You Blew It, Boys

The ‘Sense8’ gay porn parody whitewashes the original series and completely misses the point

Netflix

In the sixth episode of Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s Netflix sci-fi series Sense8, eight people who are mentally linked to one another over vast distances have their first, shared sexual experience over their telepathic connection.

Throughout the series, different members of the psychic “cluster” tap into into one another’s minds to borrow memories and skills in moments of need. In the process, they learn to function as a cohesive unit despite being different races, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender identities. While there are plenty of scenes throughout the series that explore the ways the “sensates” grow and learn from their connection, it’s this infamous orgy scene that stuck out in many viewers’ minds.

As is often the case with popular sci-fi properties, it didn’t take long before a porn studio decided to riff on Sense8‘s premise with a steamy parody paralleling the first season’s plot and leaning heavily on the series’ sexual themes.

Men.com’s Sense8: A Gay XXX Parody wastes no time explaining just what the site’s subscribers are getting into: eight hot guys tethered to one another by a link they don’t quite understand that—spoiler—ends in their sharing in an intense gestalt orgasm.

“When I saw the Sense8 orgy, I knew the scene tapped into a primal fantasy,” the film’s director Alter Sin explained in an interview with The Huffington Post. “We wanted to create an experience where gay men could imagine what it’s like to be inside the bodies of other men, and feel the sensations of seven other guys simultaneously.”

But where the cast of Sense8 featured multiple men and women of color and an interracial relationship between a transgender lesbian and a cisgendered woman, Men.com’s cast predominantly consists of cisgendered men who visually read as white. Their sex scenes, then, don’t really speak to the same sort of (literal) boundary-transcending ethos that Sense8‘s do. They’re just run-of-the-mill orgies with a bit of easy FX thrown in for good measure.

It’s no secret that the (gay) porn industry has a fairly glaring problem when it comes to on-set discrimination and on-screen screen representation for people of color, but those problems are thrown into stark relief considering the source material the parody’s based on.

To be fair, Men.com is in the business of producing and selling the kind of pornography that its customers are interested in and willing to pay for. By and large, that means conventionally attractive white men who fit into a very particular mold. But that isn’t to say that a Sense8 gay porn parody that managed to be true to the original show would be impossible to create.

We live in an age where one’s masculinity doesn’t need to be defined by their muscle definition or whether or not they were born with a penis. Maybe it’s time we opened up our minds to think the same way about our pornography.

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