When Michael finds the address of the club at 537 E. 4th St., underneath is "basement password: matryoshka." A 'matryoshka' is a Russian female doll, from the root word 'matreshka', meaning mother or very respected lady.
In the first scene, which plays out before the opening credits, there is an over the shoulder video screen shown with a logo for a fictional company called "Wildfire Video," which includes flames as part of its' logo. "Wildfire Video" also appears several more times, in a variety of media, throughout the movie. This is a reference to the actual company which produced Pornography: A Thriller (2009), Triple Fire Productions, which also uses flames as a part of its logo.
In one of the first few scenes, just after the first crossword puzzle shot, when Mark Anton, portrayed by Jared Grey, is walking through the seemingly empty porn studio offices, we see porn promo posters on the walls, and VHS porn video boxes ready for shipping. None of the titles on the posters or boxes were actually produced porn movies, only made up titles, as well as made up porn actors names, just for the purposes of this movie. Also, since the setting of the opening scenes is supposed to be 1995, accurately the videos are VHS tape format, and not DVD disc format.
Captions under Mark's six photography class photographs, overall entitled "This Is Where": "This is where I cried when no one was looking," "This is where I didn't know any better," "This is where I sucked c*** for money," "This is where I got f***** for money," "This is the place I most fear," plus one more photograph which is seen on the wall, but which (caption) the viewer does not see.
The fictional porn titles shown or spoken on screen are: "Manhattan Video Boys 8," "Manhattan Video Boys," "Much Ado About F******," "L.A. Dreamers," and "Frat Boy Gang Bang 6" all from the aforementioned "Wildfire Video."
The director of Pornography: A Thriller (2009), David Kittredge is referenced on screen in Michael's research notes for his book on porn, written as: "Dave Kittredge - porn director, highly uncooperative, drugs?, bi polar?"