Home-grown Porn

"You want to see more than you see now? Believe me, it's coming, and it won't take long," says Shani (not her real name), taking off her white T-shirt, and about to take off the faded bra underneath. Shani looks straight into the camera: "It's very close. It's coming. What you see now is only appearances. What's coming next will be miraculous."

"You want to see more than you see now? Believe me, it's coming, and it won't take long," says Shani (not her real name), taking off her white T-shirt, and about to take off the faded bra underneath. Shani looks straight into the camera: "It's very close. It's coming. What you see now is only appearances. What's coming next will be miraculous."

Shani kneels. She takes off her black panties, leaving a hand to cover her genitals - because Gadi [not his real name] told her to look "bashful" - and talks to the camera in a seductive voice. Cut.

Ra'anana. In one house in an identical row of private homes surrounded by white fences, Moshe [not his real name] lives with his wife, the kids, a poodle, a bird in a cage and a cat. A room on the second floor of the family home will today serve as the filming location of a porn clip being produced by the head of the house and his partner Gadi, for the their sex Web site Parpar 1 [Butterfly] (http://www.parpar1.com). Moshe and Gadi are not only the producers, but also the cameramen, the Webmasters, the scriptwriters, the auditioners and, as they put it, "the actors' mom and dad."

They started their Web site half-a-year ago, in order to realize a dream: the creation of original Israeli pornographic content, or in other words, Hebrew-language blue movies.

"We have started an industry here," says Moshe of the young Internet business that the two hope will soon begin to show a profit. "The expenses are tremendous. Hugh Hefner had it hard at the beginning, too, but I don't want to complain. We consider this a very serious production. Five years from now, when there is broadband Internet in every home, there won't be a home that is not familiar with Parpar 1."

The advantages of the natural look

In the Parpar 1 productions, they don't try to build impressive sets, or to create imaginary glamour. The owners of the site prefer that everything be "natural, casual, homey, authentic. Like porn 30 years ago. That's the best. All the silicon doesn't look real."

But while the owners' dealings with the actors are friendly and informal, they are very strict about one thing: that the actors in the films be "complete Israelis. Native born."

New immigrants, and especially female immigrants from the former Soviet Union, do not pass the selection at the genuine Israeli porn site. "We could bring thousands of beautiful Russian women, but the Israeli wants them only as call girls," says Gadi.

It's not by chance that Moshe and Gadi insist on genuine Israeli porn actors. The two know that they are filling a real vacuum in the local cyber-porn market, which is based almost entirely on links to foreign sex sites. The Israeli male surfer has already experienced the wonders of American, German, Finnish and Thai women in the Silicon Valley of world porn, and now he wants local meat. Considering the flowering of amateur galleries at Israeli sites - such as Adashat Erom [Naked Lens] (http://www.adasha.co.il) - it is not hard to discern the desire of Israeli surfers for the local "next-door neighbor," but to be the first to do it definitely requires guts.

Moshe and Gadi report that there is a regular flow of enthusiastic responses from the surfers. "They tell me that I am doing sacred work," says Moshe. The site is busiest between 2 and 5 P.M., "when people use the frame relay at work," chuckles Gadi.

Red lines

The two producers set clear red lines: complete avoidance of pedophilia or scenes of rape and violence. The actors testify that they set the boundaries themselves, and are free to decide in which positions to be filmed. So far the site has dealt almost only with straight films, but soon they are planning to break into the local homosexual scene.

Parpar 1 offers its surfers a subscription (NIS 35 per week, NIS 99 per month), which allows the 1,000 present subscribers to obtain access to short clips that are transferred by the streaming method (they can't be downloaded).

So far, Moshe and Gadi have filmed 250 hours of Israeli porn, at a variety of locations all over the country: Ronit Farms (where a Biblically-inspired film called "The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" was filmed); somewhere on the shoulders of the coastal road ("drivers shouted, `Good for you'"); on the beach in Eilat, in the Yarkon park and in many standard rooms.

"We are crazy," says Moshe about the locations. "You can't be completely normal (in this field)."

The site also offers full-length video films for sale, as well as a variety of sex accessories that the two have lately begun to sell.

As opposed to what one might think, Moshe and Gadi have no trouble finding Israeli girls who agree to appear in the films. They have already filmed 12 of them. They say it is important to them to keep the girls with them. With men, on the other hand, things are a little more complicated. "Thousands of men have approached us asking to be filmed. Even without pay. Israeli men talk a lot. Everyone thinks he's the greatest, but not all of them can do it," says Moshe.

The main problem with men in the porn industry - a problem that results in frequent changes in the casts of the films - is the difficulty in achieving an erection, or in sustaining it for some time, in front of the camera, the production crew, and a female partner whom they sometimes don't know. It is not his physical build, his face or the size of his sexual organ that determines a man's suitability. What is important is the ability to function under pressure, and to be able to carry out the instructions of the director, on request.

Before Moshe and Gadi cast a new male actor, he has to prove his suitability. Not long ago, says Moshe, a new actor who was on his way to the set changed his mind at the last moment, and asked to be let out of the car in mid-journey.

It is 8:30 A.M., and the actor and actress are supposed to arrive in a few minutes. Shani's resume includes six films with various types of partners. Her partner, Eyal [not his real name] is being tested for the first time.

"It's hard work," says Moshe, who is sitting in the living room next to a pile of family laundry. "People are exhausted after four hours of work. So are we. I'm looking for great guys." Of actors who have trouble functioning he says: "The second time around, I don't accept that. Let him take Viagra."

Do the actors know one another?

"No. They are meeting today for the first time. It's no problem."

Moshe's wife is coming down the stairs; she nods hello and remains silent. "She knows everything," says Moshe, "and she has no problem with it. It's a business." He admits that his own home is not an ideal filming location, but he says that he has been forced to use it because "there is a problem with hotels that are full."

You know that there is criticism of the industry. What kind of reactions have you had from women?

"We receive only good reactions from women. No official body has tried to interfere. We are not violating any law."

With the stars

They arrive at about 9 A.M. Shani, a 26-year-old redhead who has studied theater, and Eyal, a dark and muscular man of 30, sit next to each other on the sofa. They still don't actually conduct a conversation, but one can discern Shani's first attempt to create intimacy; she is the more daring of the two.

Shani came to Parpar 1 by chance. Until half-a-year ago she was sprawling on the beaches of Thailand, but after returning to Israel some friends "told me about this, interested me in it. Great."

Shani didn't tell her close friends about her new job, and it seems that although she is filmed having sexual relations, and can be observed by millions of surfers, she tries to put limits on total exposure on the set. "My family doesn't know, except for my older brother. My girlfriends don't know, either. I have told only a few good friends. I feel good about what I do. But I don't want to be exposed. People want to see porn, but don't accept people who do it. That's how they were brought up. Society doesn't approve. It makes you different. Work, studies, that's what they know about me. People wouldn't be able to handle it. I can't tell."

Shani has not yet been recognized on the street by one of the surfers who has watched her performances, but a short time ago, when she was sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv, she by chance heard strangers talking about the site, and was flattered. She will never be a guest on a talk show.

Like Shani, Eyal prefers to preserve a certain anonymity, and hasn't told his family about his new job. "I told only two friends. One was enthusiastic, and the other told me to think very carefully about what I am doing. He also told me about someone who once was photographed for Playboy and then was sorry.

"I always thought about participating in porn films, even while I was still in high school," says Eyal, who found the job on Parpar 1 through the Internet. But now, when he is about to realize his adolescent dream in a dot-com version, he looks anxious and hesitant. "I told myself `Let's do it,' and a month ago I had a meeting with Moshe. I hope it goes okay."

"Relax," Shani tells him, putting a hand on his thigh. "The most important thing is not to get too nervous. Take it easy."

Shani does porn films to fulfill exhibitionist and financial needs, although she claims that one can't make a living only from porn films. No one was willing to tell exactly how much the actors earn, but everyone admitted that the girls always earn more than the guys. As in foreign porn.

"My motivation for participating is that people watch," says Shani. "Hundreds, thousands. To know that people are watching - the excitement in front of the camera is good for me. To know that a surfer needs it, and is enthusiastic about it, and watches it, makes me reach orgasm faster."

Shani and Eyal begin to get closer to each other. They pet Moshe's poodle together, and use this to build up tension toward the scene. It's hard to believe that the two first met 40 minutes ago.

"When I come to work eagerly, with a smile, give my all, the film comes out accordingly," says Shani.

Which scenes are the most fun to film?

"Everything is fun," interrupts Moshe. "All the filming days are fun. Tell about the last time."

Shani is embarrassed. "Not the best example," she says. She turns to us. "I fell asleep in the middle. It was with another guy and a girl."


Shani: "There was a certain reason."

Quiet, we're filming

Moshe announces that filming is about to begin.

Did you study photography?

Moshe: "No, I don't need to. I have a natural feeling for it. You'll see."

"I'm nervous," says Eyal. Shani is all over him already. "I hope she'll be easy on me," he says. Shani tells him not to worry.

His mobile phone rings. He answers and looks around at everyone: A strange girl with whom he's supposed to have sex in a few minutes, two curious journalists and new "parents" with high expectations of their "son." He moves away to the front yard to talk privately.

It's time to go upstairs. Gadi signals to Eyal.

Eyal prefers that the film not be made in the presence of journalists.

The decision is postponed until after Shani stars in a short one-woman performance.

Everyone goes upstairs. Shani gets her script: "You undress and touch yourself for 10 minutes."

Shani stands on a mattress on the floor, Moshe begins filming, and she carries out the director's instructions while improvising a monologue.

Everyone in the room is standing. Only Shani sits naked on the mattress, hiding her body with a pillow, hugging it to her.

Now comes Eyal's moment of truth. He still insists that he doesn't want the journalists. Shani thinks it's even better with journalists, but says that we have to understand Eyal and do what he asks.

Even without the journalists, it turned out to be a hard day. Moshe reports that it was relatively good. Eyal was nervous. At the end it turned out okay, after three hours.