Jun 212013
 

It’s important to show a diversity of power dyanmics in kinky sex, so I definitely wanted to represent female dominance and male submission in my Guide to Kinky Sex for Couples.

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Aiden Starr is one of the most gifted dominants I know, so when I called her, I was curious about who she wanted to work with. She picked Christian, who is the go-to guy in porn for all things kinky and alternative. Plus, it’s perfect because Christian is the name of the dominant character in Fifty Shades of Grey, so I like the idea that we’re flipping that around. Aiden is the mistress of dirty talk and verbal domination, which really bring all her roleplay scenes to life. Christian works out so much that we only had one collar that would fit around his neck! (I realized too late that we could have snapped together two bondage cuffs and made them into a collar.)

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Aiden takes charge with such confidence and sexiness—she’s a great role model for women who want to explore their dominant sides. She’s tiny and quiet, yet she commands attention easily. When she says she is going to use Christian’s cock for her own pleasure, she doesn’t disappoint. He’s one of the only guys I know who can actually come on command, so it’s really hot when she makes him do it.

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They came up with the end of the scene themselves, where Aiden uses a vibrator to make herself come, just out of reach of Christian. He just had to watch without touching.

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Jun 202013
 

I’ve shot Adrianna Nicole and Evan Stone together before (in Chemistry 4, The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio, and Rough Sex 3: Adrianna’s Dangerous Mind) and they have one of the best connections of any pair I’ve directed. They just seem to really get each other, and they embody great verbal and non-verbal communication skills; that made them perfect for my Guide to Kinky Sex for Couples.

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Shooting with them is always fun. Evan arrived on set early (!) so as Adrianna was finishing makeup, Evan and I shot some BTS footage of one of the more peculiar things I’ve seen at a location house: a HUGE collection of Christmas nutcrackers. He helped me move them from the foyer downstairs (so none would get accidentally knocked over or broken). Then he took a shower, which is a thing he does before scenes. When we started to roll, Evan put Adrianna in bondage cuffs, tethered her to the bed, and she really dropped into the role of his willing captive right away.

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Adrianna loves nipple clamps and we had this cool pair from the Sportsheets’ Sex and Mischief line, the kind with marabou feathers on them. The feathers on the clamps looked gorgeous against her pale skin. Before we shot the scene, we all talked about how it would go and agreed that Evan would do a lot of orgasm control and teasing.

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Once they got into it, Evan was having so much fun he abandoned that idea—he just couldn’t withhold the Magic Wand vibrator or the resulting orgasms from Adrianna! He’s not the strictest of dominants when you leave him to his own devices.

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That day, we also had special visitors on the set: a couple who won the chance to visit my set in a charity auction. They got to meet Adrianna and Evan and watch the scene from start to finish and were just blown away. Afterwards, they got their pictures taken with Adrianna and Evan in front of a Christmas tree. It was pretty cute.

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Jun 192013
 

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Swedish filmmaker Erika Lust comes to Sex Out Loud this Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET, all the way from Barcelona. Erika Lust will discuss how she saw a void for women’s voices in a male-driven mainstream porn industry and set out to create waves in adult cinema by envisioning a different kind of porn. She’ll discuss her popular first film The Good Girl, the erotic documentary Barcelona Sex Project, as well as Cabaret Desire, her most ambitious and personal film to date. Lust will discuss why she believes in the importance of porn that is produced and directed by women and give us details about her new project coming soon, XConfessions.

Erika Lust, born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1977, is an independent filmmaker, author, and founder of Erika Lust Films. After graduating from Lund University with a degree in Political Science with a focus on Feminism, Lust moved to Barcelona, where her production company was established in 2005. She has directed four award-winning erotic films – Five Hot Stories for Her, Barcelona Sex Project, Life Love Lust, and Cabaret Desire, as well as some shorts – and is currently working on her fifth. Her written works include Good Porn: a Woman’s Guide, The Erotic Bible to Europe, Love Me Like You Hate Me and La Canción de Nora. Lust is committed to forging a new concept of sexual expression: pledging, in her own words, “to create new waves in adult cinema, to show all of the passion, intimacy, love and lust in sex: where the feminine viewpoint is vital, the aesthetic is a pleasure to all of the senses and those seeking an alternative to porn can find a home.”

Jun 192013
 

I had a blast directing my new sex education film for Adam & Eve called Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Kinky Sex for Couples. It stars Lyla Storm, Danny Wylde, Adrianna Nicole, Evan Stone, Aiden Starr, Christian, Asa Akira and Derrick Pierce. I want to share a few behind-the-scenes stories about filming each scene. You can also watch the trailer here.

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The first scene features Lyla Storm and Danny Wylde, and it was the first time they’ve ever worked together. As a director, that’s always a gamble, but they both were really interested in working with the other one, so I cast them. Luckily, they had great chemistry immediately. There is something so sweet and amazing about capturing a couple’s first sexual experience together. We saw lots of genuine moments where they talked to each other about what they liked and spent time just discovering each other’s bodies. Lyla’s great because she’s not a lie-down-surrender-and-take-it kind of submissive. She’s more like, “Okay I am going to agree to play this role and have fun, but I’m a little bossy and bratty and that part of me isn’t going anywhere.” So, Danny had to work a little to get her to do what he wanted, and this made for an entertaining dynamic.

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He blindfolded Lyla right off the bat, and it was fun to see him surprise her with various sensations when she had no idea what was coming, including a feather tickler. He then brushed Kama Sutra edible body dust on her chest and other edible goodies on her nipples. I’m not sure how the dust will read to viewers because it looks a little like flour, but it smells and tastes really good. Of course, the whole crew had to sample it!

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Massage oil candles are one of my favorite toys we use in the movie. These candles burn at a low temperature so they’re safe and easy to use. After you pour the hot wax on your partner’s body, you massage it in and it dissolves into oil. As part of their roleplay, Danny decided to make a game out of it and balance the massage oil candle, which is in a tin container, on Lyla’s back and tell her she couldn’t move very much or the candle might fall over and spill. It was a cool element, entirely unscripted, but it totally worked. Danny teased her about it, and it built anticipation and tension.

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Then, after he poured the hot wax on her skin and rubbed it in, they both got caught up in the moment. He started to fuck her and they were really into it. Danny distractedly sort of moved the candle, which was still lit, to one side on the bed. All I could think was, um, if that slides even a little, the sheets are going to catch on fire! So I swooped in and grabbed the candle. They were in their own world and blissfully unaware that there was still an open flame right next to them. Luckily, there was no fire and they just kept going! I always bring a bunch of different vibrators to the set, and Lyla picked the We Vibe Touch vibrator; it was so quiet, I could barely hear it. But, trust me, it was working.

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May 282013
 

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Cosmopolitan magazine did a Q&A with me on the topic of feminist porn. I’m excited that the ideas of the movement are finally making their way into mainstream media. Here’s a quote from the interview:

I have no interest in policing or judging anyone’s desires, fantasies, and porn preferences, and I know that plenty of women have fantasies of dominance and submission. Images of dominance and submission are not anti-feminist in and of themselves, but one of the reasons feminists critique them is because consent is not always explicit and because of the repetition of men dominating women, making it the main type of power exchange we see in a lot of mainstream pornography. I think there is a stereotype that women want kinder, gentler, more romantic porn; some women do, but not all women. Feminist pornographers don’t want to do away with sexual power dynamics; many of us want to explore them in an explicitly consensual and more diverse, nuanced, non-stereotypical way.

 

 

May 062013
 

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The editors, Feona Attwood (Middlesex University) and Clarissa Smith (University of Sunderland), and Routledge are pleased to announce the launch of a new journal devoted to the study of pornography.

Porn Studies is the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic and their cultural, economic, historical, institutional, legal and social contexts. Porn Studies will publish innovative work examining specifically sexual and explicit media forms, their connections to wider media landscapes and their links to the broader spheres of (sex) work across historical periods and national contexts.

Porn Studies is an interdisciplinary journal informed by critical sexuality studies and work exploring the intersection of sexuality, gender, race, class, age and ability. It focuses on developing knowledge of pornographies past and present, in all their variations and around the world. Because pornography studies are still in their infancy we are also interested in discussions that focus on theoretical approaches, methodology and research ethics. Alongside articles, the journal includes a forum devoted to shorter observations, developments, debates or issues in porn studies, designed to encourage exchange and debate.

Porn Studies invites submissions for publication, commencing with its first issue in Spring 2014. Articles should be between 5000 and 8000 words. Forum submissions should be 500-1500 words. Book reviews should be between 800 and 1500 words. Submissions will be refereed anonymously by at least two referees.

In the first instance submissions, queries and suggestions should be sent to: editorspstudies@gmail.com

Apr 252013
 

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I gave my Sexploration lecture at Bucknell University on Tuesday April 23, and there was a huge crowd. I often do anonymous questions at college events where students write their questions on notecards and everyone has to write something, even if it’s “no question.” The anonymity gives folks the freedom to ask their most pressing questions. I only had time to answer about 60% of the questions, so I’m answering the rest here. I’ve combined some questions that are on the same topic.

Is it weird that I want sex all the time even though I’m a virgin?
No. It’s common to have sexual desires regardless of your sexual experience. Remember what I said about the problematic concept of virginity? I encourage you to define sex as broadly as you want and not buy into the cultural construction of virginity.
Recommended: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

How often do most people masturbate?
It varies wildly from person to person, and how often just one person masturbates can vary depending on their energy level, desire, stress, opportunity, etc. There are some interesting stats you can check out. In general, I don’t think masturbation is ever a bad thing. Everyone should have a sexual relationship with themselves, and it’s a great way to figure out what you like.

I masturbate so much it’s turned into a chore; any tips for spicing it up?
Masturbation shouldn’t be a chore! But people can get into a repetitive rut. Don’t think of it merely as a quick way to get off, think of it as a date with yourself. Try changing positions, experimenting with new stimulation techniques, adding lube and a toy to the mix.

How long does it take to give a guy a blow job?
There is no set amount of time that it takes anyone to do anything sexual. If you’re giving the blow job, take charge of the situation and do it for as long as it feels good, for as long as you want to. If you get tired or overwhelmed, switch to using your hand or doing something else.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio

How long should a guy last during a blow job?
I hate to repeat myself, but: there is no set amount of time. Depending on the guy, the stimulation of oral sex could bring him to orgasm slowly, quickly, or not at all. Blow jobs do it for some people and not for others.

How nutritious is semen and how can I convince my girlfriend to swallow?
Semen has little to no nutritional value because you don’t ingest all that much of it. You don’t want to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. You can share your desire with her and tell her why it turns you on, but ultimately, it’s her choice to swallow or not, and you’ve got to respect it. Also, swallowing semen is a riskier practice in terms of safer sex than not swallowing, and I am a fan of condoms for blow jobs.

How do you improve oral sex?
Since you didn’t specify, I’m going to make some statements that apply to all kinds of oral sex (cunnilingus, fellatio, and analingus), then give you some particulars. Enthusiasm, focus, tenacity, and paying attention to your partner’s body language are all good qualities to have when giving oral sex. Use your fingers and hands along with your mouth. For cunnilingus, experiment with different techniques using your lips, mouth, and tongue, and ask your partner to tell you what she likes (if she doesn’t know, explore and ask her to alert you when you’ve stumbled on something great). For fellatio, concentrate on the head and the sensitive frenulum on its underside (remember our anatomy lesson); experiment by applying different amounts of pressure with your mouth along the head and shaft. For analingus, use your tongue and lips to get into the folds of the sensitive anus.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 1: Cunnilingus, The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio, and The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio

I don’t think I enjoy sex at all. The picture of the vagina (in your presentation) made me squirm, and I have one. What can I do to be comfortable and enjoy the experience when my partner wants to have it?
First, this is a question I can’t answer with a pithy one minute (or three sentence) response. It was a line drawing, but an explicit one, of a vulva, and we are not used to looking at those images on the big screen or in public, so it can make some people uncomfortable for a number of reasons. But you said you don’t enjoy sex at all. Could you be asexual? If you have sexual desire, then it’s a matter of getting comfortable with your body and with sex. Do you masturbate? It all begins there, so I’d start with establishing a sexual relationship with yourself before you address sex with a partner.
Recommended: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

What is the best way to have sex in a long distance relationship?
I assume you mean when you and your partner are apart? Use technology to keep you connected. Dirty text messages, naughty instant messages, steamy emails, and Skype with mutual masturbation. I caution you against sending naked or sex pictures to each other, however, since we’ve seen all the trouble that can cause.

Got any good positions?
Each position has its pros and cons, and experimentation is key. If you like Missionary, try Flying Missionary where the person on their back puts their feet on their partner’s chest. If you like Cowgirl, try Froggie where the person on top balances on their feet. If you like Doggie Style, try Tailgate, where the receiver lies on their stomach and the penetrator then lies directly on top of them.

Do you have tips for using a toy to stimulate the G-spot?
Pick a curved toy like Pure Wand, and always aim the curve toward the front of the person’s body. Many G-spots respond to deliberate, firm pressure rather than gentle stroking, so don’t be afraid to apply pressure—just make sure your partner is aroused and ready before you do.
Recommended: The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation and The Big Book of Sex Toys

Does size matter?
The easy answer is no. People are way too wrapped up in penis size, when most folks want a compassionate, responsive lover more than a particular size. But I don’t want to deny that everyone has different tastes and turn ons, and some people do like penetration with big stuff. But that’s why God created dildos.

How do I get a vibrator and which kind do I get?
If possible, visit a sex-positive store like The Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, or Babeland. When you shop in person at stores like these, the toys are out of their packages, so you can see and feel them, feel the vibration, hear how quiet or loud they are, plus you benefit from the advice of experienced sex educators who work there. If that’s not possible, try one of their websites; they all have detailed product information and customer reviews.
Recommended: The Big Book of Sex Toys

I’m a girl. Do I need to shave my pubic hair before I have sex?
Your pubic hair is your business! It’s a matter of personal taste, just like how you cut and style your other hair. Some people let it grow, others trim it back, and others wax or shave some or all of it off.

As a female, how do you know if you’ve had an orgasm?
I want to say, “Oh you’ll know!” but I want to be more specific. Some of the physiological responses include: a feeling of release; muscle contractions of the uterus, vagina, and sphincter muscles; other muscle contractions and muscle tension throughout the body; involuntary muscle responses that cause you to make strange faces; and cramping of hands and feet. Talking to your peers about what their orgasms feel like is a great way to open up a conversation and hear from real people about their experiences.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Female Orgasms and The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime

How long does it take a woman to climax?
There is no set amount of time, and I hesitate to even say there is an average amount of time. Women often put pressure on themselves about this (I hear all the time “It takes me a really long time,” or “It takes too long”). Concentrate on what’s going on and how it feels, and don’t think about the clock and how you measure up to it.

Do you have any suggestions for mixing things up during sex?
Lube. Sex toys. Role play. Analingus. New positions. Porn. Do anything except intercourse. Mutual masturbation.
Recommended: What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

Do you poop when you have anal sex? How do you have “clean” anal sex?
When you have a bowel movement, feces stored in the colon pass through the rectum, down into the anal canal, and out the anus. The colon is the storage area, and the rectum and anal canal are pathways. If you have good bowel habits and plenty of fiber in your diet, then there should be very little fecal matter in the rectum and anal canal. When you play with fingers, a toy, or a penis, you’re not going beyond the rectum. Go to the bathroom before anal play. In addition, take a warm, soapy shower or bath before anal sex to make sure your genitals are clean. You can even slide a soapy finger into your anus. Always use the most mild soap you can—either a castile or pure glycerine. A trip to the bathroom and a shower will go a long way toward you having relatively clean anal penetration. I say “relatively clean” because I want you to be realistic. There are no guarantees in life, and some amount of fecal matter may be present in someone’s rectum. If you want to go the extra step to make sure you’re totally cleaned out, you can give yourself an enema beforehand.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

How safe is anal sex and how do I avoid anal fissures?
I always recommend that people use safer sex barriers if they are not currently tested and in a sexually monogamous relationship. You can transmit most sexually-transmitted infections (including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, genital warts, herpes, and HIV) through unprotected anal sex, especially penis/ass intercourse. In addition, as I said in my presentation, the ass is made of delicate, sensitive tissue which is susceptible to small tears or anal fissures. The best way to protect against them: use gloves to make your fingers butt-friendly, use plenty of lube, focus on warm up and don’t rush penetration, and, as the receiver, listen to your body.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

Is it inappropriate to go up to someone and say, “Wanna fuck? Right here, right now?” (I’m female.)
I like people being direct about what they want. I appreciate shameless assertion of your desires. So I don’t think it’s inappropriate to speak your desires in the right context with potential lovers. But, that said, there are repercussions for women who speak openly about their sexual desire, so you’ve got to take those into account, knowing that reactions to your honesty will be mixed (see next question).

How can I, as a woman, express wanting to have sex without looking like a slut?
Just do it. Own it. Don’t let anyone shame you for your sexual desires, experience, or consensual behavior. And don’t shame other women for theirs. Don’t buy into our society’s double standards that applaud men for their sexual prowess and punish women for the very same behavior. (Easier said than done, I know.)
Recommended: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

How do we as a society combat false sex information like the “What Not To Do Guide to BDSM,” aka Fifty Shades of Grey?
You’re right, Fifty Shades of Grey is not an instruction manual, it’s a romance novel with some kink thrown in. But lots of people have read it and it’s opened up conversations about kinky sex, which is ultimately a good thing for society. If a friend mentions reading it or being inspired by it, be ready to let them know that it’s not a how-to and have recommendations for other resources that give solid information about BDSM.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

I am really into bondage. How do I bring it up to a casual hookup without being scary and intense?
It’s all in the way you present it. Be direct and put it out there (“I want to tie you up” or “It would turn me on if you tied me up”) and make it clear that it’s a suggestion that your partner is welcome to embrace or turn down. If they agree, be prepared to give them information about safety before you start and always use a safeword.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

How does a girl approach the idea of being a dominant with a guy?
Talk about roleplaying fantasies and see what kinds of scenarios you each come up with. Suggest some scenes where you play a dominant role and see what he says. Context is everything.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Why do I have rape fantasies? It feels problematic.
Our fantasies often do not reflect our politics. Rape fantasies can be about exploring submission, masochism, surrender, objectification, control, and a slew of other dynamics. Although “rape” is the hot-button word in this question, the operative word here is fantasy. It’s a fantasy where you create the script, imagine the details, call the shots, and know how it ends—which is an entirely different thing than actual rape.
Recommended: Toybag Guide to Playing With Taboo and Mollena Williams’ two chapters in The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Any advice for a woman who wants to peg her man? Techniques, a particular toy, a particular position?
Pegging is strap-on anal sex where the woman is the giver and the man the receiver, and it can open up a whole new world of erotic exploration for couples. Great anal sex is all about the warm up. You’ve got to take your time, relish each sensation, and tease your partner into a frenzy before any serious penetration begins. As for toys, I love the Mistress dildo by Vixen Creations and any harness made by Aslan Leather.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and The Expert Guide to Pegging

What are your thoughts on tantra, sexual ecstasy and spirituality?
That’s a big question on a big topic. More and more people are getting interested in sacred sexuality, the intersection of sex and spirituality, sex magic, and Tantric sex. I want to refer you to two of the best, most accessible books on the subject: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life.

How do you feel about porn, which often portrays false or fantastical situations? How realistic is porn? Is it misleading?
Well, it depends on the porn! Much of mainstream pornography portrays a fantasy and a performance, so there’s a lot of athletic positions, high energy and high libido, heightened reactions to stimulation, and earth shaking orgasms (both real and performed). You don’t often get to see honest communication, awkward moves, enough warm up before intercourse, a focus on other kinds of sex besides intercourse, partners being shy or quiet, stopping and starting, and much more. I like to portray more realistic sexual scenes in my films, where people verbally negotiate, ask for what they want, use lube and sex toys, focus on activities that turn them on rather than a “script” of how sex should unfold, get into positions that feel good for them, and allow enough arousal time and stimulation to allow female performers to have real orgasms. There are lots of feminists who make porn, and you may want to check out their films as well as films featuring real couples including Make Love Not Porn.
Recommended: The Feminist Porn Book

How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
This question requires a longer answer, so I gave it its own Ask Tristan post.

 

 

 

 

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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Apr 092013
 

TORONTO (April 8, 2013)—The First Annual Feminist Porn Conference was held at the University of Toronto on April 6, 2013 and drew nearly 250 attendees. This one-day conference brought together academics, cultural critics, performers, directors, producers, sex workers, activists, students, and fans to explore the emergence of feminist porn as a genre, industry, field of study, and movement. The event, the first ever conference devoted exclusively to feminist pornography, featured 45 different presenters from around the world.

Professors Kevin Heffernan, Constance Penley, and Bobby Noble

Professors Kevin Heffernan, Constance Penley, and Bobby Noble

Presenters included leading professors whose work spans multiple disciplines from history, sociology, film and media studies to comparative literature, sexuality studies, and feminist studies, including Kevin Heffernan from Southern Methodist University, Lynn Comella of University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Ariane Cruz of Pennsylvania State University, Jill Bakehorn of UC Davis and UC Berkeley, Nicholas Matte of University Toronto, Emily Nagoski from Smith College, and York University’s Bobby Noble as well as scholars from CUNY, UCLA, Northwestern, and Ohio University.

Madison Young presents "The Politics of Kinky Porn and Feminism"

Madison Young presents “The Politics of Kinky Porn and Feminism”

Several panels featured some of the most well-known producers and performers working in feminist porn today, including Jiz Lee, Courtney Trouble, Madison Young, Sinnamon Love, Dylan Ryan, April Flores, Carlos Batts, Loree Erickson, James Darling, Carrie Gray, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Tina Horn, Arabelle Raphael, Quinn Cassidy, Jes Sachse, and Bianca Stone. The international conference drew presenters from around the world, including Liesbet Zikkenheimer and Marije Janssen from Dusk TV, an erotic TV channel for women in the Netherlands and Australian webmistress and director Ms. Naughty of ForTheGirls.com. Carol Queen, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Sex and Culture and Good Vibrations’ sexologist, spoke on two panels: “Conspicuous Consumption: If We Sell It, They Will Come,” about the connection between feminist porn and sex-positive retail stores and “Feminist Perspectives on Sexual Identity and Sexual Health in Educational and Feminist Porn.”

Tristan Taormino, Shar Rednour, and Nan Kinney

Tristan Taormino, Shar Rednour, and Nan Kinney

Award-winning filmmaker Shine Louise Houston of Pink and White Productions screened her documentary Shiny Jewels to a huge crowd. A screening of Lesbo Retro: A Dyke Porn Retrospective, a clip show of lesbian porn from 1960-2000, was followed by a question and answer session with its curator, Shar Rednour and special guest Nan Kinney, co-founder of On Our Backs and Fatale Media and recipient of the 2013 Trailblazer Award at The 8th Annual The Feminist Porn Awards on April 5.

Professor Mireille Miller-Young was one of the keynote speakers

Professor Mireille Miller-Young was one of the keynote speakers

The keynote was delivered by feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino and Professors Constance Penley and Mireille Miller-Young (both from University of California-Santa Barbara). As three of the four co-editors of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure, recently published by The Feminist Press at CUNY, they discussed how feminist porn has shifted sexual representation and pondered what the future holds for feminist porn. “The goal of our book was to put academics and sex industry workers into conversation with one another to discuss critical issues about feminism, sexual media, representation, sexual agency, and labor. This conference took those conversations to the next level,” said Mireille Miller-Young. “We hope it mobilizes academics and sex industry workers to create coalitions to support each other’s work,” said Constance Penley.

“The event exceeded my expectations,” said Tristan Taormino, who produced the conference. “I was inspired by the diversity of voices from professors and students to performers and fans. The enthusiasm for dialogue about feminist porn issues was overwhelming, and I am already planning next year’s conference.”

The Feminist Porn Conference was sponsored by the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, Good for Her, The Feminist Porn Awards, and The Feminist Press.

Photo credits: Tania A.

 

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