It's one of those fantasies that's seemingly been around since the beginning of time: the hot, sexually adventurous "woman of a certain age."
Long a favorite of literature and mainstream entertainment, these women have been, in the past anyway, overlooked in the world of hardcore pornography.
That's all been changing with the advent of the "MILF" genre, which is shaping up to be one of the fastest-growing and most popular segments of the adult entertainment industry.
Retailers who haven’t yet jumped on the MILF gravy train are only hurting their bottom lines. One glance at AVN’s monthly specialty rentals chart will tell you that this is a genre that has connected with the consumer in a big way. Hell, AVN even created a separate Best Specialty Release — BDSM Award category for the January 2006 show (Pink Visual Productions’ MILF Seeker won) So what are you waiting for? Stock early and stock often (and for stocking suggestions, check out our MILF stocking guide elsewhere in this package).
Defining the Term
So just what the heck is a "MILF?" To be bone-dry and clinical about it, the term is an acronym for "Mother (or Mom) I'd like to fuck." The general consensus seems to be that the term came into its own with the advent of the American Pie teen comedy series.
And while, technically, the word seems to hinge upon the "mom" angle, we've all seen stories in the news about teen mothers in Appalachia and other economically stagnant parts of this country. Given that, a MILF could be — and we emphasize could — be applied to any woman who's given birth, but, for the most part, the term as it applies to this hot subgenre is more angled on the age of the female performer than it is her track record in the baby-making department.
As more than one producer has said, a MILF should be in her mid-30s or older.
Seems reasonable to us.
MILFs and Money
The surge in popularity of the MILF genre has come as no surprise to some producers of the material, Smash Pictures' Stuart Wall commented, "It's our best-selling genre out of our entire library. We specialize in the niche market, so of all our series, the Cheating Housewives series is our number one."
Wall postulated that the popularity of mainstream TV’s "Desperate Housewives" may indirectly be responsible for the popularity of adult’s MILF genre. "I think that's what started the fascination for the mainstream world," he said. "Interest rose from the success of that show, and now it's just blowing up for us. Each volume we put out, we add a little bit more to it. Vicky Vette was the main girl for the first one, and it did phenomenally well for us. For the second one we had Tiffany Mynx, and for the third one we had Lisa Ann. They're all exploding."
Wall noted that a lot of female performers are finding new careers as MILF superstars. "It seems to get some of them out of retirement," he said.
Vicky Vette, a very popular MILF performer said, "40 is like the new 30! A woman can still be very sexy at that age."
Wall and others agree, but stress that it's important that the MILF performers be attractive. "I'm not sure I'm prepared to go as far as an old title called Gum Me Bare that featured toothless old ladies," Wall said.
Most would probably agree.
However, the current crop of MILF stars is a toned, fit and fabulous one.
Donna Doll, a statuesque Brazilian blond and one of the stars of Cheating Housewives 3 said, "It's great for girls who are more womanly and don't look like teenagers. I love it."
Lisa Ann, a popular performer from the ’90s has enjoyed a return from retirement that finds her quite the crowd-pleaser in the new MILF marketplace. "When did all that happen?" she asked.
"Whenever I search myself online," she said, "I find that I'm the most sought-after MILF online. When I first came back, I was asked if I was going to do scenes, and I thought that maybe I was too old. And then people told me that they thought I'd be a really hot MILF. I was a little insulted at first, because I thought of some mom or whatever. You know, someone homely. Now I realize how many totally hot MILFs there are. When I'm at Newport Beach at Fashion Island, it's the haven for the hottest MILFs you'll ever see."
Ann suspects that the appeal to the genre is that it's new. "It's a novelty," she conjectured. "There are fewer hot MILFs than there are beautiful, young, hot teens. The business is always flooded with 18- to 24-year-olds. The appeal is that MILFs are in their sexual prime, whereas the younger girls are still discovering things about their sexuality. We're in a totally different place sexually, and we have something totally different to offer."
Backlash of the killer MILFs
Oren Cohen of TightFit Productions agreed that the MILF genre is currently becoming huge, but attributes the rising popularity of the niche more to a backlash from consumers over what they've been offered in the recent past.
"The popularity of the MILF genre," he speculated, "seems like a necessary reaction to the over-saturation of the young, helpless teen thing we've been seeing."
"It's like back in the ’90s when those big, huge tits were in; there was a reaction, and now natural tits are in," he said.
Cohen noted that he is a fan of the MILF niche: "I think it's great to see women, not little girls, taking an active sexual role, and showing their sexual maturity. It's not that these women aren't just passive to the male sexual fantasy. To me, there's nothing hotter than a woman who knows her own sexuality."
TightFit Productions has slated for release a number of MILF series, including Twin British MILFs and Ben Dover's Hot British MILFs. "The twins will probably hit in the middle of August. Super Mario shot that one. It's pretty entertaining. The Ben Dover stuff should be out in late August or early September," Cohen said.
As to the continued success of the MILF genre, Cohen hopes it continues as strong as it has been. In fact, he's so confident in the popularity of the niche, he'd take it into consideration if he decided to hire a contract girl "People are asking me if I'd consider having a contract girl. If anyone were to capture me and make me want to sign them to a contract, it would definitely be a more mature woman. A woman who would scare men and make women's knees shake. That would probably be what would do it."
MILFin' it online and beyond
Marketing Associate Kevin K. of TopBucks and the company's DVD arm Pink Visual Productions has enjoyed great success with the companies' AVN Award-winning MILF Seeker line. He explained the genre's appeal: "It's been around for about four years. It's not new in the Internet business. It's a staple niche that drives a lot of revenue for the big programs."
Speaking specifically of the trend as it applies to TopBucks and Pink Visual Productions, Kevin theorized, "We hit our 200th episodes just on TopBucks, and that's pretty monumental. You get a lot of niches that kind of burn and fizzle out. In our case, with MILF Seeker, that's our marquee site for the MILF niche. It's going as strong as ever. Sales rarely dip. In fact, they keep going up.
When talking about the DVD end of his company, Kevin said, "That basically takes in a lot of the MILF content that we shoot for MILF Seeker on TopBucks. Why is it so popular? I think that it's because it appeals to a number of consumers. It appeals to young men, it appeals to husbands, middle-aged guys, it appeals to college guys. The thing they all have in common is the fantasy of the soccer mom. There's a real fetish for jumping these middle-aged women's bones. The thinking is that these women might have kids and all these responsibilities, but, at the same time, they're really horny."
Does Kevin think there's continued life in the genre? He said, "I don't see it going away. There's a lot of life in it. You see it on television. You know, the Dr. Pepper ads with the mom with the kids in a van and the song "Stacy's Mom" playing on the soundtrack. It just feeds into the whole MILF phenomenon, and it just keeps getting stronger. When we started this is was a budding niche, but now it's gotten mainstream acceptance, and it's really tapped into the whole mainstream side of things. I don't see any let-up on the MILF niche."
An innovator in the MILF genre
While a lot of companies are jumping into the MILF niche these days, Gabor Szabo at Heatwave Entertainment was one of the first to take the plunge with both feet back when it still remained to be seen if audiences would accept the genre.
"Yes, my former sales rep, Bonnie Kail, came up with the idea. She said four or five years ago that I should do this. Nobody else was doing them then," Gabor said.
He isn't too happy, however, with what he sees as "cheating" on what makes a MILF. "Some of the people shooting these days are using girls that are 25 to 29 years old. I'm using women who are real MILFs. They're 35 and older," he said. "The whole point of the genre is to show an older woman with a younger guy. A lot of the imitators are using these young girls."
Gabor attributes the popularity of the genre to something very basic in male development: "I remember when I was even like 10 years old, I would whack off to my friend's mother. I would think about her ass. For real! I'm sure lots of guys have the same experience. She was Hungarian, and she had a huge ass and was always wearing a mini skirt."
Well, maybe we all didn't have an older, big-bottomed, mini-skirted Hungarian woman around to inspire masturbatory fantasies, but we think we know what Gabor means.
On the retail end
The popularity of the MILF genre might have caught some retailers off guard, but the undeniable appeal of the niche to a certain segment of the marketplace is keeping shelves stocked with MILF offerings.
Jessica Ledford of Florida's Fairvilla Megastore chain commented on the MILF trend's appeal: "To be honest with you, I'm actually kind of surprised it's taken off like it has. It's blown up really quick. I do really well with that genre."
Ledford, when asked to speculate on the current popularity of the MILF genre said, "Everybody has their own tastes. Maybe it's the 'in' thing right now. I hate to say this, but maybe it's the influence of the American Pie series. It seems like ever since that series came out, the MILF genre's gotten bigger."
When asked to name a MILF series that's doing well for her stores, Ledford mentioned Wildlife's Screw My Wife Please series. "I do really well with that one," she enthused.
When asked if she thinks the popularity of MILF-oriented movies is just a fad or is here to stay, Ledford was quick to answer, "I think it's here to stay, to be honest. I thought it might fade out, but it seems like it's really taken its place on its own merits."
Wholesale distributor Kim Gallagher of IVD had her own ideas about the appeal of MILF flicks. "I think people like realistic porn," conjectured Gallagher. "I think that's why the MILF genre and stuff from people like Bang Bros. and others are doing so well."
Gallagher was not as quick as some to declare the genre as being huge, though. "I do a lot better with many other genres than I do with MILF, but it definitely has its section in stores where maybe three years ago, that wasn't the case," she said.
Gallagher also noted that the age off the performers is important when it comes to the genre. "I think the popularity of a series depends upon how old the MILFs are,” she noted. “The MILFs that are in their 30s to 40s, people want to see that. The grandmother MILFs may not grow as huge as the regular MILF titles. There are still good-looking women in their 30s and 40s, and that's realistic to many people."