Hard-Earned Cash: Inside The World Of A Porn Fluffer
Cosmopolitan Australia|December 2018

Erica Black is on set, poolside at a mansion in Bondi during the late ’90s. There’s a director, crew, a naked man and two naked women for a Playboy UK production of a hardcore porn film. She has one job… to ‘fluff’

Joshua Joynes

It’s a world so many of us first meet on the cusp of adolescence; with its instant availability and perfectly curated content, pornography is a rite of passage. Avid viewer or not, you know what it’s there for. It’s equal parts theatrical and titillating and there’s always something for everybody. But what you might be surprised to know is that getting hard is hard work. So much so that the industry invented the role of a ‘fluffer’.

Don’t let the adorable term fool you, the origin of a porn ‘fluffer’ was to work alongside the set’s producer to ensure the minute the male performer needed to be, he was ready to go, and blow. While there was no official technique or universal method, a ‘fluffer’ was there to fluff up a man’s libido, doing whatever it took. Turns out the Golden Age of Porn (1969 – 1984) had such a massive demand on the industry; men were signing up to take part in pornographic films in droves, with or without a libido.

As the ’90s swooped in, so did prescription drugs, and ‘fluffers’ slowly morphed into a logistical and administrative lifeline for the entire porn world. Enter Erica Black. At the time, Erica was 19, studying Political Science at the University of New South Wales when she got her first taste of the ‘fluffer’ world. ‘Bad Mike’ as she ominously refers to him, was a UK-based porn director living in Sydney on the lookout for potential stars.

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