So Hustler filmed a porn parody of HBO's Girls, and Lena Dunham isn't so happy about it. That much was obvious enough already. But Dunham's frustrated tweets about This Ain't Girls XXX have  brought out the porno's principals — and its principles. To be sure, this is not your average Girls debate: The porn star playing Dunham says she sees parallels between herself and her inspiration, and the director says it's time to stop calling porn anti-feminist. The adult film industry and the cultural darling might be talking over each other, but they've got more to teach each other about their work — and to tell us about sex — than any Twitter rant may have portended.

Following her initial message, Dunham followed up on Twitter last Friday with three reasons why she "can't just laugh off a porn parody of" her show, which she's been already defending since before it began. First: "Because Girls is, at its core, a feminist action while Hustler is a company that markets and monetizes a male's idea of female sexuality." Second: "Because a big reason I engage in (simulated) onscreen sex is to counteract a skewed idea of that act created by the proliferation of porn." Third: "Because it grosses me out."

The porno, according to a representative from Hustler, is due for release in early fall. But Stuart Canterbury, the writer/director of This Ain't Girls XXX, took immediate issue with Dunham's response, citing hypocrisy in the string of tweets — and, specifically, in the elements of provocation on Girls. "For the creator of the Q-tip episode which disgusted America to call us disgusting, is a case of the pot calling the kettle black," Canterbury wrote in an unprompted email to us over the weekend.

The porn director had a broadside, though, because for every nuanced debate it may spur, Girls also tends to bring out the generalist in everybody. Canterbury continued:

It is interesting that Ms Dunham and her supporters are so quick to condemn a movie that nobody has seen yet," he wrote. "The men and women who work in adult entertainment have been vilified and victimized so much, especially by right wing conservatives, that most of us find ourselves on the political left, with pro-feminist leanings. To say that all pornography is anti-feminist is a tired cliché which undermines the right of free sexual choices that a liberated women can make for herself.

Seeking nuance, we called up Alex Chance (right), the actress who plays Hannah in This Ain't Girls, to get her take on the controversy that her director felt warranted so forceful a rebuttal. We asked her about Dunham's take on the industry. "Granted, they are sexualizing us," Chance said in a phone conversation this week, "because it is porn." Again, that much was obvious. But she added: "If I'm in control of what's happening, I don't seen any wrongness."

Chance, who binge-watched the entire first season of Girls when she was approached for the role, explained that she sees a connection between herself and Dunham, at least when it comes to body image. "We both are the non-traditional versions in our different areas," she said. "I hope that when women watch porn and watch me they think, Oh, she's not necessarily this stick-thin girl and she can still do this awesome act or whatever. Because not every girl is skinny and I think that's what Lena Dunham is trying to promote. Not every girl looks like a supermodel. I hope that she at least kind of gets that from it."

Porn, of course, has long been a point of discussion in the many discussions about Girls. In an early column on the show, which featured an interview with Dunham, Frank Bruni wrote that Dunham's experiences with porn-watching guys ("There's no way that you, young Jewish man from Chappaqua, taught this to yourself," she said) informed the sex scenes in Girls. So, yes, Dunham does have a point. Her show's sideways commentary on porn's impact has now become fodder for the porn industry itself. But Richie Calhoun, the actor who plays the Adam character in the new parody, explained in a Tumblr post Friday afternoon that he "dig[s] GIRLS' discussion of the effects of porn on sex in society." He added: "I was certainly influenced by porn in my teenage years and early twenties. I might have easily been one of those boys Lena observed experimenting with maneuvers learned from porn."

Calhoun went on to write, however, that porn is not just "the mainstream, heavily masculine stuff," which you might get bombarded with the way you get bombarded with advertisements for a blockbuster film. Porn, he said, has diversified with the Internet, just as music did — for Calhoun, at least in so far as different body types and types of sex. The Girls parody, Calhoun wrote, "has a good variety of sex in it." 

Dunham's impersonator then proceeded to bring the HBO-vs.-porn industry spat back from a gender's studies discussion to reality: This Ain't Girls XXX is still a sendup, Chance explained — there's a bit with a candy ball gag that kept getting stuck in her hair — and the parody genre helps make porn more than just, you know, sex. "The reason why we do parodies is because it presents porn in the different way," Chance said. "It's not necessarily a guy and a girl on a bed just f--king." But of course there is sex. Girls, Chance said, has "softcore sex." In the parody they take it to hardcore. "Who hasn't watched a TV show and hasn't wanted to see their favorite characters actually f--k?" she said. In a follow-up email, Canterbury, the director, said that the parody aims for "pure entertainment."

But Chance hopes that when the parody does come out, Dunham will take a chance on it. "We're all fans of the show," she said. "I hope that she does eventually watch it and doesn't completely hate it." For Calhoun (aka the man who would be Adam), it's bothersome that Dunham "no like," though it's worth noting he's angrier about misogynistic commenters railing against Dunham online. As for Dunham herself, he wrote: "I understand her misgivings, I wish her all the best, and I would totally hit it."