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The Hottest Porn Scene Ever Made Is 17 Minutes of Crying

In the legendary film ‘Angela 3,’ the sexiest fluids are performer Angela White’s tears of joy. But why is she crying, and why do we love to see it?

It’s late at night, and I’m on Pornhub, completely rapt and riveted by something I never thought I’d see in a porn: One of the performers, busty brunette Angela White, is crying. She’s nude, but there’s no sex happening; in the trimmed version of the full-length scene I’m watching, that part was over before the 10-minute mark. Her tears aren’t the result of a rip-roaring Big O, either; instead, she’s sitting alone on a crisp white couch, speaking into the camera about the recently concluded sexual encounter. “That was really special,” she says just before the first tears start to creep out of her icy grey eyes.

Manuel Ferrara, her naked male counterpart, notices and slinks back onto the couch to comfort her. Then, in a moment of tenderness rarely seen in professional or amateur porn, they just… hold each other. And I don’t mean “hold each other” like a light hug — I mean “hold each other” as if they’ve been reunited after years of bitter war. It’s a highly irregular moment, one that appears to be steeped in vulnerability, honest emotion and a complete lack of freaky showmanship.

I’m of course referring to Angela 3, the iconic 2017 adult film that showcases porn superstars White and Ferrara going at it for 93 minutes straight before welding themselves together in an extended tearful embrace — on camera, of course.

But, Angela 3 isn’t famous because of its feature-film length (note: a clip is linked above, but you’ll need to shell out some cash for the entire masterpiece), nor is it well-known because of its performers’ combined veteran status. Rather, the film is legendary because of the action that happens after the sex, at the point where most porn directors would’ve cut the cameras and walked away to chain-smoke 37 cigarettes. Angela 3 concludes with 17 minutes of White and Ferrara face-to-face, cradling each other while tears pour down White’s face and Ferrara whispers that she’s “so fucking special.” It’s tender, dreamy crying porn. And that, friends, quite simply does not happen.

White in Angela 3

Unsurprisingly, people love Angela 3. Michael Blaustein argues in the New York Post that “porn will never get better than this,” explaining that the film busts “the last taboo in porn” by showcasing notable emotional intimacy. In the early stages of reporting this story, another MEL writer received an unsolicited email from a fan of the film, reading: “It’s really incredible and the part where White cries is anything but repulsive. Those tears inching down her face just killed me. That kind of raw honesty and humility is obviously missing from 99 percent of porn, but — if I may state the obvious — missing from much of our culture as a whole.”

Then, there are the redditors. “I have never been more envious in my entire life than I am right now,” writes krm1437 on the subreddit r/chickflixxx. “That’s the type of physical contact and care I crave. Yes, the sex is obviously amazing, but their connection just radiates trust and joy in being wrapped up and surrounded in each other.” Hottouch_13 agrees. “I think this is probably one of the only porn videos by a big production house that’s close to real sex,” they write. “The emotions seem real, and when Angela hugs Manuel, it’s as though they are a real couple.” (Ferrara was actually married to his current wife Kayden Kross at the time, but he and White have worked together several times, developing an off-camera friendship that may have contributed to the on-camera sparks. It’s admittedly tough to imagine two perfect strangers pulling this off.)

All of this is excellent. There’s something profoundly hopeful about seeing a female performer shed a post-coital tear of joy — especially when it’s inspired by a rush of emotion and not, I don’t know, 20 minutes of getting slapped with the head of a penis. And it’s more than refreshing to see a masculine performer like Ferrara greet tears with such tenderness, essentially doing his part to extend intimacy past the point of his own orgasm. “It’s a shame there aren’t more male actors in the industry with his level of care,” writes Redhead2183.

But it’s fair to assume that viewers may be left with questions. At least, I was — even after watching the film’s last 17 minutes several times. Namely, what inspired White’s crying sesh? As White told the New York Post: “[The film] was way more hardcore than all those extreme physical acts. Delving into your emotionality and opening yourself up like that. At the end of the scene, I cried, it was so emotionally touching.”

Okay, yes, the sex in the film is extremely hot and just as skillful as you’d expect from two performers as experienced as White and Ferrara — but I’ve certainly never wept like that after a sexual encounter. There’s also the matter of authenticity: Are the tears genuine or the result of a truly masterful porn performer?

In an attempt to figure out what happened behind the scenes, I reached out to the performers’ representatives. No dice. As hard as I worked to try to get answers from the porn community — hell, I even tried to track down a boom operator — the involved parties remained tight-lipped. As such, I was forced to draw my own conclusions about what inspired the tears, so I chatted with Effy Blue, a relationship coach and the founder of inclusive sexuality organization Curious Fox.

“Emotional releases during sex lie on a spectrum,” she says, pointing out that crying during or after sex can be a common form of emotional catharsis. “While we often associate sadness with crying, these can be positive or negative emotions. The one common factor motivating a good cry is that we feel the emotion intensely. Sexual intimacy can be one of the most intense forms of connection with another human being; the experience leads to strong emotions. If you’re feeling especially relaxed during sexual intimacy, your body may feel safe to begin releasing the pent-up tension or stress you’ve been bottling up.”

I also checked in with porn performer Scarlit Scandal, who admits to shedding the occasional tear during a particularly inspiring roll in the hay. “I’ve had my fair share of moments where I’ve wanted to cry out to God and ask him what the hell is happening to me because my body is in such a high state of pleasure,” she explains. “Sometimes you connect so deeply with people that you can’t help but fucking cry. I honestly can’t really explain the feeling besides, ‘Holy shit what is actually happening right now?’”

According to sexual health professional Helen Fisher, this is all pretty normal, though her response was somewhat limited to cis women. “Sexual release is a powerful force,” she tells me. “Some women express emotion along with orgasm. I have talked with women who cry, laugh, or pass out. Orgasm is a vulnerable state, it usually only happens when a woman feels completely aroused, relaxed and safe.”

The impulse to cry might also have a lot to do with hormones. “Endorphins and enkephalins are natural painkillers released in the body during exercise and laughter,” Fisher explains. She also points to oxytocin, known as “the cuddle drug,” a neurotransmitter released during skin-to-skin contact such as holding hands, hugging and other types of affection. “At the point of orgasm, the body’s oxytocin level peaks,” she continues. Finally, sex can release vasopressin, another neurotransmitter that plays a role in human bonding. For some, all these feel-good chemicals lead to one thing — a good, old-fashioned cry. Fisher says that the reaction may also be related to what’s called “diffuse physiological arousal,” a phenomenon when the amygdala reaches “critical overload” and can’t differentiate between fear or extreme excitement. Hence, the waterworks.

Obviously, as Blue explains, crying during sex can also be the result of decidedly unsexy sensations. It can be a sign of shame, guilt or unresolved trauma. It can also be a natural response to pain — even if that pain leads to pleasure, like in BDSM play. In some cases, crying can also be a sign of postcoital dysphoria, a condition that results in a rush of sadness or agitation after orgasm.

Yet, White’s response in Angela 3 doesn’t appear to be connected to any of those things. Instead, it seems (emphasis on seems) to be the result of a bona fide sexual and emotional connection with Ferrara. Scandal explains that the kind of connection displayed in the film is pretty darn rare in and out of the porn industry. “What I think makes [real] crying in porn so compelling is that you hardly see or feel real connections like that,” Scandal says. “I see it as a form of art — someone is taking your body to heights so extreme that you can’t help but shed a tear.”

Honestly, Angela 3 does feel like art. So much adult content is devoted to the detached, the naughty and the performative — but doesn’t the difference between hardcore sex and lovemaking involve truly revealing yourself to another person? The popularity of Angela 3 begs the question: Why are we, people who fuck (fuckers, if you will), still so caught up in coquettish smoke and mirrors? Why do we lean into mystery and pageantry, closing our eyes and dishing out half a paycheck on mysterious crotchless garments when what’s potentially the most successful porn film ever made screams at us to do the exact opposite?

Don’t get me wrong: There’s a time and a place for mysterious crotchless garments and the kind of sex that can only be described as knockin’ boots. And it’s certainly important to call out the fact that White and Ferrara are performers, people who make their livings by putting on a show. The film does, at times, even feel a bit like reality television interview footage — like the point just before White begins to cry when she stares into the camera and laments having to go back to “normal life.”

Without chatting with the performers themselves, it’s tough to know how much of the performance was driven by raw emotion and how much was inspired by a really, really good porn director. Regardless, Angela 3’s undeniable popularity shows that the hottest sex may well be much less charade-driven. It may just necessitate being your dang self, especially when it involves emotionally connecting with your partner outside of stoic gender norms a la Ferrara. Because at the end of the day, it’s just like Ferrara says: You’re so fucking special.

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