Two men sit at the center of a room in an apartment in Jaffa, both of them sipping on vodka while engaging in basic conversation. In the same room is a camera with its light stands placed strategically at the edge of the room. This appears as a normal encounter, except for the fact that the two men are both naked and preparing for work to begin. This is not two friends or lovers spending time on a warm afternoon, instead, the room is a set of a professional porn video for igay365, a popular Israeli porn site.
In the same room is also the director of the video, the director cum cinematographer will be referred in this article as Shay. From his conversational tone, it appears Shay is well experienced in the porn industry as he confidently instructs the two men around demanding they get serious after a short break. The director has spent over ten years in the industry making thousands of adult videos.
Shay claims he loves directing his work in an amateurish way such that everything on his set appears homey. He goes ahead and criticizes foreign sites for their focus on unreal or plastic scenes which he claims remove the natural feel of the adult videos. He further adds that he writes what he films and does not spice up his scenes with false information. Thus, in his videos, a gay scene is acted by gay actors while he also casts lesbians to perform lesbian roles. He goes ahead and adds that these tiny factors give his videos the desired authenticity.
Initially, Shay placed his focus on heterosexual porn, a stance which has changed as he only deals with gay porn now. After years dealing with heterosexual porn, Shay felt the time was right to make a switch due to persistent reports of exploitation of women. He prefers working with men as rarely do they turn out to be subjects of exploitation or human rights investigations.
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A professional perspective
The Chairlady of the Movement for Equal Representation of Women who is also a social anthropologist and professor, Esther Herzog claims that the porn industry is characterized by the serious exploitation of actresses. She goes ahead and adds that men are also exploited and objectified in the otherwise unconventional industry.
The Israeli Porn industry has been in existence since the early 2000s with names such as Moti Avraham and Sex Style dominating the industry. However, the emergence of free adult videos online has greatly reduced the profitability of the firms. Avraham is no longer active in Israel while Sex Style left the Israeli market awhile back.
Nowadays, the Israeli adult industry is focused primarily on the gay community. The producers tend to prefer amateurish settings while the actors are paid a minimum of 1,000 Shekels to around 2,000 Shekels; an equivalent of 275$ to 555$ a day while on set.
The igay365 website is characterized by its wide variety of videos, but unlike popular American and European websites, the site has the same actors. This makes the industry unique as viewers can establish a liking towards particular actors. The gay industry consists of about ten actors. An example of an Israeli gay star being 31-year-old Shahar Koren, a chef by profession who claims he does the videos just for fun. Despite his gay antics, Koren claims that he is barely recognized on the streets although he admits to being popular online. The messages from fans who admire his work motivate Koren who also claims that the society can at times be judgemental
Although Israeli gay porn is made mostly by men, transgender women are also involved in the industry as they have sex with men. Mor Vital, a female producer, and director of adult videos has made over 100 videos. Most of her videos involve trans genders, and she admits the question of exploitation has been raised severally. However, Vital claims that none of her girls is a victim of exploitation as they make all the decisions on what they can and cannot do. Vital adds that the dynamic nature of the porn industry has seen changes in viewership as people prefer authentic scenes from webcams as opposed to scripted videos.
What Professionals have to say
In relation to Vital`s idealization and perspective of the Israeli adult industry. Professor Herzog claims that whether it is consensual or not, porn remains the same, an oppressive form of work that undermines the value of the actress or actor. She further adds that women trafficking, prostitution, and pornography are similar as they all involve buying sex; the only difference being technology assists porn to circulate and infinitely multiply.
On the other hand, Kol Lior Kolton, a popular LGBT activist has overseen numerous sexual projects in Tel Aviv. Kolton recently made a film involving some of her girlfriends who recorded themselves while having sex. She later asked them if they felt they were making pornography and they declined, claiming they felt comfortable in their adventures. She titled the film �feminist porn’ with an aim to change the perception the society has on pornography.
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According to Kolton, porn derived from a meaningful, non -commercial dimension should not be perceived as regular porn. She further adds that the filming of the girlfriends having sex was not porn but merely a documentation, the way someone would document a fun or interesting activity. There is no apparent shame in such activities as no one is oppressed, forced to participate or subjected to violence.
Self- made porn
The Israeli porn industry has changed over the years with porn companies making revenue from ads as opposed to video purchases. An unidentified x-nxx administrator claims that webcams and independent actors and actresses have managed to create serious followings due to the personalized nature of their porn adventures. Nurit (fake name) is a web-cam model who used to work as a waitress. She switched careers and claims to prefer working as an independent model as opposed to being mistreated in her waitress job. Nurit claims that her job empowers her and gives her the ability to choose to do what she wants whenever she wants, from the comfort of her home.
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