(conversations and thoughts surrounding chapters 4 and 5 The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn)
Hmmmm...answers to this question are varied and numerous.
The actors, the lighting, the sound, the film quality, the shoddy sets, the camera angles, the music, the formulaic story lines, the absence of plot, a stupid plot, ugly men, skinny women, fake boobs, bored expressions...you name it.
And...for all this suck....there's a very high price.
I personally don't rent or buy porn very often. I'm too likely to be disappointed, not only with the film, but also with the lightness of my wallet after buying/renting it.
Violet Blue suggests that we look for films that have won awards (seriously, I had no idea that the porn industry had awards, so I'm learning something here) from Adult Video Network, Hot d'Or (celebrating European porn), Adam Film World, or X-Rated Critics Organizations (XRCO Choice). Some sites offer reviews, like Adult DVD Talk,
I have yet to rent or buy a DVD I was actually happy with.
My husband has one VHS tape that I don't hate. In fact, it's the one I turn to most out of our small collection. It's one of those videos that tries to please everyone, with short episodes in different settings with different actors. They don't last long (just long enough to get the job done). They're like porn quickies. The guys aren't hideous. The girls vary in size, age, look, and seem to be enjoying themselves for the most part. I don't hate it, but I don't love it.
I know that better porn exists, but its high cost prohibits much experimentation. We have two places in town where you can rent porn. One is a creepy trailer that has "Adult Books" spray painted on a piece of wood outside the front door. The other is a decent little place that tries to accommodate a wide audience (toys, jewelry, lingerie, books, posters, shoes, gag gifts, games... And while they have quite a few videos to choose from, I find their selection to be less than stellar. Granted, I don't go there often, and I haven't spent a ton of time perusing their stacks. But, the few times my husband and I have rented there, we have been disappointed with our choices.
So, what to do? I don't have time to find the "better" porn. I don't have the money to engage in an endless search for the perfect films. I can't afford to and don't want to make my own.
Well...you can check out Adult DVD Talk.
Try an online DVD rental company like Bush DVD, XRentDVD, or Wanted List, or Sugar DVD. These sites work something like Netflix...with a set price, a particular number of videos sent to you at one time, discretion in packaging, and comfort in browsing. It's probably the cheapest way to try out different genres, directors, and actors. (A few other websites mentioned in the book: Adult DVD Empire, Amazon...really, Blue Door, Flick Smart, and For the Girls, Babeland, Blowefish, Come As You Are, Good Vibes, and Libida.)
I personally haven't joined one of these sites, but I know people who have and say that it works for them.
I can only imagine that it must be less intimidating than walking into an adult video store.
Of course, just widening your rental possibilities doesn't ensure that the porn you rent/buy won't suck. In fact, it probably just means you'll have access to and will be watching more sucky porn for your money. However, the more you watch, the more likely you'll find something that sucks less than the other stuff.
Right now, that's all I expect of porn. Something that sucks less.
If any one is aware of porn that doesn't suck, please do tell. I'm all ears. Or hands...if that's sexier. ;-)