It took a conversation with a fully clothed former porn actress, Vanessa, to achieve the desired Damascene conversions. She spoke candidly about her miserable experience of regular STD infection, taking strong painkillers in order to participate in certain required sex acts, and how the internet's reach means she can never escape her past.

"I would say I'm less of a misogynist than I was before," said Kevin, once safely back home in Leytonstone and unpacking his suitcase. Well, that's nice then, but there's still something odd about Channel 4's decision to portray these men as the key victims of an industry that largely exploits women. What happens next for Vanessa? That's what I want to know.

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