In those bygone days when you had to sit on a family computer in the living room in order to access the internet, teenagers watched documentaries like Netflix’s Money Shot: The Pornhub Story hoping to catch a glimpse of a world they could otherwise only access by stealing someone’s dad’s Playboy. But one of Pornhub’s big, epoch-shaking innovations was to make actual pornography available to anyone with a smartphone — no credit card required.
There’s a more graphic version of this story that could be told. At the beginning of Money Shot, a woman who’s worked in the porn industry for most of her adult life describes watching an “eight-person geriatric gangbang” the first time she ever fired up Pornhub. “That did set the tone for how extreme things could be on the internet,” she says.
Perhaps as a tacit acknowledgement that Netflix can never compete with actual Pornhub content, Money Shot leaves its analysis of the “gonzo” side of porn there. If this movie played in theaters, it’d be rated R for language and a little above-the-waist nudity. (Seriously, though, if you want to see people having unsimulated sex — much of it quite athletic — the site to check is right there in the name of the doc.) That allows director Suzanne Hillinger to focus on the thing that’s really driving the movie’s narrative story: feminist infighting.
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Joe is one of the less than 1% of people worldwide that have a penis over 20cm. But being extra well-endowed isn’t always rosy – Joe, and others like him, have lost out on jobs and dates because of their size.
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I didn’t know any queer people in real life, and just seeing that crowd I was like, ‘Okay, so it is out there somewhere, I just have to go find it.’ And I think that that’s what representation really does.
It shows you that your immediate circumstances are not going to be your circumstances forever, that there are people out there who are going to love you and support you, and places where you can feel safe.
It’s a big relief to know that while all of this really messed-up stuff is happening, people really attempting to send us backwards, that young people can go on TikTok or turn on the Grammys or watch music videos on YouTube and see themselves [represented].
I think it’s a lot less suffocating than it used to be, because having access to the representation, it shows you that the world is a big place. Those people who are trying to send us backwards? They’re not everyone.
Troye Sivan speaking to Elle about seeing a YouTube video of Lady Gaga speaking at a Pride parade and the impact it had on him as a young person.
The Deputy Director for Transgender Justice at the ACLU, Chase Strangio, is a leading voice when it comes to the spate of anti-trans legislation that has swept the US in the last few years. Vice News sits down with Chase to understand the breadth of these laws, the political playbook behind many of these bills, and the future of trans rights in the country.