“Hot Girls Wanted”: Dear 21st Century, Stop Making Sex Boring

9:36:00 AMAnne Foster


Our beloved Anne from Parks and Rec, actress Rashida Jones, is the somewhat unlikely producer of the Netflix documentary “Hot Girls Wanted.”* The documentary follows the lives of 18-year-old girls who responded to offers on Craigslist, for a free flight to Florida, money, and fame. Some of these young girls did not even realize until their planes landed that the cost of the money and fame was their bodies and so much more …

The documentary involved many interviews with these teens, some interviews took place as soon as the young girls arrived to their new home (their producer’s home), prior to them engaging in any film shoots. Both in their interviews prior to becoming actresses and those which followed, every girl expressed a similar tone of indifference to the lucid stigmas and physical and emotional consequences attached to their choice of lifestyle such as, the reality of sexually transmitted diseases and even pregnancy. I found the same tone of indifference in the reviews of the documentary which I read on IMDB (Internet Movie Database). Many of the comments mentioned the indifference expressed by the teens, and therefore claimed that they themselves were left unmoved by these girl's stories. Many of the reviewers went so far as to say that they felt as if the documentary supported their position, that pornography was the girl's choice and since they obviously feel no shame, why should the viewer? 

Unfortunately, Rashida Jones’ documentary only paints a very small portion of the big picture, which is the porn industry. Jones’ “Hot Girls Wanted” documents the lives of a few 18-year-old girls who appear to freely chose to enter into the industry. However, what the documentary does not expose, is the coercion, abuse, and manipulation which the majority of porn stars fall victim to.

The documentary featured the lives of newly recruited amatuer porn stars who do not yet appear to have been forced into the industry. Thus the seemingly “civil” nature of the means by which they became porn stars, warranted the typical comments from porn viewers trying to defend their own porn viewage: “She chose to be a porn star and she actually enjoys it.” 

(For an excellent response to this comment read, “Just Because Porn Stars Do Porn, Doesn’t Mean They Like It Or Asked For It.” )

However, I was still extremely disturbed by their comments, for even if these 18 year old girls initially freely made the decision to become porn stars, this does not detract from the tragic character of their choice. 

Yes, it is true, there are certain cases in which girls choose this type of lifestyle with their own free will, such as some of the girls interviewed in “Hot Girls Wanted”. They even acted as if they accepted the implications of their choice. 

Yet, I still wept while they spoke, while they casually explained their desires to escape their small towns, make the big bucks, become famous, and be told they are beautiful. It appeared that they naively entered the world of the porn industry with the same attitude towards sex common amongst most millennial teenagers. 

I myself was moved by their cold dispositions, because what I saw were young girls who were completely blind to the beauty and value of their bodies, personhood, and sexuality. Thus, I saw their "choice" as a sorrowful consequence of ignorance, and ignorance which is possessed by most 18-year-old girls. I thought to myself, “If only these girls had had someone in their lives who could have convinced them of their true worth!”, so that they might have possessed a genuine reverence for the mystery and sacredness of their bodies and the intimate bond between their visible beauty and the greater immaterial beauty which they were made for. 

Unfortunately, when speaking of the body of the woman and the sexual sphere, our society oftentimes fails to use words such as "reverence, mystery, and sacredness." Honestly, it depends upon whether you are discussing your recent meaningless but fun "hookup" or the man or woman whom you wish to spend the rest of your life with. This may sound understandable to many, that sometimes sex is meaningful and sometimes it’s just for fun, sometimes men lust after me and sometimes they respect me. However, I would argue that the sexual sphere, the beauty of two bodies coming together within the sexual act, are by their very natures, essentially deep, mysterious, and sacred.

Why would I make this claim? There are several reasons which could be explained in depth. What Hildebrand particularly stresses are two key elements or “themes”, which are crucial for developing a proper understanding of the great importance and meaning of all that is contained in the sexual sphere: 1) It involves persons. 2) Their is and always will be a relation of sex to an object, that object being love, for love is the theme of the sexual union. Therefore, when the sexual sphere is isolated from its main themes: persons and love, sex is stripped of its innate mystery and depth. 

But before this post becomes just another post on chastity, sex, etc. There's one more claim which I would like to postulate and that I think is worth pondering: in our culture's attempt to glorify sex they have made it more boring.

When men and women view sex as something morally neutral, they strip the sexual sphere of its depth, the sexual act of it's true drama, and the beauty of their bodies of the reverence which is due them. Thus, they make the whole subject of sex dull and lifeless (or rather personless), just another means to pleasure, fleeting and boring. 

By trivializing sex, we are robbing ourselves and our lovers of one of the greatest gifts and experiences of our personhood. The beauty of the woman or man's body is the "stuff" of poetry and of Botticelli and Michelangelo paintings. The act of sex is the "stuff" of eternal love, a communion with another which links our mortal flesh with eternal life. 

Yes, it has become difficult to return to an attitude of reverence for the body and the sexual sphere. What ought to be a great mystery, is constantly exposed to the masses in the most trivial of advertisements and free upon every computer screen. 

But, we find ourselves saying,“what are we to do about this?” And we often don’t find a concrete answer to this question.

I’m certainly not claiming that I can give a clear answer and certainly not the best answer. But, what  I will say is this: Parents, teach your children reverence: reverence for what is beautiful and for what is sacred, reverence for their personhood, their bodies, their sexuality, and of true love.

Fathers, regularly assure your daughters they are beautiful inside and out and teach your sons how to see this beauty. Mothers, remind your daughters to veil themselves in purity for by doing so they will be reminding your sons of the sacredness of their beautiful bodies. And last but not least, remind your children of the beauty of sex within the great and mysterious union of marriage ... and that they should never settle for anything less … particularly anything that is boring.

*Disclaimer: “Hot Girls Wanted” is a shocking and at times graphic documentary and does not reflect the views of Truth from the Heart. I myself fast forwarded many parts of the film. 

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Dietrich von Hildebrand, Man and Woman.
Dietrich von Hildebrand, In Defense of Purity.

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