Why the Feminist Porn Awards are more important than ever ten years on.

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.

It’s great to be able to start my work with Petra on such a high note – seeing one of her orgasmic, beautiful films recognised by other erotic film-makers. In previous years, Petra’s received two feminist porn awards – for The Female Voyeur and Female Fantasies – and she explains that the trophies which sit on her desk are her pride and joy:

“As an independent producer the support of the feminist community is more important to me than to be accepted by the mainstream porn industry.”

(S)he Comes, which is nominated this year, is a celebration of orgasmic pleasure, with a selection of five hot scenes, from a real life couple scenes to a gorgeous male solo and passionate threesome.

View the (S)he Comes trailer:


You can buy the (S)he Comes DVD or Stream Online here.

What is feminist porn, and why is it important?


The Feminist Porn Awards aim to celebrate erotic films that go beyond the limited, mainstream idea of porn as a masturbation tool for men. They celebrate alternative porn, whether that’s specifically porn for women or ethical, feminist porn that celebrates women’s pleasure but appeals to a broad audience.

Sometimes it can be tricky explaining what feminist porn is, particularly to people who have never heard of it before. In the mainstream media (like in the recent Woman’s Hour debate on porn) I often come across the misconception that porn must always be – at best – dismissive of female sexuality or – at worst – actively degrading to women.

I used to think this too.

As I was growing up, most of the porn I saw was focused on male pleasure. From what I could see, porn usually followed a fairly rigid formula – girl strips, guy goes down on her for a token couple of minutes or so, she looks bored. She then gives him a long, involved blow job seen from lots of different angles, then they shag. The whole thing ends, inevitably, with a facial come shot. The details may have changed – some films were more or less kinky, or had slightly different storylines, but the formula remained roughly the same.

The Feminist Porn Awards aim to celebrate porn that actively rejects that formula. Ethical, fairtrade porn, and films which show female as well as male pleasure – camera perspectives which linger on the curves and shapes of a diverse group of bodies. Porn which breaks out of this mainstream mould.

Alongside Petra, other pornographers are celebrating their nominations, and it’s worth highlighting some of the great producers and performers who are being recognised this year. I asked Petra for her thoughts on the other nominees:

“I wish all of the nominated filmmakers and performers the best of luck. I am especially pleased that some of my fellow filmmakers whose work I greatly admire have been nominated: Pandora Blake for her fearless activism that is reflected in her films; Morgana Muses for her gutsy personal films that aim to remove an expiration date from female sexuality; Shine Louise Houston for her varied, hot and creative films and new talents of Samuel Shanahoy and Lucie Blush for their fun and fresh approach to making porn.”

Huge congratulations to everyone who’s been nominated, and I hope that the awards give everyone a chance to get talking about feminist porn.

Because one of the difficult things about marketing feminist porn is the assumption that it’s niche or unusual. Often it’s referred to as ‘porn for women’ or – and I’m guilty of this myself – ‘alternative porn,’ as if the mainstream is an accurate representation of reality and female pleasure is a kind of unusual kink.

Well, that’s not the case. And I can think of few better demonstrations of this than the amazing trailer for (S)he Comes. All those years ago, when I was getting acquainted with mainstream porn – the stuff that came with a formula – I had one key frustration that I found really hard to articulate. I couldn’t see their faces. Having invested in a particular scene, I felt frustrated when the camera panned away just at the crucial moment. I got to see all the nakedness I could ever have wanted, but I rarely got to see anyone come.

Compare and contrast the trailer for (S)he Comes – combining, personal, beautiful body shots of the performers who star in the film – with footage of their genuine, orgasmic pleasure. Eyes closed, heads tipped back, smiles and kisses and passion and lust. It’s something you don’t see in every porn film, and it’s something well worth celebrating.

So go forth and talk about feminist porn – recommend your favourite erotic film-makers and link people to trailers of the scenes you love. Not just to your friends who identify as feminist, but to everyone – while it might be hard to explain what makes porn feminist, it’s easy to show the what makes porn great: passion.

Ten years Feminist Porn Awards Toronto – Petra Joy congratulates!

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