A documentary about lesbian strip clubs is now streaming on Pornhub


Pornhub released its very first non-pornographic film on Wednesday. The documentary Shakedown, by filmmaker and conceptual artist Leilah Weinrab, is about queer women and men in lesbian strip club scene in Los Angeles in the early 2000s. According to Variety, who broke the story, Shakedown is “a humorous, sensual and informative look at a vibrant subculture.”

The film was pieced together from nearly 15 years of footage shot by Weinraub throughout her young adulthood. It had an illustrious rollout before moving to Pornhub; Shakedown screened at New York’s Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art over the last three years.

“There’s a cool opportunity right now to present films in the art space. There’s more openness to diversity and content and a different sort of storytelling,” Weinraub told Variety. After a stint on Pornhub (where it’s streaming free for the month of March), the documentary will air on the Criterion Channel. Shakedown will hit iTunes sometime this summer.

Weinraub, who’s also the former CEO of fashion brand Hood By Air, said she’s specifically hoping to engage Pornhub’s female viewers with Shakedown. Hood By Air famously collaborated with Pornhub on a capsule collection in 2016, sending models down the runway in “radically aggressive streetwear” emblazoned with phrases like “WENCH” and “NEVER TRUST A CHURCH GIRL.”

“This film is part of a larger general commitment Pornhub has to supporting the arts. We want to be seen as a platform that artists and creators can use,” Pornhub’s brand director Alex Klein said. “We’ve seen artists, in general, upload content to the site that might not have a home at places like YouTube or Vimeo, who don’t permit nudity. For us, premiering a feature length film is a first. We’re very excited about it.”

Pornhub’s move towards feature films could mean it’s dipping a toe in the streaming wars, at a time when other video platforms like Netflix and Quibi are aggressively gobbling up content. In terms of sheer numbers, Pornhub can certainly compete: the site had an estimated 42 billion visitors last year. In 2019 alone, 1.36 million hours of video was uploaded to the site, which works out to 169 years worth of content to watch.