I am a porn star…

 



Petra Joy - Porn Star!

I did not enjoy visiting this year’s Venus adult trade show in Berlin. It felt like being catapulted through a time warp into the 80′s with its outdated representation of women and sexuality. Even on the trade and press day the halls were filled with middle-aged men, equipped with telescopic cameras and plastic steps in order to get a better look or shot of the women that happened to be stripping on various stages. Whereas Erotica at London promotes a more sophisticated style of eroticism with headliners like Dita van Teese attracting a 60% female crowd, the Venus in Berlin still displays Pamela Anderson clones that masturbate in the shows pretty much nonstop whilst looking increasingly fed up. None of this is shocking or new – just hopelessly outdated and boring. I was wondering – why is there not a greater variety of women performing on stage, where is the guy candy and why is there not an area somewhere aimed at women? This year they had for the first time a ‘fetish zone’ and a small ‘gay area’ but there was nowhere for the female (trade) visitors and press to meet, network, shop and be entertained. When I bumped into the female sex shop owners, toy designers or journalists, we all agreed to meet at a networking event outside of the Venus. Somewhere where we could breathe and just be rather than having to be bombarded with siliconed clone bodies and the entourage of the flash light popping press pack that always follows.

In this context I felt uneasy with the idea that I could do an autograph session at one of the event lounges. But I thought its worthwhile to give it a shot to help putting female porn directors firmly on the map – even within a mainstream, male-oriented event. But my idealistic spirit was quickly dampened: At the venue I was to do a signing, there were sex shows on nonstop in front of a packed room and my presence was not promoted in any shape or form. I was neither announced on the Venus website not on the venue’s daily time sheet – so I wondered how people are going to find me or even know that I was there. What I would have loved is if there had been a women’s lounge – one area where the erotic entrepreneurs could have met to network and interested women from the public could have met us to exchange ideas. An area with male staff, a complimentary glass of bubbly and a chocolate fountain. An area that was not tucked away at the back somewhere but that was clearly visible and promoted very well. An island for women who are revolutionising the sex industry. One day we will be able to mix and mingle with the mainstream male adult industry but for now an island amongst the sea of male oriented mainstream sex products would be progress.

I ended up standing next to plastic bar table with a little spotlight on me in a room full of men that had come to see women masturbate. When I was eventually announced by the compere, he came out with the unforgettable and highly symbolic phrase: “We have got a young woman here today. Her name is Petra Joy. And how could it be any other way – she is a porn performer and you can get her autograph here”. My mouth just dropped. The crowds of men turned around to look at me. They had no clue who I was or what I stood for and I really did not want to give autographs to them because they thought I was an up-and-coming porn star.

What shocked me most of this announcement was the arrogant and patronising way in which the bloke made it clear that even in the 21st Century most men firmly believe that there is only one role for women in the adult industry – in front of the camera as performers. With one sentence all the woman that work their asses off as dildo designers, sex shop owners, magazine editors, photographers and filmmakers were made invisible. As if I and we simply did not and will never exist.

To these representatives of an ancient adult industry, female erotic entrepreneurs are not just a new and emerging face of an increasingly erotic culture, but a weird phenomenon not to be talent seriously. These patriarchs of porn, hinder the industry to develop, grow and embrace female talent that dares to do anything else but fuck on film.

The remark was also an insult for the porn stars that currently are or will be in the future active behind the cameras writing scripts or directing. It’s all about possibilities and choices. If the possibilities are not offered there are no choices for women. And maybe this is the reason why it has taken so long for women to emerge and make their mark on the industry with their vision of erotica and sex. It is not by chance but through necessity that these women are independent entrepreneurs who put their money where their mouth is. Within the Jurassic sex empires that still reduce women to their bodies alone, there is no room for freethinking female spirits.

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