By Bernard Dayo
If you type in the word “porn” into a search engine, you would see a string of links to porn websites giving you a range of sexual delicacies. That aside, you would come across one or two article links on why porn is bad. Such as this one that I found while researching on this article, but with the title framed differently. There are many of them though, so much so that they are now beginning to sound like anti-porn propaganda machines spewing tiring rhetorics.
In Nigeria, there’s an overarching, moral climate that discourages the viewing of porn or participating in it. Puritanical views still abound, but even with that, it hasn’t stopped Nigerians from venturing into porn—or the adult film industry, as it were—and making an income. Last week, Lynsey G, author of Watching Porn: And Other Confessions of an Adult Entertainment Journalist and whose bio on Medium is described as “a writerly type with interests in sexuality, feminism, pornography, and general dorkiness” wrote an illuminating piece titled “The Newest Porn Economy Is in Nigeria” with a subtitle that goes, “Porn Around the World: An industry struggles to take hold in a deeply conservative nation.”
Her piece is an interesting one, in that she begins with a prose-like narration of a sex scene from a Nigeria-produced adult film, and she highlights that the sounds that the participants make “are more guttural and less practiced than most of what else can be found on the tube sites.”
Kingtblak, the adult filmmaker who once was paraded about in the Nigerian online media space as a Yahoo-Yahoo boy, is equally an interesting one. He is, arguably, one of the bold faces leading the wave of porntrepreneurship in Nigeria, with an Instagram following of 157,000 people. His account is verified, and a screenshot of a congratulatory verification email from Twitter is prettily shown on his Instagram account by him for any random visitor to see. It feels like a brag—like a trophy he has won. Hochub, his adult entertainment company created last year, is in the business of making near-professional, home-made adult films. I visited the site to check out its functionality and aesthetics, and what particularly struck me was how properly defined and structured the payment plan for subscription was. Hochub caters to Nigerian and American subscribers, or anyone interested in his work. I felt a little scandalised to see payment details involving a couple of new-generation Nigerian banks, but then I realised that this was probably an effort by Kingtblak to easily meet the porn demands of Nigeria-based Nigerians.
Before Kingtblak though, there was Afrocandy, the Nollywood-actress-turned-adult-performer who gained a notoriety for her small-budget adult films shot in America, which is also where she’s based. And, perhaps, it was the controversial optics by Nigerians on her porn-making profession that catapulted her to superstardom. Unlike Kingtblak who is a man and insulted with male privileges, Afrocandy is a woman, and once-married with two children, an the combination of all these drew harsh criticisms from the public. Despite that, she is a woman who is in control of her sexual agency, and has shattered moralistic, patriarchy-defined impositions on womanhood. Last month, Vanguard News reported that she is now into hardcore porn, a story that I found clickbait-y and sensationalistic.
A porntrepreneur, derived from the parent word “entrepreneur,” is someone who is aware of their sexual autonomy and monetises it for profit, mostly through the medium of video, though this definition might not smoothly rope in adult film directors and other key personnel involved in making adult films, or even sex-workers. The term “porntrepreneur” isn’t exactly new. Jelena Jensen and Michael Lucas are just a few of the porntrepreneurs blazing a trail in the adult film industry. And, maybe with a little more time, Afrocandy and Kingtblak wouldn’t just be the only ones in Nigeria.