Illustration by Koji Yamamoto
Illustration by Koji Yamamoto

Nice and Naughty: Santa Is a Sex Symbol

There's no such thing as a silent, holy night in porn.
November 30, 2020, 2:00pm
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Welcome to Rule 34, a series in which Motherboard’s Samantha Cole lovingly explores the highly specific fetishes that can be found on the web.

As a kid, I was obsessed with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—and the climax of the parade came when Santa showed himself so we could get on with the rest of the year. He is always the last to arrive, grievously late to his own party but giving not a fuck, dragging behind him a fat sack of goodies and the entire metaphorical holiday season. 

This year, Santa's parade arrival was pre-taped, as the parade organizers attempted to navigate around a pandemic to approximate some normalcy. But one thing remains constant in the holiday tradition: Santa is not just the star of the secular show from here until 2021, but a timeless sex symbol, and more people should say it.

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Porn producers have been saying it for decades. There is perhaps no raunchier a time than Christmas in the adult industry. 

If Father Christmas wasn't a 500-year-old cryptid whose weirdness we're inured to, I'm not sure we'd allow him to enter the cultural canon today. Lining up your kids to sit on an old man's lap in the mall is too weird. Allowing a stranger nighttime chimney entry to your home to eat your food is a deeply fucked up concept, even if he does leave behind a PlayStation 5 (although Zoom-based meetings with Santa are a whole thing this year). And none of this is to mention the ways the legacy of fourth-century Saint Nicholas, morphed into all of this—plus someone a lot of people want to fuck. 

Saint Nicholas himself, the ur-Santa, is a controversial character himself: he's sometimes considered the patron saint of prostitutes, because he once paid a man to not traffic his daughters. Among a long list of other things, he's regarded as watching over prisoners (especially the wrongly accused), thieves, and wine makers.  

Our modern Santa lore is no less worldly. There are the old classic songs like "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "Santa Baby," two songs so unsubtle it's amazing anyone listens to them in the same rooms as their grandparents. Santa's Workshop has also been an orgy set for decades in porn.

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"Santa's story is filled with so many porn tropes, you would think he was sliding down a giant dick instead of a chimney," Lee Roy Myers, the cofounder of the porn production studio WoodRocket, told me. "I mean, if I describe the Santa story to you, you could easily turn him into a plumber or what-have-you and give it an AVN Award. It's the middle of the night and some stranger comes over to give a lady something nice but how will she repay him since she's only got her jammies on? Santa is Christmas' Porn Pizza Guy. This is a scenario that could be used again and again forever until Santa's eggnog runs dry." 

Dozens, if not hundreds, of porn plots have taken advantage of these very tropes in their holiday content. For Woodrocket, that's a version of Die Hard called Dick Hard that turns the debatably-Christmas themed classic into a porno, and their "MILF on a Shelf" video which wishes a "happy triple-Xmas to all." Their "X-Mas Yule Log with Christy Mack" is what it sounds like: 30 minutes of Mack in front of a roaring fire, and their first Christmas special in 2015, "A Load of Christmas," is a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style commentary viewing of the 1984 film Spreading Joy (alternatively titled Santa Comes Twice). 

The 70s and 80s saw an explosion of plot-driven porn after the success of Deep Throat, but no one ever said it was good writing. Spreading Joy is a masterclass in 80s porn camp, and the Christmas theme is perfect for how absurdly kitschy the whole thing is. Michael Morrison plays a bizarrely clean-shaven, extremely sweaty St. Nick, with Susan Hart as a Mrs. Claus who can't keep her hands off his red felt pants. The North Pole couple is in the middle of a crisis, lamenting the changing world, where they're becoming obsolete in a high-tech society. 

Screenshot of Michael Morrison as Santa in 'Spreading Joy'

Michael Morrison as Santa in 'Spreading Joy'

"Now it's all computers and deliveries and mail-order," Morrison says as Santa. "It's just not the same."

The Deep Throat director himself, Gerard Damiano, took a chance on holiday porn too: he wrote A Little Christmas Tail, the 1991 film starring Randy West and Angela Summers as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, whose toys in the North Pole workshop come to life and, of course, magically become life-sized "sex toys." The performers acting as toy ballerinas and nutcracker soldiers stay in rigid, vacant-eyed character during the sex scenes.  

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There are more Santa-themed porn films than I can go over in this article, but most of them fit a similar, mainstream mold: cishet performers in fluffy red and white outfits, frequently featuring the problematic casting of a little person as an elf. But not all producers follow that script in their festive scenes: Aorta Films' "XXXmas" stars Mahx Capacity and Shay Knox in an intense, closeup-filled bondage scene played out to the tune of warped and remixed carols. 

Of course, when all you have is a hammer everything is a nail—and in the adult industry, almost nothing is safe from parody, certainly not an annual holiday cherished by 93 percent of Americans. But the horniness of Santa is not contained to porn. People—grown people—sell ugly sweaters with phrases like "show me your North Pole" and "come sit on Santa's lap" on Etsy, and at least one seller specializes in crafting crochet penises and Santa dolls with his dick out. That item description reads: "With his cheery smile, in his little red suit, he is a happy guy to still have a hard on after all these years!"

Screenshot of Etsy listings

Screenshot via Etsy

Erotica, too, is overflowing with Christmas cheer. All I Want for Christmas Is A Pearl Necklace, Snowballin: I Fucked Frosty and Horny Santa are just a few titles of the many erotic novels devoted to seasonally-appropriate inappropriateness. (Shaved by Santa is sadly out of print.)   

As sanguine as most of the sexy Santa genre is, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. There are pages of uploads of Christmas-themed porn uploaded just this month to clip sites like ManyVids and Pornhub, as cam models get prepared with content for the holidays. This is routinely a slow period for many independent sex workers—all the more reason to pay for your porn. 

Santa's enduring legacy as a happy-go-lucky Large Adult Elf might never escape his reputation as a DILF. We use him as the poster boy for consumerism so we don't have to look too closely at it—no idea how this new Oculus got in our house, must have been Santa!—but we also project our repressed holiday horniness onto him, too

"Christmas just seems to bring out the horny in people," Myers said. "And what makes a capitalistic society hornier than a character that gives them free shit? He is Saint Sugar Daddy."