HOLLYWOOD—As anyone who's ever tuned into the subscription channels on cable TV late at night can attest to, what you're likely to see on at least one (and probably several) HBO, Showtime or Cinemax channels as the Los Angeles Times has apparently recently discovered, is ... tits 'n' ass.
Not hardcore tits 'n' ass, of course; as the newspaper notes, the "fairly graphic sex scenes ... are often as explicit as what you would see in an R-rated movie in theaters."
On the other hand, reporter Jon Weinbach opines that, "Ironically, the proliferation of hard-core porn in recent years seems to have made the softer stuff more appealing — or at least more palatable — to a wider audience, particularly among women, according to industry observers."
(Hmm ... maybe that's what's responsible for The New York Times' recent claim that more women than ever are becoming "addicted" to pornography ...)
The article features several quotes from the master of late-night softcore porn: Marc Greenberg of MRG Entertainment, which is responsible for such popular late-night fare as Co-ed Confidential, starring Michelle Maylene, but notes other very popular series that are more story-oriented: HBO's True Blood (which was recently parodied by New Sensations' Lee Roy Myers) and Showtime's Californication (starring AVN reader David Duchovny), Diary of a Call Girl (starring former Doctor Who companion Billie Piper) and The Tudors.
Also featured is Zane, an African-American woman whose best-selling short stories have been adapted for the small cable screen as Zane's Sex Chronicles, now entering its second season on Cinemax, as well as T&A neo-classics like The Witches of Breastwick by Jim Wynorski, who was also responsible for The Bare Wench Project 1-3, The DaVinci Coed and Vampirella, and Tarzeena: Jiggle in the Jungle by Fred Olen Ray, who also gave the world Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Evil Toons (starring former porn stars Madison and Barbara Dare) and a slew of movies with "Bikini" in the title.
Sadly omitted were any mention of the adult performers who often cross-over to star in such features, including top stars like Nicole Sheridan, Syren, Monique Alexander, Kaylani Lei, Voodoo and Evan Stone.
The article notes that thanks to VOD, viewers who want to see erotic content no longer have to stay up until 2 in the morning—and that while Cinemax's programmed erotic content makes up just 8 percent of its daily fare, its "Cinemax After Dark" VOD section is 20 percent sex, which content attracts 15 percent of the channel's "overall on-demand orders."
Sex sells; who'da thunk?
Of course, while titillating its audience with talk of the movies' and series' eroticism, Weinbach includes the putdowns of the genre required by mainstream journalism.
Soft-core porn "just keeps going, like a cockroach—you can't kill it," he quotes Greenberg as saying early on, and later concludes with him adding, "There's nothing creative about this—you're going to see sex in the first minute and you're going to see sex every seven or eight minutes after that."