The nominations are out for the 2015 Feminist Porn Awards – a great opportunity to celebrate fantastic porn performers and producers, as well as have a broader discussion around feminist porn. Of course it’s also fantastic to see Petra’s pleasure-focused porn film (S)he Comes in the running for an award too.
When Petra approached me and asked me to write for her site, I leapt at the chance. We’d been following each other on Twitter for a while, and connected because of a mutual passion for amazing porn, and a frustration with the ‘porn is bad for you’ narrative. Both Petra and I believe that the solution to mainstream porn that’s formulaic and lacking in diversity is not to censor porn, but to show people that there’s a much better alternative out there!
While I’ve always been a fan of well-made porn, it’s only since I started sex blogging that I’ve become more engaged and involved with erotic film-makers, and passionate about what feminist porn can do. Not just in terms of enhancing and catering to women’s fantasies, but in showing everyone that sexuality doesn’t have to be limited to the narrow, mainstream idea of what porn currently is.
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.
The push for an end to sexism and misogyny is a never-ending struggle that has been ongoing for years. As a result, it flares up publicly every so often. But lately, these issues have been at the forefront of international news, perhaps more so than at any time in the past decade or so. This is thanks in part Emma Watson’s courageous feminist speech at the U.N.
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.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about authenticity in porn, at the Feminist Porn Conference in Toronto, in the papers and online. What is authentic? Is it important to show authentic sex? Is it possible? Is it relevant or ridiculous to strive to show “authentic” sex and orgasms?
Richard Branson’s Virgin has hit a new low by releasing a seat-to-seat delivery system as part of their ‘in-flight entertainment’ system. You can now officially haress on other passengers and send unwanted advances and creepy messages from the comfort of your own seat! Doesn’t that sound like everyone’s dream flight?
In a cringe-worthy video from Virgin that seems like it must have been written by a failed trash fiction writer, Branson claims that your chances of pulling using his in-flight ‘flirting’ system are about 50/50. Branson’s projected ‘success rate’ is going to fuel the hideous idea that somehow men are ‘owed’ attention or sex from women for spending time or money on them. He’s suggesting that if you ‘invest’ in buying his crappy airline food for some unsuspecting woman, you can calculate the risk but expect a repayment.
A new show has been launched on Danish television. The idea of the show is that women walk on in a bathrobe, stand in front of two men, take their robe off and stand there silently, completely naked, while the men discuss, praise and disparage the various parts of their body. That’s it.
Blachman claims that he is doing the women a favour because ‘the female body thirsts for the words of a man’. I wonder what woman wouldn’t be positively throbbing at the thought of being gawped at and criticised by two such fine specimens of manhood?! (more…)
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how hard she’s finding her relationship. Part of the problem is that they’ve been together for quite a long time and are monogamous. He’s not interested in negotiating any other kind of relationship and, frankly, she’s starting to go a bit crazy! Having spent years having a lot of fun and enjoying polyamorous relationships before she met him, she decided she wanted something with more of an emotional connection and committed to an exclusive relationship. At first she enjoyed the sexual and emotional exclusiveness but now she feels she cannot be truly herself in this relationship any longer. Even though she loves him, she has some sexual needs that she cannot live out with her partner. He does not want her to live out her kinkier desires with other lovers and she finds it impossible to repress those desires any longer. Until recently she has been ‘paying’ for the emotional security that the relationship offers with her freedom, having had to neglect parts of her sexual self in order to keep him happy and the relationship going. (more…)
You might have seen in the news recently that Iceland is considering a ban on certain types of online porn, while the European Parliament just took a vote on whether to ban all online porn across Europe (they voted against, thankfully!) You can watch a youtube debate about Iceland’s ban that I took part in a couple of weeks ago here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzzYFHX5-ek
Banning porn seems to be a hot topic at the moment, and of course this is a difficult issue. Most people who support the ban seem to do so for the right reasons – they are worried about the exploitation and objectification of women rather just rehashing old-fashioned morality about sex being obscene. Tanya Gold recently called for ‘fair porn’ (which I support) but wants to ban all other porn (which I am against). (more…)