by Rich Moreland, August, 2015
This is the sixth installment of the Mercy West narrative.
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Ageism, or age disparity, is an issue that occasionally pops up in the American dating (and marriage) scene. Statistically, the percentage of wide age gaps in relationships is pretty small and we don’t hear much about it other than the occasional nanny or babysitter who is romanced by dad.
Don’t forget Humphrey Bogart was forty-four when he met Lauren Bacall, aged nineteen, on the set of To Have and Have Not. They enjoyed twelve years of marriage until Bogey’s untimely death at age fifty-seven. And Woody Allen hooked up with Soon-Yi Previn. He was fifty-six at the time; she a crisp twenty-one.
Within the adult film population, younger women and older men (sometimes twenty years or more) is not at all uncommon. The middle-aged crowd runs the studios, male performers hang around well into their forties and beyond (Evan Stone and Tom Byron are in their fifties), so young girls out with guys twice their age is part of the business and hardly a soul notices.
So it is with Mercy West. Her boyfriend is not part of the porn world, but he is older. Asking her about the difference reveals some interesting thoughts.
The first question that comes to mind is the Daddy thing, particularly in the BDSM community.
Kink has its attitudes. Mercy comments that she has worked on fetish shoots with vanilla girls who were not part of the BDSM community. They “are far more timid to talk about their older partners than any of the girls that I’ve run across in the BDSM scene,” she observes.
Mercy notices that often these Porn Valley girls “will say it under their breath.” Her reaction is, “Well, that’s cool. My partner is fifty-seven.”
The ageism “dynamic” is long-standing (it’s called age play) in BDSM, Mercy says. The “Daddy/daughter” or “Daddy/little . . . you know, whatever combination you want to have” is well established in the fetish scene and doesn’t raise an eyebrow. “It’s really nothing to hear, ‘Oh, there is a BDSM model. She’s young, she’s tiny, she’s pretty, she has a Daddy.”
What accounts for the difference? It may be that mainstream porn appeals more to a Middle America missionary position sexuality than we’d like to admit. Here’s why.
The liberal 1960s changed the perception of filmed pornography. Times were chaotic and older guys didn’t want to watch females resembling their daughters on-screen when the neighborhood boy’s night out surreptitiously held a stag film showing. Generally, older women (assumed prostitutes) appeared in those black and white clips performing with males who often wore their socks.
By the hippie revolution, young women were ready and willing to take off their clothes for pornographers. Not only were they barely legal in some cases, but so were their film partners, setting up the 1970s and the birth of modern adult film.
Once porn moved into its corporate age and reliable men were, and still are, difficult to find, older dudes and younger women were not news. Though the typical girl has a career of a few months to a year or so, guys in porn last for decades, widening the age gap with every shoot.
Age disparity is a popular bondage theme (schoolgirl spanking, for example) but is more than that in reality. Personal relationships can develop because females mature faster than males and in BDSM, there’s a cerebral component that doesn’t appear in vanilla sexuality.
Vanilla porn fans love to see gonzo elements such as deep-throating, DPs, and anal . . . but it’s the girl’s popularity that sells the movie. In BDSM, the fetish drives the scene. Negotiations establish play and fans don’t need over-the-top sex acts to enjoy the shoot.
Measuring the maturity of play partners, however, is important. No one wants to deal with young and dumb when it comes to rough play. Someone could really get hurt. Then there is the subspace issue that requires monitoring. Inexperienced subs can lose track of their awareness, s0 a well-schooled dominant is worth gold.
There is another very significant factor. BDSM lifestylers tend to flock together. There are clubs, munches, conferences, what have you, designed for kinksters to meet and greet. Social media (Fetlife predominates) fosters a worldwide network of interested people of all varieties, with age being dismissed as irrelevant . . . not something vanilla online dating sites promote or speed dating at a local establishment encourages.
Having said that, Mercy’s partner, Howard, did not meet her under any of typical circumstances. It was business.
Likes to Watch My Work
Mercy explains that when she worked in phone sex, her employer became an inadvertent cupid. “I met him [Howard] through her and we hit it off. We started to see each other more often and our relationship just sort of blossomed.” Out of that came “an open polyamorous relationship” that is more than satisfactory for all involved.
Everyone gets along well. In other words, Howard’s “other partner has her partner,” Mercy says. Despite the potential changes that might evolve, their arrangement remains strongly “emotional and physical.” Howard loves coffee and weed (for West Coasters, weed is not considered a drug) and has a variety of fascinating jobs and hobbies.
“We connect on so many levels,” Mercy interjects, while being “different on other levels . . . but it somehow works.”
Best of all, she says, Howard “is totally supportive of my work, thinks I’m going to do great things, and he likes to watch my work with me.”
There you have it. In adult film, older men support their younger girlfriends getting it done in front of the camera. There’s no drama, no “I want you to quit so I don’t have to say my woman is in porn,” Mercy says. Girls love that and adore their daddies, as a result.
Mercy explains what I’ve heard repeatedly in the industry.
“Why is it that girls in the industry, whether it be vanilla, alternative, fetish, BDSM, whatever . . . tend to have older partners? I have always dated older people, between five and twenty-five years older. I don’t deal with drama well and at that point most people have gotten past the jealousy and are open and flexible. They are willing to be realistic, honest, and communicative. That’s what you need when you work in the adult industry and deal with people on a sexual level on a regular basis.
I don’t like the idea of having a flaky partner, someone who feels the need to come to every shoot with me, who questions me up and down and threatens to leave me after every shoot.”
Mercy knows what works.
“I’m not saying that all twenty-somethings will do that [raise objections], but finding someone that is worldly and has lived life somewhat and has realistic expectations of a relationship and of love, it’s just worth so much more than just dating someone younger because society says I should.”
Truth be told, here is the bottom line.
“It’s a tough job working in the adult industry and you need understanding, caring, and accommodating people and that tends to be older guys, if you are into guys. I like older women, too . . . Age doesn’t really come into play . . . it doesn’t come into my thought process.”
As if to hammer everything home, Mercy concludes, “You need someone who isn’t going to cause drama, is going to support you and knows what’s up. Like I said, realistic expectations . . . that’s very, very, very important.”