On exploitation, and the lack thereof, in awesome feminist porn

June 25, 2013 at 10:40 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The wonderful Pandora Blake is again having to put up with people assuming that as a pornographer and spanking porn start, she is either being exploited, exploiting others, or both.

It’s frustrating because a lot of this rubbish is coming from people who are in most respects feminists, and in fact who take this line as what they see as a feminist position. Pandora’s written a really super post about her thoughts on this, which I highly recommend.

Naturally, a lot of porn *is* anti-feminist, and misogynist, and feeds into patriarchy. But feminist porn is not just possible, but exists and is on the increase. Pandora makes some of the best – as I’m currently in a position to judge, having recently purchased temporary membership of Dreams of Spanking. 🙂

For me to want to watch it, porn needs to be made by feminists, it needs to have women involved in the production end of things as well as starring, it needs to value the contribution of people of all genders (i.e., paying the men!), it needs to be made for more than just a cis, hetero, male gaze, it needs to feature a reasonable variety of body types. And if it’s kink, I want to get my switch on – one of the things I love about Dreams of Spanking is that it has any number of combinations of tops and bottoms, and the majority of the performers are switches who aren’t just interested in playing one role with one gender. As a queer switch, it is totally up my street.

It needs to be made with absolute respect for the performers, respecting their boundaries absolutely, creating a fun working atmosphere

Above all, it needs to be made by people who genuinely love what they are doing, and aren’t just faking that enjoyment.

Dreams of Spanking is very explicit about offering all of that, including lots of behind the scenes footage so it’s really clear exactly how much fun is being had, even (especially?) when shooting dark and edgy material.

Plus it has the advantage that I find most of the performers at least reasonably attractive, and some I darn right lust after. (Though I will happily watch films on there with no actors I particularly fancy in it – I can still find the plots fun and entertaining and the ideas sexy and inspiring me to Useful Thoughts for my own sex/kink life, and the performances deeply appealing, and the bodies of the performers decorative and pleasing to behold even if they do nothing for me sexually. Which I think is another sign of very good porn!)

I’d like to share part of a comment I made to Pandora’s blog post, because a lot of all this is resonating with things I’m thinking of myself:

One thing I am taking in pleasure in learning as part of my recovery and healing process from various forms of abuse and sexual violence, is not just that I love BDSM, and being a switch (this I have known for a while!), but also that a degree of selective exhibitionism is an important part of my sexuality, and an important part of *me*. At the moment it’s confined to sharing some photos on Fetlife, but I am finding just that a genuinely healing and affirming experience. And, yeah, have definitely been having a few Thoughts about other places I might, cautiously, be wanting to take that.

My kink, my exhibitionism, finding my authentic sexuality – all of this feels like reclaiming my body, my sexuality, my soul, for *me*. Mostly, because it *is*. Also, it’s hot. 🙂

And, speaking not just as a survivor but also as a feminist: the concept of porn of the kind that you make being oppressive is, frankly, laughable. And it’s deeply frustrating that fair trade, feminist porn made by people who utterly love what you are doing is still getting lumped in by outdated concepts of what most porn is now.

The images of women I see every time I’m on the tube and happen to look at the adverts tend to make me feel rubbish about my body, my sexuality and my status as a more-or-less-female-presenting person. What you make and share emphatically does not.


So, yay for feminist porn, and yay  for the infinite variety of human sexuality! And yay for feminism that includes and listens to sex workers rather than rendering them invisible and refusing to hear their voices and experience and intelligence.  Because feminism that *doesn’t* include sex workers, isn’t a feminism worthy of the name.


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