The Daily Beast published today a column by reigning XBIZ Performer of the Year Maitland Ward about how Hollywood and the adult industry should learn from each other’s expertise.
Ward opened her column with a steamy description of a male frontal nudity scene in the Netflix series “Sex/Life.”
“I’m used to seeing genuine porn-size talent up close and personal,” Ward wrote, “so that scene didn’t make me giggle, but it did make me think. If Hollywood was ready to give us the D, on a show completely and unapologetically about sex that was viewed as massively as its starring member, is Hollywood now tapping on the adult industry’s soaped-up shower door for inspiration?”
In 2022, Ward pointed out, “sex isn’t something Hollywood is comfortable with.”
“Love scenes, as they are called, on a Hollywood soundstage are something most talent and crew dread,” she added, reminiscing about her background as a successful young actress in the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
“The only instruction I was given on a love scene when I was young was to kiss, rub around under the covers and to not use tongue,” Ward explained.
Ward said that she didn’t conceptualize the specifics of filmed sex until she started acting in the world of porn, where she has for most of her career been under exclusive contract with Vixen Media Group.
“The lighting, the camera angles, the movement between the performers — as well as the coordination of the crew on sets that are small and edged with bed corners and the threat of helicoptering limbs — are all required to make an act that between regular folks in real life is, let’s face it, not something necessarily beautiful to look at, look beautiful.”
For Ward, the core problem with mainstream sex scenes is that the creative teams don’t really know how to film sex.
“They know how to make shots look aesthetically beautiful and moody and mysterious, but porn brings something raw and untethered to the screen that I have rarely seen in film and television, and I truly believe it’s been sorely missing,” Ward wrote.
The celebrated performer also offered that Hollywood could learn much about consent from porn.
“These conversations before scenes are necessary in order to have trust in the persons you are performing with,” she argued. “Well before Hollywood hired intimacy coaches, the adult industry’s elite had conversations about boundaries and approval at length. No-lists, preferences on lube and how certain acts would be more pleasurably performed are done right before the director calls for action.”
“This brings a sense of confidence and security to something that is intimate in nature and may place someone in a vulnerable position, even if it’s unintended,” Ward concluded.