Written by C.Diva
***a spoiler free review***
Hot Girls Wanted–Turned On Review: Technology Makes Everything Simultaneously Worse and Better
This docu-series is at the intersection of sex and social media, revealing the modernization of sex in a digitalized world. Just like the film of the same name, Girls Wanted explores sexuality in many different forms, and centers on the real life experiences of individuals working in the sex industry as well as how sex has changed because of technology. By taking a closer look at the men and women who make a living off of sex, the series demystifies sex workers and ultimately humanizes a group of people who often are overlooked and underrepresented. Not only that, but through the examination of the shifting landscape of relationships created and fortified through technology, the series reveals the disconnection we (as humans) experience when we are always connected.
This show had been in my queue for months before I finally found the time to sit down and start it. When I did, I found myself intrigued by the stories being told about the various branches of a new, digital sex industry. The first episode drew me in–with its focus on how female creators are changing the porn industry, I found myself actually Googling the names of these women directors in order to find their fancy films created to appease the female gaze. Each episode is insulated, and while the story is cohesive, audiences can skip around if they are interested in one topic more than another. I found myself enjoying each episode, but interested more in the topics I was familiar with and not so much in, say, the episode about Tinder, since I’ve never used the app. Still, each episode is filmed impeccably, and with each case, I found myself intrigued by the topic, the characters and their stories.
If I have a single qualm about the show, it would be that most of the stories centered around white women and their experiences, with the exception of episode 4, “Money Shot”, which explored the experiences of black men in pornography and how they are stereotyped, fetishized and ultimately, tossed aside if they are unable to perform at the highest caliber. I also flip-flopped on watching the last episode, which centered on the story of a young Russian girl accused of filming the rape of another young woman. Ultimately, I did watch the episode and was struck by the way that technology numbs users to sexual violence.
Should I binge it?
It wasn’t easy for me to get the time alone to watch it. I say alone, because I didn’t feel comfortable watching with even my husband around. Sex is a funny thing, and as a woman, I felt the need to watch the 6 42-minute episodes over the span of a week or so alone, simply so I could process what I had seen without any distracting comments from the hubs.
Can I watch it with my kids?
Not in the slightest. I don’t want to expose my 15yo to porn, I don’t want her watching it or getting any sort of sexual advice from porn. So, no. No way.
Is it porn?
No. This isn’t a sexually explicit show it that way, although there are scenes that are filmed on a porn set, or a webcam set that imply sex is happening, even when we don’t see the actual penetration. This is a show about sex and tech, there is love, exploitation and heartbreak, which means Hot Girls Wanted already has more substance than any porn I’ve ever seen.