The Continuous Rise of Amateur Porn

Authenticity is promised everywhere in 2020. Major food and fashion brands are working with social influencers in order to come across as more relatable and personable. Shifting from expensive location-shot ads to a more modest homemade vibe. 

We live in a world where even buying sneakers on Depop feels like texting a friend. On television, hit shows like The Bachelor and The Real Housewives are watched by millions. The attraction? Reality. This generation is obsessed with it, and it’s visible in our porn viewing habits.

Forget the high budget locations, cheesy narratives, fake orgasms and penises shaped like extended exhaust pipes, big asses and big tits. Amateur porn is the real deal. Much like Reality TV, the amateur genre relies on unscripted situations and primarily non-professional actors. 

It is natural, playful, it can be anything from pillow humping to watching a couple have slow, dreamy pre-work morning sex. It is what you want it to be in homemade porn. And that’s the point.

For me, I was never really able to find porn that really got me going. Amateur porn can offer pages and pages of entertainers. They look like they could actually exist beyond the glossy pages of a playboy magazine. It feels candid, achievable and more spontaneous. 

The genre has put X-rated entertainment in the hands of its entertainers – that is, absolutely anyone with a smartphone. It is the do it yourself, handheld shaky camera, messy bedroom type of erotica. Which invites us behind closed doors and into the most intimate realities of everyday real people having sex. It’s the edgier, cooler, punk sister of mainstream hard-core. 


A brief history of porn

The golden age of porn as we know it feels worlds apart from today’s authenticity. Piece together a sensational melodramatic narrative, a professional cast and production team. A cringey soundtrack, unapologetic pubes and a helpless woman begging to be fucked and there you have it, a classic porno.  

Thanks to the relaxed laws and technological advances of the sixties and seventies, we saw extreme hardcore (penetrative sex) on our screens for the first time and a new mania for it was born. 

Porn films like The Devil in Miss Jones and Deep Throat were considered high art playing in the same theatres as big-name Hollywood directors Bergman and Fellini. 

Typically over an hour in length, each new VHS release felt like a step deeper into the sexual liberation movement of the era. But a lot has changed since then, I’m referring to more than the bushy gooch. 

The Girlfriend Experience

It’s like our porn preferences have come full circle since then. Today, popular trends are moving further away from glamorous hardcore (penetration) and closer towards a more personal and softcore form of entertainment. This widespread cultural shift towards ‘true authenticity’ comes with pros and cons. 

On the one hand, sex workers are more autonomous and amateur porn has offered some an alternative way to work. But on the other hand, they face abuse, stigma and blurred boundaries between work and leisure. 

Nowadays, the quest to build a more genuine connection with your favorite amateur entertainers through a screen is easier than ever to fulfil. It’s possible to use any platform you wish – Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or even email to interact with stars on a daily basis. 

It’s also common to find amateur performers with public Amazon wish lists so that viewers can send them gifts.

The most loyal viewers can opt-in to what I like to think of as, the ultimate ‘girlfriend’ experience. Some entertainers are open to viewers sharing their personal information like birthdays, real names or operation dates as well as their wildest fantasies. 

Stars can make extra from tips and personal commissions, which can really be anything from excreting into tupperware to photos of feet. But different creators have different niches. Some will post solely lingerie shots and others will cater to different fetishes.   

Adult content creator, Monica Huldt, makes a living enacting the sexual fantasies on the well-known tube site OnlyFans. Her mostly male following pay upwards from $6.50 a month to subscribe to her profile. 

Sometimes naked but other times fully clothed, Huldt is one of the top earners of the popular amateur platform providing X-rated photos and videos to her mostly male following. And earns over $100,000 a year doing so. 

Dannii Harwood, also hugely popular on the site, told The New Yorker, You can get porn for free,” she said. “Guys don’t want to pay for that. They want the opportunity to get to know somebody they’ve seen in a magazine or on social media. I’m like their online girlfriend.”

Webcamming is another favorite amongst performers in the amateur porn world. Cam sites like Chaturbate, connect the viewer directly to the star’s bedroom for a personalized show. With the use of instant messenger and tipping features, it pushes the limits of interaction and perceived reality even further.


Why is it so popular?

Well, apart from it’s more relatable nature, another reason for the rise in popularity of amateur porn is down to more women watching porn. 

Porn Hub and XHamster’s annual report in 2017 proved an increase in female viewers. Interestingly, the “for women” categories across both sites are ‘amateur’ in style. 

You’re less likely to find close-ups of big bouncing tit wanks and more likely to come across a more equal pleasure balance. Which is often left absent in mainstream porn. 

Take Lindsey Love, winner of Pornhub’s Most Popular Verified Amateur, who chooses not to shoot for major porn sites. She prefers the more entrepreneurial route of  making her own films with her husband, and friends, in her house.  

Physically, she’s very natural with b cups and no makeup – not to say there’s anything wrong with stars who look differently to this but to me, it feels more achievable. 

Searches made on porn sites often correlate to pop culture events happening in the world. Take 2017 as an example, searches for ‘porn for women’ on PornHub increased by an impressive 1400% compared to the previous year.

Similarly in 2018, Stormy Daniels topped the search polls because of the scandalous news at the time.  And you guessed it, in the most recent report; ‘amateur’ was the search that defined 2019. The site also boasted an ‘incredible’ number of new amateur models that joined. 

To date, there has been more than 17 million searches containing “Corona” or “Covid”. More than 1000 ‘Coronavirus’ themed videos have been uploaded to Pornhub, with many being viewed over 1 million times. 

The dark reality

For some consumers, the fantasy of porn can mask the reality of its harms. And for many sex workers who make a living from amateur style porn, work life can bleed into leisure time. 

Alec Hardy, Webcammer and Blogger, told us, “Webcamming isn’t just about putting on a show for our viewers. We act as friends, counsellors, therapists, and associates. We help our clients work through their problems or open up about their emotions. 

The vast majority of the people in my chat are not there to see my body or my cock, they are there because they want to talk to somebody. Whether it's opening up, or a pointless chat, people want to engage with me and have a conversation.”

According to Pineapple Support, an initiative who provide 24/7 support for industry entertainers, sex workers who work from home, are confronted with a unique set of mental health barriers. 

These can include cultural shame, stigma about their work, social isolation, financial instability, online harassment, stalking and bullying. 

Leah Tanit,  their CEO who used to work in the industry, explains, “as a virtual workforce, separated by time and geography, they don't always have a close community to fall back on offline. Or friends or therapists who can understand what they're going through.” Read the full article here. 

What’s the future of amateur?

People have been more isolated from each other than ever before, with governments in several countries urging couples who don't live together to stay apart for the duration. 

Virtual reality porn is known for giving that butterfly feeling and is considered ‘the next best thing’ after real sex. A sensation some might say is particularly attractive during a global pandemic. 

Virtual reality porn has been on the rise since about 2016. Pornhub’s most recent Coronavirus update showed there was a 13.7% jump in traffic compared to an average day on March 20. Which shot up to an 18.5% increase on March 24. Especially when the company announced it would make premium services available to everyone for free.

Well known porn directors, like Erika Lust, are delving into the world of VR and here lies the exciting future of our favorite genre. Amateur stars can now bring the viewer even closer to them. 

When amateur erotica meets VR, we are taken to an even deeper level of authenticity that further blurs the lines between reality and fantasy and offers us complete submission into porn. 

With decent virtual reality headsets starting from around $50, the experience may be out of reach for some. But for others, may the authentic fantasy continue. What’s next?

Written by

Katriana Ciccotto

Katriana enjoys writing about all things female pleasure and stigma smashing. Currently studying to become a sex educator, you can follow her on Instagram @_kbella_

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