Saturday, November 10, 2007

Right ON

I linked to Dacia’s latest post about “feminist porn” in my links yesterday, but I had such a “yes yes YES that’s IT!” reaction to it that I feel compelled to quote liberally here…

To me, making feminist porn is not about what is actually shown on screen and much more about what is happening on the production end of things. This is very clearly an expression of my years working in the sex industry and working for sex workers’ rights, but like Petra says in the beginning of this paragraph, “our tastes on what we find sexy in the bedroom or on film differ.” We can have a whole argument about the nurture and nature of “taste” - but I don’t think liking or not liking specific acts can make or break a feminist.

I don’t care if porn shows a woman masturbating by herself (like in many of the Abby Winters photo sets and videos), a woman fucking a guy with a strap-on (like in The Bi Apple, a woman enthusiastically sucking cock (like in Erika’s films), or a pregnant woman getting fucked up the ass with a baseball bat (like in Belladonna’s Fucking Girls Again). What I do care about is: does that performer want to be there? Is the director/producer respecting her needs and paying her appropriately? Did she get blindsided by requests for acts she doesn’t want to do?

The answers to those questions determine whether or not the porn is feminist, sex-positive, and ethical for me, not what is happening on screen.

Do you get it now, people? Do you? I still do not know why this is a difficult concept, but clearly it is. And so these things must continue to be said, emphatically.

I might write more about this later. I need to crawl into bed now, though, because I got up at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday.

[Cross-posted at Being Amber Rhea]


  1. I was going to repost that here, but it looks like you beat me to it.

    Dacia is entirely right on the money here. Porn at its best should be about sexual self-expression, particularly of the people who are on camera performing it. The specifics of what's done on screen are just matters of individual taste. Don't like what you're seeing? Fine – nobody likes everything. But that shouldn't be the dividing line between ethical porn and not so, or feminist and anti-feminist.

    And the whole thing about blowjobs – I was surprised to hear that from somebody like Petra Joy. I thought making a big deal over blowjobs was the purview of Twisty and company.

  2. Absolutely, Amber and Dacia.

    It just burns my ass big time to constanly hear certain "feminists" who call themselves "sex positive" and promote the idea of "feminist porn", yet still want to impose their certain personal tastes and ideology on everyone else....particularly, the actual female performers who are either supposed to follow such an ideology or get branded as "traitors" and handmaidens to Teh Patriarchy merely because they might like blowjobs or facials or gangbangs or anal..or whatever violates whatever particular "feminist porn" standard is the flavor of the month. How is this any different than when the Religious Right imposes their predjudices about "sin" and immrality on certain sex acts freely sought??

    And this notion that somehow porn has to satisfy their particular political agenda in order to be legitimatized: what bollocks!!! The main point about being sex-positive and being a pro-sex radical is NOT only about how you accept and respect YOUR particular sexual tastes and values; it's about how you respect OTHER PEOPLE'S desires, even if you might not be so down on them yourself.

    And it is getting real tiring hearing the same tired assumption that men who view porn automatically gravitate to baseball bats up the ass, bukkake, and double anals (i.e., the "dirty" stuff) while women are supposedly driven to the "softer" variety (as in "romantic", coupled, and "emotionally attached"). Please..spare me. Nothing wrong with romance or couples or emphasizing female pleasure at all (in fact, I can't even watch porn without an active female pleasure presence)...but there's nothing wrong with producing porn that actively seeks male pleasure, either. All that should matter is that there be mutual respect, mutual consent, and mutual shared pleasure....if everyone gets off and no one is coerced and harmed, then there should be no issues.

    Dacia is right on the button on this one...."Feminist porn" should be less about imposing narrow tastes and ideology and more about empowering the actual talent at the point of production...whatever their particular tastes may be.

    Rack that lady.