Jan 212014
 

LAS VEGAS — This week at the annual AVN Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the AVN Awards presented the very first Performer of the Year award to the most outstanding plus size performer, and they handed the crown to the industry’s biggest trailblazer: the legendary performer and cult classic muse April Flores.

April Flores would like to release her acceptance speech in this article:

“I am extremely proud of this achievement! I want to thank AVN for the recognition of my hard work and dedication. I also want to thank my fans and supporters for always letting me know that my work is inspiring them to feel confident and sexy. My goal has always been to show other plus sized women, and the world, that women of size can be happy, confident and sexy in our curvy, plus sized bodies. I can see change happening, and AVN acknowledging BBW as a category is a major step forward. It was an honor to be included with all the nominees because we have all advanced the representation of plus sized sexuality. Most importantly, this award is dedicated to my husband, best friend and mentor Carlos Batts. This is a very special way to start off, and set the tone for a better 2014.”

Carlos Batts, filmmaker, adult industry pioneer, and director of many of April’s most iconic films, passed away in October of 2013. His image opened the AVN Awards ceremony in a memorium sequence. He will forever be remembered for bringing more art into the adult industry and creating forward-thinking porn featuring culturally diverse casts, starring performers of all sizes, and elevating his wife April Flores to muse icon status.

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After making her hardcore porn debut with the legendary Belladonna as her costar in Evil Angel’s non-BBW release Evil Pink 2, April worked alongside all kinds of women for major studios like Vivid, Adam & Eve, and Zero Tolerance — studios that were once off-limits to plus size performers. She has also become an indie porn icon, winning multiple Feminist Porn Awards for her work with late husband Carlos Batts (Artcore, April Flores’ World, Voluptuous Biker Babes) and queer porn icon Courtney Trouble (Lesbian Curves HARD FEMME, Bordello, Fuckstyles)

Esteemed porn journalist Rob Perez wrote of April in AVN Magazine’s recent feature on the plus size nominees: “BBW porn can be divided into “before April Flores and after April Flores.” Before April, BBW porn was an overlooked niche. Flores is one of the genre’s most influential stars… From being the first BBW performer to have a toy molded after her to being the first, and to date only, BBW performer to appear on the cover of AVN magazine, the half Mexican/Ecuadorian performer and muse of the late Carlos Batts is a living BBW legend.”

Her latest film release is TROUBLEfilms DVD Hard Femme: Lesbian Curves 2 directed by Courtney Trouble, who is also her co star in the scene.

“April is the most fantastic person you could ever hope to have on a set,” says Courtney, who has been working with April since 2009 and was also a nominee for the Performer of the Year category. “She’s creative, insightful, collaborative, inventive, and utterly gorgeous. She’s a total angel in the flesh with the business mind and gumption to pave new paths for herself and the women beside her. She is an absolute role model, the perfect adult star.”

Oct 282013
 

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The first time I met Carlos Batts was on the set of one of my movies. He arrived with April, who I was shooting that day in a scene with Claire Adams. My first thought was, “Oh my God that’s Carlos Fucking Batts.” He completely disarmed me by introducing himself (as if I didn’t know who he was!) and giving me copies of some of his movies. Our first meeting represents a lot about Carlos: he was humble, generous, and real.

Carlos refused to play by anyone’s rules, blending art and porn with his own unique style. His vision was his, it impressed me, left me in awe of what he could do with a camera. You’d think that someone who considered their porn ‘art’ would be annoying as hell, but it was the opposite. Carlos didn’t have an ounce of pretension, he was one of the most honest and straightforward people I’ve ever known. He was just so fucking real. His imagination was beyond comprehension, but he never fell into that trap of considering himself an artiste, someone above everyone else. On the contrary, he was often quiet and let the art speak for itself.

I distinctly remember this conversation we had where he said he didn’t know where he fit into the feminist porn movement. He always thought of art as activism, but he wanted to be respectful and was especially wary of taking up space as a guy in this growing revolution. His self-awareness was really refreshing especially given some of the examples of misogynist masculinity I’ve met in the porn industry. His idea of what it meant to be a man gave me pause and hope. We had this amazing discussion where he talked about what he believed, what he valued, and how he could claim the label ‘feminist.’ He didn’t want to say it until he was clear about what it meant to him and what he could bring to the party. He was beginning to shape and articulate how the art he was creating could be specifically feminist, and it was pretty cool to be in on that process. He thanked me later for helping him talk it through, but what he didn’t realize is that our talk was just as enlightening for me. It made me more aware of my own place in the movement as a white woman who identifies as a feminist. That was Carlos: he pushed me to look at my privilege simply by his openness and willingness to talk about his struggles and beliefs. He gave me gifts like that a lot. He wasn’t always the loudest voice in the room, but when he opened his mouth, it was clear how fierce and brave he was about challenging the status quo.

Before the release of the book Fat Girl, we had a really long phone conversation. We talked about what the book meant to him. He wanted to get my advice about promotion, and I drafted a version of the press release for him. I wrote this line that he ended up using: “Fat Girl provides a glimpse into a world where sex, love, and art collide.” When I saw Fat Girl, what struck me was how it was clearly a book about love, the love he and April shared. You need only spend ten minutes with the two of them to see what a remarkable partnership they had: their mutual love and support was unconditional, their passion for creating art together was inspiring. They glowed in each other’s presence, their energy bouncing off one another like lightening. They were one of those couples that’s just so clearly two people meant to be together. Their love, and the deep respect they had for one another, was clear in every interaction I ever had with them. It’s a kind of love people write songs about. It was pretty fucking epic.

Colten and I just saw Carlos and April at CatalystCon West in LA a few weeks ago. After a panel that April and I were on, we went to dinner with a small group of people. April told a funny story about flipping her hair during sex when Carlos had the camera out; it was a glimpse into a moment in their relationship. On the walk back to the hotel, Carlos gave me a copy of Fat Girl. I remember that I wanted both of them to sign it, but there wasn’t time. I knew I’d see them again soon. It breaks my heart that I will never see him again.

Ultimately, the greatest gift that Carlos gave me is that whenever I was with him, I felt like he really saw and understood me. That speaks directly to why he was such a gifted photographer and filmmaker: how he saw, what he saw, and what he reflected back to you was magical. Carlos made me believe in art and revolution and love. He helped me see the connections between them, how they feed each other. I feel so lucky to have known him and so glad that we have his art to treasure as we grieve the loss of him. He gave us all so many gifts, leaving an indelible mark on independent, alt, queer, underground, and feminist porn and art, as well as the artists who work and create in these countercultural worlds. We can honor his spirit by loving people fiercely and making art that matters.

There are some wonderful remembrances of Carlos online, including an updated article with quotes from lots of different people on AVN, a post from Courtney Trouble, a blog s at Good Vibrations, and thoughts from his wife, muse, and now widow April Flores. I encourage everyone to donate whatever they can to his memorial fund. Here is information about funeral services and the fund:

Beloved artist Carlos Batts passed away at the age of 40 on Tuesday October 22, 2013. His work and spirit touched many of us, leaving us stunned and saddened by the sudden departure. He is survived by his loving wife and muse, April—now grieving while confronting tremendous medical and funeral expenses.

Please consider donating to the Carlos Batts Memorial Fund to aid his widow and family in their time of need: You can donate via PayPal to email: CarlosBattsMemorialFund@gmail.com.

Carlos Batts Service Information

Oct 212013
 

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The fabulous students who work at the Pollock Theater at University of California-Santa Barbara created this video of the Feminist Porn Mini Con, which happened in May at UCSB. It features many contributors to The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure, including UCSB professors Constance Penley, Celine Parreñas Shimizu, and Mireille Miller-Young, Professor Kevin Heffernan of Southern Methodist University, directors Tristan Taormino and Carlos Batts, and performers Jiz Lee, Dylan Ryan, Sinnamon Love, and April Flores. Watch it now: Feminist Porn Mini Con on UCTV.

Aug 012013
 

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Tune in this Friday, August 2nd at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT to a new episode of Sex Out Loud! Dee Dennis joins me to talk about the genesis of Catalyst Con, the bi-annual conference she founded. We’ll discuss the September event in Woodland Hills and highlight the diverse line up of speakers. Plus, Dee will share her thoughts on the current state of sex-positive activism and how to push the movement forward. Then, fresh from her appearance at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, plus-size model and performer April Flores dishes about “Fat Girl,” the new fine art photography book by her partner Carlos Batts, which features more than a decade of their collaborative work together. She’ll also talk about their latest art project, Toe vs. Heel.

This week’s show is live, so find out all the ways to listen here and you can call in with questions at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or even e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I’ll read them live on the air!

An activist in the field of sexuality, Dee Dennis started her career as a sex blogger, writing about the end of her marriage and starting the next chapter in her life. Through this metamorphosis, Dee discovered her passion for sexuality rights and issues for people around the world. Dee’s commitment to taking the conversation about sexuality offline and into the real world lead in part to the creation of MOMENTUM, a conference she co-founded to empower people to come together and exchange ideas that would further the conversations about sexuality, inspire people and motivate them to carry the conversation forward. In 2012, Dee founded CatalystCon, which she regards as a “melting pot of sexuality” that unites sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. To Dee, “knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.” This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon.

April Flores is a muse, erotic performer, and model, but that’s not even scratching the surface. A fearless BBW star with scarlet hair, proponent of the queer community, feminist, sex-positive activist, outspoken advocate of body diversity, glamorous art model, avid kink fan, sub and dom both, and all around powerful woman. April has graced the covers of Bizarre and AVN Magazines, among others; modeled for dozens of fine art photographers; Featured Guest & Co Host Espanol on Playboy Sirius/XM Radio; appeared in countless adult films in every genre of the porn industry (from mainstream to queer to kinky to artsy); and spoken out about body image through her mere presence and powerful sexuality, along with her activism.

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Jul 242013
 

FAt Girl Inside cover

Rare Bird Books is pleased to announce the publication of Fat Girl, photographer Carlos Batts’ latest fine art book, available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.com. Fat Girl represents twelve years worth of Batts’ photographs of his wife and muse, famed plus-size model and adult film star April Flores. Miss Rosen wrote the foreword to Fat Girl, and Flores contributes the introduction and several personal essays. The book, Batts’ fourth published collection, features photographs of Flores from the intimate and informal to the highly stylized and outrageous, including rare, never-before-seen images like the highly mythologized early blonde Polaroids. Batts presents his subject as both virtuous and vulgar, at once romantic and ravenous, with images that challenge society’s assumptions about beauty, desirability, identity, performance, and sexual subjectivity. “I knew that I wanted to redefine and change the meaning of the term “Fat Girl.” To me, fat would no longer be the negative word had been and was to so many others. I wanted to take away the shame, and make those words have a positive, empowering connotation.,” writes Flores.

Together, Batts and Flores have created a visual text that beautifully explores some of the most complex cultural issues, including racial identity, beauty aesthetics, and body politics. Their collaboration also reflects the different communities that Batts and Flores belong to and draw inspiration from, including various underground art scenes, the world of independent filmmaking, West Coast queer communities, and the feminist porn movement. Fat Girl provides a glimpse into a world where sex, love, and art collide.

Batts and Flores will celebrate the release of Fat Girl with two events on July 27 in Los Angeles. There will be a discussion about the book and a book signing from 3:00-6:00 pm at the Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue at 250 Grand Avenue. An exhibit of photographs from Fat Girl and reception will take place from 7:00-11:00 pm at Coagula Curatorial, 977 Chung King Road. The event will feature a nail bar by Cha Cha Covers, Cupcakes by Little Sweeties, and a spanking station sponsored by The Pleasure Chest.


FAT GIRL Talk/Q&A & Book Signing
M.O.C.A. Grand Auditorium & Book Store
Carlos Batts & April Flores will talk about there careers working together and their new book
Fat Girl.

Saturday, July 27, 3pm-6pm

Fat Girl Book Exhibit
Gallery: Coagula Curatorial
Date: Saturday, July 27th
Time: 7pm-11pm
Location: 977 Chung King Road, Los Angeles CA 90012

 

Apr 102013
 

IMG_2801I just returned from Toronto and the 2013 Feminist Porn Awards and The Feminist Porn Conference, and I am still reeling. We arrived in Canada on Thursday and hit the ground running. Thursday night Good for Her presented Public. Provocative. Porn, a screening and panel that featured short films and clips by Gala Vanting, Saskia Quax, The Madame, Christian Slaughter, Julie Simone, Nica Noelle, and Clark Matthews. I’d heard a lot about Krutch starring Mia Gimp and directed by Clark Matthews, and I was really impressed by it. Mia Gimp is a star. The way the film is framed, how it flows, and the photography are all fantastic, especially for a first time director and performer! Mia and Clark are also articulate and funny, and, I wish the panel could have gone on longer.

The 8th Annual Feminist Porn Awards were on Friday night at a brand new venue this year, The Capitol Event Theater, which was really lovely. I was thrilled that Krutch won for Sexiest Short along with Biodildo, the Christian Slaughter film starring Jiz Lee that was screened the night before. I was truly surprised, and absolutely honored, to win the Smutty Schoolteacher Award for The Expert Guide to Pegging. Of all the sex ed movies I’ve made, this one is really close to my heart. Three of its stars (Dylan Ryan, Jiz Lee, and Wolf Hudson) were there to see me win (and were award winners themselves that night), and I dedicated my award to the kick ass women behind Bend Over Boyfriend.

Me, Colten, Nan Kinney, Christi Cassidy

Me, Colten, Nan Kinney, Christi Cassidy

Fittingly, Shar Rednour, femme diva, pioneering lesbian pornographer and the director of Bend Over Boyfriend presented The Trailblazer Award to Nan Kinney. Nan is a legend: she is the co-founder of On Our Backs and co-founder and current CEO of Fatale Media, the first company to produce lesbian porn by and for queer women. Nan’s speech was really moving, her partner Christi Cassidy (who runs Fatale with her) was in the audience beaming, and the crowd jumped to their feet in a well-deserved standing ovation.

This year, there were two awards for Hearththrob of the Year: Christian and Jiz Lee. I have directed Christian in a ton of films (Chemistry 2 and 3, Rough Sex, The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio, The Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men, The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio, The Expert Guide to Threesomes, The Expert Guide to Advanced Anal Sex, The Expert Guide to Pegging), and this was a big win for someone who is always overlooked by the mainstream adult industry. He was one of the first (and continues to be one of a handful of) male performers who has done gay, straight, and trans porn, who gets pegged on camera, and, as Nina Hartley once said, “lets his freak flag fly.” Congratulations Christian!

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Jiz Lee and Wolf Hudson (photo: Tania A)

 

Jiz Lee is also just as deserving. I must say if there was any one person that everyone wanted to meet, who people gushed the most, and who is widely worshipped and adored by filmmakers and fans alike, it’s Jiz Lee. They rule for so many reasons, and I am so glad to know them. I’m also excited that Madison Young’s film 50 Shades of Dylan Ryan won for best kink movie and Gala Vanting, Ms. Naughty, and Wolf Hudson all received Honourable Mentions. Carlyle Jansen, owner of Good for Her and producer of the awards and JP, this year’s director, and their crew did an amazing job once again with the Awards Gala. It gets better every year!

The next morning, I was up bright and early to prep for The Feminist Porn Conference. The Feminist Porn Conference was inspired by The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure and my co-editors Celine Parreñas Shimizu, Constance Penley, and Mireille Miller-Young. We first met and began a conversation about the intersections of feminism and pornography at the Console-ing Passions Conference in 2008 on a panel called “Sex Work in Industry and Academe.” It was the first time I had the opportunity to publicly talk to academics who were studying and teaching pornography, and it was an invaluable conversation. That conversation lead to more discussions, which lead to us co-editing The Feminist Porn Book. I created The Feminist Porn Conference to continue the dialogue that the book has sparked. Like the book, I wanted the conference to emphasize a hybrid approach, bringing together academics, cultural critics, performers, directors, producers, sex workers, activists, students and fans to explore the emergence of feminist porn as a genre, industry, and form of activism. Most importantly, the event was designed to put these folks into conversation by coupling academics with performers and producers whose work informs, inspires, or intersects with their porn scholarship.

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Carlyle Jansen, me, Nan Kinney, Carol Queen, Jiz Lee, Wolf Hudson, Mireille Miller-Young, Clark Matthews

We had some major accessibility issues at University College at UT, which I only found out about once I arrived in Toronto on Thursday. I want to thank Clark Matthews who assisted us in addressing some of these issues, Loree Erickson for bringing additional issues to our attention, and both of them for their patience and kindness during what was a frustrating, imperfect situation. I learned a great deal from the experience about what it means to be truly accessible, what kinds of questions to ask in the future, and make a public pledge to do better next year.

Interest in the conference exceeded my expectations, and we had 240 attendees. For you geeks out there, here’s what I know about who came to the conference: 31% of attendees were students, 22% identified themselves as producers, directors, or performers, 12% as professors and scholars, 12% were fans, members of the media and cultural critics made up 6%, 17% identified as “other,” and some of them specified: activist, writer, editor, therapist, sexologist, sex educator, sex worker, student and performer, researcher, programmer/curator, and sexual health clinic worker.

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jes sachse, Carrie Gray, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Carlos Batts, April Flores, Courtney Trouble (photo: Tania A)

Although lots of folks partied late into the night, most managed to get to the conference in time for the first session at 10:15. Courtney Trouble organized the panel “If I Had A Hammer: Reclaiming Feminist Porn As A Tool of Political Activism Against Oppression,” and there was a big crowd for it. This notion of porn as a form of activism is really important and highlights the multiple ways feminists can intervene and challenge the status quo. Courtney is a shining example of putting politics into action. She is strong, driven, and steadfast in her refusal to shut about issues most important to her.

Constance Penley proved why she is such a kick ass feminist rock star when she opened the Keynote Lunch with some history and context for the conference and some amazing stories of teaching porn in the early nineties at UC Santa Barbara.

Mireille Miller-Young

Mireille Miller-Young (photo: Tania A)

Mireille Miller-Young spoke eloquently about the importance of acknowledging access and privilege in spaces like the conference as well as the links between sex work, criminalization, politics, and pornography. I wrapped up by discussing why “feminist porn” is the right term for this genre, industry, field of study, philosophy, and movement and the parallels between feminist porn and the organic/fair trade movement. Then I put forth a call to action for folks to shift the cultural dialogue about feminist porn. I got a little fired up about it!

In Session 2, I was part of “Watch and Learn: Sex Education Discourses in Feminist Porn” which featured the scholarship of Kevin Heffernan of Southern Methodist University and Sarah Stevens of Ohio University whose work focuses on the sex ed films of Nina Hartley and I. I was both humbled and giddy with excitement to hear them talk about us! I cannot tell you how validating and revelatory it is to have academics talk about my filmmaking. Kevin analyzes it through the lens of early sex ed hygiene films and exploitation films, and Sarah does so from a theoretical perspective about pedagogies. Both of their presentations were fascinating, and I actually gained new insight into my own work through them. Notably, on the issue of authority (who has the authority to teach about sex education and especially about women’s sexuality), Sarah argued that I displace myself as the sole expert in The Expert Guide series when I include interviews of the performers who also serve as experts, teachers, and advisors. I strongly believe that professional porn performers do have much to teach us about sexuality from their unique point of view, so that point really resonated with me.

Bianca Stone, James Darling, Jiz Lee, Quinn Cassidy, Arabelle Raphael, Tina Horn (photo: Tania A)

I was sad to miss a panel that was at the same time as mine: To Be Real: Authenticity in Queer and Feminist Porn with Jill Bakehorn, Dylan Ryan, Jiz Lee, and Shar Rednour. Authenticity in feminist porn is one of the most discussed concepts among directors, producers, performers, and audiences and Dylan, Jiz and Shar all have great things to say about it. Jill Bakehorn from UC Davis and UC Berkeley presented her academic work about authenticity as a social construction. To me, this panel epitomized what the conference was all about: having an in-depth discussion about crucial concepts where people had very different points of view and experiences. People really raved about the ensuing discussion. I heard wonderful feedback about all the sessions (here’s a great post by Girly Juice on the con). Several people were especially impacted by the panel Tina Horn organized and moderated “Being Out Now: How Performers Navigate Sexual Morality and Media Representation.” One attendee said it was “one of the most moving, important, life-changing experiences,” and another called it “an incredible array of experiences articulated by a group of smart, self-aware, thoughtful, fascinating people who happen to be sex workers.”

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Kali Williams, Carol Queen, Emily Nagoski (photo: Tania A)

I attended “Feminist Porn XXX-Ed: Feminist Perspectives on Sexual Identity and Sexual Health in Educational and Feminist Porn” in Session 3 with Emily Nagoski of Smith College, Carol Queen, and Kali Williams. Emily’s presentation had me jotting down an entire page of notes, and she raised so many interesting questions about how feminist porn “queers” narratives about sex but doesn’t challenge them enough and often reinforces ideas about female sexuality that are not what she calls “evidence-based” or reflective of how women’s bodies, arousal processes, and orgasms actually work. She gave me so much food for thought. Carol Queen has the unique perspective of being involved with some of the earliest feminist porn and working at Good Vibrations (one of the first sex-positive shops that had a curated collection of porn for sale). Her thoughts about why people turn to porn for sex education, what role porn could play in sex ed, and how explicit sex education (or XXX-ed, as she calls it) fits into the mission of feminist porn. Kali Williams (founder of Kink Academy, Passionate U and Fearless Press) provided an interesting counterpoint when she argued that her explicit sex education is decidedly “not porn” because its intention is not to arouse but to teach. As I sat in the audience, I just really appreciated three powerful women discussing, disagreeing, and pushing the dialogue forward.

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Kevin Heffernan, Constance Penley, Bobby Noble (photo: Tania A)

 

Each room was jam-packed for Session 4 which featured Constance Penley, Bobby Noble and Kevin Heffernan talking about Teaching Porn in Academe, Madison Young’s presentation on “The Politics of Kinky Porn and Feminism,” a panel about mandatory condoms and safer sex with Lisa Kadey, Courtney Trouble and Arabelle Raphael (moderated with skill by Lynn Comella, who is the best moderator in any industry anywhere), and the screening of Shine Louise Houston’s documentary Shiny Jewels.

Me, Shar Rednour, Nan Kinney

Me, Shar Rednour, Nan Kinney

At the closing reception, we all got to unwind a little and I had a chance to get my copy of The Feminist Porn Book autographed by contributors; I now have the signatures of Candida Royalle, Dylan Ryan, Sinnamon Love, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Ms. Naughty, Ariane Cruz, Mireille Miller-Young, Constance Penley, Kevin Heffernan, April Flores, Jiz Lee, and Lynn Comella. I missed Bobby Noble and Loree Erickson, the two Canadians dammit! Bobby Noble is the Principle Investigator of The Feminist Porn Archive and Research Project at York University. I had a few stolen moments with Sarah Stevens, Clark Matthews and Mia Gimp, Carlos Batts, Madison Young, Christi Cassidy and Nan Kinney.

IMG_2793I feel so much love, gratitude, respect, and awe for everyone who took part in this historic event. As I walked through the hallways or stopped outside classrooms, I’d catch bits and pieces of the most exciting, engaging conversations. People were clearly energized and buzzing from all the dialogue; they were making connections with each other, developing new ideas, re-thinking theories, challenging themselves and others. Each presenter paid their own way, traveling from California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, and as far away as The Netherlands and Australia. There was also a fantastic local contingent of Toronto folks like Nicholas Matte and several of his undergrads from UT and Bobby Noble, Toby Wiggins, and Loree Erickson from York University. The presenters contributed to the success of the event in innumerable ways. I had an extraordinary team of volunteers lead by my co-producer and partner Colten: Simon, Clyde, Frances, JP, Addi, bek, Freia, Torsten, Ilana, Tania A., Mike, Marie, Petra, and Rachel worked tirelessly all day with smiles on their faces. Rebecca Thorpe of The Marc Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies and Aaron from UT worked their asses off making sure technology worked and things ran smoothly at the facility.

There was a dizzying array of tweets about the conference (#FPcon), and I want to close with some of my absolute favorites. If you want to read all the tweets from the event, we have an #FPCon Storify (special thanks to Epiphora!).

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Mar 282013
 

feminist-pornICON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO (March 28, 2013)—Producers of the 8th Annual Feminist Porn Awards (FPAs) and the 1st Annual Feminist Porn Conference will hold a joint media event on Friday, April 5 at 12 noon at The Holiday Inn Yorkville, 280 Bloor Street West in the Varsity Room on the 2nd Floor. The event will open with a panel of distinguished guests who will discuss their passion for feminist porn, the significance of their work, and their involvement with the 2013 Feminist Porn Awards (FPAs) and the 2013 Feminist Porn Conference; the presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. The panel will include: Carlyle Jansen, owner of Good for Her and producer of The Feminist Porn Awards; director/producer Tristan Taormino, who is the Feminist Porn Conference producer and co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book; performer Jiz Lee, 2013 Feminist Porn Award nominee and Public.Provocative.Porn special guest; director Matthew Clark, a 2013 Feminist Porn Award nominee and Public.Provocative.Porn special guest; performer Wolf Hudson, a 2013 Feminist Porn Award nominee; performer James Darling, the 2012 Feminist Porn Award Heartthrob of the Year winner; Nan Kinney, groundbreaking lesbian porn director/producer and featured guest at the Feminist Porn Conference; and Professor Mireille Miller-Young from University of California-Santa Barbara, co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book and a Feminist Porn Conference keynote speaker.

After the panel, an additional group will be introduced that includes FPA nominees, past winners, and presenters as well as Feminist Porn Conference speakers. Members of the media will have an opportunity to meet, interview, and photograph the panelists and special guests. Special guests include: Dr. Carol Queen, groundbreaking sex positive feminist and founder of The Center for Sex and Culture; performer/filmmakers Madison Young, Courtney Trouble, Tobi Hill-Meyer, and Carry Gray; filmmakers Shar Rednour, Carlos Batts, Nica Noelle, Shine Louise Houston of Pink + White Productions, and Ms. Naughty of ForTheGirls.com (Australia); performers Dylan Ryan, April Flores, and Sinnamon Love; Liesbet Zikkenheimer and Marije Janssen of DuskTV in The Netherlands; Professor Kevin Heffernan from Southern Methodist University and Professor Lynn Comella from University of Nevada-Las Vegas; and Professor Bobby Noble, Principle Investigator on the Feminist Porn Archive and Research Project, York University. Special guests’ complete bios here.

About The Good for Her Feminist Porn Awards
The Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards have pioneered the celebration of erotica with a difference. Founded in 2006, The Feminist Porn Awards are produced by Good For Her, a Toronto- based feminist sexuality education centre and sex store.  This event was started to celebrate, recognize and endorse filmmakers who who are creating erotic media with a feminist sensibility in porn for everyone to enjoy.  We all deserve to see artistic expressions that celebrate the diversity of who we are in all our glory, and artists deserve to have their work recognized for challenging stereotypes, expanding the boundaries of sexual representation and creating hot movies!

About The Feminist Porn Conference
The 1st Annual Feminist Porn Conference, April 6, 2013 at the University of Toronto, brings together academics, cultural critics, sex workers, performers, producers, directors, activists, and fans to explore the intersections between sex-positive feminism and pornography as well as the emergence of feminist porn as a genre, industry, and movement. Special guests include groundbreaking lesbian pornographers Nan Kinney (Fatale Media) and Shar Rednour (S.I.R. Video Productions), sex-positive leader Carol Queen, award-winning filmmaker Shine Louise Houston and forty other presenters. Professor Constance Penley, Professor Mireille Miller-Young and Tristan Taormino, co-editors of The Feminist Porn Book, will speak at the Keynote Luncheon sponsored by The Feminist Press. The conference is sponsored by Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, Good for Her, The Feminist Porn Awards, and The Feminist Press.

About the Panelists

Since discovering orgasms in her late 20s, Carlyle Jansen has been passionate about education for everyone. She founded Good For Her in 1997, a sexuality shop and workshop centre where everyone could feel welcome and included, especially those who traditionally did not feel reflected in sexuality spaces. In 1996, the Good For Her team created and produced the Feminist Porn Awards. An eco-feminist, she believes in empowering people with knowledge to make the best choices for themselves. As the proud mom of 2 active boys, she loves kid play-time as well!

Tristan Taormino is an award-winning author, columnist, editor, sex educator, radio host, and feminist pornographer. She is the author of seven books including The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion. She runs the adult film production company Smart Ass Productions. She has directed and produced twenty-four adult films, including the groundbreaking series based on real female kink fantasies, Rough Sex and the Expert Guide sex education series, which she created for Vivid Entertainment. The winner of multiple Adult Video News (AVN) and Feminist Porn Awards, she was the first female director to win an AVN award for Best Gonzo Movie for the first film in her reality series Chemistry. She received the Trailblazer Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Feminist Porn Awards in 2010. She is the host of Sex Out Loud, a weekly radio show on The VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network.

Jiz Lee is a genderqueer porn star known for their androgynous look, female ejaculation, vaginal fisting, strap-on performances, and fun sex-positive attitude. The award-winner performer prefers the pronouns “they/them,” and advocates for ethical pornography that creatively and authentically reflects queer sexuality. Ever fascinated by the radical potential of sex, love, and art, Jiz runs a personal blog and philanthropic “Karma Pervs” paysite at JizLee.com. They are the editor of the upcoming anthology How to Come Out Like a Porn Star: Essays from the Porn Industry on Family Matters.

Matthew Clark is the co-creator and writer/director/editor of the award-winning crip porn short KRUTCH, his first adult film. Made with collaborator and star Mia Gimp, it explores issues close to Matthew’s heart: disability, perception, authenticity through representation and auteurship. He studied Film and Media Arts at Temple University and currently resides in Philadelphia.

Wolf Hudson is a Dominican crossover adult performer. He’s known for appearing in straight, gay, bisexual, queer, trans and fetish porn. One of the few openly bisexual male performers to successfully transition between genre’s of porn, he’s demonstrated an appetite to push the envelope of sexuality and delivering passionately driven scenes that has gained him a diverse fan base. He’s won numerous awards, including “Best Personality” at The Cybersocket Web Awards and has appeared in acclaimed films like My Own Master. He is also known for being a talented dancer. Hudson runs his own pay site at WolfHudsonIsBad.com.

James Darling is a transsexual male porn performer and sex worker based in the Bay Area. He won the 2012 Feminist Porn Award for Heartthrob of the Year Transguys.com Sex Performer of the Year 2010 for his work across multiple porn genres. James is also the owner and director of FTMFUCKER.com, a porn site dedicated to trans men.

Nan Kinney is the president and co-founder of Fatale Media. She is also the executive producer of Fatale’s lesbian porn and adult educational videos and DVDs. With Deborah Sundahl, she co-founded On Our Backs magazine.

Mireille Miller-Young is associate professor of feminist studies and affiliate associate professor of black studies, film and media studies, and comparative literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research explores race, gender, and sexuality in visual culture, media, and the sex industries in the United States. Her forthcoming book, A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women, Sex Work, and Pornography, examines African American women in pornography.

Contact:

Tristan Taormino, feministpornstudies@gmail.com
Carlyle Jansen, 416-588-0900, carlyle@goodforher.com

Feb 042013
 

Feminist_Porn_cover
The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure
is co-edited by Celine Parreñas-Shimizu, Constance Penley, Mireille Miller-Young, and me
and is published by The Feminist Press

The Feminist Porn Book brings together for the first time writings by feminists in the adult industry and research by feminist porn scholars. This book investigates not only how feminists understand pornography, but also how feminists do porn—that is, direct, act in, produce, and consume one of the world’s most lucrative and growing industries. With original contributions by Susie Bright, Candida Royalle, Betty Dodson, Nina Hartley, Buck Angel, Lynn Comella, Jane Ward, Ariane Cruz, Kevin Heffernan, and more, The Feminist Porn Book updates the arguments of the porn wars of the 1980s, which sharply divided the women’s movement, and identifies pornography as a form of expression and labor in which women and racial and sexual minorities produce power and pleasure. Check out the book’s official website to read the table of contents and see what people like Melissa Harris-Perry, Laura Kipnis, Jack Halberstam, Lisa Duggan, Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, and other luminaries have said about it. I am so unbelievably excited that The Feminist Porn Book is here! This is a project that is five years in the making, and I cannot believe it’s in print.

Inspired by the book, I am producing The Feminist Porn Conference, a one-day event on April 6, 2013 at the University of Toronto during the Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards festivities. Speakers include Lynn Comella, Ariane Cruz, Loree Erickson, April Flores, Kevin Heffernan, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Shine Louise Houston, Jiz Lee, Nicholas Matte, Mireille Miller-Young, Ms. Naughty, Nenna, Bobby Noble, Celine Parreñas-Shimizu, Constance Penley, Carol Queen, Dylan Ryan, Tristan Taormino, Courtney Trouble, Madison Young, and more to be confirmed soon. Registration is now open, and Early Bird Registration Rates are good through March 1, so register today! Our host hotel is the Holiday Inn; get our special discount code here. Special thanks to our sponsors Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, Good for Her, The Feminist Porn Awards, and The Feminist Press.

Oct 082012
 


This Friday, October 12th, on Sex Out Loud I talk to model and performer April Flores and photographer and filmmaker Carlos Batts as part of my “Live in LA” series recorded in studio in Los Angeles. This dynamic duo in art and life reveals how they first met and what fuels their erotic collaborations. Carlos talks about his body of work, why he loves to make art, and the exhibit inspired by the sex toy molded from April’s vagina. April will discuss her role as a plus-size model in the adult industry, what she thinks of the term BBW, and her Feminist Porn Award for Heartthrob of the Year. They will also give us a insider’s look at their newest film, April Flores World.

April Flores is a muse, erotic performer, and model, but that’s not even scratching the surface. A fearless BBW star with scarlet hair, proponent of the queer community, feminist, sex-positive activist, outspoken advocate of body diversity, glamorous art model, avid kink fan, sub and dom both, and all around powerful woman. April has graced the covers of Bizarre and AVN Magazines, among others; modeled for dozens of fine art photographers; Featured Guest & Co Host Espanol on Playboy Sirius/XM Radio; appeared in countless adult films in every genre of the porn industry (from mainstream to queer to kinky to artsy); and spoken out about body image through her mere presence and powerful sexuality, along with her activism.

 Carlos Batts is an award winning; Artist, Photographer and Director. Batts’ artwork has appeared on book covers, fashion magazines, comic books and motion pictures. Carlos has three internationally distributed hardbound coffee table books; Wild Skin, Crazy Sexy Hollywood and American Gothic that document a wide variety of sub-cultures. Batts has directed independent art films; American Gothic, Voluptuous Biker Babes, and April Flores World that are distributed through various mainstream outlets. Born in Baltimore, Batts now lives and creates in Hollywood with his Muse, April Flores.