The San Fernando Valley Pornography Industry – Ana Lacher

23 Nov

The girls of San Fernando Valley, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, are often nicknamed ‘valley girls.’ They are the girls that often say “like” as every third word and are reminiscent of Cher in the 90s classic Clueless. However, these ‘valley girls’ are not the only girls in the Valley. There are the ‘valley girls’ that are featured on websites that require your birthday be on or before this day in 1993. These ‘valley girls’ are the porn stars of America.

The goal of my paper is to analyze why San Fernando Valley, California is the hub of the pornography industry in the United States. Many of these girls, the ones that go on to become porn stars, have the dream of becoming ‘something.’ In order to try and get noticed they head out west to Los Angeles, one of the largest creative cities in the United States, hoping to be in the right place at the time. However, upon their arrival, they realize it isn’t as easy as they had hoped. Many girls turn to pornography as a way to pay their rent and make a living. For some it is a one-time deal, and for others it becomes a career.

Because of its proximity to Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley has become the city responsible for the creative industry of pornography. Because so many people seek fame and wind up unsuccessful but looking for work, there is an endless stream of ‘employees.’ Not only does Los Angeles bring employees, but also the suburban location of San Fernando allows for pornographic films to happen and remain unnoticed. They are tucked away in rental houses undisturbed and discreet.

San Fernando Valley, California to some is just a suburban neighborhood they call home, but to others it is the center of a multimillion dollar industry, that continues to flourish.


15 Responses to “The San Fernando Valley Pornography Industry – Ana Lacher”

  1. Lula November 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    The porn industry is not something I know much about, so it is interesting to think about it in terms of a lucrative industry with a center of production just like say, the technology industry in Silicon Valley. I would like to know more about the San Fernando valley and how close it is to Los Angeles, is it a part of LA county? Has the porn industry been pushed to the outskirts of the city in an attempt to keep it under wraps? Hollywood is nearby so film equipment and resources are readily available. I am interested to know when it started and if it was the original birthplace of porn or if it was relocated to be there because of its’ proximity to Hollywood. I would also be interested in learning more about the role of the porn industry in the local and national economy– if it is a substantial part of it or if it makes up a very small portion. It would be fun to put your research into conversation with Richard Florida and decided whether or not he would consider it to be a part of the creative economy and its’ workers members of the creative class.

    • comm3812 November 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

      I would be interested in the same questions as Lula, but also just in general why (legally) this industry continues to flourish when the government must have considerable knowledge of its workings. Are there other “smaller hubs” of the industry? If so, do they interconnect with San Fernando Valley at all? Is it an autonomous industry?

  2. Julia Gautreaux November 28, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Being from Los Angeles, I am well aware of how many people come to the city trying to find fame and stardom and how many simply do not make it. Nearly every waiter/waitress in LA claims to be an “aspiring actor” or “soon to be model”- and they have probably been riding on this aspiration for quite a many years. It is only natural to assume that they eventually go somewhere when realizing their dream may not come true, and it is interesting to see that many have turned to the industry you describe in San Fernando. Like Lula, I also wonder how Richard Florida would view these people and whether or not he would qualify them as creative. It is also interesting to consider why San Fernando became the hub of this industry as opposed to other small suburbs in Los Angeles such as Irvine, Pasadena, Bakersfield etc.- why pornography and why here? As we discussed in class, Thomas Kuhn and JMB Edwards say that socially marginal people have a greater tendency to act against the tradition because they’re less invested in it. Does this mean that porn stars are socially marginal? If so, we’re they always this way, or did they become this way after not making it as a movie star in LA? And can pornography even be considered non-traditional when looking at how long of a history it has and how big of an industry it is?
    – Julia Gautreaux

    • gerald September 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      money. real estate from the 30s and 40s.

  3. comm3812 November 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    I think the Porn Industry was a very interesting topic to explore, because of the question whether or not it is considered a creative industry. I think surely it is, it may be quite different from other scenes such as music or art, but Porn is nonetheless another genre of film. I also like how you brought up that the industry has flourished in San Fernando Valley because it is in a suburb and can remain out of site for those who find it a taboo topic. I wonder what the scene would look like if it were in the center of LA of NY? Maybe it only can remain successful being an underground industry, otherwise it would get more publicity in a negative way, only to hurt the success of the industry. I think you found a great topic to explore and would love to read your paper. –Ana Proehl

  4. Aja November 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Interesting topic, a lot of the questions asked above are what spark my curiosity, but I also wonder if their intentions are first hand pornography rather than a fallback from a failure into the Los Angeles movie scene? I would think to pursue pornography its not simply a professional decision but a moral decision too and with crossover stars like Jenna Jameson, I am curious if young actresses are beginning to get into porn specifically for this same reason. Simply achieving what they ultimately want through doing something that they don’t necessarily desire to do?

    • comm3812 November 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

      I am interested in finding out the answers to most of the questions ask above. I wonder, because San Fernando Valley is so so close to Los Angeles, does this harm its reputation? People are known to come to LA to become movie stars. It is interesting, I had never heard of people coming to LA to pursue their pornography career. Very interesting topic.

  5. peter pan May 13, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Why si SF Valley the hub??? Hahhahaha this don’t take much to work out idiot., CA is open minded and liberal, hot sunshine, great weather and next to Hollywood, anything else you want to know? Im from UK and even I worked that out:-) End of magazine

    • JsW December 3, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Your a lazy idiot! Your answer is not an answer! The porn capital of america could be anywhere around Hollywood or in California! The question is why specifically the San Fernando valley???

      • Matches Malone March 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

        Simply because you can’t spell “you’re” Doesn’t mean that I’m a lazy idiot. Sun, a mountain peak, and the ability to shoot both indoors and out make the SFV where I grew up, the porn capital of the US, if not the World.

        Oh, and did I mention that unless anyone is breaking the law, anyone can do whatever they want anywhere.

  6. peter pan May 13, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    SF Valley is world know for Porn… Valley Girls since in 1920’s

  7. No name November 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    You are doing vey very ver bad things! Repent your selfs now!!!

  8. No name November 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    You are doing very very very very very very very bad things! Repent your selfs right now!!!

  9. joe April 4, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    You know, a young, attractive woman needing to make a living–even on a short-term basis–might not find this so unattractive. Think of it…young, needing to pay rent, horny…and here’s an opportunity to make some pretty good cash AND get a real workout with PROFESSIONAL fellows! Beats waiting tables, I’d say…

    • Nathan October 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

      I’d explain it like this:
      SFV evolved as being a hub for the US porn industry for a number of reasons, some of which have been mentioned already. I’d summarise the reasons as follows:

      1) Close proximity to Hollywood film industry, offering a plentiful supply of camera and lighting pros ready to make extra bux on the side…many of whom live in the Valley anyways since it is a dormitory region of LA county.

      2)Few if any regulatory restrictions on adult film production. ( at the time).

      3) An abundance of industrial real estate ie lots and lots of discrete warehouse real estate for rental for use as HQ and studio sites.

      ( When you go to Chatsworth or Northridge you can spot the porn company buildings.. they’re the ones without company signage out front)

      4)Good natural light outdoors and good conditions for either indoor or out shooting.

      5) Lots of pretty girls who are always on the make!

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