Mika Tan Discusses the Porn Industry, Racism & Prostitution
--on the web
Mika Tan posts on www.myspace.com/mikatan : I got this message and since I have been asked these things before, I thought I might as well respond publicly. His questions are all very valid and thoughtful and hopefully, I answered all of his questions.
A guy at work told me recently that my girlfriend "looked like that porn chick Mika Tan". I was curious enough to do a little research, and I discovered you've appeared in the following movies:
• Slant Eyed Sluts
• Black Dicks in Asian Chicks 2
• Fresh Asian Sex Sluts
• Whoriental Sex Academy 3
Perhaps hundreds more. A quick read of your website includes notable bits such as the fact that your family has encountered you holding ice on your crotch because of the lingering pain from your scenes. Evidently you are enthusiastic in your work. So based on this research and your physical resemblance to my girlfriend, I am a bit horrified. For her sake. And I am compelled to ask you the following questions:
1. Do you believe that porn tagged with racial themes (which looks to be a huge amount) is inherently 'racist' in some way ? For example, asians make up less than 5% of the US population, yet asian females account for a huge slice of porn production. Is this a form of racial targeting of a vulnerable minority, and is it abusive?
Mika: Porn "DVD lines" or titles are all compiled to hit target markets. The racial titles have gotten a little crazy over the years with companies trying to find different names to refer to the same thing: Asian girls. DVD's cannot have the same title, so I think these production companies sit and study a thesaurus to come up with eye-catching, simple, yet ORIGINAL titles. When I am booked for a scene, all I only told the genre (i.e. fetish, asian, schoolgirl - so I know what kind of wardrobe to bring) and the titles are done later when the movie is released. I almost never have any idea what the title of the DVD when it is being filmed, unless it is a sequel.
You must understand that the racial target is not directed to the performers...the target is the consumer. Many, many men absolutely LOVE Asian women. PERIOD. The movies are made for them. I am in the business of fantasy fulfillment. There is a large demographic of military/business men who fell in love with the quintessential "Asian whore" while in Southeast Asia. You would not believe how many times I have been hired to speak in broken English. They sometimes have language coaches on set to help the more Americanized Asian girls speak with Asian accents. We are performers. I said it before and I will say it again, porn is not necessarily for men like you who have an Asian girl already. Porn is for the guy who loves Asian women and cannot get one. For some, porn is the only outlet to get the kind of sex they like.
2. Could it be argued that the type of work you do perpetuates and strengthens the absolute worse stereotypes in this country about asian women ?
Mika: What are the stereotypes? I have been a dominatrix (several times over), a prostitute, a schoolgirl, a businesswoman, a CEO, a doctor, a nurse...the stereotypes in porn far exceeds race. You can take these same characters I have played and put it on a blonde or a Mexican or a black girl. All pornchicks have all played the same fantasy role at one time or another. I have played very strong and very submissive roles.
3. Do you believe it increases the prevalence of sex tours to asian countries, and increases the odds of asian girls being targeted for sexual abuse?
Mika: Sex tours in Asian countries are being perpetuated by these Asian countries and companies who exploit these Asian women. American porn does not have anything to do with that. Those have been going on longer than porn has been around. Some people seem to believe that Asian-based porn is the only window men have to see Asian women in a sexual way. Prostitution in Thailand, Vietnam, the Phillippines, and South Korea have been around for a very long time, keeping many thousands of GI's happy since the early 1950's.
Okinawan schoolgirls have been targeted my US Marines for years. Japanese porn who show all the schoolgirls in uniform might have a hand in that one. I don't know.
I hope that for every guy who gets off and rolls over to sleep at home, that one less guy trolling the bars with the intent of getting rid of his sexual frustrations on any woman who happens along.
Rape is an issue of control, not sex -- by the way.
4. Do you believe the rough 'gonzo' style and mysogynist attitude of most porn (google also shows you on 18inchesofpain.com) and its focus on the 'pain' inflicted on the actresses promotes women as objects of sexual humiliation?
Mika: I also work on a website called meninpain.com and meanbitches.com. Men are the subject of humilation there. Please get it in your head that porn does not target only one sex or one gender.
After almost 10 years in the business, I have noticed trends toward more mysogynistic roles. I think it is the change in American society's views on women. Women are more powerful than they have been over the last 50 years. Most television sitcoms show the wives are the smart ones, while their husbands are simple-minded dolts. While women's roles in the home and the workplace are changing, the average porn consumer is still between 30-45. The stronger women get, the more men want to fantasize about them being put back in their place, so to speak.
Porn tries to accommodate different kinds of niche markets. One gonzo DVD costs about $16K to produce. They do not make DVDs unless their market research shows they will be able to sell their film. Porn does not create fetishes, it caters to them. I believe there is a market for average Asian men having sex with pornstars to the point where I kerplunked $15K of my own money to produce a DVD, but I cannot get distribution because no company so far feels that it is a strong enough market.
4a. Do you think that consumers of porn will try to reenact these scenes with asian sex workers or girlfriends? Do you think that some of them have lost any idea of what a 'real' sexual relationship could be?
Mika: I would hope some people use porn to spice up their sex lives! Lots of people whether or not they watch porn have a twisted view on what a normal sexual relationship should be. I dated a guy in college who never watched porn and yet he loved spitting in my mouth and wanted anal sex all the time, because his ex-girlfriend liked it. People learn for other sources aside from porn.
5. Do you think porn could some day be colorblind? Or will porn consumers in this country always seek racial combinations that highlight domination / submission of one race to another ? Especially Asian women?
Mika: Porn will never be colorblind, because the men who shop for porn are looking for their type of women. Guys who like Latinas does not want to pick up a DVD with black girls in it. The end consumer is the person we want to make things easier for. This is kind of a repeat of Question #2.
5a. Finally, I see on your website that you promote donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina.... in the name of a black porn performer.
Mika: He is a dear friend of mine who had gotten together the resources to get a project going to help others. I do not have the time nor the financial means to be able to startup a project, so I decided to help. Speaking of colorblind...why is his color an issue?
5b. Did you know that a vietnamese residential community in New Orleans is being poisoned by a huge toxic landfill, right in their backyard? Mayor Nagin is turning a deaf ear. http://www.navasa.org/
Mika: It would appear that in disasters as well in porn, asians are the de rigeur recipients of a colossal screwing over.
You know, there is a strong tone of anti-racism in your letter, but yet I am offended that you are victimizing the Asian race. Let me tell you, Asians stick together. We are are not victims. Our strong work ethic, sense of family, loyalty and trust, and our success-driven upbringing undoubtedly results in us being the best at whatever we decide to do. I appreciate you worrying about your girlfriend and I am not sure what race you are, but please do not think only Asians have been the only race group that have been victimized.
The Kurds, American African slaves, Rwandans, among other race groups targeted for genocide have it bad too. And if you want to really get down to it, American Indians lost their whole damn country. To me, racism in and of itself is not as big of a deal as BIGOTRY. There are going to self-serving assholes in this world and who they target is not always an issue of race. It is just whoever is the weaker.
5c. Final bonus question....If you could do it all over again, would you?
Mika: Absolutely. The only thing I would have changed is that I should have saved more of it. Some of the dumb things I spent money on: I traveled extensively through Europe and Asia when I first started, bought a new car for a stupid ex-boyfriend, a $1250 Queen Amidala costume for Halloween, which my cat pee'd on and I ended up throwing it away! That sucked.