The Money Shot in Feminist Queer and Mainstream Pornographies

Authored by: Tiffany Sostar , Rebecca Sullivan

The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415641470
eBook ISBN: 9780203081846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136175961


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“If you don’t have the come shots, you don’t have a porno picture. Plan on at least ten separate come shots” (Ziplow, quoted in Williams 1989: 93). Stephen Ziplow’s advice was given to pornographers in 1977, after Golden Age pornography gave us the “highly visible spectacle of the money shot that would become the sine qua non of all hard-core pornography for decades to come” (Williams 2008: 133). The money shot became the defining trope of pornography due in large part to the Golden Age triumvirate of Deep Throat (1972), Behind the Green Door (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973). Its significance to the gender politics of contemporary pornography persists (Tibbals 2010: 636; Paasonen 2013: 83). The most common iteration of the money shot is the scene-ending sequence of a man’s penis ejaculating onto a passive woman’s body, either her face or some eroticized part of her body. Both characters are usually identified as cisgender—meaning that their gender identity aligns with their sex assignment at birth. Given this, the money shot may seem irredeemably linked to the “blatant misogyny and enthusiastic embrace of degradation by many of those who make pornography” (Boyle 2010: 216).

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