Sep 182014
 

Entertainment media have long been identified as having a key role to play in education about sex and relationships. All too often in studies of sexual learning the media have been assessed for their potentially negative effects on young people. For example, studies have correlated consumption of particular media forms with early sexual intercourse or teenage pregnancy, while parents and schools have been seen as providing a positive corrective.

However empirical research shows that this simple binary is not always accurate: in some instances entertainment media may offer positive information and representations while school or parents often offer more moralizing or conservative perspectives. For example, a young person growing up in a homophobic family may see happy queer characters in a sitcom; or young people attending a school that emphasizes young women’s role as gatekeepers and controllers of men’s sexuality may find helpful TV dramas that explore women’s active sexual agency.

This special issue of the journal Sex Education will engage with these and related concerns, pausing to take stock of where we are now, especially with respect to the positive role that old and newer forms of media can play in learning about sex.

Papers may focus on any aspect of the entertainment media, and on any aspect of healthy sexual development – including, but not limited to, open communication about sex, assertiveness, sexual agency, sexual identity, or an acceptance that sex can be pleasurable.

If you are not sure whether your article is appropriate for this special issue, please feel free to send an abstract in the first instance to a.mckee@qut.edu.au

Articles for the special issue will be subject to normal peer review in line with the procedures of the journal.

You should submit your article for review by the 24th the journal’s instructions for authors at: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?

Peer review:

Articles for the special issue will be subject to normal peer review in line with the procedures of the journal.

Timeline:

You should submit your article for review by the 24th October 2014. You can find the journal’s instructions for authors at:

http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=csed20&page=instructions#.Utent_27yf0

When you submit your article will be asked whether you are submitting for a special issue. Please use the pull-down menu to note that you are submitting your paper for the special issue The Media’s Evolving Role in Sex Education. Please also note in the manuscript of your article that you are submitting it for this special issue. If you have any questions about the mechanics of submitting a paper for Sex Education you should find the answers in the guidelines for authors mentioned above.

More on the guest editors

Alan McKee is a Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, and leads the ‘Promoting Healthy Sexual Development’ research group at QUT. He is particularly interested in the relationship between media consumption and healthy sexual development. He has published in the Journal of Sex Research, Archives of Sexual Behavior, International Journal of Sexual Health and Sex Education.

Sara Bragg is a Senior Research Fellow in the Education Research Centre at the University of Brighton. She is co-author of many books, reports and articles on young people’s cultures including Young People, Sex and the Media (with David Buckingham, 2004); co-editor of Children and Young People’s Cultural Worlds (with Mary Jane Kehily, 2013) and of Rethinking Youth Cultures in the Age of Global Media (with Buckingham and Kehily, 2014) .

Tristan Taormino is an award-winning writer, sex educator, speaker, filmmaker, and radio host. She is the editor of 25 anthologies, author of seven books, and co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. As the head of Smart Ass Productions, she has directed and produced sixteen sex-ed films. Tristan’s work, writing and films are routinely used in college courses to explore the complex issues of relationship and sexual diversity, politics, and media.

Sep 202013
 

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Tristan Taormino talks to Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen about the recent HIV scare in the adult industry and her decision to go condom only. Check out the video piece here and the longer written article here.

Sep 202013
 
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Skin Diamond and Derrick Pierce from my new movie, Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples

Recently, three adult industry performers tested positive for HIV, and there are unconfirmed, conflicting reports that there may be other performers who’ve tested positive. My heart goes out to all of them because it’s a life-changing diagnosis. I’m not interested in debating whether they contracted it on or off set, and I’m dismayed that people within the industry continue to engage in assumptions and finger-pointing about the now HIV positive performers. The important thing is that in the (albeit short) window of time between contracting the virus and receiving a positive test, they could have exposed other performers. These revelations—along with the recent syphilis scare and rumors that a male performer with Hepatitis C has been working without disclosing his status—have once again stimulated the public discussion about condoms in porn. These events, along with feedback from performers who said they’ve felt pressured not to use condoms in the past out of fear of losing work, have caused me to rethink my position.

From now on, I will require all performers I work with to test for STIs according to industry standards[1] and to use condoms in their scenes. Until now, I have adhered to industry standard STI testing and my sets have been condom optional, which, for me means that performers truly can choose to use condoms or not and I always have condoms available. I’ve shot several scenes with condoms (and other safer sex barriers), but the majority of the scenes have been condom-free. Because I want to empower performers to make decisions about all aspects of the work they do, I have respected their decisions in the past not to use condoms. I still want performers to have choices, and they can choose not to work with me if they don’t want to use condoms.

As a feminist pornographer, part of my mission is to support fair labor practices and create a positive work environment on my sets. The health, well being, and safety of the performers is my priority, and I believe that using condoms in addition to rigorous testing is the best way to prevent STI transmission. In the past, I have publicly spoken out against Measure B (as in this piece for The Huffington Post). I am still against mandatory condoms and government regulation of the adult industry. I still believe that the current fight is all about politics, not workers’ safety and rights. But my position on the use of condoms in my own productions has changed. I am not leveling judgment against producers, directors, or performers who choose not to use condoms. I am making the best decision I can based on my dedication to feminist and ethical production practices.

Condoms are not the only answer and not without issues. Performer, registered nurse, and activist Nina Hartley gives a compelling argument about why she believes that condoms can do more harm than good (briefly: she argues that condom use on porn sets causes “condom rash” leading to internal tissue damage that could increase the chances of STI transmission). Condoms don’t protect against every STI including herpes, chlamydia, and HPV, but they are an effective barrier for others STIs including HIV. Some people have latex allergies or sensitivities, and some can develop an allergy after repeated exposure to latex. There are several non-latex condoms, which many people report don’t have the same abrasive qualities as latex. Unfortunately, these alternatives don’t come in the range of sizes that latex condoms do, and, let’s face it, one-size-fits-most doesn’t apply to porn guys. I have always consulted with performers about what I can do to make their job safer and better. I will do the same when it comes to working with condoms. I will strive to find creative ways to decrease the amount of intercourse they have, thus decreasing wear and tear on their bodies (especially the bodies of female performers). I will consider requests by fluid-bonded couples who don’t want to use condoms. I will be a part of an open and ongoing dialogue and adapt as testing technology changes and safer sex practices evolve.

Safer sex issues have been a part of my professional life since I became a sex educator. But the news of HIV in the industry has a very personal dimension for me. My father, a gay man, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1993, and he died in 1995. That was before the good drugs, the cocktail, when AIDS was a death sentence. This hits far too close to home for me, and I’ve got to make a change as a result. Plenty of people say that no one wants to see condoms in porn. That no one cares about the safety of the people who make the images they masturbate to. I hope to prove them wrong, and I hope you, my audience, will help me do it.

P.S. On this subject, I’m quoted in this piece by Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen on CNN.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Because this is ultimately about the sex workers, their bodies, and their labor, I think it’s important to feature their voices in this discussion. This week, I publicly asked performers to anonymously respond to this question: If the choice was entirely yours—not a mandate, not law, not what viewers want, just completely up to you—would you use condoms when you perform? Why or why not? Here are some of their responses. Some of them have been edited and excerpted for length.

“Perhaps I was delusional, but there was a time where I really trusted everyone in porn. I thought we all had this secret handshake, like none of us would ever jeopardize each other’s health and we all agreed to the same code of conduct off camera. I will admit I was pretty sexually irresponsible before porn; I had a lot of partners and I rarely used condoms. Once I started doing porn, all of that behavior stopped. I knew I couldn’t do that anymore because I didn’t just have to think about myself anymore. For some reason, I assumed everyone else was the same way. I felt really safe in the industry for a long time and if anyone were to ask me about using a condom on set I would have laughed, and said they would be uncomfortable and unnecessary. Condoms to me were things that you used if you were having a one night stand with someone you didn’t know—not things you used with people you knew and trusted. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that way anymore. I think condoms are necessary now. I wish it wasn’t that way but it is. I blame a lot of this on piracy. All the tube sites and the torrent sites have made all the studios make less money. A lot of people feel less inclined to adhere to a certain code of conduct, because they just aren’t working that much or they are working for less than what they want, etc. It’s a bad domino effect. I don’t love the state that porn is in at the moment and perhaps these HIV outbreaks were a good wake up call to anyone who is irresponsible, but I think we have to adapt with the times, and now, I think condoms are necessary.”

“I don’t think this question can be answered in a vacuum. If you were to ask me whether I prefer to have sex with condoms in general, the answer would be, ‘No.’ It’s not even the sensation. I don’t like the smell. That said, I’ve had plenty of condom sex. Prior to porn becoming a significant part of my life, I always used condoms. They were never a deterrent from sex. I feel like porn has allowed for condom-less sex as a sort of privilege. I’ve gotten used to it. It’s been over three years since I’ve had sex with someone who wasn’t a recently tested, industry performer. As a man who has sex almost exclusively as a top (at least in regards to who is penetrating who) at this point in his life, I’m honestly not too worried about contracting STIs like HIV or Hepatitis. However, I understand that my partners may feel differently. Women who do boy/girl scenes in straight porn (and men who bottom in gay porn) are at a higher risk of contracting non-curable, potentially life-threatening STIs like HIV. So I have to ask myself whether using condoms is going to benefit the industry as a whole. I don’t honestly know the answer to that question. The industry is in flux and many things have yet to play out. All I can say is that I’m happy to use condoms when it is an option and my partner feels safer with them. I don’t believe hot sex and barrier protection are mutually exclusive. However, I don’t see a direct correlation between a lack of barrier protection and the current problems plaguing the adult industry. STI exposure incidents will continue to put a hold on production regardless of whether condoms are used or not. It is my opinion that economic disruption of adult media is driving many performers to unregulated forms of sex work that put them at higher risk for contracting STIs. The testing system is doing its job to keep these performers—once infected—from re-entering the talent pool. It just so happens that major flaws were discovered in the system over the past six months. As a result, testing protocol has become increasingly strict. While the kinks are being worked out, I commend producers who will allow performers the option to use condoms.”

“I’m not interested in performing with condoms, though I occasionally do so, whether it’s my scene partner’s preference, the producer’s rule, or (rarely) because I don’t trust my partner’s lifestyle choices. In that case, or if she doesn’t seem well, or depending on the freshness of her test, I have requested condoms, and I have never experienced pushback from a director on my choice. All-natural sex on camera is more intimate, exciting and trust-based. That’s what I look for in a scene as a viewer and that’s what I try to create as an artist. I want to be a safe place for my scene partner to let her sexual instincts express themselves. With condoms there is literally something between us, and the instinctual fantasies are dulled. HIV is not a major concern for me. In 500-plus scenes, I have never contracted an STI, though I tend to shoot with established and/or professional, safety-conscious scene partners…We need standards. Agents and producers are betraying their talent when they promote performers who don’t respect the work we’re doing. I think performers doing privates/prostitution and heavy drug use is a far bigger issue than this current condom debate.”

“If the choice were completely mine, I would use a condom for EVERY scene/performance. I believe that it is safer for performers to use condoms, period. I do not accept the arguments put forth by FSC and other industry leaders/lawyers that condoms are more dangerous to a performer’s health. I do not accept that condoms being used in our industry would significantly hurt sales, in fact I believe it would benefit our industry’s image. The only reason I do not request condoms, outside of Kink.com or Wicked (who support condom use), is because I know I will not be rehired IF they even honor the request at the time. I have witnessed talent blacklisted by companies because the girl has asked to use a condom. I think it would be more responsible for our industry and our industry’s reputation to promote safe sex practices to the general public. Personally, I don’t feel that the anti-condom sentiment expressed by the industry reflects the true feelings of the performers, especially female performers.”

“If the choice was mine and when the choice is mine, I choose to use condoms. I still think testing is critical and that testing should be much more frequent.  An STI test that was taken the week of the production coupled with condoms and gloves would be ideal and would be closer to mirroring what I want from a new partner in my personal life. I think condoms can be sexy.  Safer sex can be sexy.  I want condoms and a test when I’m having sex with a partner on or off screen.  A couple of reasons play into this including greatly reducing risk of STI transmission, doing what I feel is necessary to protect my body, feeling confident and turned on by the fact that we are being healthy and aware of our bodies, feeling turned on by communicating, stating boundaries, and sticking to boundaries and limits that are set to protect both myself and my partners, and lastly feeling a certain obligation knowing that the sex I’m having will be viewed by others and that if I can make safer sex sexy then I can encourage the use of gloves and condoms (on cocks and toys) for the general viewing/porn consuming public.”

“My ideal situation is presenting a clear, basic STI test of 14 days, being able to communicate with my co-star about any other known sexual health concerns, AND the use of safer sex barriers such as condoms and gloves. I prefer testing AND condoms, and I want this preference to not only be the choice made by me and my co-star, but also be a choice that is fully supported by the production team. My experience with the majority of productions that were “okay” with condom use for heterosexual scenes have demonstrated to me that condom use is uncommon in porn at best, and discouraged/prevented at worse. I’ve shown up on sets where no condoms were available, and once a crew member offered one of his own, stored in the hot glove compartment of his car. (For obvious reasons, I immediately started bringing my own safer sex kit to shoots.) In queer/feminist-minded (what I’ll simply call “GOOD”) porn environments, condoms were not only allowed, not only encouraged, but actually SUPPLIED…Ultimately, how I shoot is up to me, yet I often have to compromise safer sex practices due to perceived marketability. It has always been a disappointment. I would appreciate the opportunity for myself—and anyone else—to work the way I want.”

“Most mainstream companies are not willing to allow performers to chose whether or not they use condoms in their scenes. Burning Angel has decided with all of the recent unfortunate happenings in the industry, that it should be at performers’ discretion as to whether or not they want to use condoms in their scenes…I am super appreciative that they have made this choice to benefit their performers’ health and safety at any cost. I feel that this choice demonstrates a lot of what I stand for in this industry, which is to promote boundaries, consent, and healthy sexual choices.”

“If the choice was entirely mine, I would not use condoms when I perform. Condoms and my vagina don’t get along so well. I always get very irritated internally after shooting a scene with a condom. From what I understand, this makes me more, not less, susceptible to STDs and infection.  Also, I don’t completely trust condoms to prevent STDs. Condoms break and fail. I would never have sex with someone, on or off camera, with just a condom and no test.”

“To me, the idea of using condoms—or not—is a very personal choice. When used correctly, condoms do lessen the spread of HIV and certain STIs, but they don’t protect against everything. While there are a select number of companies that will “allow” talent to use condoms (and one company that has been 100% condom ONLY for 14 years) many companies discourage the use of condoms because their sales will suffer. I also think it is VERY important to realize that no one entity can possibly be the voice for all performers and say that ALL talent wishes they were condom only. For example, even on a condom-only set, performers complain about having to use condoms and try to remove them during the softcore portion of the filming, citing discomfort for both players, as well as a struggle for the male performer to stay erect. I would like the choice to use condoms without the government mandating what I must do with my body while I am engaged in a very intimate act. I think that educating performers will be the key to enabling them to make informed decisions about their personal safety.”

“If the choice was completely up to me, I’d use condoms in porn with almost everyone, and use my discretion with the partner I’m fluid bonded to. Frankly, I’d *still* want to get tested, and have any sexual partners get tested (condoms break, after all); but hormonal birth control messes my body up and I’d rather use condoms as a form of barrier. Plus, I like to be an example to others and prove that safer sex can and is hot in the context of sexual experiences! I honestly find it sexy and want to demonstrate why on film so others can see that for themselves. I wouldn’t want to be forced to wear condoms without testing being required, which is what could happen, or have porn companies not hire me because I prefer to use condoms, which is what happens now. I’d prefer to make my own decisions.”



[1]Industry standards for testing are constantly evolving. Currently, a performer must test negative every 14 days or less for gonorrhea, chlamydia, Hepatitis A and B, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and HIV. The testing period was decreased from 30 days to 14 days just this week.

Jun 282013
 

SAN FRANCISCO (June 28th, 2013): Good Vibrations, the trusted San Francisco Bay Area based multi-channel retail company that takes pride in providing accurate information on sexuality and quality sex toys for grown-ups, is delighted to announce a new partnership with Tristan Taormino. Taormino is an award-winning author, sex educator, speaker, filmmaker, and radio show host.

 

Good Vibrations and Taormino have joined forces, inking a one year deal to collaborate on several projects including Good Vibrations as the exclusive sex toy retail sponsor for the second season of Taormino’s popular radio show, Sex Out Loud.

Taormino will act as a brand ambassador for Good Vibrations for the next twelve months. In this role, Taormino will promote Good Vibrations during public appearances and college events, write original content for the Good Vibrations online magazine, promote exclusive kits and her favorite recommended toys for the stores and website, and spearhead Good Vibrations’ annual campaign about ‘backdoor’ pleasure- Anal Pleasure Month in August.

“Good Vibrations is the original sex-positive sex toy store that dramatically changed the sex education landscape. I’ve recommended them for years because of their commitment to quality products and exceptional customer service. I’m thrilled to have Good Vibrations be the presenting sponsor of Sex Out Loud, and excited to represent such a wonderful company,” says Taormino.

Good Vibrations Executive Vice President, Jackie Strano had this to add: “We are so pleased and elated to be working together. This is a perfect partnership of two brands that deeply care about people’s pleasure and sexual health. Besides being a wonderful human being, Tristan is a powerhouse sex positive feminist mover and shaker. It’s going to be a fun year!”

About Tristan Taormino®
Tristan Taormino® is an award-winning author, sex educator, speaker, filmmaker, and radio host. She is the author of seven books and has edited 25 anthologies. Taormino is the producer and host of Sex Out Loud®, a weekly radio show on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. She has directed and produced twenty-four adult films that have won more than a dozen awards. She has appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry, Joy Behar: Say Anything, HBO’s Real Sex, The Howard Stern Show, Loveline, MTV, CNN, NBC, MTV, Oxygen, Fox News, and The Discovery Channel.

Sex Out Loud premiered in 2012, and is the top-rated show across the entire network. It airs live every Friday at 5:00 pm Pacific time and 8:00 pm EST.

ABOUT GOOD VIBRATIONS
Good Vibrations is the San Francisco Bay Area based retailer trusted for more than three decades to provide a comfortable, safe environment for finding sex-positive products and educational materials to enhance one’s sex life. Good Vibrations offers its products through its retail stores and website. Stores are located in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, CA and in Brookline, MA.

Mar 102013
 

JT on FEM PORN
Justin Timberlake returned for his fifth hosting gig on Saturday Night Live this past weekend and he ended the evening with a historic pop culture reference. In the “Moet & Chandon” skit, Timberlake played porn star Ricky V.I.Penis in an infomercial for Moet & Chandon champagne hosted by two former porn stars. He said, “I do feminist porn because I know how to treat a lady right.” The writers of Saturday Night Live routinely incorporate current news, events, and trends into their skits, and the show itself takes the pulse of popular culture. Not only is this the first ever reference to feminist porn on Saturday Night Live, it’s the first time the term has been said on a non-news program on network television. And it happened just three weeks after the release of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure, which was published last month by The Feminist Press. Coincidence? I think not. Finally, the door is open to accomplish what my co-editors and I hope this book can do: bring awareness about feminist porn to a mass audience.

Listen, I realize the skit is very problematic. Its portrayal of porn stars as drunk, illiterate bimbos is typical, callous, offensive and anti-sex worker. Plus it’s not that funny. But it was thrilling nonetheless to hear the words ‘feminist porn’ come out of Justin Timberlake’s mouth. When SNL makes fun of you, you know you’ve arrived. I don’t know if the writers have seen The Feminist Porn Book or followed the media coverage surrounding it, but getting on their radar is a huge honor. Want to read what all the fuss is about? Check out The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure.

Jan 212013
 

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UPDATE! The show is currently re-airing, here is a full schedule:

January 22, 9:00 pm; January 26 at 3:00 am; January 28 at 8:00 am; January 31 at 9:00 pm; February 3 at 3:00 pm; and February 5 at 9:00 am

Bestselling author and sex educator Tristan Taormino is a featured expert in “The Real 50 Shades of Grey,” the latest edition of the E! Special series, which premieres on E! Entertainment Television on January 22 at 9:00 pm. This documentary special looks at the lives and relationships of real dominants and submissives and features commentary from BDSM experts. Taormino is a sought-after speaker and commentator on a range of sexuality issues, including alternative sexual practices and communities. Her groundbreaking collection The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge published by Cleis Press in 2012 features the work of leading kink experts from around the country. Dan Savage calls it “more than just a guide to kink, more than just a sex manual…everyone can learn from this collection.” Her latest book (also from Cleis Press), 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM, offers readers practical advice and techniques based on real world experience about how to eroticize power, cultivate deeper connections and incorporate kink into your sex life.

Here’s the full show description:

Whether shock, excitement or simply curiosity, it seems that everyone has a strong reaction to the bestselling erotic book trilogy that includes Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Having sold more than 60 million copies worldwide, the series set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time. What is it about the provocative lifestyle of the protagonists that has readers throughout the world riveted? Is it the non-traditional sex, the excitement of the unknown, or simply the story of love between two people expressed in a unique way? Hosted by E!’s Alicia Quarles, this one-hour special features commentary from therapists, authors and other experts about the practice, and also profiles the real-life experiences of couples who follow this lifestyle. Don’t miss a fascinating look at what used to be a very secret world in the E! Special “The Real 50 Shades of Grey” premiering Tuesday, January 22 at 9:00pm ET/PT, only on E!

In this special, real-life practitioners open up about the BDSM lifestyle. Viewers find out how they got involved, what the challenges of this lifestyle are and what they tell their families and friends about their choices. The show also looks into a high-profile case in which the sex game turned dangerous for the players, and experts weigh in on the risks and dangers of the lifestyle, and what participants must do in order to remain safe, both physically and psychologically. Find out how the “business” of bondage is growing too, as an instructor discusses the popular classes that are filling up with individuals and couples eager to enter this sexually-charged world. E! Entertainment Specials explore the hottest trends, the biggest stars and breaking stories, and “The Real 50 Shades of Grey” is part of its White Hot Winter programming in January.

Dec 202012
 

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Media has an enormous impact on how we view and engage in conversations about sex and sexuality.  Broadly defined erotic media can be a tool for social change but can also reinforce stereotypes and promote a sex negative cultural backlash. Whether it is a porn film, a book of erotica, mainstream news coverage of sexual issues, social media bringing together sexual communities, or a sexy picture from a photo archive illustrating a news story, it is clear that the intersection of sexuality and the media is rapidly changing both discourses on sexuality and the media landscape itself. SWELL is a conference devoted to critical conversations about these forms of media, conversations that need to be dynamic, challenging, and creative. This meeting is meant to be a space for discussion, synthesis, and collaboration, a praxis on erotic media which in which we share both broader theoretical frameworks and practical skills. We invite presenters who engage with erotic media in any way:  in their business, in their activism, as a side project to other callings and disciplines, or as their central passion and life’s work.

SwellCon is a project hosted by The Smitten Kitten, a progressive sex toys and supplies provider and community resource located in Minneapolis, MN, USA. We are organizing this conference in honor of our 10th anniversary. It is very important to us that under-represented voices and communities be able to present and attend SwellCon. To that end, we will be offering honorariums on a sliding scale to cover travel and lodging costs as well as to pay you for your unique contribution to the success of SwellCon! We especially encourage people of color, differently-abled people, sex workers, LGBTQUIA folks, people of faith, and non-academics to send proposals and attend!

Deadline for Submissions: February 28th, 2013. Details are below or the link to the submission guidelines is here: http://swellcon.com/category/submit-a-proposal/

Submission Guidelines:

You may propose either an individual presentation or a pre-constituted panel.  Please note that because of limited time and space, we will be unable to accommodate all proposals, and we reserve the right to reconstitute some panels for reasons of time, space, and non-duplication of topics.

Please send us a proposal with the following information:

Session Title:
Presenter(s):
Equipment Needs and Special Considerations (AV, room layout, etc.):
What topic(s) of interest does your session address?
In a paragraph, describe your session topic:
What is the main thesis of your presentation? What do you hope to achieve during the session? What is the take away?
How would you describe the format of your proposed session? (roundtable discussion, lecture, small group work, skill share, etc.)
What learning styles will your session utilize (visual, oral, tactile, etc.)?
Please note that we are unable to accommodate live, explicit demonstrations in the conference area. Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss alternatives spaces.

Topics
We are interested in a wide range of topics for SWELL. These include, but are not limited to:

Media Skill Share
examples of topics that may be covered:
DIY Erotic Media, DSLR Photography and Videography, Editing in Free Software, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro, Writing, Blogging and Web design, Podcasting and Internet Radio

Finding the Erotic Muse in Your Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Writing Erotica, Humor and Comedy in Sexual Media, Innovation and Idiosyncrasy in Erotic Video, Performance and Sex Education, Crafting a Public Persona

Erotic Media and Social, Cultural, and Economic Change
examples of topics that may be covered:
Historical Perspectives on Erotic Media, Technological Change and Perceptions of Sexuality, Second Wave Feminism and New Media, Future Perspectives on Erotic Media

Censorship and The Politics of Erotic Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Sex Work and Media, Education and Erotic Media, Censorship and Online Payment Technologies, Age-Appropriate Educational Media, Media and Sex-Positive Parenting

The Business of Erotic Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Erotic Media and The Law, Making Money While Making Erotic Media, Using Media as a Tool of Your Business, Accounting for Your Media

Consent Culture and Media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Privacy and Social Networks, Fetlife, Privacy and Photo/File Sharing, Is Anyone Up?, Instagram, Facebook Posting Guidelines, Online Sexual Bullying and Harassment

Self-Distribution of Media Content
examples of topics that may be covered:
Sex Education and New Media, Podcasting, You Tube, eBooks, Digital Piracy, and the Artisanal Media Maker

Diversity and visibility in sexual media
examples of topics that may be covered:
Interlocking Oppressions and Erotic Media, Sex, Identity, and Bodily Autonomy in the Erotic Media age, ability, race, gender identity, Representing Kink and Non-Monogamy

Sexual media and the mainstream
examples of topics that may be covered:
Daytime Talk TV, Portrayal of Porn and Sex Work in Hollywood and Indiewood, News Coverage of Marriage Equality, Sex Worker Rights, California’s Prop B and Prop 35, Sexual Panics and Right-Wing Media Backlash, Pop Culture and Erotic Media

Please email question and submissions to Clare Jacky at clare@smittenkittenonline.com

 

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Jul 082012
 


My head is still spinning from my first appearance on Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday. Watch it below or at these links—Segment 1: Porn in America and Segment 2: The Business of Pornography. I’ve done a fair amount of television appearances, and I have mixed feelings about them. In the past, I feel like many TV producers shy away from difficult topics, don’t allow for complex, nuanced analysis, and often want me to “dumb it down.” This time, none of that happened. I was excited when a producer for the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC contacted me last week about a show about female sexuality and porn. We had a spirited conversation where I feel like she really listened to me, rather than attempted to fit me into a quasi-script she had already written. When I found out that one of my co-panelists was author and activist Jaclyn Friedman, I felt relieved to have a sex-positive feminist sister there.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Segment 1 of 2 “Porn in America”

Fun fact: Jaclyn Friedman and I were both in the class of ’93 at Wesleyan University, and we were fellow activists and friends during college. Although we’ve followed and supported each other’s careers since then (I blurbed her newest book What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame Free Guide to Sex and Safety and she appeared on my radio show Sex Out Loud), we hadn’t been in the same room since the late 90s. We had dinner the night before, and Jaclyn reminded me we wouldn’t talk about the show, so that everything would stay fresh for the next day. We had plenty of catching up to do, so it didn’t matter!

At every stage of the booking process, the folks behind the scenes at MHP were competent, respectful, and, well, have their shit together. In the green room before the show, Jaclyn and I met Zephyr Lookout (author of Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope: Lessons from the Howard Dean Campaign for the Future of Internet Politics) who sat on the panel for an earlier segment and would be joining ours. She is a law professor at Fordham. I liked her immediately, and we bonded over our love of the children’s book Tuck Everlasting. She admitted she was “probably the most anti-porn of everyone on the panel,” which I appreciated her saying up front. It’s actually refreshing to engage with someone who really wants to dig into the topic and isn’t just ready to shut you down (like Gail Dines and crew are). After being fitted with our mics and mic packs (during which Jaclyn had her hands all the way up my dress to assist the sound guy), the three of us sat down at the table. That’s when I met the fourth panelist, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson (author of Holler If You Hear Me), and I truly had no idea what he was going to say about porn. I was pleasantly surprised to discover he knows quite a bit about it (he name checked Lexington Steele and Mr. Marcus!) and had smart things to say.

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Segment 2 of 2 “Business of Pornography”

MHP introduced me as a feminist pornographer and showed the cover of my new book The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure, co-edited with Celine Parrenas Shimizu, Constance Penley, and Mireille Miller-Young and forthcoming from The Feminist Press at CUNY in 2013. The two segments just flew by so fast, and suddenly, she was doing the closing of the show (naming activist teen Julia Bluhm the Foot Soldier of the Week for petitioning Seventeen magazine).

Afterward, we all stood in the hallway, continuing the conversation, and I got to meet several more of the show’s producers including Jamil Smith and Executive Producer Shirley Zilberstein. Melissa Harris-Perry is so smart, it’s actually intimidating. But in a good way. Obviously, we barely scratched the surface on some pretty important topics. I have a whole lot more to say about race politics in the porn industry, shifting representations of sexuality in porn, today’s porn economy, queer porn, and on and on. But this was definitely a start, and great one.

Jaclyn Friedman, me, Melissa Harris-Perry, Michael Eric Dyson backstage at MHP

Very few mainstream media outlets, and even fewer, if any, television news shows are willing to look at porn in an intelligent or balanced way. I am so impressed that Melissa Harris-Perry and her producers took a risk and really broke down a barrier. I know they have already gotten flack about it from conservatives and anti-porn feminists. So, if you want to show your support for the topic of this show, applaud Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC for making space for this conversation, you can do so in a number of ways:

Watch the clips: Segment 1 “Porn in America” and Segment 2 “The Business of Pornography”

Comment on the blog about the segments

Email the MSNBC network with your support

Tweet your support to @MHPShow and @MSNBCTV

 

May 182012
 

Author, Sex Educator, Filmmaker Tristan Taormino to Host Show on VoiceAmerica Radio Network

Tristan Taormino, internationally acclaimed author, sex educator, college lecturer, and feminist pornographer “Sex Out Loud” on VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. The show debuts June 1 at 5 pm Pacific Time, 8 pm Eastern Time.

PHOENIX, AZ, May 21, 2012 – VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, Internet broadcasting pioneer, producing and syndicating online audio and video, today announced the debut of Sex Out Loud, hosted by internationally acclaimed author, sex educator, college lecturer, and feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel on Friday, June 1, at 5 pm Pacific Time, 8 pm Eastern Time.

Sex Out Loud explores the world of sexuality from every angle. Tristan Taormino will interview leading authors, educators, artists and icons and give listeners an uncensored, inside look at alternative sexual practices and communities. She’ll delve into topics from the popular to the taboo, including sex education and sexual health, erotic fantasies, BDSM, non-monogamy, the adult industry, and more. Tristan and her guests will also answer listeners’ questions live. Her first guest will be Dan Savage, sex advice columnist, author, co-creator of the “It Gets Better” campaign, and star of MTV’s “Savage U.” Upcoming guests include Kate Bornstein, Buck Angel, Jaclyn Friedman, Jessica Valenti, Bobbi Starr, Susie Bright, and her daughter, Aretha Bright.

Tristan has been educating and entertaining people for over fifteen years. A former columnist for “The Village Voice,” Tristan’s sex-positive attitude and sharp wit have made her a sought after guest on radio and television shows across the United States and abroad including “Howard Stern,” “Loveline,” “Ricki Lake,” and HBO’s “Real Sex.” Most notably, she was a recurring guest on “Ricki Lake” for two seasons, gave sex advice to Danny Bonaduce and the late Dick Clark on the NBC talk show “The Other Half,” and debated Dr. Drew Pinsky and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC. She is a widely recognized expert on sex education, GLBT issues, alternative relationships, and feminist pornography. She frequently lectures at top colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UCLA, and NYU.

“Tristan Taormino is known around the world for her honest, down to earth, sex-positive advice, books, and films,” says Karen Dana, Executive Producer of Sex Out Loud. “We are so thrilled that she’s joining the VoiceAmerica Network, and her show is sure to inform and inspire our listeners.” Sex Out Loud follows Sex with Jaiya, the Variety Channel’s most popular show, giving listeners two hours of exciting, informative sex education.

Sex Out Loud is sponsored by The Smitten Kitten, an award-winning progressive sex toy retailer; Astroglide, one of the leading personal lubricant brands; and We-Vibe, the most popular rechargeable vibrator for couples in the world.

Sex Out Loud airs live on Fridays at 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel. To read more about the show, go to sexoutloudradio.com. To access the show, log on at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2096/sex-out-loud. All shows will be available in Tristan Taormino’s Content Library on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel for on-demand and podcast download.