We are excited to welcome Daniel Laurin as our Graduate Seminar speaker on Tuesday, April 5th at 4pm in Innis 222!
“Amateur” is consistently one of the most-searched categories on online pornography platforms, and commercial studios who advertise “amateur” scenes or performers occupy many of the top spots in global gay porn studio rankings. How did “amateur” shift from an economic definition to a stylistic one? In this talk, I suggest that today’s understanding of the term is built upon an agglomeration of meanings from a century of amateur media-making, the formal language and conventions of home movies, and histories of home video formats. To do this, I highlight one early born-digital gay porn studio, Amateur Straight Guys, who in 1999 developed a style of gay pornography that would later be adopted by some of today’s most popular gay producers. Along with this, Amateur Straight Guys—as their name implies—created a narrative formula relying on self-proclaimed straight performers that would become enormously successful. I argues that in linking heterosexual identity and amateur performance, Amateur Straight Guys demonstrates how amateur porn shifts from homemade videos made “for the love of it” to a category of pornography defined by aesthetics, mundane content and narrative conventions.
Daniel Laurin is a PhD Candidate at the Cinema Studies Institute and a member of the Collaborative Graduate Program at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies.