Dec 032013
 
Courtney Trouble Releases Girl Pile: An Unscripted Lesbian Orgy on DVDNominated for a 2014 AVN Award for best Web Premiere, Girl Pile is presented un-edited to offer unique, gonzo, feminist take on classic girl/girl porn.TROUBLEfilms has released Girl Pile: An Unscripted Lesbian Orgy today, a new lesbian production by esteemed queer femme adult film maker Courtney Trouble.

Immediately following it’s release, AVN Mahazine announced Girl Pile as a nominee for best Web Premiere, making this DVD release even more highly anticipated!

2013’s AVN Award Winner for Best Girl/Girl Scene Sinn Sage stars in Girl Pile alongside 2014 Unsung Starlet nominee Arabelle Raphael, Tori Lux, and AVN’s Best New Starlet Fan Favorite nominee Nikki Hearts.

“A lot of viewers have their doubts about the classic, uber-feminine girl/girl style of lesbian porn, assuming that much of it is fake or that the performers don’t know (or enjoy) what they are doing. Girl Pile shatters that stereotype by letting the shooting process be a transparent element of the film,” says a TROUBLEfilms representative when asked about the gonzo style in which Girl Pile was filmed. “By letting you see every second of the sex that happened on set, Courtney Trouble proves that lesbian porn can be feminine, flirty, hardcore, and authentic.”

Courtney Trouble says of the film: “You don’t have to sacrifice explicitness or hardcore hotness to make a truly woman-friendly, lesbian-friendly adult film. I think that all kinds of porn watchers will get something good out of Girl Pile. It’s unbelievably sexy. The chemistry between these women is undeniable.”

GIRL PILE is presented unscripted, unedited, unrehearsed, and untouched so you can see through Trouble’s signature hardcore HD camera work, that these women are madly attracted to each other, super excited to be fucking each other, and will do anything to get each other off. There’s NOTHING formulaic about this lesbian porn film.

Contact TROUBLEfilms at info@troublefilms.com or order wholesale online directly at http://troublefilms.com/ordering-information/

Girl Pile premiered online exclusively at QueerPorn.TV in October, with VOD access through AEBN, PinkLabel.TV, GameLink, HotMovies, and RealQueerPorn.Com following shortly after.

Fleshbot was on set for the filming of Girl Pile, and Rae Threat was the on-set photographer, catching many cute and candid shots of Courtney and the porn stars working hard on this film.

We are the exclusive distributor of TROUBLEfilms releases, and ordering wholesale DVDs from TROUBLEfilms is as simple as this:

Fill out our easy Wholesale DVD Ordering Form online
if it’s your first time, or when re-ordering. You can also send us a PO to info (at) troublefilms.com
Orders of 20 or more DVDs will receive an automatic 10% discount. Got questions? Just E-Mail us! info (at) troublefilms.com

HERE’S OUR CURRENT DISTRIBUTION CATALOG AND PRICE LIST

Dec 032013
 

sinnamon love

This Friday on Sex Out Loud at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET, I present the final episode of our CatalystCon West 2013 series of interviews and we go out with a bang, bringing you the marvelous Sinnamon Love! Love appeared in over 250 hardcore movies, numerous men’s magazines and countless appearances on Playboy TV & Radio, and along with her educational background, she has turned her experience into a career as a writer, sex educator, lecturer, and radio host. I talk with her about feminist porn, improving sex education, sex work and parenting, as well as her popular radio show, Sex, Love, and Hip Hop.

Sinnamon Love is a retired adult film star & fetish model. She works as a staff writer & relationship columnist for TheWellVersed.com, as well as a freelance, contributing writer for hip hop, parenting and feminist websites and academic books. In 2011, Sinnamon Love launched an internet radio show called Sex, Love & Hip Hop on DTFRadio.com. Love’s 17 year on camera career and educational background has made her an expert in the field related to pornography, sex work, human sexuality and other related subjects. Currently, Love lives in Brooklyn, New York raising a teenage daughter and Autistic teenage son. She has an adult daughter attending a university in Los Angeles, California. She is an outspoken Autism/ Asperger’s parent advocate and has recently taken on improving sex education in Inner City schools.

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Dec 022013
 

I have a dildo that’s seven and a half inches long for anal penetration. In the two months that I have had it, I have already been able to take all of the insertable length in my booty, so I think I am ready to go up a size. I want something that is longer, but also has a lot of girth; can you recommend something that will make me scream in ecstasy? What are some of the best toys for self-stimulation? Should I get a blow up doll with a dick?

–Screamer

There are lots of large dildos on the market, but I’m a big fan of silicone toys and I always recommend them. Silicone is pliable and resilient; it conducts body heat and vibration; it’s very easy to clean since it’s not porous like rubber or PVC. If you’re looking for something thick, then Randy by Vixen Creations is awesome; it’s got the diameter of a soda can! Vixen also makes a dildo called Outlaw which is eight and a half inches long and over two inches in diameter. Tantus has a new giant in their line up called Hoss which is 11″ long and should keep you busy for a while. If you like metal toys, then the Eleven by NJoy simply must be on your wish list; it’s expensive, but it’s a size queen’s dream come true!

As for good anal toys for masturbation, I always find that longer toys are easier to hold and maneuver, as are baton-style toys with a handle. You may also want to investigate dildos with a suction cup on the end of them. You can stick them to the shower wall for example and ride til your heart’s content. Blow up dolls make for a good punchline, but when it comes to penetration, I am not sure how they work, really. There is a John Holmes Fantasy Doll, but I haven’t been able to find anyone who’s actually used it. Just as there are replicas of female porn stars’ pussies and asses, there are replicas of male porn stars’ penises, and they are some of the biggest dildos I’ve seen. They are mostly gay porn stars, but a cock is a cock, so who cares?

Nov 252013
 

Ask Tristan logoLast month I interviewed Sandra Pertot for an episode of Sex Out Loud. It was an amazing show filled with great audience questions…and we didn’t even get to them all! Pertot was generous enough to take the time to provide answers to everyone who wrote in to us. Enjoy this guest edition of Ask Tristan, courtesy of expert psychologist, Sandra Pertot.

When I met my wife, (in our late 30′s) we would have sex all the time. We used to joke that our sex life needed a HMO.  She had to get a Hysterectomy a couple of years later due to (fucking) cancer. She refused hormone treatments and her libido “Fell off a cliff.” as she says. We are now in our early 40′s, and have had sex once in the last year and a half.  She did not have an orgasm. I have tried to be understanding in all of this and have not cheated on her, but because I know she doesn’t want to, I have resigned myself to not having sex, so on the rare occasion that she says she might want to do it, I’m either not prepared, or worried that she’s not enjoying it and just “throwing me a bone,” so to speak.

Cancer changes many aspects of a person’s life, and the couple’s sexual relationship is often hit hard. In your wife’s case, her hysterectomy has added to the complex recovery from a life-threatening illness. It is likely that your wife is grieving the loss of her sex drive and the wonderful sex life she had with you while at the same time being grateful to still be alive. It sounds like you have a very strong emotional relationship, and if you are going to rebuild your sex life, this is where to start. Firstly, I would encourage you to talk about your joint grief of the loss of something that was so special. Then talk about what you each miss most – is it the closeness, the sensuality, the arousal and orgasm? There’s a good chance that your wife misses the intimacy as much or more than the arousal and orgasm (not that this isn’t important!), and if so this is the basis for building a sex life. If your wife feels she can come to sex without the expectation that she will be as she was before, and explore the sensual and emotionally reassuring aspects of sex with someone she loves, you may find she has reasons to say yes to sex more often. At the same time, she may be willing to meet your needs even though she doesn’t feel the same way. This is far from “throwing you a bone”: individuals can be very different in their sexual wants and needs and still have a satisfying sex life, even if there is the sadness that it isn’t what you had before.

I have been in a relationship for over 20 years.  We have had times where mismatch in libido has switched back and forth (kids can do that), but generally it evens out (and who says masturbation is a problem?).  The one thing that has had the biggest impact is my partner using anti-depressants.  He doesn’t want to give up the benefits of the medication (I don’t want him to either), but the side effects are a challenge.  He experiences loss of libido and then quite often when he IS turned on, he ends up not being able to come.  The doctors just disregard the impact of the sexual problems. I am not saying our sex life is bad, but this is a challenge that I think is fairly common but not discussed a lot.

Unfortunately some anti-depressants do have these sexual side effects, and it is disappointing the prescribing doctor is not comfortable discussing this with you. There are some anti-depressants that are thought to have less impact on sexual functioning, so I would encourage you to seek out a medical practitioner who would explore this option.  However, it may be that the medication he is on is the best one for his depression, and that leaves you and your partner to come to terms with this ongoing change if your sexual relationship. It sounds like you have done quite well in adjusting to the new relationship, but it can still be disappointing for you both. Generally in this situation if the couple explore sensual pleasure together (cuddles, massage), then if one partner becomes aroused and not the other, it is okay for the turned on partner to enjoy those feelings and not feel guilty.

One thing I would suggest is that when your partner is able to arouse, does he notice if his thoughts are able to stay connected to good sexual feelings, or do they wander into worrying about coming? If he has trouble staying focused, he might benefit from developing mindfulness skills. He might also want to explore activities that will give him stronger stimulation, such as experimenting with sex toys. Unfortunately, though, sometimes nothing triggers orgasm so he needs to recognise when his feelings and thoughts have shifted from “this feels good” to “this feels like hard work”, and at that point it is best if he stops trying to come and allow his arousal to subside, as frustrating as that may be.

My partner and I just had the most stressful year of our lives – job changes, living temporarily with no privacy, moving to a new town – so the sex life got backburnered. Now we’re in a better place, but my physical desire hasn’t gotten the message. I’ve always been a regular masturbator, but even that has felt more utilitarian than sexy. I’m also the Top in the relationship and feel the pressure is on me to instigate, but I’d like to switch more often. Can you talk a bit about how dealing with changing libido and sexual dynamics with regards to desire, roleplay, domination?

 

What is great to hear is that even though your physical desire has gone down, you haven’t given up on sex! The more we learn about sex drive for men and women, the more we understand that there is much more to it than a physical urge, so if you are expecting that to be the trigger for sex, you may be missing some opportunities. However, it is important that you avoid masturbation and sex as a way of coping with negative feelings such as boredom, stress and fatigue. Instead, notice feelings of well-being – feeling close to your partner, life is good, and so on – then see if that is a good time for sex or masturbation. Don’t expect sex to be as it was before, at least not immediately; begin with sensual and gentle touch.  Stay connected to good feelings and you may find your arousal and desire kicks in.

The key to all good sexual relationships is communication, and good communication depends of self-confidence (I’m not stupid/inadequate/weird because I feel this way) while at the same time accepting that your partner may not want what you want or feel the same way about the things that give you pleasure. Some people don’t initiate sex because they just don’t think of it, others avoid initiating because they worry their partner will assume they are hot and ready to go, when they may be still quite unaroused. Check out with your partner what is happening – if they just don’t think about it, maybe suggesting a cue like being  the initiator once a week (or month . . .) might help, and if the worry is about what you will expect, let them know that you will enjoy any initiation and go from there!

If you want to change your usual position and to introduce roleplay and domination, talk to your partner about what you would like in a confident and respectful way, and be curious about what they think about this. Obviously it is difficult if your partner is definitely against any change, but if it doesn’t come across as a demand or a judgement if your ideas aren’t met with instant enthusiasm, your partner may be willing to try it out. At the same time, make sure you know what makes sex good for your partner, so that they know that this isn’t just about you getting what you want. In an ideal world, you would both want the same things and get the same satisfaction, but for many couples this isn’t how it is.  In my view, couples who willingly compromise in their sexual relationship so both partners get what they want some of the time develop a depth of understanding that perhaps couples for whom it all happens easily don’t experience.

Different sex drives? Changes in libido? Oh, we have those. Since my encounter with cancer a two years ago (I’ve been all better over a year), my sex drive has been nearly nil. My partner’s drive, however, is just as strong as it’s always been. We’ve always been poly, but neither of us has had other partners for a while. Fortunately, we also have a power dynamic. We’ve kept close and him happy by working the power exchange into it – chastity device, controlled masturbation, and the like. He still gets to have me involved in his sex life, and I don’t have to feel guilty for not wanting sex. I still do feel guilty frequently and miss my sex drive deeply, though. Got any other tips on how to cope with a nearly-absent libido?

Congratulations on your recovery from cancer and your determination to keep your sex life going even though your desire has lessened. I’m always curious about why people feel guilty about not feeling sexual, because guilt implies you have done something wrong, and to me you are doing everything right in such a difficult situation. Feelings of loss, disappointment and sadness, on the other hand, are completely natural and healthy when something you value has been lost. Sadly, I don’t have any tips for boosting your libido as I’m guessing you are already doing as much as possible. The best suggestion I can give is to shift your focus from what you used to feel that signalled sexual interest, and look for other cues such as a feeling of well-being, feeling physically well, emotionally content, and so on. Focus on what is present now rather than what is missing. I would encourage you to explore other ways for sex to be initiated, which might in the first instance be more about gentleness and soft touch, which can release oxytocin (sometimes known as the cuddle hormone or hormone of bonding), and this can sometimes be a springboard for sexual arousal – perhaps not as you felt it before, but still a lovely buzz and a soft but satisfying orgasm.

~~~~

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote in with these great questions! You can hear more advice from Sandra Pertot by listening to her episode of Sex Out Loud or visiting her website.

 

Nov 202013
 

Minx hs 2013

A new installment in our CatalystCon West 2013 series of episodes recorded in front of a live studio audience, this week on Sex Out Loud radio I interview Cunning Minx, the poly and kinky sex-positive educator and activist who has been the producer and host of the Polyamory Weekly podcast since spring of 2005. Minx will share how she got into polyamory, sex education, and podcasting, and how those lessons inform her teachings on poly, kinky and Web 2.0 community-building topics. Plus, she answers questions from the studio audience.

Cunning Minx is the sultry-voiced producer and host of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, now with over 300 episodes in production. The podcast shares tales from the front of responsible non-monogamy from a pansexual, kink-friendly point of view. A kinky boobiesexual, Minx founded the show as a resource for the poly and poly-curious to form a community, share experiences and help guide each other on their journeys of poly and kinky exploration. Minx has been a submissive, bottom and otherwise generally non-dominant type for the past ten years. Minx has spoken on poly, kinky and Web 2.0 community-building topics at ShibariCon, Geek Girl Con, CatalystCon, MomentumCon, Atlanta Poly Weekend, Sex 2.0, Leather Leadership Conference, Dragon*Con, GD2, Heartland Polyamory Conference, New York Poly Pride and Poly Living. The Poly Weekly podcast is the winner of the 2007 Erotic Award for Best Podcast and has received accolades from ErosZine, Fleshbot and the Chicago Sun-Times.

 

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Nov 152013
 

The infamous sex toy reviewer and blogger Epiphora did a fantastic sex toy gift guide on the November 15 episode of Sex Out Loud, so we are sharing it here! –Tristan

Vibrators

LELO Mona 2 vibratorMy #1 pick is the Mona 2 vibrator from LELO. I’ve become so obsessed with this toy lately that I’m pretty sure everyone’s getting sick of hearing about it. But it covers all the bases: it’s rechargeable, strong, fully submersible in water, and the shape is just awesome. It has a bulbous end for great G-spot stimulation, but it’s also sort of tapered on one side, so it sits nicely between the labia when used clitorally. It also has incredible range in terms of vibration, so a person who doesn’t know how much power they need yet can find out.

As a bonus, it comes in a box that’s already perfect for gift-giving. You can literally just toss a bow around it and be done. Which is great because I’m already having flash-forwards to how much peppermint schnapps I’m going to have to drink while I wrap presents this year, just to make it bearable.

We-Vibe Touch vibratorLELO Mia 2 vibrator
If you’re looking for a solid clitoral vibe, my favorite rechargeables are the We-Vibe Touch and LELO Mia. The We-Vibe Touch is one of the most powerful rechargeable clit vibes I’ve ever tried, which, of course, I love, and the LELO Mia is USB rechargeable, so it’s basically the best travel vibe ever.

Pleasure Works Silver Bullet vibratorPleasure Works Diving Dolphin vibrator sleevePleasure Works Wild Hare vibrator sleeve
Pleasure Works makes a couple 100% silicone sleeves called the Diving Dolphin and Wild Hare, and those fit over any vibrator with a diameter of an inch or so. They fit perfectly over the Silver Bullet, which consequently is an excellent starter vibe, and they give it some extra grip, too, which is awesome.

Dildos

Vixen Creations VixSkin dildos

Some of my favorite dildos of all-time are the dildos made by Vixen Creations. They have a dual-density pure silicone called VixSkin that is highly detailed, delightfully squishy, and will last a lifetime. I’m addicted to it, to put it mildly.

Tantus Rocket dildoPleasure Works Siren dildoLELO Ella dildo
I’m also a big fan of G-spot dildos. If your gift recipient is new to G-spot stimulation, a really simple silicone dildo with a good G-spotting head will do the trick. I really like the Tantus Rocket, the Pleasure Works Siren, and the LELO Ella.

njoy Pure Wand dildoNobEssence Seduction dildoJopen Key Comet G Wand dildo
But if they’ve already found their G-spot and want to up the ante a bit — perhaps even learn to squirt — I absolutely adore the njoy Pure Wand, which is stainless steel, the NobEssence Seduction which is made of wood, and the Jopen Key Comet G Wand, which is half-glass and half-silicone. All of them are basically G-spot homing missiles, so you can’t go wrong.

Fun Factory Stronic Eins pulsatorTantus Splash dildoCrystal Delights Crystal Twist
But what if the person you’re buying for already has a hefty sex toy collection? I’d suggest a toy that offers a truly unique sensation, and I would know which ones do because I have a very discerning vagina. I suggest you check out Fun Factory’s Stronic line. These toys do not have traditional motors; they actually contain weights that move back and forth. Yes, like a Shake Weight. Except for your vagina. And a lot more useful. The Stronics are not cheap, but I think they’re worth it. And I don’t say that a lot about $200 toys.

If $200 is a bit much, and I don’t blame you there, look up the Tantus Splash or Crystal Delights Crystal Twist. These two dildos are oddly shaped, yet feel so wonderful because of it.

Anal Toys

Fun Factory Bootie butt plugnjoy Pure Plug butt plugNobEssence Romp butt plug
If your gift recipient has never tried anal play, I would suggest the Fun Factory Bootie, a little silicone plug with a curved tip. It’s cute, small, and it has a great base.

If they’re more well-versed in anal, they’ll love the njoy Pure Plug, which is stainless steel, or the NobEssence Romp, which is wood. Both feel amazing and really have that “wow” factor when you open them because they’re so gorgeous.

Kegel Balls

LELO Luna Beads kegel balls

My favorite kegel balls — and I’ve tried quite a few — are the LELO Luna Beads. These are inserted vaginally and can be worn around, to make mundane tasks less excruciating. Oh, yeah, and they tone the PC muscles, too. But mostly the sensation of the inner balls rolling around is just really fun.

Sleeves

Fleshlight line-up

Fleshlights are awesome. My boyfriend is super picky about sleeves, but he loves the luscious material used to make Fleshlights… as do I (you can sometimes find me casually fingering one). There are about a million to choose from, from basic orifices to extremely detailed porn star vulvas. There’s even a build-your-own option.

Other Stuff

Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System

If you want to veer off the traditional sex toy path, there’s always the Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System. This thing basically turns any bed into a bondage playground, complete with both wrist and ankle cuffs. And when you’re done, you can just toss the straps and cuffs under the mattress, effectively hiding them away from your kids… or in my case, my cats.

Sliquid lube is the best

And finally, I must mention lube! It’s the best. Everyone should use it. My favorite brand is Sliquid, because all of their lubes are glycerin- and paraben- free. I say get some lube samples and stuff them in a stocking. Plus then you can do a lube flight and find out what both of you like.

Can’t decide?

If you can’t decide, and if I’m overwhelming you with suggestions, see if your favorite sex shop does gift certificates (hint: Good Vibes, Babeland, SheVibe, Early to Bed, Come As You Are, and Tantus all do). One thing you can do is make a list of potential toys to show your partner — you could even put together a sex toy brochure or menu or something — but leave the final say up to them. This shows that you put some effort and research into it, but ultimately you’re giving them the reins. People love having the reins.

Nov 132013
 

Julie Stewart Headshot Epiphora

This week’s episode of Sex Out Loud with Tristan Taormino features an interview with Julie Stewart, President of Sportsheets, recorded live as part of the CatalystCon West series. Stewart talks about what brought her to Sportsheets and what she’s learned from her 19 years in the industry. Then we’ll feature a special segment with Epiphora, sex toy reviewer extraordinaire, who will give you the lowdown on all the best sex toys (to help you start planning holiday gift buying). You’ll love her honest, smart, and BS-free recommendations for what products give the best orgasms.

Julie Stewart has been part of Sportsheets for the past nineteen years overseeing finance, sales, marketing, human resources, strategic planning and working with product development. In 2012 she was promoted to President of the company. She grew up in Michigan and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1993. In 1999, she received an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University. She enjoys the challenges of running a business and especially likes working with customers, the Sportsheets staff, and seeing our new releases excel in the market place. She loves that Sportsheets is about keeping couples connected and is rewarded by the joy Sportsheets brings to people. On her time off she loves being with her family learning from her six year old daughter Samantha. She likes music, traveling, shopping, reading and being with family.

For six years, Epiphora has been testing sex toys and writing about them on the internet. Her popular blog, Hey Epiphora, is filled to the brim with relentlessly honest sex toy reviews, matter-of-fact masturbation journals, industry critiques, and sex blogging tips. Highly trusted and well-known for her snarky style, she is the antidote to the coy, euphemistic sugar-coating that plagues bad sex writing. Many loyal readers entrust their future orgasms to her. As a trusted voice in the sex toy landscape, Epiphora has been featured on Slate and VICE, interviewed in XBIZ Premiere magazine, and quoted in Tristan Taormino’s book, The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation. . She was recently named Kinkly’s #1 Sex Blogging Superhero of 2013.

 

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Nov 052013
 

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JackyforTristan

Recorded live in front of a studio audience at CatalystCon West, this Friday’s episode of Sex Out Loud features award-winning writer and director, Jacky St. James. We’ll discuss how she got into the adult entertainment business, why she’s an advocate of couple’s-oriented pornography, and how she achieves her goals to provide the highest quality content in the adult marketplace while also creating a greater sense of sexual freedom and openness through her work. Jacky St. James will also talk about the role of a good girl….and why good girls like it bad.

Jacky St. James is an award winning writer and director in the adult entertainment industry. She is known for creating a wide range of films, from romantic comedies to edgier all-sex releases, with her most acclaimed titles being: Torn, The Friend Zone, Power and Control, The Submission of Emma Marx, and The Temptation of Eve. During this past 2013 award season, Torn (which St. James wrote and then subsequently co-directed with Eddie Powell) took home multiple awards including: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Couples’ Release, and Best Screenplay. Throughout her career in adult, St. James has been an advocate of couple’s-oriented pornography and has been a guest speaker UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, AEE, Exxxotica, XBIZ 360. She has been featured in several popular mainstream publications including Jezebel, Slate, and the Examiner. St. James shares pictures, clips, and stories about her successes and debacles as a woman working within the adult industry on her website, missjackystjames.com.

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Oct 282013
 

FeministPornMiniCon-009

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 282013
 

EldersTaormino

Tristan Taormino welcomes Dr. Joycelyn Elders and Jackie Strano to Sex Out Loud on Friday, November 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm Pacfic time, 8:00 pm Eastern time on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. Taormino interviewed Dr. Elders in person at CatalystCon West in Woodland Hills, California, where Elders gave the closing keynote talk last month.

During the interview, Dr. Elders recalled growing up in rural, segregated, poverty-stricken Schaal, Arkansas and how it ultimately impacted her lifelong dedication to public health. Dr. Elders talked about her appointment as U.S. Surgeon General by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and how she was forced to resign over a controversy about her public statements about safer sex, masturbation, and sex education. Elders and Taormino discussed abstinence-only sex education, the current state of HIV/AIDS, and how we can empower young people around their sexuality.

dr eldersDr. Joycelyn Elders, the first person in the state of Arkansas to become board certified in pediatric endocrinology, was the sixteenth Surgeon General of the United States, the first African American and only the second woman to head the U.S. Public Health Service. Long an outspoken advocate of public health, Elders was appointed Surgeon General by President Clinton in 1993. In 1995, she returned to her alma mater, the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, as a faculty researcher and professor of pediatric endocrinology at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. In 1996, she wrote her autobiography, Joycelyn Elders, M.D.: From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America. Now retired from practice, Dr. Elders has teamed up with the University of Minnesota Medical School, which has created The Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education to advance the design, evaluation, and dissemination of essential sexual health curriculum for all individuals as well as training for allied health care providers and education professionals.

“It was an honor and a privilege to speak to Dr. Elders,” says Taormino. “She is such an inspiration to sex educators everywhere. She’s bold, unapologetic, and fearless about her commitment to comprehensive sex education in our country. Plus, she’s very feisty—I can’t believe some of the things she said!”

The second half of the show will feature Jackie Strano, Executive Vice President of Good Vibrations, the presenting sponsor of Sex Out Loud. Strano was at CatalystCon West for Dr. Elders’ keynote. “Dr. Elders is one of my personal sex positive icons for her bravery and for telling a simple and necessary truth during a climate of intense fear around sexuality in this country’s history,” says Strano. “For the last 19 years, Good Vibrations has dedicated the month of May as ‘Masturbation Month’ in homage to Elders’ bravery and commitment to pleasure, sex positivity and sex education.” In their interview, Taormino and Strano talk about the state of sex education in America, why sex-positive retail stores are so important, and how Good Vibrations has paired with various non-profit sex-positive organizations to raise money and awareness.

jackie stranoJackie Strano is the Executive Vice President of Good Vibrations the legendary feminist sex positive adult retailer founded in 1977. Strano is an award winning and best-selling adult filmmaker of explicit and non-explicit sex-ed movies, a sex educator for over 20 years, author, performer, producer, and has lectured at conferences, universities, and appeared on HBO, various documentaries, and featured in Cosmo, Playboy, Self Magazine, Salon, The Village Voice, and various independent newspapers throughout the country.

“Tristan continues to deliver high quality shows week after week on Sex Out Loud,” says Karen Dana, Executive Producer of the show at VoiceAmerica. “Not only does she have top-notch guests from a variety of fields, but her conversations with them are thoughtful, provocative, and inspirational. That’s what makes Sex Out Loud the highest-rated show on the entire VoiceAmerica Network.”

Sex Out Loud airs live on Fridays at 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel. All shows will be available in Tristan Taormino’s Content Library on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel for on-demand and podcast download. It is sponsored by Good Vibrations, Astroglide, We-Vibe, and Sportsheets.

About Sex Out Loud®:

Sex Out Loud explores the world of sexuality from every angle with host Tristan Taormino®, who interviews leading authors, educators, artists and icons and gives listeners an uncensored, inside look at alternative sexual practices and communities. Guests have included Dan Savage, Susie Bright, Jessica Valenti, Kandi Burruss, and Margaret Cho. Sex Out Loud airs live on Fridays at 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel; it is the number one rated show across the entire VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. Tristan Taormino is an award winning author, sex educator, speaker, and filmmaker. She is the author of seven books and editor of twenty-five anthologies. She has appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry, Joy Behar: Say Anything, HBO’s Real Sex, Ricki Lake, and The Howard Stern Show. She lectures at top colleges and universities and teaches sex and relationship classes around the world.

About Good Vibrations:
Good Vibrations is a diverse, woman-focused retailer providing high-quality, sex-positive products and non-judgmental, accurate sex information through our clean and comfortable stores, catalog, web site, wholesale division, product and movie production lines in order to enhance our customers’ sex lives and promote healthy attitudes about sex. We recognize that sexuality touches on every aspect of our lives and that many people face challenges around positive sexual expression. Our goal is to help everyone we come into contact with to discover ways to experience sexual pleasure, health, and well-being. Since sexual diversity is a core component of the human experience and each person’s sexuality will change over the lifespan, we welcome all forms of consensual sexual expression, desire, and fantasy. Good Vibrations strives to be an agent for social change, through the lenses of sexuality, diversity and ethical business practices. Both within our organization, and throughout the communities we serve, we are committed to fostering respect, promoting supportive communication, providing access to educational resources and strongly advocating for women in leadership roles.

About VoiceAmerica/World Talk Radio, LLC:

World Talk Radio, LLC is the world leader in online media broadcasting and the largest producer and distributor of live internet based talk radio and TV, delivering more than 200 hosts broadcasting to eight niche community based channels and over 1,000 hours of programming weekly on its VoiceAmerica™ Network and WorldTalk Radio Network as well as live and on-demand video content on VoiceAmerica.TV. World Talk Radio, LLC is one of the pioneers in internet broadcasting, producing and syndicating online audio and video, offering an innovative, effective and comprehensive digital broadcast platform.

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