Ladies and gentleman, pineapple and goldfish, I have gathered you here today to discuss and muss a concept I have dubbed “The Switch”.
What is The Switch?
I am glad you asked and may I just say that is a lovely frock. The Switch, and yes I will capitalize it everytime in order to inflate its importance, is something that happens in pornography once it transitions from narrative to sex.
Imagine a parody porn plot;
A man, dressed in a suit that looks very much like a bat.”Batman”, I hear you shout, but he is not Batman due to copyright reasons. He is only similar to yet legally distinct from Batman. He has finally captured the nefarious villain called Harley The Medicine Woman(props to two of you over 40 that will get that joke). Now, legally distinct hero in a bat costume stands triumphantly over the beaten and bound villain. She spits bile and curses at the dashing hero, vowing revenge at the hand of her master. The hero looks at her, looks at her ass, and then smiles.
Next scene: “OH YES, LEGALLY DISTINCT PERSON IN A BAT SUIT! FUCK MY TINY ASS! I LOVE YOUR BIG BAT COCK! POUND ME UNTIL I AM CALLED STERLING!”
…and you’re just sitting there, having no idea what has just happened. How did we get from vile insults to “Fuck my tiny ass!” in two seconds? She was furious at the guy but then the cock came out and BAM- THE SWITCH!
The Switch is when the pornographic content decides it is done with all narrative and will now actively ignore it for the purposes of the sex scene. The villain who hated the hero several seconds ago is now a cock guzzling spit jokey capable of deep-throating Michelangelos David, the whole statue, not just its tiny dick. Completely unrelated to the story so far or the personalities of the characters. The fact they hired an actress that has a tramp stamp that reads “Property of Big Kevin” doesn’t really help any.
There is a concept in video games called “Ludonarrative dissonance”. It is applied, by pseudo-intellectual assholes, to video games that have a conflict between narrative and gameplay. As an example; imagine a game where the character constantly says he’s a pacifist and loves all life while simultaneously slaughtering thousands of faceless enemies using some wicked Kung-Fu.
Well that’s what The Switch is for pornography, only the conflict exists between narrative and sex.
The Switch described above is actually rather difficult to avoid. It is not an easy thing to write a character with a personality, let alone be able to transition that personality into the sex scene without doing the easy thing of flipping The Switch and going with one of preset porn personalities that seem to dominate the industry:
- A slut that is reluctant for a minute before going full slut.
- A slut that is really quite slutty indeed.
- A slut that is super slutty and completely fake about it.
- A slut that is super slutty and sells it.
- The ultra-slut.
I may be missing a few, did I mention the slut? Anyway, that’s material for another article.
The point is, not flipping The Switch is difficult in that instance. However, there are other, much easier, ways that are simply ignored.
- Breaking the fourth wall. An actor/actress looking at the camera in a work that so far gave no indication that the camera is there, so excluding PoV and active cameraman’s, can really make any immersion just piss off.
- Tattoos. As mentioned earlier, imagine an actress that’s supposed to play Harley with a tattoo that says “Property of Big Kevin”. It is actually an easy thing to either cover or just hire someone else.
- Clothes and accessories. Basically, everything with a “slutty” prefix messes with The Switch. Slutty nurse, slutty teacher, slutty sanitation worker responsible for Norfolk and grater area (I don’t know what kind of porn you watch) etc. Sexy should come from the actor/character themselves and perhaps some cleavage and a shorter skirt but never to the point you can see garters or even panties. As for accessories, that usually means piercings. It’s highly unlikely somebody with a hole the size of an orange in their face would get to do the job of a professor, let alone the coveted sanitation worker (Considering the job market at the moment, that’s actually not a joke).
This isn’t just about real pornography but applies to 3DX. There are times when you will make a great frame, great lighting, great poses and eyes won’t be looking anywhere near the camera but there may be a reflection or a refraction that happens that makes it look like the character is looking at the camera and that is enough to flip it.
Same with Tattoos, there may be some of you that are just getting in the industry and are unaware of this but some skins that you purchase from vendors will have their tags on them or tags that signify the theme of the skin for the vendor in form of tattoos. Look out for those.
Clothes are the same but as most of us run a fantasy scenario, there are certain liberties we enjoy so an elf in a chainmail bikini is perfectly normal. It’s part of their culture.
I don’t care.
No doubt there are many, many of you who just couldn’t give a flying fuck. You’re there for the hot chick taking various objects up her bum and don’t care why or where she got an industrial strength dildo shaped like Shrek.
That’s perfectly fine. Those are your tastes.
I do care because these are my tastes; I like sex to have a reason that is part of the plot. Something that could be achieved with minimal amounts of subtlety. Taking the bat-guy example further;
Bat-guy looks at her ass and a hint of a smirk flashes across his lips. She catches it. An idea forming in her mad mind.
“Hey mister…would you please let me go? Please…? I promise I’ll be a good girl…”
Bat-guy smirks. He already knows what she’s trying to do but he also knows he’s horny as nobody wants to have sex with a guy dressed in a cheap hero suit that’s legally distinct from the real thing yet still comes with all the emotional trauma. Still, he is no fool, he will not untie her. He will stand there and let her come to him. Make her prove it.
“Oh, is that how it is?” she says with her pouty lips. “You’re gonna make me prove it to you?” she slowly starts crawling towards him and once she reaches him, she opens his zipper with her teeth, anger in her eyes with a spark of lust that playfully dances across her face once his cock is free and…
Well, I don’t do scripts but you can understand where this is going but the important thing is that The Switch is never flipped during sex. The reason she is doing this is so she can buy time to get away and, considering who she is, probably bite his dick off in the process. It is not just about lust, about pleasure. The sex suddenly has a purpose and that’s what makes it good for me and many others.
It can be just about lust but once again The Switch must not be flipped. A person with a consistently strong, independent, domineering and intelligent personality won’t just turn into a massive submissive slut the moment she sees a cock as all those “reality” videos seem to think. During sex, she will not relinquish control and will fight for it. Sure, there’s the whole innocent catholic schoolgirl that turns into a beast in bed thing but nowhere is it written she can’t simply be faking her personality, everyone wears masks, but then that is something that needs to be made obvious by either the writer or the actor.
Well, if you like The Switch flipped, you’re going to, probably, dislike all of my works. My intent if always to write a funny and interesting story that has sex as part of it but not the focus of it. I wanted to make people laugh, go “oooh”, “ahh”, present them with cool looking places that will make them go “wow, nice.” and then also have them…well, bust a nut, really. And in order to do all of that I can not flip The Switch. So, when somebody who likes The Switch flipped buys my stuff, I always feel like I just tricked someone. Makes me feel bad, not bad enough I’d give you back your money but bad enough I’d feel bad spending it on alcohols or Nickleback songs on iTunes…which I have never done. I don’t even know why you’d bring up such a made up thing in the first place…
Take Tale One of Wicked, for example (this is a shameless plug, an example and a warning. Multitasking, ho!). The succubus is a incorporeal demon possessing a body, which taxes the body, it shows her veins as the blood doesn’t pump, it shows scars…because they look cool, but ultimately she’s a product of the story. Her body is the product of the story. She doesn’t actually have sex, she feeds. She doesn’t suck dick because she likes dick, she sucks it because she’s hungry. The Switch is never flipped because doing that would alienate and upset everyone whose standards are low enough that they’ve come to enjoy this world I’ve built. It would wipe out everything I’ve done up until that point.
I want to make great, funny, interesting and “awefull” graphic novels that also contain graphic sex. I see no reason why those things should be exclusive or why they can’t exist in the same work. That is the job I have chosen to do and will do it to the very best of my ability. Sex and people having sex must make sense for me to enjoy it. I treat pornography as wholesome entertainment that can offer more than just ass and titties and that is exactly how I wish to present it as well. It’s why I do this job.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all of it should be like that or that others should do what I do. Sometimes you just want to relieve some tension and don’t want to spend 40 pages reading about a fictional world. Diversity is a great thing and I just wish to offer more of it. Entertainment has a purpose which is, brace yourself, entertainment and as long as you are entertained, that’s all that matters. If my works, or the works of others who don’t flip the switch, entertain you then our work is done. If we don’t and you still got our stuff, well, at least you don’t have the whole Nickleback album on iTunes you can’t get rid of. We all suffer.
This article is about The Switch and why I do this job without flipping it. It was meant to warn you and inform you. Make you laugh, make you go go “oooh”, “ahh”, present you with cool looking phrases that will make you go “wow, nice.” and ultimately…entertain you.
Have a good evening.