Over fifty per cent of the human race menstruate. Women, as well as many non-binary and trans people experience it once each month from adolescense to menopause. That’s a lot of periods, and a lot of time for us all to get accustomed to it – so why is menstruation still taboo?
If you’ve seen the pictures, you might be wondering where Petra got the fantastic pearl and lace thong worn by her male performer Bishop Black in her latest shoot. Wonder no more…
The film Magic Mike XXL has been released, and is already getting film critics hot and bothered. It’s a sequel to the first Magic Mike film, following a group of male strippers as they head towards their final blow-out show. It’s always fascinating to see male stripping in the mainstream media, because it sparks a huge amount of debate.
Of course, it’s still Hollywood, so disappointingly there’s no male full-frontal nudity. In a film about male strippers, would it really have hurt to show us one of their cocks? Petra pointed out that, when films and TV shows are so keen to show female nudity, it highlights the inequality:
I remember being surprised the first time I saw a condom in a porn film, because the condom magically appeared halfway through the scene. One minute a woman was giving the guy a blow-job, and the next – hey presto! – you got a sneak peek of the condom as they had sex, although the angles showed that the producer was trying to hide it.
I think the visual effect can be one of the sexiest things about condom use. A guy I fancy, rolling a condom slowly and deliberately down his cock, with a look in his eyes that says ‘I’m so hot for you right now’? Yes please. And yet there are many porn directors and performers who’ll go to extreme lengths to try and avoid showing condom use – or any other safer sex measures for that matter.
National Masturbation Month has come around again – hooray! What better way to welcome the spring, and look forward to summer, than with a whole month dedicated to self-pleasure?
Petra and I were talking about the best way to celebrate the month, and we decided that as we’ve recently discussed male masturbation in porn, it’d be great to highlight some of the more unique methods of female masturbation. Even though most mainstream porn shows women wanking frantically air guitar style whilst staring into the camera more focused on doing a great performance than genuinely getting off, Petra told me that:
“Alternative porn is great for celebrating new ways to document self-pleasuring. There is a legendary scene of Annie Sprinkle having an earth-shattering megagasm using a Hitachi Magic Wand on herself in her classic film “Sluts and Goddesses”. Annie is completely absorbed in the self pleasure and seems to have forgotten that she is on a film set. I also love the ground-breaking film “Orgasm – Faces Of Ecstasy” that features women (and men) of all ages pleasuring themselves but all we see are their faces, uncut. The range of emotions is beautiful and this intimate glimpse of other people’s self-pleasuring is liberating and inspirational.”
Cora Emens is a well known Dutch sex educator who was 57 years old when she decided to live out her sexuality without fear, guilt or shame in front of Petra’s camera. Petra and Cora created together the sensual scene “And the winner is…” for Petra’s feature “(S)he Comes“, which is being screened this week as the opening film at the “Holy Fuck“ film festival in the cinema Film Huis Cavia in Amsterdam. Here is an interview with Cora about the prejudices that surround older women’s sexuality, porn clichés and why she decided to have sex on camera in a feminist porn film directed by Petra.
Let’s be honest: women’s bodies are subject to a hell of a lot of scrutiny. From what we’re wearing (Short skirt? Make up? Type of underwear?) to our physical appearance itself (Colour, shape, size, body hair – you name it).
If you’re a woman, you know this already.
If you’re a now-infamous brand of protein and weight loss supplements, you clearly don’t.
You’ll probably have seen the Protein World posters, and the backlash against them, in the news. A few weeks ago bright yellow adverts appeared on the London Underground – a slim, toned model staring sultrily at the camera, and in huge lettering the question: “Are you beach body ready?” The image was pretty stark, and the implication caused outrage. Why, in order to be ‘ready’ for the beach, must women dedicate themselves to making sure that their bodies match that of the model?
I am on the train heading back from the Ladybeard launch in London last night and am still buzzing. Can’t wipe the smile off my face.
I had a bit of a nightmare journey heading up to London from the south coast in a 4 hour odyssey but all was quickly forgotten and is was so worth it as the night turned out to be one of the best events I have ever attended.
Ladybeard is a new magazine and their first issue is dedicated to “sexuality”. The launch was a fundraiser to get this fab magazine printed. There was a panel featuring some of the magazine’s first issue interviewees, discussing myths and taboos surrounding sex.
I recently came across an online post with the title “9 Adult Entertainers Who Should Have Left The Industry Ages Ago”. The article slagged off mainly female performers in their fifties, amongst them such icons as Nina Hartley with the words “Its time for her to go; her breast-implants are older than many actresses in the industry” Ha ha.
The cult around “perfect”, young and surgically enhanced bodies is everywhere – from reality TV to porn – the media world is terrified by ageing and maturity, especially in women. If older women are featured at all in the media and porn, then it is usually in a derogatory manner. Hence, if women in porn are dirty slags and fucking cunts then women over 50 are dirty OLD slags and Fucking OLD cunts. They are the lowest of the low, not even worth to be looked at, doormats to be ridiculed and jizzed on.
It is as if women over fifty are meant to be invisible and asexual. Whereas mature men are considered to be attractive and desirable and stay in their TV presenter jobs, mature women are replaced with younger models.
I was once in a town where women and men just wore loin clothes and walked around topless, even in the supermarket to do their shopping. Everybody went about their business and no-one stared – apart from male tourists who were quick to point their fingers or cameras. This place was not a nudist resort but an island called Yap in Micronesia. It might not come as a surprise that this is not a patriarchal society.
Here in the Western world, I am confused and annoyed by the censorship of the female nipple on one hand, and the objectification and sexualisation of it on the other.