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Porn THIS way: Queering Porn

Queer Feminist Porn as a Point of Resistance and Transformation
by

Amber Coyne

on 15 February 2015

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Transcript of Porn THIS way: Queering Porn

Porn THIS way : Queering Porn
Let's Queer Porn Today
So0o What is Feminist Porn??
Queer Feminist Porn as Place that revolutionizes our concept of gender
You're not an Object
You are the subject
Let every lick melt heteropatriarchy
Every bite- right into white supremacy
This Does not sound like any porn I've ever seen
"it eroticizes bodies of color, but not in a problematically fetishistic way. It melts heteropatriarchy. It takes a bite out of white supremacy. It is subjectifying, it believes in the revolutionary power of genderqueerness, and it prays at the alter of capital H-I-R " - Jane Ward
What words, themes, images, feelings, and bodies come up when you think of pornography?
"Feminist porn uses sexually explicit imagery to contest and complicate dominant representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, body type, and other identity markers. It explores concepts of desire, agency, power, beauty and pleasure at their most confounding and difficult, including pleasure within and across inequality, in the face of injustice, and against the limits of gender hierarchy and both heteronormativity and homonormativity. It seeks to unsettle conventional definitions of sex, and expand the language of sex as an erotic activity, an expression of identity" - The Feminist Porn Book

sex is on a man's terms and ends when his pleasure is achieved
heterosexual sex is the norm with penetration being the key way we define sexual intercourse
male ejaculation is the goal of sex
sex occurs between and man and a woman who present gender in socially acceptable fashion (all other bodies and sexualities are only seen as sexy in the context of being a fetish ie. women of color are sexually exotified in very explicit ways)
masculinity is dependent on a man being able to preform sexually with many women
Anti-porn Feminism
what is it and does it apply?
"pornography functions to perpetuate male supremacy and crimes of violence against women because it conditions, trains, educates, and inspires men to despise women, and men despise women in part because pornography exists" - Andrea Dworkin
"empirically, all pornography is made under conditions of inequality based on sex, overwhelmingly by poor, desperate, homeless, pimped out women who were sexually abused as children. The industry's profits exploit, and are an incentive to maintain these conditions. These conditions constrain choice rather than offering freedom" - Catharine A. Mackinnon
The answer to bad porn isn't no porn…it’s to try and make better porn!" - Good For Her
Over simplification of complex industry
these definitions of pornography and politics around pleasure often operate under the normative prescription of heterosexuality between nontrans bodies
they fail to address the agency of those involved in producing porn AND those consuming porn
"pornography provides a realm of transgression that is, in effect a counter-aesthetic to dominant norms for bodies, sexuality and desire itself"
"pornography holds us in the thrall of its theatrics of transgression, its dedication to crossing boundaries and violating social strictures"
How is this porn queer??
What I learned from watching mainstream pornography
but is all pornography spreading these messages???
IN SUMMARY: porn not made on ethical terms, and it also cannot be consumed ethically because of the underling messages of these films
According to MacKinnon and Dworkin...
porn should be outlawed since these graphic and sexually explicit materials subordinate women in the following ways
(i) women are presented as dehumanized as sexual objects, things or commodities
(ii) women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy pain or humiliation
(iii) women are presented as sexual objects who experience sexual pleasure in being raped
etc etc etc
They sought to change the legal definitions of pornography from an obscenity standard, which appealed to the public morality, to that of the subordination of women" - Drucilla Cornell
"to queer" in a broad sense can be seen as way to denaturalize categories of gender, sex, and sexuality revealing them as socially and historically constructed. Queering becomes way to contest and blur the line between "normal" and "abnormal" (Somerville)
In the broad sense then we can view feminist porn as a queering of mainstream pornography
moving beyond LGBT
much of which includes queer (as in LGBT) bodies and sexualities
Disidentifications
: The Queering of Mainstream Pornography
Disidentifications as Munoz describes is a strategy or, "mode of dealing with dominant ideology, one that neither opts to assimilate within such a structure nor strictly opposes it; rather disidentification is a strategy that works on and against dominant ideology. Instead of buckling under the pressures of dominant ideology (identification, assimilation) or attempting to break free of its inescapable sphere (counteridentificaton, utopianism) this ‘working on and against’ is a strategy that tries to transform cultural logic from within” – (Disidentifications, 11) .
mainstream pornography
Queer Feminist Porn
Antiporn movement
identification / assimilation
Site of disidentifications
Counteridentification/ utopianism
We desire it but desire it with a difference
(Munoz)
porn that centralizes consent
porn that shows safer sex practices as erotic
porn made ethically characterized by agency
porn that shows queer sexualities
porn that rewrites what bodies are desirable and capable of sexual pleausre
porn that shows a spectrum of genders
"I had never seen any porn made for trans women before and I wanted something designed for us. I wanted to tackle some of the messages that said trans women are asexual or hypersexual. I wanted to show a broad range of experiences around sexuality.... I wanted to be able to show them hot images of trans women who look queer, who are punkish, who are dyke-y, who are butch, who are genderfuck- a really wide range that shows trans women exist in each and every unique way that cis women do" - Tobi Hill-Meyer
"feminist porn operates differently in two ways. It features different kinds of masculine subjects as objects of desire in productions - FTM, trans, genderqueer, butch, and cisgender - but it also rethinks the consumption practices of masculinity, refusing to accept a feminist politic that assumes that heterosexual cissexual male or spectators or desires are dangerous" - Bobby Noble
The Inclusion of Trans Women (ethically) and Redefining Masculinity
Chelsea Poe
Jiz Lee
Papi Coxxx
"the struggle to find images who they could imagine being leads clients to current genderqueer porn where they find not only energetic possibilities , but also actual bodies they can imagine becoming"
-Kieko Lane
feminist porn tackles mainstream notions of gender by deconstructing harmful stereotypes of trans bodies, while simultaneously providing visibility and desirability of these gender diverse expressions, identities, and bodies
So... What does Butler Have to do with it??
GENDER PERFORMATIVITY
Tobi Hill-Meyer started producing porn to "fill the void of diverse trans characters and to offer an alternative to the overwhelmingly exploitative and exotic ways that trans women's sexuality is often portrayed" - The Feminist Porn Book
Masculinity
Contesting Hegemonic
"the subject is not determined by the rules through which it is generated because signification is not a founding act, but rather a regulated process of repetition"
"The loss of gender norms would have the effect of proliferating gender configurations, destabilizing the substantive identity and depriving the naturalizing narratives of compulsory heterosexuality of their central protagonists: 'man' and 'woman' "
So the more these bodies perform gender outside the normal scripts the great the radical potential of feminist porn to deconstruct the binary model of gender
Making Ethical Porn
one distinguishing feature of feminist porn from that of the mainstream is they strive to, "create fair, safe, ethical, consensual work environment ....Ultimately feminist porn considers sexual representation-and its production- a site for resistance, intervention and change" - The Feminist Porn Book
Organic
Porn Making
"for people to move and fuck in ways they want to, for however long they want to. I want to empower the performers to show us what they want to do, to share a apart of their sexuality with the camera. So much of porn asks performers to act out someone el'se's fantasy...what if they were given the opportunity to do their own thing" - Tristan Taormino
Why making porn like this is totally revolutionary
"Feminist Porn wants people to be horny, wants to encourage people to feel sexy and to be sexual objects, but decide for themselves how, why, and for whom. Once you have that power, it is much easier to decide when you DO NOT want to be sexual" - Ingrid Ryberg
Which brings us to the next important point....
Feminist Porn Centralizes Consent
"There is a kind of irony in the fact that people so often link pornography with coercion, when it is on porn sets that I really learned what it is to give consent. Never in a civilian sexual encounter had I been explicitly asked what I was and wasn't willing to do with my body. Never before had someone presented me with a list of options or said, "I want to do these things today, How does that sound" - Lorelei Lee
Many queer feminist porn websites emphasis the use and necessity of consent by showing before and after consent conversations.
Porn that Shows Authentic Queer Sexualities
Why is this important?
"sexual desire and sexual identity are absolutely essential to the freely defined self. Images that explicitly express the vast multiplicity of those desires communicate something larger and more basic to humanity than can be put into words" - Lorelei Lee
Tobi Hill-Meyer
"Queer women reviewers often responded that no one girl/girl porn looked at all like the women in their community, at their bars, or who they are crushing out on"
DoingItOnline.com
Porn That Shows How Sexy Safe Sex Can Be
"I love safer sex practices and jump at the chance to portray it on camera. I can even ejaculate forcefully, against a firm dental dam; feeling safer makes me more confident and sexy. If there is one thing that makes queer porn different, its respecting a performers choice- the choice to safely fuck how they want and to look how they believe is sexy" - Jiz Lee
According to the article "Porn and Expectations of Pleasure" by Anne Philpott and Krissy, "in every country where porn has been researched , it was found to be an important source of sex education"
3/10 in UK say they learn about sex through pornography
in Ethiopia pornogaphy viewed at public movie houses was usually the only source for sex ed for boys
4th most mentioned source of sex ed for boys in Beijinng, China and 9th for girls
How Queer Porn Matches up with Sex Positive Sex Education
In Philpotts, Knerr, and Boydell's article "Pleasure and Prevention: When Good Sex is Safer Sex" featured in the Journal Reproductive Health Matters they give the following advice for sexual health educators
Start with a realistic attitude about why people have sex
Get tips and advice from the target audience
MAKE IT CULTURALLY SPECIFIC
Get comfortable talking about sex AND pleasure
Keep your focus on pleasure and sex rather than disease
Eliminate messages and attitudes that promote shame or fear about sex, sexual preference or pleasure
DoingItOnline.com
Porn that is Re-writing the script of what bodies are desirable & have agency
"my belief that pornography and BDSM are not inherently wrong comes from my own understanding of the importance of women's ability to claim their sexuality as their own. Yet my sex-positive feminism is not separate from my black feminism. For me it is about agency. My black feminism is about helping women like me be able to claim their sexuality in the face of decades of mis-education of African American women who were made to believe that they must choose between education, marriage, and family or sexual freedom" - Sinnamon Love
sinnamonlove.com
"The intersection of sexuality and race in mainstream porn is complex territory with a history of inequality, stereotypes, and racist depictions. One need only to look at titles in the so-called "ethnic" genres of of Asian, Latin, or black (because in mainstream porn, you can only be one)....to see how race is exotified, fetishized and commodified in very particular ways. I believe feminist porn must reject the typical ghettoization of people of color by refusing to participate in the unspoken and yet systematic exclusion of performers of color" - Tristan Taormino
"Feminist porn creates its own iconography and is committed to depicting diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, class, body size, ability, and age" - Tristan Taormino
"You don't see many women like me in porn (or in mainstream media, for that matter). We are not entirely invisible, but like many other underrepresented identities, we've been confined to the most fetishized subgenre of BBW (Big Beautiful Women)" - April Flores
More on Bodies of Desire and Agency
fattyD.com
http://www.lesbiancurves.com/
by Courtney Trouble is amazing place for this
"On a political level, it allowed me to make a movie that would not only offer a moment of recognition of how sexy queercrips could be, but also to take up space and reconceptualize what is sexy" - Loree Erickson
Lyric Seal on crash pad is an amazing artist to check out!
femmegimp.org
Important Critique : Feminism is a DOING not a being
feminism as a verb not a static identity challenges us to evolve as necessary, to not be complacent
"because it is born out of feminism that is not one thing but a living, breathing, moving creation, it is necessarily contested- an argument, a polemic, and a debate" - The Feminist Porn Book
http://cinnamaxx.tumblr.com/
IMPORTANT
Lets Digest that....
we can do better and we must do better
part of the lack of funding is the mainstream argues people do not value this type of porn. BUT THEY DO
lets state our porn desires & demands now!
manifesto: A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature
The Future of Queer Feminist Porn
One final thought: support these artists and this work. Buy the porn you wish to see in whatever capacity you can.
Ms Naughty
http://msnaughty.com/blog/
"Perhaps a day is coming when pornography as whole moves into better territory, when depictions of sex don't automatically come loaded with sexism or racism or nonsense stereotypes or negativity, as happens so often now. I'm looking forward to that day. It was what I was hoping for when I started. When that happens, distinctions such as "porn for women" or "feminist porn"may well and truly be irrelevant because all genders, sexualities, experiences, perspectives, fetishes, and desires will have an equal place at the table" - Ms Naughty
crashpad.com
THANK YOU!!!
suggested reading:
Presentation by: Amber Coyne
queerfemmetalk.wordpress.com
coynea@onid.oregonstate.edu
Full transcript