By Juliette Tang. Read her indepth article about the ironic hipster-altporn connection here.
They may look like a slightly trashier, more dolled up version of the run-of-the-mill American Apparel clad hipster, but the girls above aren’t really hipsters at all. They’re porn stars dressed as hipsters, and they make movies for Vivid-Alt, a subsidiary of Vivid Entertainment dedicated solely to, quite frankly, heterosexual hipster porn. And no, I’m not talking about those Richard Kern photographs in Vice Magazine. I’m talking about hardcore sex — in tube socks.
Alternative porn, or “altporn,” is nothing new, at least not since the advent of the Internet. While magazines like Hustler and Playboy have formulated the aesthetic of mainstream print pornography, the Internet created a democratic space inside which divergent interpretations of sexuality could be easily presented. Altporn began in the late 1990s with Web sites like GothicSluts and EroticBPM and was initially just an Internet anomaly. But due to the popularity of early altporn sites, new Web sites began to appear, altporn gained a measure of popularity, and by the time SuicideGirls surfaced in 2001, altporn was a full-fledged genre of pornography in and of itself. Seeing as early altporn followed the popularity of subcultures like the goth, punk, and emo movements, it was only a matter of time before altporn ‘turned all hipster’ (as everything is, it seems, these days).
A clip of The Doll Underground, directed by Eon McKai
I got a chance to chat with director Eon McKai, who has made movies for Vivid-Alt like Girls Lie, Debbie Loves Dallas, and The Doll Underground, a movie that, as improbable as it seems, is actually inspired by the Weather Underground. Eon, who calls himself an “aging hipster,” says that everyone at Vivid-Alt is “a part of the subcultures that we represent, so if you look at the people who are behind it, I think you’ll find that they are pure to the street, and everything is authentic.” And he is totally, completely serious about his mission.