In Kentucky, 2018 and 2019 have both been years of heated debates about funding teacher pension plans. Kentucky's governor, Matt Bevin, is in favor of altering the state pension program, and the state's educators– who are incapable of drawing social security in retirement and are paid below the global average for educators– are finding themselves feeling screwed over.
And it's that sensation of feeling screwed that has inspired the Kentucky-based adult entertainment company, BluegrASS, to record an unexpected series of films that pairs real Kentucky educators with adult actors who are actively parodying prominent Kentucky legislators.
Naturally, consider this a warning that discussion of adult themes is ahead.
It started with a protest sign
While protesting at the capital, a Kentucky teacher– who has requested to only be referred to by her stage name, Naomi Trunchbull– carried a neatly written sign which read, "Only wood shop projects should get screwed this badly."
Her sign, which went viral on Twitter, caught the attention of Bella McGinness, the owner and managing producer of BluegrASS entertainment. Though relatively new on the scene, BluegrASS has made a splash in the adult entertainment industry by winning three Grabby Awards at the most recent Adult Film Star Awards night, setting a record for studios that have been in operation for less than a month.
"We understand that porn is fantasy, but we think the fantasy that has been represented for a long time is quite narrow," McGinness says. "Sex is about more than male power fantasies. We think that there are very few rules when it comes to sex, but the few rules that do exist are incredibly important. First, every person involved in any capacity should be a fully consenting adult who is operating exclusively under their own volition. Second, it should be empowering and satisfying for everyone involved, whether you're a dom or a gimp."
When McGinness saw Trunchbull's sign, a thought sparked in her mind: what if teachers were getting screwed well?
"I immediately sat down at my computer and started writing the first script for the series. I wanted to explore what it would look like if Kentucky's legislators supported our teachers in the budget and the bedroom," she reflects, "That first script was a stroke of genius– and yes, I do mean stroke."
The first film, What Happens in the Teachers' Lounge, starts off with a lesson in macroeconomics (Naomi Trunchbull's real-life area of expertise). Fully clothed and walking back and forth slowly in front of a clean whiteboard, Trunchbull opens packs of new dry erase markers, commenting on how nice it is that the state has provided her with a fully-stocked classroom in which to teach her lessons. As she writes out in-depth notes about economic growth, price stability, and employment, she chuckles and reflects how nice it is to have a fully-attentive class of students whose parents only send positive feedback her way.
She teaches the lesson to completion before dismissing her class and leaving to go to the teachers' lounge. In the teacher's lounge, she finds Congressman Tandy Farr (a clear parody of Andy Barr) waiting for her in the nude. Farr, portrayed by Clyde Van Dusen (named after the famous race horse), proceeds to pour her a glass of chardonnay and rub her feet, whispering sweet messages of assured funding and a growing pension plan as he does so.
When her feet have been thoroughly massaged and she's feeling relaxed from the chardonnay, Farr asks if she consents to going further. She does not, as she's been teaching all day and is feeling tired, so he leaves to go clean her classroom and to buy pencils for all of her students.
Trunchbull takes another sip of wine and the credits roll.
But not all films are as pleasant as What Happens in the Teachers Lounge. Some films take the offensive, launching an assault on the legislators who have jeopardized teacher pensions.
No Extra Credit for You, Matt Bevin is one such film. In it, a group of six teachers from a variety of subjects and grade levels sit at a round table, fact-checking Governor Bevin's tweets, public statements, and campaign promises. Much like a game of strip poker, each time a member of the round table reads something that is untrue, he or she removes an article of clothing; however, when they read a true statement, they put an article of clothing back on. Within the first two minutes of the film, everyone is completely nude, and one male teacher– referred to as Professor Girth (for reasons that become clear around the thirty second mark)– manages to put on a pair of socks by the end of the thirty five minute film.
Is political parody the future of adult films in Kentucky?
"For the foreseeable future, I think this is going to be really relevant for our audience," McGinness speculates. "We'd really like to branch out into other state employees and public servants, but teachers have been the most vocal and visible when it comes to pension reform, so we'll stick there for a while. If cops ever look past Bevin's lip service and realize that he's exploiting their service for his own gain and popularity with conservatives, we'll be sure to feature them as well."
Teachers from all around Kentucky have started working with BluegrASS Entertainment in a variety of capacities over the last few months. A team of underpaid English teachers have been brought on in a freelance capacity to help write and copyedit scripts, drama teachers have been on-set to provide real-time feedback on performances, and a few computer science instructors have made themselves available to assist with editing videos.
One teacher, who has requested that he be referred to as Mr. Maxxx Man, stated "the pay is significantly better than what I make in the classroom. I don't actually have to do anything I'm uncomfortable with either. I seriously just made $5,000 to sit on a desk in my underwear and talk about how I create my lesson plans. $5,000. Do you know how much work I have to do– and how much I do that I don't get paid for– to earn that much as a teacher?"
Like Maxxx Mann, Naomi Trunchbull has also found the pay to be a breath of fresh air for her.
"The studio recognizes that I'm a human, and that I therefore deserve the dignity of being paid for the work that I do," Trunchbull smiled as she spoke, "I even earned an extra $100 when I said that I stayed up a little late to do some rewrites on the script."
In addition to helping teachers who are in a tight spot BluegrASS entertainment is projected to bring as much as $3.5 million in revenue to the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2019 alone. Unless marijuana legalization occurs in the second quarter of 2019, economists– including Naomi Trunchbull– project that this will make adult film and entertainment the industry with the highest profit margins in Kentucky, meaning that there is a good chance the field will grow and new studios will pop up in the very near future.
Until then, BluegrASS plans on squeezing every single penny they can out of the Bevin administration.
"We'll keep making money hand over fist(ful of lotion) until then," McGinness told me in a follow-up email to our initial interview. Her words went on to encapsulate and wrap up the situation perfectly, "We all owe something to the teachers that have helped to shape us and make us who we are. We should all do what we can to help them. Call your representatives, join them in protest, and if you have a business that can support them financially, pay them to get in front of a camera. It's the least we can do."