Martin Amis, “A Rough Trade”

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“A Rough Trade” is an article about the porn industry that Amis published in The Guardian seven years ago. It’s difficult to read or to re-read. Below is a short and potentially triggering excerpt:

… Temptress is one of the lucky ones. She’s a star. After lunch I went to Wicked Pictures and had a talk with Jonathan Morgan (performer turned director) in a computerised cutting-room while he edited his latest Feature, a fantastically unfunny comedy called Inside Porn.

“Ah,” said Jonathan. “Now here we have a double anal.”

A double anal is not to be confused with a DP (double penetration: anal and vaginal). A double anal is a double anal. And there have been triple anals, too. “The girls could be graded like A, B and C. The A is the chick on the boxcover. She has the power. So she’ll show up late or not at all. Ninety-nine point nine per cent of them do that.” He gestured at the screen and said, “Here you have a borderline A/B doing a double anal. Directors will remember that. She’ll get phone calls. For a double anal you’d usually expect a B or a C. They have to do the dirty stuff or they won’t get a phone call. You’ve had a kid, you’ve got some stretchmarks – you’re up there doing double anal.

“Some girls are used in nine months or a year. An 18-year-old, sweet young thing, signs with an agency, makes five films in her first week. Five directors, five actors, five times five: she gets phone calls. A hundred movies in four months. She’s not a fresh face any more. Her price slips and she stops getting phone calls. Then it’s, ‘Okay, will you do anal? Will you do gangbangs?’ Then they’re used up. They can’t even get a phone call. The market forces of this industry use them up.” …

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