Apr 102014
 
Arabelle Raphael, Tina Horn, Andre Shakti  PHOTO CREDIT: KD DIAMOND

Arabelle Raphael, Tina Horn, Andre Shakti
PHOTO CREDIT: KD DIAMOND

TORONTO (April 8, 2014)— The 2014 Feminist Porn Conference was presented by The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto April 5 and 6, 2014; it was the culminating event in a week of diverse happenings that included a special film screening of the past year’s best films, a storytelling event, a fisting workshop, a new film festival, and the 9th Annual Feminist Porn Awards. Over 300 people attended the second annual conference which brings together academics and industry workers to explore various facets of the feminist porn movement. According to a pre-conference survey, it was an incredibly diverse group. 20% of attendees identified as porn makers, including directors, producers, and/or performers and 13% of attendees identified themselves as fans. Academics comprised nearly half of all attendees; 15% were professors, and 33% were undergraduate and graduate students. 10% were members of the media, and the remaining 9% of attendees checked the “other” box, identifying themselves as sex workers, sex educators, sexologists, web developers, artists, and activists.

The conference program featured fifty-six speakers from the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, France, and the UK. Speakers included Shine Louise Houston, Tristan Taormino, Jiz Lee, Madison Young, Dylan Ryan, Danny Wylde, April Flores, jessica drake, Tina Horn, Maggie Mayhem, Loree Erickson, Carlyle Jansen, Constance Penley, Kevin Heffernan, Mindy Chateauvert, and Zahra Stardust, who was named Heartthrob of the Year at the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards.

Dylan Ryan and Danny Wylde PHOTO CREDIT: DANNY WYLDE

Dylan Ryan and Danny Wylde
PHOTO CREDIT: DANNY WYLDE

Over two days, there were 28 different presentations on a variety of topics from sexual expression and labor by women of color, the role authenticity in feminist porn, and evaluating ethical production practices to discussions about sex worker histories, self care strategies, and privacy concerns. Professor Nicholas Matte talked about the upcoming exhibit “Archiving Sex” at The Sexual Representation Collection at the University of Toronto, and York University’s Bobby Noble and Lisa Sloniowski discussed their work at the Feminist Porn Archive and Research Project. One of the most well-attended sessions was a panel called “Feminist Pornography: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It Matters” with UNLV Professor Lynn Comella, producer/performer Courtney Trouble, Australian filmmaker Ms. Naughty, and Tanesha H.D., a Toronto-based sexuality researcher and self-described “sex-positive porn fan girl.” There was also a business track featuring workshops on production skills, affiliate programs, marketing and branding and a new series called “Theory/Practice,” which featured unique conversations between scholars and feminist pornographers about how sex, work, and scholarship intersect. Films by Shine Louise Houston, Carey Gray, Ovidie, Jennifer Lyon Bell, Ms. Naughty, Zahra Stardust, and more were screened and followed by director Q&As.

Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, delivered the opening keynote on April 5; Duggan’s keynote surveyed over 30 years of feminist porn advocacy, pointing out how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished. Duggan, the co-author of the seminal collection Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture, noted that, “The feminist porn movement today is a progressive beacon in a sometimes bleak political landscape.  Feminist porn producers set an example for the wider culture industry by pushing for expansive diversity in representations of bodies and sex, and by demanding an ethical workplace and production process. Radicals everywhere have a lot to learn from the feminist pornography movement.”

FPCon Keynote  PHOTO CREDIT: pinklabel.tv

FPCon Keynote
PHOTO CREDIT: pinklabel.tv

The conference closed with a powerful, emotional keynote by filmmaker/performer/artist Courtney Trouble, who urged the audience to embrace an inclusive, intersectional approach to feminist porn; the audience gave Trouble a thundering, three minute long standing ovation. Trouble, who won two 2014 Feminist Porn Awards for their films Lesbian Curves 2: Hard Femme and Trans Grrrls: Revolution Porn Style Now, said, “The Feminist Porn Conference is a place where the underground politics of social justice and queer theory intersect with women’s and gender studies, academia, business, and media outlets. It’s a jumping point for all of those worlds collaborating and sharing skills and ideas. It’s an important place not just for people interested in porn or erotic media, but for anyone who has ever wondered how media and art can effect our sexuality, or self-esteem, or our relationships.” Both keynotes were recorded, Courtney Trouble can be found here and Lisa Duggan will be made available online shortly.

“Attendance at the Feminist Porn Conference increased 25% this year, which is incredible for an event that is still so new. The amount of interest in the subject matter and the exceptional scholarly and community-based work that’s being created around feminist porn is inspirational. I look forward to planning next year’s conference,” says Tristan Taormino, founder and producer of the conference. One attendee posted on Twitter: “We were so invigorated by the passion, feminism, brilliance, and sexual freedom at The Feminist Porn Conference.” Another called it “an amazing, life-altering conference.” After the closing keynote, conference goers celebrated and networked at an after party sponsored by Sliquid Natural Intimate Lubricants.

The Feminist Porn Conference is made possible by the generous sponsorship of The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, Good Vibrations, GoodVibrationsVOD.com, Sliquid Natural Intimate Lubricants, Aslan Leather, Studio Ten Toronto, Bright Desire, The Feminist Porn Archive and Research Project at York University, The Feminist Press, Good for Her, The 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, and Sex Out Loud. The conference is part of the largest annual gathering of feminist pornographers in the world.

Oct 222013
 

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Good for Her, Tristan Taormino, and The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies announced the dates and submission deadlines today for The 2014 Feminist Porn Awards and The 2nd Annual Feminist Porn Conference.

The 9th Annual Feminist Porn Awards will be held April 3 and 4, 2014 in Toronto. The events include a screening of nominated films with directors, producers, and performers in attendance as well as the Feminist Porn Awards Gala at the Capitol Theatre. The Awards have been celebrating diverse sexuality, desire, and ethically produced porn since 2006. They offer audiences an alternative to mainstream porn and access to provocative sexy films that are sometimes not available to a wider audience.

“We’re very excited about receiving this year’s submissions. Every year we have an even more diverse group of films by people of all sexes, genders, bodies and desires to share with our growing audience. We look forward to seeing what expanded feminist expressions of porn look like on screen, and seeing more locally produced films,” says Carlyle Jansen, founder of Good for Her and The Feminist Porn Awards. The deadline for submissions to the Feminist Porn Awards is January 17, 2014.

The 2nd Annual Feminist Porn Conference will take place April 5 and 6, 2014, at the University of Toronto. The deadline to submit presentation proposals is December 23, 2013. The Feminist Porn Conference brings together academics, students, cultural critics, sex workers, activists, fans, performers, directors, and producers to explore the intersections between feminism and pornography as well as feminist porn as a genre, industry, and movement. The conference includes sessions devoted to both academic and non-academic presentations, film screenings, a keynote talk, and networking time. In addition, this year there will be a business track featuring workshops on production and filmmaking, legal issues, marketing and branding, social media, affiliate programs, and web-based technologies.

“I’m thrilled to return to the University of Toronto for the conference. Last year’s event exceeded all my expectations, and I look forward to expanding to two days of programming this year,” says Tristan Taormino, founder and producer of The Feminist Porn Conference. “Plus, with generous support from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, we were able to move to a fully accessible building on campus.”

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.

Feb 042013
 

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

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

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