Money Shot

Here Comes the Money Shot

It’s hard to imagine a time when the ‘money shot’ or
‘cum shot’ wasn’t a signature of the porn industry.

The shot — where a male porn performer ejaculates,
usually on a partner, and the camera captures the
action in luxuriating detail — is the defining
aesthetic of contemporary porn, both gay and straight.

The question of why the money shot is so popular is one
of pure mechanics. It has to do with the real physiology
of orgasm and ejaculation.

The male orgasm is external, the female orgasm is internal
His ejaculation can easily be caught on film.

Why Is the Money Shot So Popular? It’s How the Female Reacts

The fact that the money shot is so highly popular (in terms of traffic, ratings, and downloads) in countries as varied as Japan, India, Russia, Mexico, and Sweden, Despite being utterly taboo to display in public or in the media it calls out for a scientific explanation.

Men are aroused by the expression of specific female emotions. Female submissiveness is certainly one of them, but so is aggressiveness, enthusiasm, promiscuity, and youthful innocence, as measured by the frequency of these patterns of expression in the most popular varieties of online pornography.

Obviously some of these emotions are mutually exclusive (they are not the only paradox of human sexual arousal) and even if these cues were designed by evolution their effect on each individual man is heavily influenced by culture and experience.

But what matters here is the fact that the male sexual brain is highly responsive to the expression of female emotion—and there is no more potent and expressive signal of female emotion than a woman’s face.

Ejaculation Delay

The reason the money shot is so popular is because it is an erotic illusion that combines two disparate sexual cues into a single gestalt (like the Mona Lisa smile): (1) male ejaculation and (2) a vivid female reaction, whatever that reaction may be. In other words, the facial is a kind of pornographic emoticon.

What is so often overlooked about facials in male-targeted pornography is the variety of women’s expressions. Yes, you’ll find women reacting submissively—but you’ll also find delight, fear, surprise, anger, girlish giggles, and aggressive demands.

Different men have different sexual tastes in terms of what female emotion is most arousing in a sexual experience but the facial is a flexible perceptual canvas that provides tremendous erotic freedom to link together a preferred female emotional expression with a male climax.

Incidentally, in the highly popular heterosexual male genre of large penis pornography, the focus is also on the woman’s reaction, whether joy, anxiety, or puzzlement—women’s faces are as prominent if not more prominent than the oversized phallus itself.)

More sophisticated contemporary pornographers understand the importance of providing female emotional expression to accompany anatomical shots; more and more pornography uses a split screen where one image shows a close-up and the other shows the woman’s face.

Evolutionary theory has no persuasive account of the facial, because no matter what kind of Darwinian gymnastic one might employ there is no reproductive advantage from facial ejaculations.

Sociocultural theory falls short because of its overemphasis on the role of submissiveness (when so many facials do not feature female submissiveness.