SF City Life

Let’s Make A Porn

“Bulging Pants!”

A girl shouts those words in ecstasy as the teacher instructs the small group of students to close their eyes, undulate their hips and shout out the hottest image they can fathom. For this class of participants, they’re learning how to make a porn—not the hand-held amateur style for your lover’s eye, but the kind of porn you can actually produce and distribute.

As a prominent adult performer/director in the BDSM community, the class’s instructor, Madison Young, imparts the participants in her “DIY Porn Workshop” with all the knowledge she’s gained over the past eight years in the industry. She teaches the seminar at the Femina Potens gallery in San Francisco, a space dedicated to feminine and transgender artists to create a dialogue of sex, art and gender, in which she is also one of the co-founders.

Many of the attendees are interested in either pursuing porn with their backgrounds in video production or simply spicing up their sex lives. Numerous couples have contacted Young about how extraordinary her work in BDSM has been.

“The workshop is for your erotica so you can tap into what’s erotic and what turns you on,” Young exclaims as she states the mission of the seminar. “To really connect with our erotic center, we need to get into our bodies. We’re going to cover everything and hopefully change the world.”

After the class shouts out their erotica and free themselves from their comfort zone, Young leads the group straight to visualization. For this exercise, she passes out a script from one of her movies and asks the class to write the next scene. “A director films picture by picture, not by action,” Young says. “They need to identify the shot.”

Young’s workshop has been met with praise and popularity, leading her to teach the class near and afar, to Santa Cruz, Milwaukee, and even Toronto. But with all her travels, San Francisco will always be her home.

“I’m still deeply in love with San Francisco. There is an immense sense of belonging with a lot of strong and diverse communities,” Young recalls as she grew up in the tiny conservative farm town in Loveland, Ohio. “San Francisco is for people outside of the box, like an ‘island of misfits.’”

With her knowledge of porn Young is the perfect teacher, but just as many multitalented artists come across obstacles, she mentions performing and directing simultaneously has proven the most difficult. “They’re completely two different parts of your being. With performing, I can go in and just do that job one-hundred percent without worrying about other details and where everything should be.”

During her two-hour long seminar she speeds through every minutiae detail of the porn industry including distributing, producing and budgeting. Young mentions that it can be hard creating a typical sixty minute-long film without a ludicrous amount of money, but sometimes you “just need that one killer scene.”

She also goes through minor details such as location, model release forms, scene lengths, talent rates, AIM (adult industry model) testing, and the box cover as she passes numerous handouts. “[Even] setup can be just as important,” Young adds. “And with location, how many different situations can [the director] work in one room.”

For many viewers and couples, porn can be a facilitator for communication as Young states that her work even helped saved relationships and spark something new. “Porn can be inspirational and provide guidance for people. It’s about visually watching instead of telling. Make it sexy and people will listen,” Young says as she states that good communication is the most important lesson for newcomers.

Ultimately, she wants her class to know that making porn doesn’t have to be what she calls “mainstream, fast-food porn.” Young states that porn doesn’t have to solely sprout from Los Angeles and show unsafe sex from only one perspective, usually ignoring the mens’ pleasure shots.

“[Critics] go off that pornography is demeaning to women but really the men are the ones who are completely objectified. They are referred to as the ‘penis’, like that is what they are there for,” Young says referring to porn in Los Angeles and soon urges for more sex positive porn. “What really turns us on is showing a lot of the reaction, showing a lot of the pleasure, and showing that connection with close shots of both performers.”

And to make that exceptional sex film, she attests the director needs to collaborate with their team to engage their audience.

“You need to get them on board for your vision and collaborate with them,” Young says as she instills this lesson when she directs her own films. “Incorporate their fantasies and turn-ons because it helps the performer get involved. You can’t fake that kind of chemistry.”

Words by Chris Huqueriza
Photos by Taylor Whitehouse

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Make sure to visit the Femina Potens website and gallery for upcoming events and exhibits.

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