Written by Cheryl Wischhover for Cosmopolitan. Originally published under the title, “What It’s Really Like to Own a Porn Company,” on August 6th, 2015.
“Shine Louise Houston, 41, is the founder of Pink and White Productions, whose films and series, like “The Crash Pad,” have earned accolades from the mainstream adult community and the Feminist Porn Awards…
There wasn’t a good representation [in porn] of the queer community, and you don’t see people of color unless they’re in a niche market. I didn’t want it to be niche. I just wanted to have a video that would be diversity in body types, diversity in gender expression, diversity in skin color. I have a real problem with everything in mainstream porn being in these categories, like “MILF” and “interracial.” I feel like those categories are highly problematic.
It was kind of a weird right time and right place. [After my first film, “The Crash Pad,” was released], all of a sudden out of nowhere film festivals were calling us, like [LGBT film fest] Outfest. I wasn’t even applying to film festivals at this point. It was also kind of crazy because we had an article in [lesbian magazine] Curve and that gave us movement. Apparently the market was so dry in this category that as soon as I made this one film it was like an explosion.
[To find performers,] a lot of it was word of mouth and a few performers came from ads on Craigslist. They were friends of friends, and I knew some people from the Lusty Lady [strip club] who were in the movie. Since I was new and I hadn’t actually made anything yet, I had lots of lengthy conversations with people before they were actually cast in the movie. I kind of wish I had that luxury now, but those days are gone. Now we have such a following, especially for “The Crash Pad” series website, that we have people applying left and right. If we were able to cast everybody who has put in an application so far we’d be booked for the next six years.
“Crash Pad” is like an anthropological study of queer culture. You can see just how politics have shifted. And you can see there are trends in what people do. For a while there it was strap-ons always. Now, not really. Then we had a rage for pumps and everybody was using pumps. Some things come back and some don’t. I also think there’s been a steady increase in trans visibility and I think it’s translated into who feels comfortable enough and empowered enough to apply. It’s a snowball effect. That encourages more trans folk to apply. Also I think it’s appreciated because we’re not doing it in a way that is making it an exotic [fetish] thing. It’s like, Oh it’s just another performer. “
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