SPORT

Deep Inside The Wide World Of Football Porn

The gridiron goes XXX
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(Photo: Dreamstime; Photo Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso/Vocativ)
Feb 03, 2016 at 2:00 PM ET

Maybe you support Cam Newton and the Panthers. Maybe you root for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Maybe you don’t know, don’t care, and won’t watch Super Bowl 50 this Sunday. No worries, friend: There is always porn.

Internet Rule 34 states, “If it exists, there is porn of it,” but football didn’t need the web to get its porn gloss. “I think football porn has been a thing as long as there has been football,” says Robert Rosen, author of Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography. “I’d be willing to bet that soon after the first game was played in 1869—a college game between New Jersey and Rutgers—somebody went home and made a pornographic drawing.”

The original opus of football porn is “Debbie Does Dallas,” a pornographic film that everybody, even those who don’t watch porn, has heard of. Born of the gleaming golden age of porn, 1978’s Debbie” depicts the movie’s namesake as she undertakes a thwarted journey from high school cheerleader to “Texas Cowgirl” and on the way has sex with numerous men who sport full ‘70s pubic hair.

The highest grossing porn film of its time, “Debbie” has since spawned 15 remakes or sequels and an Off-Broadway musical that was woefully lacking in actual sex. By the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it standards of adult entertainment, “Debbie” has legs.

Despite being dated, “Debbie” remains the touchstone for football porn because it captures the essential erotic zeitgeist of the football fantasy.  “The team, the gangbang, the locker room, the cheerleaders in the locker room—that’s the essence of ‘Debbie Does Dallas,’” says Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, sociologist and author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment. “The storyline makes no sense,” Tibbals admits, “but it still hits all those points.”

Viewed through the jaded eyes of a contemporary porn watcher, “Debbie” feels innocent. Absent are facials, bondage, jackhammer pounding—it doesn’t even have explicit ejaculations. Today’s adult content is decidedly more frank, if not downright gooey, and modern-era football porn is no exception.

Contemporary porn pushes the limits of sex and bodies, and that’s just as true in football porn. In Evil Angel’s faintly football themed “Anal Acrobats #8,” performers Sheena Shaw and Holly Hanna pass a tiny pink football between their orifices—no hands—while Kink.com’s “Revenge of the Cheerleader” enthusiastically informs the would-be viewer that a “gangbang is all about TEAMWORK!” Ever extending the boundaries, today’s football porn goes places well beyond “Debbie’s” Dallas.

No question, like the Dude, football porn abides. While it’s true that MMA and yoga are gaining traction as framing devices in porn films, football is unique. Foremost is the close relationship between football and its cheerleaders; the fantasy of readily available and beautiful young women has been a major selling point for football since the 1920s, when women broke into cheering at the University of Minnesota. It’s a short jump from watching the Dallas Cowgirls bounce in their tight white shorts to erotic fantasy; likewise, it’s a tiny leap for women to mentally slither into those shorts themselves in order to score with the quarterback. The appeal of football porn, in sum, is broad.

“Porn at its basis is fantasy fulfillment,” says Jeff Vanzetti, webmaster of IAFD.com, the IMDb of porn, “so I want to fantasize that I’m the quarterback, and I want to fantasize that I’m banging the head cheerleader.”

However, Vanzetti adds, it’s not necessarily that simple. “I don’t want to say that the porn industry isn’t made up of football players behind the camera, but it’s a place for the nerds to get wish fulfillment.” Which is to say, it’s not just football porn—it’s revenge of the nerds, San Fernando Valley style.

Mickey Mod, an adult film performer who has appeared in multiple sports-related films, sees football porn as a place where male viewers get a twofer, “Just as you see with sports, people want to be able to be in the shoes of their favorite player, and people want to envision themselves in the position of male performers.”

In watching football porn, consumers get to be both star athlete and porn performer, culminating in one giant money shot. It’s a double penetration of fantasy and it’s especially potent in football porn, Tibbals argues, “Football is one of those things that it’s assumed that everyone knows something about it. It’s that ‘American’ thing, and that might contribute to the popularity of seeing it in porn.”

Porn regularly capitalizes on the unquestionable erotic power inherent to figures of authority, whether teacher, cop, or coach. But of all sports, only football has both a coach and a quarterback, a player who shoulders the responsibility to call the plays and lead the team to victory, or bear responsibility for its loss. This power structure is ripe for sexified frisson. The quarterback may be America’s golden boy, but that shining icon is ripe for a takedown.

While movies from the time of “Debbie” and “High School Reunion” (another golden age adult football film) were mostly disinterested in showing porn that depicted bondage and discipline, or unabashed gangbangs, today’s adult industry is predicated on porn imbued with power dynamics and group sex. And team sports—especially football—lends itself to exploring sexual fantasies that are rough, group-related, and, well, weird.

Looking to the power of sports porn, adult film performer and director Lorelei Lee suggests, “People love the idea of someone knowing what to do in bed, someone who’s going to take control and be in charge, and a uniform conveys that kind of authority.”

The sex fantasy centering on a football quarterback, then, provides more than the template of idealized American masculinity; it also offers the unity of a team, the fiction of sexual adeptness, and the opportunity to upend this dynamic and flip it on its head. Lee adds, “Many people have fantasies about turning the tables on authority, and seeing a person who is usually in a position of power be weak and vulnerable, and give themselves over to someone else.”

The quarterback getting his sexy-time comeuppance abounds in porn. For example, in 2007, Evil Angel’s Manuel Ferrara directed a scene where Christian XXX is a quarterback dominated by four angry, inventive cheerleaders, and Lee likewise recently schooled a badly behaved quarterback with another female performer for Kink’s “Hardcore Gangbang” series.

Reflecting on the “ubiquity” of football as a porn trope, Tibbals suggests that the mechanics of the game lend themselves to allowing aggression. “Football has a lot of crashing and grappling,” she notes. It doesn’t take much to tip the physical aggression viewers see on the gridiron on any given Sunday into rough sex, and it’s not always the woman who is the receiver.

Unsurprisingly, as common as football is in straight porn, it’s an even more common theme in gay porn. Indeed, a cursory search for “football” on IAFD.com yields 43 total results, 29 for gay movies—and of those, a high percentage is not American football, but what we call soccer. If football is America’s secular religion, then soccer is that for the rest of the world, and their porn follows suit.

It’s no secret that, sports bars aside, America more or less shuts down on Super Bowl Sunday—and that’s true for porn sites too. At the close of every year, Pornhub releases search and traffic data, and this data says a lot about the hearts, minds, and other organs of Pornhub’s users. One thing that this year’s data revealed is that, once again, online porn viewership in the U.S. ground to a near halt during the hours of the Super Bowl.

“Sometimes there’s a dip in traffic for porn sites when there’s a major sporting event, and that’s something that people [who make porn] are really tapped into,” says Mickey Mod. To help alleviate that dip, many porn sites are creating—or releasing—content that capitalizes on the sports fervor.

“San Francisco in the past few years has been really crazy for sports,” Mod says. “Strangers are high-fiving each other in the street, so that energy, that fanaticism of it, and that being translated into a porn product is really fascinating.”

Mia Li, an adult film performer, is using this time to make her own fantasy come true: She’s filming a Super Bowl party-style gangbang. “I just imagine myself on a crudité platter with ranch dressing and cum on my face,” Li says. She sees the Super Bowl as a time when “you see male camaraderie at play that you don’t see the whole year around. It’s a testosterone-filled room, it’s all positive, they’re all on the same team, and it’s this spirit of community that isn’t often present day to day.”

This public display of camaraderie raises a strange contradiction inherent to football porn. Football is a team-building exercise for both viewers and participants, and allying yourself with one team or another is to create an identity; indeed, it makes you somehow more “American.” Watching porn and masturbating, however popular, however ubiquitous, and however integral to the American fabric aren’t—at least not publicly patriotic pursuits.

After all, no one proudly affixes a bumper sticker of their favorite porn star to their car. Porn remains one of the great American activities that dare not shout its name, at least not across a jersey.

Indeed, it can be hard even to find football porn. Unlike “redhead,” “creampie,” or “threesome,” porn’s tags don’t include “football.” You can search major porn distributors and have a hard time drumming up any porn that announces its sports-related status. It’s almost as if the second-greatest American pastime, porn, doesn’t want to hold hands with the third, football. Which is weird, especially when you think of “Debbie” and all that this touchstone in adult video has wrought.

And so, with that in mind, enjoy the big game and enjoy the porn that capitalizes on it, but don’t look for a football porn parody that rivals basketball porn film “White Men Can’t Hump,” baseball skin flick “Field of Reams,” or even adult golf movie “Caddysnatch.” You won’t find “The Schlongest Yard”—yet. But, hey, if you build it, they will come. Ranch dressing optional.