Porno Jim is on a quest to improve the quality of pornography—and to keep us all coming, again and again.
Interview and photographs by Alexander Colby
New York City is home to an ever-increasing array of nightlife diversions, from the mundane to the profane. For the better part of a decade, one regularly occurring option—live or via podcast—has been a wildly entertaining yet curiously educational evening with Jim Graham, better known by his stage moniker, Porno Jim. The Porno Jim Show’s subject matter is right there in the name, and Jim is pulling no punches in his mission to help couples and individuals achieve better sex with sexual media. Often he’ll include a guest speaker, special go-go dancers, or burlesque acts, but the core of the show is, simply enough, Porno Jim himself pontificating with razor-sharp wit at breakneck speed upon the state of pornography—what purpose it serves (hint: it’s all about better orgasms, for both men and women) and how it achieves these ends—accompanied, of course, by the appropriate visual aids.
Your motto is: America needs better porn! There’s something wrong with American porn? It seems to do the trick …
Even bad porn has naked women in it, so it is capable of providing that vital bit of excitement needed to improve a man’s masturbation, but if Americans watched better-quality porn, their orgasms would be much more powerful. Most adult videos are made with the expectation that viewers will fast-forward in search of the parts that their penises respond to. I want to see more porn where the sexuality is intense enough to keep you and your penis interested through the whole scene.
American sexuality is constantly evolving, and porn both reflects and expands our collective sexual experience. In a real sense, porn is just the stylized depiction of sex acts being performed by sexual athletes. Some of these acts are very advanced and push the limits of these performers (which can be the hottest thing about the scene), but most are not much different from the sex most adults enjoy regularly.
If we’re just fast-forwarding to the scenes our junk responds to, why does anyone bother making anything other than the good stuff?
Partly because making good porn is not easy, but mostly because people respond sexually to a wide range of situations and imagery. Adult-film directors generally fill each sex scene with a few minutes of as many popular sex acts and positions as time and money allow. Many porn producers would tell you that it is all good stuff to somebody, so who are they to judge?
Well, I believe that these theoretical porn consumers have been blamed for bad porn for too long. I’d like the adult industry to replace their 40-year-old ideas of what sex is supposed to look like with more accurate representations of good sex. Specifically, I want to see more women having orgasms in porn scenes. Showing viewers that a woman’s climax can and should happen as often as a man’s would be at least as important educationally as making on-screen condom use mandatory.
It’s hard to imagine anyone arguing against more female orgasms in porn, or in life. While we’re on the subject, want to elaborate a little about condom use in porn?
I believe that condom use should be determined by the plot of the scene. If the performers are claiming to be husband and wife, then condoms wouldn’t be necessary, but if they are supposedly hooking up for the first time, they should always use condoms. This is the limit of the sex education and safer-behavior priming that the adult industry can hope to accomplish. Gonzo porn would be different: There, we’re dealing with porn stars having sex with porn stars, so we know that those people have been recently tested and know the risks.
This way, porn can set the correct example for consumers, teaching them that if you want to have unprotected sex, either form a committed relationship with your partner or become a porn star.
Duly noted. Back to orgasms … The Porno Jim Show features some nice clips of such moments, but you also deal with plenty of other subjects, like porn parodies of classic films and TV shows, begging the question, what place does comedy have in porn? Don’t the laughs get in the way of the sex, or vice versa?
Fast-forwarding is a basic part of porn watching, so making the connective parts of the video funny in no way limits people’s erotic options, and when done well, any good feelings that the actors generate while they are wearing clothes can carry over to the naked parts. But more than a few recent scripts have called for the performers to keep establishing their characters well past the point where anyone cared, and that resulted in some of the best porn of the year.
There will always be a lot of porn fans who want to see truly outrageous sexual behavior, to get a glimpse of the outer limits of human sexual behavior and nervously laugh at it. So each Porno Jim Show includes a segment featuring the weirdest and funniest porn clips I can find. I call it the Porntage.
The Porntage is definitely a highlight of the show, and the crowd’s reaction to some of the more extreme clips alone is worth the price of admission.
When people search the internet for porn, they’re usually looking to get turned on, but humans are forever curious about the sexual fringe, and they want to see some freaky shit, too. The Porntage is my way of giving my audience a quick glimpse into the world of the weirdly erotic. Experiencing porn with an audience is so much different from viewing it alone on your laptop, especially since some of these clips are hilarious, while others are quite shocking. I regularly post new Porntages on my website, PornoJim.com. Though they aren’t very jackable, they’re a lot of fun to watch (and to create).
Your show also provides insight into your own sexual psychology, by way of the things that shaped your interests from an early age; it’s a personal revelation that gives an audience something universal to relate to.
Traditionally, I start The Porno Jim Show with a clip from an old silent stag film, to give the audience a little history lesson, along with introducing them to the best and worst of the newest releases. But in my latest performance, I start off by showing a clip from an early Meat Loaf video that I often masturbated to when I was 14, and some segments from the best porn videos I saw when I was growing up.
I like to end the show with the sexiest, most intensely orgasmic clips I can find, to give the audience something to think about on their way home. My show is designed to get my audience laid. If you come to my show on a date, you are twice as likely to get some action than if you just took her out to some movie.
In fact, every couple of months I perform an extra-kinky version of The Porno Jim Show at a private sex party. The sexiest clips are in the second half of the show, so the orgy can start as soon as I say good night to the audience. I also create special shows for bachelorette and birthday parties.
What can we, this nation of consumers, do to help the cause of better porn?
Please buy, rent, or make the best porn videos that you can, because if we all start watching only the good porn, then the industry will take notice and start making even better porn, while the bad pornographers will go out of business. This is simple porn Darwinism.