Browsing posts tagged with porn
Jan
24

She Bop’s Picks: Valentine’s Day

Is it any surprise we’re big fans of Valentine’s Day? Of course, we believe in love and pleasure all year round, but it’s nice to have a day set aside for celebrating in style. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find just the right gift to woo someone, or the perfect thing to splurge on for yourself. So, we’ve rounded up our top recommendations for sexy items to make this Valentine’s Day memorable (and pleasurable)!

Check out last year’s picks, and our picks from 201520142013, and 2012 for even more ideas.

We-Vibe Nova

We-Vibe Nova

We-Vibe calls Nova the “new dual stimulation superstar,” and we have to agree! While at first glance this toy looks like just any other rabbit style dual vibe, the difference is in its ultra flexible smaller arm. Instead of reaching up and pressing down on top of the clitoris, the Nova’s springy arm curves in toward the handle as the toy is inserted vaginally, allowing you to control the exact placement and pressure. This unique design flexes with your movement to always stay in contact with the clitoris, even during thrusting, for true simultaneous stimulation. Between the deep, rumbly vibrations of the wave-like outer arm and the G-spot-pleasing shape of the insertable portion, it’s no wonder this innovative toy has received so many positive reviews!

Waterproof, rechargeable, and with 10 preset vibration modes, the We-Vibe Nova offers everything sex toy connoisseurs have come to expect in a luxury toy, but it also goes one step further — it has an app! The free We-Connect app can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet to get extra features (like touch screen control) and to create custom vibes. You can even connect and play with a partner from anywhere in the world!

OhMiBod Club Vibe 3.OH

OhMiBod Club Vibe 3.OH

Love the idea of a vibrator that can be controlled by a partner, but want something a little more discreet or portable? You’ll definitely want to check out the Club Vibe 3.OH! This vibrator is designed to be worn in a pair of panties, so it can be used at home for hands-free vibration or taken out in public for some risqué fun. Its built in microphone and ambient noise setting make it great for clubs or concerts, where it can vibrate to the beat of the music!

Lightweight and quiet, this slim little toy has three different modes, a rechargeable, wireless remote control, and comes with a one year warranty. Added bonus: the Club Vibe 3.OH comes with black lace panties and a travel/storage pouch.

Creative Kisses

Creative Kisses

If you’re wanting to be close to your partner in a way that is playful, but not gadget or tech-focused, why not try a sweet game filled with smooches? Creative Kisses includes 101 mini cards that are full of hot and silly ideas for locking lips with your lover. The cards are small enough to pack in a purse or suitcase, and include kissing tips and sexy suggestions written in English, Spanish, French, and German.

Pro tip: look through the deck to find something you’ve never tried but would love to do with your partner, OR have your lover choose a card at random and surprise you with whichever creative kiss is written on it!

Vondage Buckling Restraint

Vondage Buckling Restraint

Searching for an inexpensive and simple gift that still rates high on versatility? Stockroom’s Vondage Buckling Restraint is a nice option for both lovers of c-rings and of BDSM. Originally designed as a vegan alternative to adjustable leather cock rings, this restraint can also function as a wrist or ankle cuff for intro or light bondage. The silver D-ring serves as a point of attachment for a leash or other such device and the adjustability of the ring allows it to fit many different bodies and body parts.

At only $12, this handy little convertible product really gives you a lot of bang for your buck. You could even buy multiples to customize your play or to wear like bracelets as a subtle way to show off your kinky side in public!

XConfessions Volumes 6 and 7

XConfessions Volumes 6 and 7

Acclaimed porn director Erika Lust is at it again — this time with two brand new volumes of her highly-rated and magnificently filmed XConfessions series! XConfessions originally started as a project on Erika Lust’s website, where users anonymously shared their sex fantasies and stories and Lust handpicked her favorite confessions to turn into erotic short films. The idea was so popular that XConfessions has grown into seven DVD compilations.

XConfessions Vol. 6 showcases Lust’s bold creativity and shatters stereotypes, all in 99 steamy minutes. Some of our favorites scenes from this volume include stripteases, assless chaps, a sexy BDSM femdom story, and an unforgettable threesome. XConfessions Vol. 7 also includes many memorable scenes, and is Lust’s most cinematic collection to date. Vol. 7 even includes three short films from guest directors (Paulita Pappel, Olympe de G., and Adriana Eskenazi). You can check out the trailers for both volumes on their product pages, but good luck deciding between the two!

Janie’s Rose Lubricant & Moisturizer

Janie's Rose Lubricant & Moisturizer

A lovely product from Washington state, Janie’s Rose is one of our favorite oil-based lubricants. It also doubles as a vaginal moisturizer and works well as a massage oil!

Ideal for people experiencing dryness that may be brought on by aging, medication, hormone changes, and/or medical treatments, Janie’s Rose is a super moisturizing and nourishing blend of all-natural oils that warms up quickly and provides a long-lasting glide. It is odorless, tasteless, and great for people with sensitive skin. What’s more, Janie’s Rose is cruelty-free and vegan and the 2 oz. bottle is the perfect size for traveling! Just remember, since this product is oil-based, it is not compatible with latex condoms.

Unusual Occasion Love Bug and Heart Throb cards

 Unusual Occasion Love Bug and Heart Throb cards

Dinner reservations? Check. Sex toy and lube from She Bop? Check. Now all you need is the perfect card! Unusual Occasion greeting cards are a great choice for their nostalgic and whimsical visuals, plus they don’t contain any cliché messages or generic sayings. Instead, these cards flip open vertically and are blank on the inside with tableture handwriting lines. That means you have plenty of space to compose a poem, attach a photo, or write a love letter for your sweetie that truly comes from the heart. After all, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about!

Vibratex Mystic Wand Rechargeable

Vibratex Mystic Wand Rechargeable

One of our most-loved vibrators of all time is the original battery-powered Vibratex Mystic Wand. So, when Team Bop heard there was going to be a rechargeable version, we were very excited. Fortunately, the new Mystic Wand Rechargeable not only met our expectations, but exceeded them by improving upon an already great toy! With three steady vibration intensities and three pulse patterns like its battery-operated predecessor, the new rechargeable version is now ergonomically curved for better reach and easier grip.

The Mystic Wand Rechargeable is made from smooth body-safe materials, with a silicone head and silky polyurethane-coated handle. However, the best feature of all may be that you can use it with or without the cord plugged in to the base! If you or your partner enjoy powerful classic vibrators like the Magic Wand or Doxy Massager but don’t want to hold such a large or heavy toy or be tethered to a cord, the Mystic Wand Rechargeable could make a wonderful addition to your toy bag!

Indoor Bound Slip Tie Cuffs

Indoor Bound Slip Tie Cuffs

Thinking of getting your honey something silky and beautiful to slip into this Valentine’s Day? Why not skip lingerie that might not be the right size or style, and go for something a little kinkier?!

The Indoor Bound Slip Tie Cuffs are sleek, soft, and colorful restraints that are handmade in Washington state with top quality nylon webbing, custom coated steel hardware, and full-strength carabiners. They are comfortable, strong, and very easy to use, making them perfect for those who are new to bondage or who may not want to use rope. Simply slip your hands through the loops, pull tight, and clip! You can even combine two sets together for a quick and elegant hog-tie!

Clone-a-Willy Hot Pink Pussy and Dildo

Nothing says “I love you and think your parts are the best” like the gift of a Clone-a-Willy or Clone-a-Pussy! These amusing kits from Portland company Empire Labs allow you to make exact replicas of your genitals from the comfort of your own home. Immortalize you or your lover’s vaginal lips in 100% platinum-cure, body safe silicone! Have a date night where you create a vibrating lifelike dildo that captures all the details of your favorite penis!

With nothing to send away and no 3D printing required, Clone-a-Willy and Clone-a-Pussy kits are the easiest, most entertaining way of making personalized cock and vulva castings. They come in multiple colors and even edible chocolate versions, but for Valentine’s Day, we especially love the hot pink Clone-a-Pussy and hot pink glow in the dark Clone-a-Willy.

Oct
21

Win tickets to HUMP! 2016

HUMP! film festival

HUMP!, the Pacific Northwest’s lovable amateur porn film festival, is right on the horizon! Showings are taking place this November at Revolution Hall in Portland, and some showtimes have already sold out!

We want to help you experience the hot, laugh-out-loud fun of HUMP!, so as in years past, we have some tickets to give away. Three pairs, to be precise! (So each winner can bring a friend.) The tickets are for the following showtime:

  • Friday, November 11th at 11:30 p.m. at Revolution Hall (21+)

In case you aren’t already pumped, the line-up of films have names such as “Cock-a-Pult,” “The Little Merman,” and “Toys, Trans, and Training,” and the trailer below is full of sexy, strange, and intriguing moments!

Enter now!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. The first entry technique is mandatory, and the rest are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on Thursday, November 3rd at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Winners will be chosen randomly and tickets will be emailed to them.

  Giveaways      , ,  
Oct
26

Win tickets to HUMP! 2015

hump-logo-2015

HUMP!, the Pacific Northwest’s lovable amateur porn film festival, is right on the horizon! Showings are taking place over two weekends in November at Revolution Hall in Portland, and some showtimes have already sold out!

We want to help you experience the hot, laugh-out-loud fun of HUMP!, so as in years past, we have some tickets to give away. Two pairs, to be precise! (So each winner can bring a friend.) We have a pair of tickets to each of the following showtimes during HUMP’s opening weekend:

  • Friday, November 6th at 11:30 p.m. (21+)
  • Saturday, November 7th at 3:00 p.m. (18+)

In case you aren’t already pumped, the line-up of films have names such as “Film Bonoir,” “Two Boys and Some Rope,” and “I Fist a Grrrl,” and the trailer below is full of sexy, strange, and intriguing moments!

 

Enter now!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. The first two entry options are mandatory, and the rest are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on Sunday, November 1st at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Winners will be chosen randomly and tickets will be emailed to them.

  Giveaways      , ,  
Oct
1

Industry Spotlight: Candida Royalle

While I never knew Ms. Royalle personally, in many ways, I owe my career to her. I got my start in the adult industry by making films that asked for an approachable, authentic, pornographic performance that would appeal to women and couples — a niche that may have never existed had it not been for Royalle’s influential work.

Siousxie Q

Candida RoyalleArt and entrepreneurship were in Candida Royalle’s blood. Born in Brooklyn in the fall of 1950, she grew up performing and training in dance, art, and music. The daughter of a professional jazz drummer, she was active in the women’s moment and attended prestigious schools such as Parsons School of Design. After a few bouts of clerical work, Royalle knew she was destined for more creative, free-wheeling endeavors — so at the age of 22, she moved across the country to San Francisco.

In her new city, Royalle led a bohemian lifestyle. She sang in jazz clubs, made art, and helped put on experimental theater productions with her new drag queen friends (including some of the original members of the Cockettes). To scrape up money for rent, she worked as an artist’s model.

Then, one day, her boyfriend landed a lead role in a big-budget porn movie. Royalle visited the set and was surprised to find it populated with attractive performers and professional crew — not a single sleazeball. The director was none other than Anthony Spinelli, a well-loved director during what was later coined the “Golden Age of Porn.”

It was not what she had expected from a porn set.

As her understanding of porn movies evolved, performing in them seemed more and more enticing. The money was great, especially for a struggling artist. It was the height of the sexual revolution, and cultural attitudes around sex were relaxed. Plus, Royalle was a born performer. We make love behind closed doors, she thought. Why not for others to view and enjoy?

In the span of several years, Royalle performed in about 25 adult feature films including Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls (for which she learned to skateboard) and Hot Rackets (in a sensual massage scene with her close friend Laurien Dominique). She loved being pampered and playing different roles, but overall, she found the experience predictable and uninspiring. Her creativity was not being stoked.

So, after 8 years in San Francisco, she returned to New York City and retired from porn performing. There, she flexed her writing talents by penning columns for men’s magazines such as High Times and Cheri. In 1983 she formed the world’s first porn star support group, Club 90. During one meeting, the enterprising women discussed how best to utilize the names they had built for themselves in the industry.

No longer wishing to perform in front of someone else’s lens, Royalle came up with a new plan. In 1984, she made her biggest and most lasting career move — she founded Femme Productions, Inc., the first adult production company owned solely by a woman. She explained:

Humans have been curious to look at erotic art and explicit sexual art forever since they etched and carved images into caves on walls, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. What I did feel was that these movies were being sold on the backs of women, and there was nothing about women’s sexuality . . .

At the same time I could tell women were becoming more curious and felt permission to explore their sexuality due to the woman’s movement of the late ’60’s, early ’70’s. With the advent of home video they had a safe place to look, but there was nothing out there for them . . . I saw a challenging new market that no one was paying attention to and I felt I would be a perfect person to provide content for it: my whole education had been in the arts, I had been a performer in adult movies and had first-hand experience on the set, and, having been a feminist activist in college, I liked the political challenge of putting a woman’s voice to a genre everyone assumed was for men only.

Before shooting the first movie for her company, Candida Royalle met with a successful porn producer to pick his brain. When she mentioned that there would not be facial money shots in her films, the man was so appalled that he called her investors to warn them they were going to lose money.

But they didn’t lose money — they made money. The world was ready for Royalle’s fresh style of filmmaking. Unlike most movies of the past, Royalle’s depicted genuine female desire. Using her own turn-ons as inspiration, Royalle crafted films featuring believable storylines, dynamic characters, and of course, sizzling sex. Above all, there was nuance.

Candida Royalle

In her career as an erotic filmmaker Royalle produced and directed 19 films in a range of genres, from drama to mystery and even satire. Stud Hunters hilariously spoofed the porn industry, while Eyes of Desire and Eyes of Desire 2 explored themes of voyeurism and soul-searching. Royalle also mentored other female directors, often giving them the directorial reins — as in the case of Afrodite Superstar and Caribbean Heat.

In 1999, Royalle released a line of sex toys called Natural Contours. A collaboration between Royalle and Dutch industrial designer Jandirk Groet, the toys were tasteful, ergonomic, and innocuous enough to appeal to mainstream sensibilities. The line was ahead of its time, coming out before now-ubiquitous sex toy companies such as LELOJimmyjane, and We-Vibe were even founded. The line’s Energie kegel exerciser remains a great option for PC muscle strengthening.

As a revolutionary in the feminist porn movement, Royalle spoke and lectured at universities and prestigious locales such as the Smithsonian Institute and the American Psychiatric Association. In 2004, she published her first book, How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do, and later contributed essays to The Feminist Porn Book and Coming Out Like a Porn Star.

In interviews, Candida Royalle often joked about her unlikely career. When asked what are you wearing? in a 20-questions style interview, she answered, “I’m wearing a lacy black push-up bra and the skimpiest black panties . . . okay, reality check: I’m wearing a turtleneck sweater with a pair of ultra-warm leggings over organic cotton tights.” More a homebody than a seductress, Royalle loved yoga, gardening, decorating her house, and spending time with family, friends, and her cats.

In 2006, Royalle won one of the first Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Feminist Porn Awards. She also received an honorary Doctor of Human Sexuality degree from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. In 2014, production began on a documentary called While You Were Gone: The Untold Story of Candida Royalle, a movie about Royalle’s search for her birth mother.

Royalle was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the summer of 2010. She fought the disease for years until, a few weeks ago, she died at the age of 64. Many would point to her awards and accolades as evidence of a life well-lived, but in a recent interview, Candida Royalle asked instead to be remembered for her independence, perseverance, and compassion for animals.

Sep
21

Jiz Lee’s Sex Tips from the Porn Set

Jiz LeeThursday, October 8th — 7:30 pm — $20

Veteran porn star Jiz Lee shares the top sex tips from a decade of making love for the camera in this special She Bop appearance! This workshop brings the tools and tricks from adult films into the bedroom. Who needs a ‘fluffer’ when you’ll learn foreplay, new enticing positions to add to your repertoire, shortcuts to ease transitions between sexual activities, and sex hacks to impress your partner.

Plus, discover the nuances of “real sex” vs “porn sex” and learn important correlations between sexual health and nutrition. By the end of the night, you’ll have the tools to make your bedroom as sexy (and functional) as a professional film set.

Following the workshop, Jiz will sign copies of their new book, Coming Out Like a Porn Star.

Adult industry veteran Jiz Lee has performed in porn for over a decade, appearing in more than 200 projects spanning six countries and many genres. A versatile performer and key player in the queer porn movement, Jiz has been the recipient of several Feminist Porn Awards, including Heartthrob of the Year. Jiz has presented at universities, worked behind the scenes at Pink & White Productions (CrashPadSeries.com, PinkLabel.tv), and been published in The Feminist Porn Book. Ever fascinated by the radical potential of sex, love, and art, Jiz blogs at JizLee.com.

This class has already taken place. Thanks for attending!

  Events      ,  
Aug
29

HUMP! submission deadline: September 30th

hump-2015-call-for-submissionsAs summer enters its last weeks, the annual HUMP! submission deadline looms near. If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toes into porn-making or starring in an erotic film, HUMP! is the film festival for you. HUMP! accepts films from all across the spectrum of sexuality, gender identity, kink, and style — from softcore to hardcore, animated to live action. We love HUMP!, so we’re sponsoring again this year!

This year’s extra credit props are hula hoops and Mike Huckabee’s book God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. Add these items to your film to show the audience your film was created especially for this year’s HUMP!.

Appearing in a film for HUMP! means getting to be a porn star in a movie theater — not on the internet. Winning films will be shown in Seattle and Portland, then in a national tour. This year, all filmmakers will receive a portion of the tour’s ticket sales. Audience ballots will also determine winners of Best Humor, Best Sex, Best Kink, and Best in Show — all of whom will receive cash prizes.

Films must be under 5 minutes in length and can be submitted digitally or physically. The deadline for submission is no later than Wednesday, September 30th at 3 p.m. Further instructions for submission can be found here.

  Community      , ,  
May
24

Shine Louise Houston’s latest queer venture

snapshot-film

Many in the adult industry are familiar with Shine Louise Houston’s work. She’s the founder of Pink & White Productions, which has been in operation for 10 years. She’s the mastermind behind The Crash Pad, a porn series about a secretive San Francisco apartment where queer folks go to have spectacular sex. Her other films, Superfreak, The Wild Search, and Champion, have all won numerous accolades. Along the way, Houston has always kept focus on what matters to her: representing queer communities and queer communities of color.

Houston’s latest project is SNAPSHOT, a not-so-typical queer love story for which she’s currently seeking crowdfunding. The film will be an erotic suspense thriller with two women of color as its main characters: Charlie meets Danny while pursuing a murderer she accidentally photographed. Houston’s penchant for thoughtful storytelling and moody cinematic style will surely be on display, all with hot, explicit sex woven into the storyline.


SNAPSHOT 
will be Houston’s fifth feature film, and the first that her production company will have complete control over. Independently producing the film will allow for more creative control, more time to edit, and more profit. Aside from these benefits, the importance of queer porn in general cannot be overstated. The crowdfunding campaign explains:

Though we consider Pink & White to be an entertainment company, we regularly receive feedback from viewers who tell us that our films help them to better understand themselves and to appreciate their bodies — especially brown bodies — as being worthy of healthy and happy sexuality. Through intimate portrayals, the films become a mirror for queer people with diverse bodies and desires. It’s rare enough to see stories of gay, lesbian, or trans sexuality that include people of color, let alone ones which casts them center-stage. SNAPSHOT is our story, but is also in a unique position to validate our experiences, and inspire a new generation of filmmakers.

Jiz LeeThe campaign’s goal is $40,000, which will pay for cast and crew, taxes, insurance, and food during production. If they exceed the initial goal by at least $10,000, they will release a behind the scenes video of the filmmaking process, and give all backers access to the early online screening.

Perks include DVDs, postcards, luxurious glass dildos, a Skype session with Shine, a cameo in the movie — or, get your name written somewhere cool: on Houston’s clapperboard, on Jiz Lee’s belly (that’s what we went for!), or in the closing credits of the film.

The campaign ends on July 2nd. If you can’t donate, consider sharing the campaign on social media (tag @ShineLouise, @PinkWhite, and #SNAPSHOTtheFILM).

Apr
30

The academic study of porn

Illustration by AnotherExample.

Taking an analytical eye to porn is not new. When feature-length porn films began playing in movie theaters in the 1970s, some feminist scholars and activists reacted with disdain, arguing that porn was inherently objectifying. Others disagreed, leading journalist and activist Ellen Willis to coin the term “pro-sex feminism” in 1981.

Around this time, film scholar Linda Williams wrote the groundbreaking book Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible, and Concordia University film studies professor Thomas Waugh started including porn in his classes on sexuality and cinema. The school endorsed his decision, but colleagues often did not.

It’s been 30 years since then, and, as shown by this excellent piece in University Affairs, interest in the study of porn has not waned. In fact, there’s a new academic journal from Routledge called Porn Studies, created specifically to compile scholarship on the subject. At the helm of the publication is Lynn Comella, associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has been teaching about porn since 2001. Only after receiving tenure last July did she dare use the word “porn” in her course title.

What does a class on porn look like? Well, take the aptly-named “Porn Studies,” taught at York University by associate professor of sexuality and gender studies Bobby Noble. It’s held at 8:30 in the morning with the aim of attracting only serious pupils. For the first several weeks of class, students aren’t shown any film clips, photos, or images — instead, they discuss what pornography is and what assumptions are made about it. The first images they see are those of Victorian women from the 1850s.

In later weeks, Noble teaches about more contemporary issues such as queer and feminist porn, and the ways in which modern technology has altered the consumption and perception of the medium. “I was very impressed by their levels of maturity, the levels of sophistication, their poetical analyses,” Noble said about the first time he taught the class. “I could tell that these were questions about sexuality and sexual representation that they wanted to talk about, but haven’t had the space in which to do that.”

Meanwhile, Noble’s colleague at York University Lisa Sloniowski is compiling the Feminist Pornography Archive, which originally existed simply to provide materials for students taking applicable courses. It received a three-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2010, and Sloniowski is now tackling the difficult questions: what is feminist porn, actually? Will the collection reside in the library itself or in a more private location? How will it operate in the digital age?

Ultimately, the study of pornography is similar to studying any artistic medium. Rebecca Sullivan, who teaches an advanced film seminar on pornography at the University of Calgary, explained:

I want to look at this film the same way we’d look at Hitchcock. What’s going on here? What do we learn? How do we embrace or resist it? Let’s move away from the pro- and anti- argument. It’s divisive and counterproductive. And it’s bad scholarship.

Read the whole piece at University Affairs.

  Musings      ,  
Feb
1

New product round-up for January

LELO Mona Wave and Ina Wave

When it comes to new technological innovations, LELO is always coming up with something exciting. This month it’s the Mona Wave and Ina Wave, based on their popular Mona and Ina vibrators. These unique toys have shafts that physically move up and down, mimicking a “come hither” motion against the G-spot.

LELO also released an upgraded version of one of their classic vibrators: Siri 2. We’re thrilled that this toy is now waterproof and more powerful than before! It even has a sound-responsive setting, enabling the toy to vibrate to any music playing in its vicinity.

We have several other new toys — the Crave Vesper, OhMiBod Lovelife Cuddle, Bettie Page Buzzin’ Bullet, and Fun Factory ShareVibe — which are featured in our Valentine’s Day Picks. Visit that post for more information about each!

New DVDs from Erika Lust and Courtney Trouble

Prolific feminist porn maker Erika Lust just released the third installment of her DVD series X Confessions. With stories based on anonymous sex confessions submitted to her site, this compilation features group sex, roleplay, outdoor sex, ice play, strap-on sex, and more! We also picked up some delicious new queer porn from Courtney TroubleFucking MysticFuckstyles 2: Dirty Fucks, and Trans Lesbians.

Our latest books include Best Women’s Erotica 2015, Kissing: A Field GuideAs Kinky As You Wanna Be: Your Guide to Safe, Sane, and Smart BDSM, and the latest from the venerable senior sex expert Joan Price, The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty. The new Original Plumbing is the Selfie Issue, featuring reader-submitted photos and ruminations on trans portrayals in popular culture!

Finally, just in time for Valentine’s Day, we snagged some of Filthy Farmgirl’s fabulous Filthy Valentine soap! The scent is cardamom rose, and it is lovely.

Jan
29

Good porn for women: it exists!

Cover of Erika Lust's film, HandcuffsJournalists, especially those not familiar with the adult industry, can sometimes make sweeping statements that aren’t exactly correct. For example, it is common for a mainstream journalist or blogger to off-handedly lament that there is no porn out there for women.

That’s what happened when Nikki Gloudeman wrote an article at Ravishly arguing that she couldn’t find any tasteful, well-acted porn for women. While she conceded that feminist porn does exist, she insisted that all of it was “decidedly low-budget and short on a truly compelling plotline.”

This isn’t true, and readers and porn filmmakers alike rushed in with evidence to the contrary. A month later, Gloudeman wrote a follow-up post. “I was wrong. Very wrong. Shamefully wrong,” she wrote. She was sent a box of DVDs from Jacky St. James, director of New Sensations’ Romance Series.

I immediately curled up on the couch to watch a rom-com sex romp called The Friend Zone. And, well . . . it was good. Like, really good. It had legitimate production values. The acting ranged from just fine to truly impressive. The script was funnier than most mainstream rom-coms in theaters today (Hollywood producers, take note). And . . . what’s this? Is that a sex scene involving people who actually seem to care about one another? Is that woman being respected as she’s being pleasured? Is that a condom I see?

The experience was, in a word, a revelation, satisfying in every desired way.

With this new world opened up, Gloudemen set out to interview several women doing great things within the adult industry. She talked to two producers of adult DVDs, Erika Lust and Jacky St. James, and two owners of erotic websites, Angie Rowntree of Sssh.com and Anna of FrolicMe.com.

Rowntree began in the mid-’90s, when everyone told her there was no market for women’s porn, and she has been steadily proving them wrong ever since. Anna started with an erotic blog, which then morphed into writing stories and making films with the same sensual aesthetic. Lust studied political science and took film directing classes before shooting her first erotic short, which was so popular it changed the course of her life. Jacky St. James, an avid porn consumer, happened upon a script-writing contest for New Sensations’ Romance Series. The company loved her submission, and she soon quit her corporate job to write and direct full-time.

Ultimately, all four women were dissatisfied with some facet of the erotic material they consumed (as Erika Lust put it: “when I first watched porn the feminist in me felt cheated, the activist in me felt mad and the sexual me felt . . . aroused”), and that is part of what drives them to make something different.

Gloudemen asked each of them about their personal histories with porn, their goals and ideals with their work, what they think about the word “porn,” and where feminism fits in with what they do. The interview is full of amazing and thoughtful answers, but Rowntree’s response to the question “why is it important for women to have access to adult films that resonate with them?” is particularly insightful:

One of the criticisms I hear the most about the porn industry is that its products objectify women and present us in a very unflattering way—and that’s true of a lot of porn. To me, though, the answer isn’t to protest the porn industry, try to get porn censored, or even to spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince people that porn is bad. To me, the answer is to make better porn. The answer is to make porn that does present women in a good light, that does depict true intimacy and that does emphasize mutual pleasure, instead of reducing the women it depicts to being mere objects of men’s pleasure.

All four women urged readers to always keep looking if they can’t find porn that appeals to them. Go beyond tube sites and rudimentary Google searches. Peruse the nominees and winners of the Feminist Porn Awards. Visit sex shops and ask questions. It’s out there, and it’s really well-done — you just have to dig a little bit deeper.

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