Browsing posts tagged with Bitch Media
Feb
8

Dylan Ryan and The H-Word

Bitch‘s The H-Word was an eight-week-long post series written by sex workers. Named after the pejorative term “hooker,” the goal of the series was to give sex workers — from all around the country, and from all areas of the industry — a space to talk about their lives and experiences. As Melissa Petro wrote in the introduction to the series, “We are spoken about ad nauseam but not allowed to speak.”

One piece, “Make Your Own Porn,” was written by feminist porn star Dylan Ryan. Ryan’s first foray into sex work was as a stripper, but her job at Good Vibrations would plant the seed for her future in porn. While working at Good Vibes, she would have discussions with co-worker Shine Louise Houston about starting a queer porn company. When Houston got Pink and White Productions off the ground, Ryan’s career in porn began.

But Ryan doesn’t always shoot with queer companies and directors. She encounters the stereotypes that still exist in mainstream porn, and they make it strange for her as a queer woman, especially when she’s asked to shoot soft “girl/girl” scenes.

As a queer performer, I’m asked to show a kind of sex which is not always authentic to me, one that’s less challenging when I’m having sex with a cis gendered man on camera and more challenging when I’m having sex with a woman. I sometimes feel like it’s “Here, perform homosexual sex but do it just like this. Don’t be too queer. We can’t sell that.”

I think that the bulk of my eight years has really been about talking about this, showing my authentic sexuality, performing in projects that highlight and show and discuss and reflect on sexuality . . . I think the advent of feminist porn has been hugely helpful. Feminist porn is rising to the fore these last five or so years has shone a spotlight on diverse pornographic representations, from women making porn to queer pornmakers. I think the consumer can ask for their sexuality to be better represented in porn. I decided that making porn would be great because porn I watched never did it for me. I never saw myself represented, nor did I see my sexuality portrayed. It made sense for me to try and make porn that was my sex. Though not a choice that every person could or should make, that’s another way of going about it… make your own porn. Show your own sexuality.

Read the rest of Dylan Ryan’s piece, then check out the rest of the diverse posts from The H-Word series.

Jan
16

Interviews with the author of Big Big Love

Big Big Love: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them) is a landmark body-positive book that was originally published in 2000. In 2011, it was majorly overhauled and re-released, and we quickly added it to our catalog. The revised Big Big Love contains new illustrations, interviews, quotes, and resources, as well as more inclusive language surrounding sexuality and gender identity.

Author Hanne Blank was interviewed on both Salon and Bitch about the release. In her interview with Salon, Blank discusses myths about fat sex, what sex and fatness have in common, benefits to fat sex, and fat fetishism. To the question, “Why is a book about fat sex necessary? What is so different about fat sex?”, Blank responds:

What is so different about fat sex is that it’s one of the kinds of sex that mainstream culture tells us we’re not supposed to want, have or approve of. There’s a machine, a huge cultural and industrial juggernaut that is devoted to making us believe that the right kind of sex and the right kind of sexual desirability is the be-all-end-all.

And in her interview with Bitch — which was actually conducted by one of She Bop’s fabulous sales ladies, Yana! — Blank offers her views on reclaiming the word fat, what fat activisim and feminism have in common, fat-negativity in the media, and even her crushes on queer porn director Courtney Trouble and erotic icon April Flores. When Bitch asks, “Who was Big Big Love written for?” Blank says,

BBL was written for people who have bodies and who also negotiate their own sexuality, especially if — but not exclusively if — they’re fat. It’s also for anyone who is or has ever been attracted to, interested in or in a relationship with someone who is, was or might someday be fat.

. . . It’s not exactly a big secret that people with bodies of all different sizes often feel that their bodies are “not good enough” for them to deserve happy, healthy, satisfying sex lives. Threats of undesirability or unloveability are used to terrorize, oppress and silence women. It is a cultural dictate that “good,” “successful,” “real” women are those who are sexually desired, objectified and the objects of a particular kind of love that is directly connected to a particular model of physical attractiveness. In the book, I call this out for the hurtful, insidious bullshit that it is.

Indeed. And that is why Big Big Love is such an important book — it’s really written for everyone.

Dec
7

Fundraisin’ raffle results!

We are happy to report that our 2-year anniversary fundraisin’ raffle was an enormous success! We raised over $1,100 in total for Bitch Media, In Other Words, Portland Women’s Crisis Line, Bradley Angle and the Q Center. Amazing! Thank you to everyone who bought a raffle ticket — or several! Winners of the sex toy prize packages have been contacted.

Many, many thanks again to the lovely vendors that donated products and helped make this raffle happen: LELO, Je Joue, Vixen Creations, Happy Valley, Spareparts Hardwear, Fun Factory, Jimmyjane, Standard Glass, Aslan Leather, Cleis Press, GladRags, BitchAppetite, Good Vibrations, Good For Her, Bust, Empire Labs, Good Clean Love, Hathor Aphrodisia, Yes, Sliquid, Luxotiq, Blossom Organics, Simply Blown, and Gothfox. Y’all rock.

Nov
20

Big ol’ 2 year anniversary fundraisin’ raffle!

To celebrate our 2-year anniversary and to give back to the community that has embraced us, we’re holding a huge raffle with some fantastic prize packages! This raffle will serve as a fundraiser, with the proceeds going to five amazing non-profit organizations: Bitch Media, In Other Words, Portland Women’s Crisis Line, Bradley Angle and the Q Center. We are super excited to raise money for these organizations that are so vital to our community — we do in-store fundraisers for them throughout the year and we love to help them out. Find more info about each one below.

We have over $2,000 worth of fabulous prizes to give away! A bunch of awesome companies donated products: LELO, Je Joue, Vixen Creations, Happy Valley, Spareparts Hardwear, Fun Factory, Jimmyjane, Standard Glass, Aslan Leather, Cleis Press, GladRags, BitchAppetite, Good Vibrations, Good For Her, Bust, Empire Labs, Good Clean Love, Hathor Aphrodisia, Yes, Sliquid, Luxotiq, Blossom Organics, Simply Blown, and Gothfox. A big, big thank you to all these great vendors for their very generous donations! We could not have put this together without you!

Here’s how it works: now through December 4th, you can buy $5 raffle tickets in our shop or online. You can buy tickets for the big ol’ raffle (which includes a variety of prize packages), or for specific prize packages, or both! Whatever interests you. All proceeds will go to the non-profit organizations, and many of you will win sweet sex toy prize packages. It’s a win-win!

About the non-profit organizations

Q Center is a wonderful LGBTQ community center just around the corner from us in North Portland. Their mission is to increase the visibility of and foster connection within metropolitan Portland’s LGBTQ community. The center builds public awareness and support, and celebrates LGBTQ diversity through art, culture, and collaborative community programming.

Portland Women’s Crisis Line is a hugely important organization that offers 24/7 support to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. They offer services such as safety planning, peer support, crisis intervention, needs assessments, and referrals to community resources.

Bradley Angle offers survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with local communities to create social change. Their services include a 24-hour crisis line, transitional housing, support groups, and community-based advocacy.

Bitch Media is the nonprofit organization best known for publishing the magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. Bitch Media’s mission is to provide and encourage an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture. They are a fresh, revitalizing voice in contemporary feminism, one that promotes activism and impels social change.

In Other Words has been serving the Portland community as a feminist bookstore, a low-cost and safe events space, and as a community resource center for the past 17 years. It supports, enriches, and empowers communities through educational and cultural events, art and literature.

About the prize packages

Our general big ol’ raffle includes many different prize packages:

While our specific prize packages allow you to enter for the exact package that catches your eye:

Winners will be chosen on Sunday, December 4th. Winners can pick up their prizes at the shop. If they are unable to, winner will pay shipping cost. Shipping costs will vary depending on location but will not exceed $10 for USPS Priority.

Aug
2

10% Tuesdays in August for Bitch Media

10% Tuesdays are back! Throughout the month of August, 10% of our sales on Tuesdays will go to Bitch Media.

Currently, the people at Bitch are looking for more support to continue publishing their print magazine. They are hoping for 1,500 subscriptions ordered by August 8th. On their blog, they explain why the printed product is important:

. . . as people who care about providing a feminist response to pop culture (that’s you! and me too!), we want to reach out to as many people in as many ways as possible. Lots of people encounter Bitch Media through the magazine — in fact, maybe that’s how you discovered us. We want to keep that print train rolling and we want you to help. (Also, have you seen the print magazine? It’s gorgeous and super interesting and will make you look smart if you read it in public.)

So this is where the real talk comes in. Because I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this right now, online, do not subscribe to the magazine. We’d like to change that . . . If you want to Keep Bitch in Print, if you want to support the organization that brings you all the feminist response to pop culture that’s fit to print — online and off — subscribe, renew, or become a sustainer now.

We wholeheartedly agree with the need for feminist media, especially Bitch, which has been in print since 1996. Drop by the shop on any Tuesday in August to support this great organization.

Jul
31

10% Tuesdays in August for Bitch Media

Do you love Bitch magazine and the online content at bitchmedia.org as much as She Bop does?  Have you been a Bitch reader for years or have you just recently been introduced to the magazine and organization through the free back issues offered at our shop?  Whether you are a long-time devotee or a newbie to this awesome magazine and nonprofit organization, you can now be a supporter and get some fabulous sex toys to boot. You really can’t lose!

This month, Tuesdays at She Bop are all about Bitch!  Every Tuesday for the month of August, She Bop will be donating 10% of sales to Bitch Media.  Have you been pining over that Lelo vibe?  Or know you just can’t live without that Vix Skin dildo? Or maybe just need some more organic lube?  Now is the time to do it!  Come in to She Bop on any Tuesday in August and get whatever you’ve been dreaming about and help support Bitch Media at the same time!

B-Word Worldwide, doing business as Bitch Media, is the Portland-based nonprofit organization best known for publishing the magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture.  Bitch Media’s mission is to provide and encourage an empowered, feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.  Learn more about Bitch Media at bitchmedia.org, and check out the online content including daily blogs and regular podcasts.

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