Nov 302014
 

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I See You, Seeing Me, See You, Seeing Me, See You: Surveillance, Pornography, Porn Studies
Journal: Porn Studies
Guest Editor: Evangelos Tziallas, Concordia University

Narrative film’s increasingly frequent emulation of CCTV and surveillance footage has engendered a dialogue about the intersections between cinema and surveillance, and their historical and theoretical antecedents. Most of the dialogue revolves around formal changes and the ontological and political ramifications of film’s and technologically mediated surveillance’s overlaps. Despite this growing exchange, work on how explicit sexual representation and pornography have been impacted by the rise of the surveillance society, and the overlaps between various personal and expressive apparatuses and surveillance technologies, if not the absorption of the former by the latter, are few and far between.

In Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible,” ([1989]/1999) Linda Williams’ Foucauldian inspired analysis explored narrative heterosexual pornography as one of the latest sources of “knowledge-pleasure.” Accounts of pornography as forms of audio-visual knowledgepower have proliferated since Williams’ work, but recent technological, social, and cultural political changes require we think about the impact technologically mediated surveillance has had on pornographic representation, consumption, and production. Knowledge-power is “surveillance,” but the proliferation and ubiquity of various digital, computer, and recording technologies focus and transform the meaning and deployment of knowledge-power and knowledge-pleasure.

In “Surveillance is Sexy,” (2009) David Bell explores “sites where surveillance technologies and an emerging ‘surveillance aesthetic’ are being repurposed through their overt sexualisation,” pondering “whether the mobilization of voyeurism and exhibitionism can be read as ways of resisting surveillance” (203). But where does the line between surveillance and voyeurism exist in a hyper-visual and visible world? Voyeurism is predicated on the notion of privacy, but what is the meaning of voyeurism in an increasingly transparent world where privacy is not only being taken away but willfully given up? At what point does the same piece of technology go from being a tool for “voyeurism” to a tool for “surveillance”? How do the simulation of surveillance and the foregrounding of recording and simulation technologies alter pornographic texts and experiences, which are often understood as the epitomes of voyeurism?

In The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies (1996), William Bogard lucidly argues that “to understand what the technology of surveillance is and the effects it aims for today, increasingly we have to appreciate the fantasy that drives it, and that, in a word, is simulation” (9), going on to point out that “surveillance without limits is exactly what simulation is all about. Simulation, that is, is a way of satisfying a wish to see everything, and to see it in advance…” (15). How are simulation, surveillance, and voyeurism consonant with each other and how are their synchronicity expressed and experienced? Conversely, what discords, be they overt or underlying, does their convergence produce at a representational, legal, political, social, and theoretical level?

There is a tendency in surveillance studies to think of surveillance wholly within the realm of the technological, the social, and the geopolitical, as if these discursive spheres are not directly implicated in the observation, regulation, dissection, and control of the body through sex. There is, likewise, a tendency for researchers to be blind to how surveillance is both implicitly masculine and heterosexual, particularly when mediated through technology. Conversely, works on pornography tend to focus on discipline and ideology, rather than how these ideas are refashioned by technology, due in large part to the legacy and residue of the porn wars. This special issue is inspired by a proposed panel for the upcoming Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference (Seattle 2014), and seeks to bring together research from the growing fields of surveillance studies and porn studies into closer proximity. It seeks to fill in intellectual and scholarly gaps, and hopes to create a foundation upon which further research and engagement can be built.

Possible topics and avenues of inquiry include:
-Sexualizing authority, disciplinarity, and the police state (cops, the military, prisons, “torture,” superhero porn parodies)
-Amateur pornography and self-surveillance (XTube, Grindr/Blendr, Cam4)
-Sexualized representations of dystopia and the overly controlled society (Descent [1999])
-Surveillance and/or spying as thematic element or narrative device
-The use/representation of surveillance cameras/technologies, or the configuration of personal recording technologies as tools for surveillance in narrative pornography. (Focus/Refocus [2009])
-Politicized representation (“Gaytanamo,” “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” porn-mashups)
-Policing national borders and racial fetishization (“My Israeli Platoon”)
-The theoretical and formal overlaps between surveillance, voyeurism, and ethnography
-Sexualizing the violation of privacy (revenge porn, webcam spying/recordings)
-Biopower and policed bodies (barebacking, fetishizing and criminalizing HIV transmission, transgendered bodies)
-Censorship, bypassing censorship, copyright issues
-“Social sorting,” sexual taxonomies, and pornographic categorizations
-Risk, data mining, and the thrill of “getting caught” on the internet
-Ethnographic studies of particular websites, and online communities and cultures (4Chan, Reddit)
-Regional analysis of surveillance supra-structures and pornography (China, Iran, Turkey)
-Policing porn mobility (sexting, filming and watching porn in public, Google Glass porn)

Please send abstracts (300 words max), manuscripts (6000-8000 words) with a 200 word bio,
and direct all inquiries to Evangelos Tziallas at evangelostziallas@gmail.com

Abstracts due [rolling]
Manuscripts due [rolling]

Apr 252014
 

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Fresh off the success of The 2nd Annual Feminist Porn Conference at University of Toronto and her win at the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, Tristan Taormino is set to lecture on feminist porn at Harvard University.

“I gave an anal sex workshop to a standing room only crowd at Harvard as part of Sex Week in 2012. I am thrilled to return to campus to talk about one of my passions: the radical potential of feminist porn to transform sexual representation,” says Taormino, who just won a 2014 Feminist Porn Award for her educational film Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples, produced by Adam & Eve Pictures.

Tristan Taormino is the author of eight books on sexuality and relationships and editor of 25 anthologies. She is co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure, the first collection that includes writings by scholars, academics, producers and performers about feminist porn, published by The Feminist Press; the book is a finalist for a 2014 Lambda Literary Award. As the head of adult film production company Smart Ass Productions, she has directed and produced twenty-four sex education and porn 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-Ed. Her films have garnered 40 award nominations, 6 AVN Awards, and 9 Feminist Porn Awards. She was the first female director to win an AVN Award for Best Gonzo Movie for the debut film in her reality series Chemistry, and she received the Trailblazer Award 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.

Her lecture, “Feminist Porn: The Politics of Producing Pleasure,” will be on Wednesday, April 30 at 8:00 pm at the Fong Auditorium (Boylston Hall) on the Harvard campus. It is sponsored by Harvard University’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Her appearance is also sponsored in part by Good Vibrations and Sportsheets, the two companies for which Taormino serves as Brand Ambassador. Tristan will be raffling off prizes from Good Vibrations and Sportsheets at her talk.

Mar 122014
 

Allison Vivas making peace with porn

This Friday on Sex Out Loud, I interview Allison Vivas, President of Pink Visual, two-time winner of XBIZ Award for adult industry Woman of the Year and recent recipient of Free Speech Coalition’s Leadership Award. Under Allison’s guidance, Pink Visual has established a strong reputation within the adult
entertainment industry as an innovative, forward-thinking brand that focuses as much on developing excellent technology as it does on creating high quality adult entertainment. She recently published the book “Making Peace With Porn: Adult Entertainment and Your Guy“, which incorporates personal stories, clinical statistics, and the history of adult entertainment to explain why porn might not be such a bad thing after all.

After completing her degree at the University of Arizona in 2001, Allison Vivas joined a startup adult website affiliate program called TopBucks at the age of 21. Allison quickly rose to the position of Marketing Director, where she oversaw a wide range of the company’s activities in marketing, sales, event coordination, and project planning, across several product lines for both the adult entertainment and ‘mainstream’ markets. In 2004, the company launched
Pink Visual to bring together its Internet, broadcast and DVD distribution efforts under a single brand. Allison was named President of the company in 2006 and since then the company has played a major role with mobile distribution and anti-piracy efforts, most recently launching the Anti-Piracy Service: DMCA Force. She penned “Making Peace with Porn” in 2013 which combined research with her own personal growth around understanding porn as a woman.

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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Jan 162014
 

A few months ago I was watching a cable station late at night and they had a segment on porn stars. In this program, they dealt with one girl’s preparations for filming. She discussed her tattoos, piercings, and laser removal of her pubic hair. She had her hair touched up, nails done, legs waxed, and did a stretch in the tanning bed. While she was having her makeup applied, she mentioned that she had her rectum bleached. I had never heard of that.

One night while preparing for anal sex, I noticed a dark discoloration around my anus. I told my husband about the show I watched and explained how this performer had her rectum bleached. He told me that I was crazy. Was I? Is there something out there that can bleach this discoloration away? If so, I would like to know more about it. Can this be done at home? What products can be used and where can I buy them?  I have a lot of adult movies and I have noticed that most of the female actors look like they may have bleached their butts.

–Want a White Eye

You were not imagining things, there are products on the market to bleach the skin, and a few are marketed specifically as anal bleaching creams. I’ll bet you saw the segment on Dr. 90210 on E! where adult film star Tabitha Stevens went to Pink Cheeks salon in Southern California and had her asshole bleached. The salon sells its own cream, Pink Cheeks Amazing Anal Bleaching Cream (and you can order it over the phone, 818-906-8225). According to its label, the cream’s active ingredient is 4% hydroquinone, a substance used to lighten dark skin. It comes with instructions that recommend you have your anus waxed prior to application, and that you use it every night until you achieve the shade you want (which typically is in a week or two). There is a less expensive alternative, simply called Anal Bleaching Cream.

These products have not exactly registered on the Food and Drug Administration’s radar, so the safety of them has not been researched. The fact is everyone’s skin around their anus is a darker shade than their regular skin tone; in other words, it’s natural and I’m inclined not to fuck with it. Plus, your perception that “most of the female actors look like they may have bleached their butts” is not accurate; some have, but the majority of brown eyes you see on screen are as nature made them.

Jan 022014
 

saint croix

This Friday, January 3rd at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET, Sex Out Loud welcomes to the show one of the most prolific male stars in the adult industry, Steven St. Croix, who will pull back the curtain on his 20+ years in the business as both a performer and a director. We’ll hear how he got his start as a entertainer, stories from his favorite and most outrageous scenes, and what inspired him to write them all down for his new book “Porn Star.” Plus, we’re live and we’ll be taking calls and questions.
steven st croixThis week’s show is LIVE, which means we’ll be giving away a Sportsheets prize to a lucky fan. Find out all the ways to listen here so you can call in with questions and comments at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I’ll read them live on the air – you could be chosen to win!

Steven St. Croix has performed in over 1200 full length feature movies with over 1600 woman on camera. He received 55 nominations for AVN, XRCO and XBIZ Awards (and 19 wins), won 2 Nightmoves Awards, and is a member of both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. He’s the triple crown winner for Best Actor 2013 for XBIZ, AVN and XRCO for his role in “Torn”. St. Croix is the first male star to be signed to an exclusive contract with a video company, the first male contract star for Vivid Video, and had his penis insured for $1 million dollars through Lloyd’s of London. In addition to starring in films for Vivid, Adam & Eve, Penthouse, Wicked, Cinemax, and Hustler, he’s also written and directed 20 adult films. He’s widely known for comedic and dramatic roles, including parts in Baywatch, Babylon 5, Diagnosis Murder, Six Feet Under, The Client List and Castle. His latest book is “Porn Star: Everything You Want to Know and Are Embarrassed to Ask.”

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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Dec 052013
 

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Both AVN and XBIZ have announced their 2014 Award nominees. Tristan Taormino’s Smart Ass Productions has garnered seven adult film award nominations. The Expert Guide to Female Ejaculation, her final film as a contract director for Vivid, has been nominated for two AVN Awards: Best Squirting Release and Best Educational Release. It stars Jada Fire, Christian, Kaci Starr, Anthony Rosano, Dylan Ryan, Derrick Pierce, Kylie Worthy, and Mr. Marcus. The two films she directed for Adam & Eve — Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Kinky Sex for Couples and Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples —  are nominated for the XBIZ Award for Best Educational Release. Plus, both those films were also nominated in a new category this year: the XBIZ Award for Feminist Porn Release of the Year. Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Kinky Sex for Couples features Asa Akira, Derrick Pierce, Adrianna Nicole, Evan Stone, Aiden Starr, Christian, Lyla Storm, and Danny Wylde. Adrianna Luna, James Deen, Skin Diamond, Derrick Pierce, Samantha Ryan, Michael Vegas, India Summer, and Danny Wylde star in Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples. Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples was also nominated for the AVN Award for Best Educational Release.

 

Oct 212013
 

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

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.

Aug 212013
 

We featured a bunch of fantastic bondage toys in my latest instructional movie Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples, and I’ve compiled a guide to all the toys by scene, complete with links to the exact products as well as similar items and some of my favorites.

Scene 1: Samantha Ryan and Michael Vegas

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Sex & Mischief Grey Tie
Also fun: Experimental Kink Kit

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Bondage Tape

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The Original Magic Wand Vibrator

Scene 2: Adrianna Luna and James Deen

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Bondage cuffs from the Sportsheets Sexy Slave Kit

More options: Cuff Love, Tethers & Leopard Restraints
Bound to Please Leather Collar
Sex and Mischief Red Restraint Kit

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Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System

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Sex & Mischief Sex Sling

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Natural Contours Superbe Vibrator

Two of my favorite vibes: Laya Vibrator and We-Vibe Touch


Scene 3: Skin Diamond and Derrick Pierce

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Blindfold and bondage cuffs from the Sportsheets Sexy Slave Kit
More options: Our First Bondage Kit, Cuff Love, Tethers & Leopard Restraints

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Sweet Lips Candy Ball Gag
Actual one we used: Pipedream Candy Ball Gag

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Deluxe Fantasy Door Swing
And don’t forget Skin’s favorite vibe: The Original Magic Wand Vibrator

Scene 4: India Summer and Danny Wylde

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Sportsheets Door Jam Cuffs

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Submit to Me Beginners Bondage Kit
purple silk scarves we used: Black Rose Silky Surrender

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Fetish Fantasy Spinning Swing
and don’t forget: The Original Magic Wand Vibrator

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