Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On

TV review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On TV Poster Image
Docu about online porn bares it all, sends mixed messages.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Director Erika Lust makes her case that sexual violence against women often portrayed in porn today could be countered if women (like her) were making the movies.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Businesswoman, TED talk presenter Erika Lust talks about her personal mission to change the porn industry from male-centered and violent to erotic and with equal voices for male and female sexuality. First female Playboy photographer Suze Randall discusses the negative changes in the industry from an earlier time when it was more about sex, not violence against women. 

Violence

Disturbing discussions and video images of violence against women in pornography, including specific violent acts; a woman screaming with a man's hand around her neck during a pornographic scene. 

Sex

Full nudity, all parts shown. Video scenes of pornography being shot. Scenes related to degradation of women. Pressure on women to produce and conform to today's standards of violent, aggressive porn or loss of work. Pornography is glorified -- including a "10-girl orgy" -- in both historical and current contexts, in still shots and videos. Multiple types of pornography discussed, portrayed, and trivialized.

Language

"F--k," "punish f--king"; very explicit talk about body parts, sexual acts; other swear words.

Consumerism

Websites of porn producers named or listed on-screen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is a six-part anthology about the online pornography industry, and it's not suitable for kids. Created by director Rashida Jones as an extension of her documentary Hot Girls Wanted, it addresses issues of sexuality and technology, including women directors in the porn industry. It includes graphic scenes of pornography, complete nudity, and disturbing discussions and scenes of violence against women in porn. 

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What's the story?

HOT GIRLS WANTED: TURNED ON begins the six-part series with a view back to the 1960s era of Playboy-style porn. These images and footage, quaint in comparison with today's porn climate, set the backdrop for the rest of the first episode. This episode focuses on the stories of the first female Playboy photographer, Suze Randall, and her porn-making daughter, Holly Randall, as well as the porn director Erika Lust. Some current stats on porn consumption are peppered in between scenes. There's a lot of dialogue about how women in the porn industry are treated differently (meaning better) by women directors, as well as how the culture of porn has changed to become more about violence against women and less about sexuality and eroticism. Women directors discuss struggling to include women's sexuality in porn. There's discussion of how the internet has changed pornography and how Erika Lust is crowdsourcing ideas for her porn movies.

Is it any good?

The intention behind this documentary series may have been to shed light on the porn industry, but in the end it only muddies the water. There are so many conflicting messages -- porn violence against women versus women's empowerment through directing porn; a mother-daughter porn legacy who now disagree about the viability of the industry -- that it almost feels pointless. Then there's the sexual content. Obviously, there's going to be sexual content in a documentary about porn. But whether the directors actually had to include as much as they did -- including a highly disturbing scene of a woman being held down by her neck in a porn scene, as well as footage from an "upscale" porn film being made for "responsible consumers" with a rather reluctant female participant -- is questionable. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is decidedly not for kids and teens. And because it lacks a cogent, compelling point on this important social issue, it's not for discerning adults, either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about internet pornography using our parent tips as a starting point. How would you broach this difficult subject? Does Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On provide a good introduction or not?

  • How has the internet changed people's experience of sexuality? How do you define a healthy sexual relationship?

TV details

For kids who love documentaries

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