In­side the world of a porn fluffer

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’

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Beauty -

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 UK­based porn di­rec­tor liv­ing in Syd­ney on the look­out for po­ten­tial stars.

‘He would ask me, “Babes, if you can get some stu­dents, put a no­tice board up” – this was be­fore dig­i­tal – “and if you get me a hot stu­dent, I’ll give you 10 per cent of the fee”, which was $5,000 a day; good money! I would think to my­self, I’m not get­ting some poor girl into this,’ says Erica.

While she wasn’t look­ing for a job in cast­ing, she was able to of­fer the ‘fluff’, es­pe­cially for $800 a day. ‘In the ’90s, the role of a ‘fluffer’ had changed. I had to reg­u­late all the in­take of the drugs they were on. Then I would clean the rooms and as­sist on set,’ she ex­plains. Gone were the days of fel­la­tio favours – Erica was ex­pected to be an on­set nurse, cleaner, ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant and was even re­quired to make lunch. ‘I had to keep all the Vi­a­gra reg­u­lated – they were like hun­gry pigs. All the boys would take GHB (gamma­hy­drox­y­bu­tyrate) to get su­per horny. It was re­ally dodgy,’ she says.

One pro­duc­tion, Erica re­calls be­ing on lo­ca­tion with ‘Bad Mike’ in a man­sion in Syd­ney’s Bondi, fit with lush in­te­ri­ors and a full­length pool. The film was com­mis­sioned by Play­boy UK and in­volved back­to­back scenes. She says she was shocked by the amount of takes it took, some last­ing over an hour to film.

‘The boys were mis­be­hav­ing, want­ing more and more [drugs]. I was on strict in­struc­tions from “Bad Mike” to keep them in line, so to speak. They’d want to eat them all – it was too much,’ she de­tails. As for the women, Erica re­calls in­stances of them be­ing less than ex­cited to be there.

‘There was a room where they had to wait and my job was to talk to them and make sure [they were OK]. The di­rec­tor didn’t care if they wanted to do it or not – but I just had to make sure they knew what they were do­ing. Kind of like a showrun­ner. I was across the time­lines on set, mak­ing sure they were all dressed... re­ally, in not much.’

Un­be­known to ‘Bad Mike’, Erica says she did try to con­vince the women to leave, adding that she would have a lot to an­swer for if the women had ac­tu­ally bailed. ‘I would look af­ter all the girls needs – from lunch to lin­gerie.

‘Be­ing on set while two strangers had sex in front of an en­tire crew was com­pletely nor­mal,’ ex­plains Erica. ‘Ev­ery­one sat there, and then we’d have a cig­a­rette break and would chat about other things.’

As for the af­ter­math, Erica’s work as a ‘fluffer’ seemed to know no bounds. ‘“Bad Mike” would in­sist I had to change sheets and clean the sets. I thought I’d be scoop­ing up cum from ev­ery­where, but it never got that bad, though it did go up the walls... that was never fun.’

As for whether or not Erica would ever re­turn to the in­dus­try... she says it’s a def­i­nite no. Come 2018, her ‘fluffer’ days are over. She’s traded in porn for Pom­mery, and is en­joy­ing film sets of a dif­fer­ent kind. She’ll be star­ring in up­com­ing re­al­ity TV se­ries My Fab­u­lous Life, along­side some of the coun­try’s most ec­cen­tric per­son­al­i­ties.

Erica is­sues a hard warn­ing to those look­ing to ven­ture into the in­dus­try: ‘Every set is dif­fer­ent – it’s a risk. No one re­ally cares about what you’re go­ing through. It’s a dog­eat­dog world and an ex­ploita­tive in­dus­try. Women in my opin­ion – the ma­jor­ity any­way – don’t want to do it.’

‘I was on strict in­struc­tions to keep [the boys] in line’

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