Porn movies today are junking plot in favor of more sex. However, this may not spell the downfall of Western civilization.

The high-concept movies of three to four years ago (like the 2006 feature Flasher, in which a woman is driven to exhibitionism "because of the way her mother treated her") have been replaced by short scenes strung together by a common theme, like "glasses." These "vignettes" are easy to separate and distribute on the Web, where porn exec Steven Hirsch says, "the average attention span is three to five minutes."

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So are today's consumers so tweeted-and-facebooked-out that they can't even pay attention to porn? Nah, not really. Plotted pornography was popular in the early 70s, but went out of style with the advent of hand-held cameras. Storylines didn't get big again until the introduction of DVDs in the 90s. Nowadays, says Hirsch, "It's almost like we're back to the late '70s or early '80s when the average movie was eight minutes and just a sex scene."

Given the silliness of a lot of porn plots, it's not surprising that customers don't mind forgoing them in favor of good old-fashioned boning. Porn stars, however, are less than thrilled with the change. Savanna Samson (pictured) says that in the good old days, "I couldn't wait to get my next script." But now, "getting it on in one hardcore scene after another just isn't as much fun."

Lights, Camera, Lots Of Action. Forget The Script [NYT]