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 have recently been sent information from an Adult Pay TV channel regarding their programming criteria. It is a fascinating read that makes clear just how sexist the porn industry still is and how reluctant it is to embrace innovative content.
I have spent the last couple of years investing a lot of time and money into building my own streaming service of porn by women. There have been many technical obstacles and “Cinema Joy” was supposed to finally launch by the end of this year. The site was meant to featuring my own erotica as well as porn by other female directors such as Shine Louise Houston and Maria Beatty – directors who shoot different female fantasies than I do. However, on the 1st December, new regulations relating to online porn content came into full force in the UK. Now my dream of finally making my films available to anybody who wanted to pay to view it, no matter where they are in the world, whenever they want it, has become impossible. The dream has become a nightmare.
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.
It’s been all over the papers that David Cameron wants to pass a law ensuring that porn has to be blocked by internet providers unless the individual deliberately unblocks it and opts in to viewing porn. I’ve spoken extensively about censorship in the past: I just don’t believe it’s the right way forward. It’s a dangerous and slippery slope, particularly under the frequently abused guise of ‘protecting children’. By letting the government meddle in our personal lives and pass a value judgement on everything “pornographic”, we leave ourselves open to all forms of censorship. The internet is a very new medium and one that currently operates almost entirely without censorship in Britain. Ironically and worryingly, Cameron is planning to use the same system that China uses to block sites that are unauthorised by the state, which should be setting off alarms bells for anybody with even slightly liberal inclinations.