Can Christmas Music Made by Pornstars Change People’s Perception of British Porn?

I went to the launch of Pornhub’s festive single to find out.

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Dec 3 2014, 5:30pm

All photos by Jake Lewis

The first thing on my mind when it comes to Christmas is food. I plan to eat variety cheese platters until I hallucinate. Indeed, the weeks leading up to Christmas Day are filled with so many lavishly designed table snacks it’s easy to forget the main reason Christmas exists: which, aside from the birth of baby Jesus, is to give and receive.

Television X is Britain’s most popular porn channel, and they believe Christmas, like the rest of the year, is a time for middlecore pornography. The Richard Desmond-owned channel, which is available to pretty much every household with a Skybox, features a range of content, from premium line cam girls to porn parodies like Down on Abbey, and Babespotting. Now, after almost two decades in the business, the company has come up with an innovative marketing plan. They’re releasing a Christmas single.

“Coming for Christmas” features five pornstars: Brooklyn Blue on lead vocals, Ben Dover on drums and Angel Long, Jess West and Victoria Summers on BVs. As you can see, it’s not exactly a genre-defining masterpiece. Expecting the lyrical dexterity of Strangeways-era Morrissey was probably a little too much, but the song’s lyrics–“Have I been a nice girl? Have I been a naughty girl? There’s only one way that we can find out. Let’s go sit on Santa’s lap” – would be hammy dialogue even in one of Television X’s own films.


Call me small-minded, but I couldn’t really understand the meaning, concept, or worth behind a pornographic Christmas single. So when Pornhub Records - who are putting out the single - invited me to the launch, I zipped up my pants, put my socks back on, and pulled my queasy legs off the bed to creep into Soho’s nether regions and find out.

British porn is known for operating on a budget, or at least looking a bit grotty, but perhaps that's because porn holds a mirror to a country's mainstream cinema. UK pornos look like kitchen-sink dramas, while American smut has the crispness of a Hollywood blockbuster. They have their hilariously toned men and X-Art videos, we’ve got jaundiced guys called Johnny Deep nailing housewives in the back of steamed up Vauxhall Novas.

With that in mind, the decision to hold the single’s launch in an upmarket Soho venue immediately struck a chord. It’s like Television X don’t just want to send porn to Christmas number one, they want to heighten its perceptions in general to a level of, well, luxury.

The problem though, is that their intentions with the single, and their intentions with the launch party, don’t really correlate. “Coming for Christmas” is the opposite of stereotypically opulent desire; it’s the sort of comedy that usually appears on Page Three or in an axed Little Britain sketch. I mean, it features the lyric - “You know what girls, size really does matter.” They’re hardly pursuing the wank intelligentsia with passionate vigor. In an interview with The Independent, the single's creator claimed that it aimed to improve the public perception of pornography - but in recent years, the perception of the porn industry has already been improving as sex-positive stars come forward to talk about the safety and enjoyment in their work. This seems like an innuendo-filled end-of-the-pier video that could only reverse that trend, as regressive as the government outlawing female ejaculation videos.

I fumbled with my identification and entered the venue looking for answers. I wanted to know why Pornhub are releasing a Christmas single, what it means and how, exactly, Television X plan to change the perception of porn.

The single launch was held at The Shadow Lounge Bar - a "sophisticated and exclusive members club," also known as somewhere with drink prices that will threaten your overdraft. We’d come prematurely, and as a result, I felt limp, part of an audience limited to a few people: myself, some older guys from the jizz bizz, a dude wearing an electronically illuminated tie, and a few porn stars.

The room, for all intents and purposes, looked like a fuck-basement from some dystopian hacker future, and the addition of men wearing battery-powered formal wear made it feel like that future was set in the Billericay branch of Haven, or a swinging party in Bognor Regis with festive decor. I soothed my mind by lubricating it - in this case with more red wine than my stomach could later handle - and tried to work out whether anyone would be going home in festive spirits, or ending the evening with a danger-wank in the backseat of an Addison Lee.

Pornstars are often treated unfairly, they’re negated as sex-fiends and perverts but it turns out they’re kinda, like, ludicrously normal. Sure, some of my conversations included references to the size of their burgeoning baloney ponies, but they’re basically the same as everyone else with a disposable income: well-spoken, well-dressed, definitely at the top of their game. It just happens that their breed of high-octane business involves fucking people, rather than fucking them over - which is arguably way better.

Alongside a screening of “Coming For Christmas” - which played on loop, looking all the more dire when screened for six continuous hours - Television X had planned an evening of entertainment. This started with me shotgunning a Desperados through my nose, continued with a few drag queens, and ended with a performance by the woman above, called Kylie.

At one point Kylie asked the crowd to sing along and cut the music out. No one responded - and the room fell deadly silent except for hushed chatter, presumably about conveniently portable sex-aids or who would be knocked out on The Apprentice that week. I witnessed a swift grimace, a flicker of regret, and then Kylie carried on singing, undeterred.

If the girls on the Christmas single are like low-budget pantomime artists, then Kylie was basically a one-woman Jiffy-Stiffy Philharmonic Orchestra. I don’t know if she’s a pornstar, but damn, if Television X wanted to change people’s perceptions and see women as confident and in-control, they should have put her on the Christmas single.

The entertainment finished and it was back to drinking. I’d spent a little while practicing my ghosting techniques and felt suitably liquidated and ready to take to the dance floor. No one else wanted to get involved though. No one except substitute geography teacher here, who kept thrusting in my general direction. I get that it’s launch party for a single, and most of the people in attendance work in the industry and are therefore being quite reserved, but it was nice to see a dancefloor without sleazy, greaseball guys on a mission to rub their peens into the opposite sex - which is the thing most people first associate with porn.

I did my best “Drunk in Love” impression and decided it was time to meet the stars of “Coming for Christmas” - the respectfully named Brooklyn Blue, Angel Long, Jess West and Victoria Summers. I downed my beer and thought about my 13-year-old self and how he would feel.

Exchanging some polite conversation with these polite female stars, it was difficult to believe they were the same women who sang, “My Christmas pudding. So hot and sticky. Do you want to try some? Licky licky” over some library Christmas music. I’m not suggesting we get meet-and-greets with pornstars in every inner-city shopping centre, but it would have been nice to see “Coming for Christmas” hold some semblance of the interaction I had with its stars.

And then I decided I had seen enough and it was time to leave.

The main problem with “Coming for Christmas” is the single wants to appeal to a very basic demographic and its launch party wants to appeal to the lavishly opposite end of the spectrum. People here know that porn is no longer taboo, nor is it a joke. Porn is for everyone: your co-workers that incognito browse RedTube; and I’m betting enough people’s grandparents bought Razzle back in the day.

Yet “Coming for Christmas” negates the girls as low-level pantomime artists - on par with the cast of Basingstoke’s Christmas panto - rather than the confident, bourgeois effect the launch party was aiming for. It’s the nadir of everything that’s come before - with a pair of tits limply tacked on the end. I thought the Chuckle Brothers and Tinchy Stryder collaboration was bad but there’s something about the Pornhub track that really scrapes the bottom of the barrel. It ties into a very specific British humor - one of novelty, wink-faces, cheeky chappy rib-digging - and it doesn’t do it well. One shot in the video shows a woman “cooking” a turkey - made from plastic - and then throwing it over her shoulder, for no reason. One director told me earlier in the evening, “[porn] is about maturity. It really is." The result of Television X’s single is the exact opposite.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanBassil