Sixteenth Post – Do You Find My Feet Suckable?

  Erika Lust makes erotic films. I am a huge fan of her work, her ethics and the way she is bringing beautiful, sex positive films to the public. 

The inclusion of her work at last years Raindance Film festival in London and such high demand for her work in Berlin that a second screening was organised signalled a positive step in how we not only consume pornography but how we acknowledge it as a healthy, commonplace sexual expression.

Last month Erika, and her company Lust Films suffered a set back in this development.

YouTube have removed a safe for work edit of Erika’s film Do You Find My Feet Suckable? and a subsequent response video by Erika from their website on the grounds that the nudity and sexual content is in violation of their guidelines.

Erika’s response video is full of nudity and sexual content – all taken from music videos and sexually explicit films still showing on YouTube. There were too many bums for me to process on a Thursday morning. Too many silicone breasts stuffed into tight tops to feel comfortable before coffee.

Do You Find My Feet Suckable? has no nudity whatsoever. There is some male torso action and a couple of lovely long legs but thats it. That is it.

The premise of the film is a male fantasy of approaching a woman in a library for her to ask him the eponymous question and then invite him to worship her feet when he answers in the affirmative.

The erotic film, which I have seen the SFW version and a cinematic cut (at Raindance) and loved both, uses subtle sexual tension and a strong, relatable narrative. It has been adjusted to remove the explicit content but the overall effect remains the same. It is incredibly sexy, sex positive and beautifully made.

Check out the edit, available on Vimeo here and the response video here and decide for yourselves. As yet, YouTube have yet to answer to any of Erika’s responses. 

Show your support for this unreasonable censorship of filmmaking by sharing as much as you can, publicly or privately with friends.

Follow Erika on Twitter @ErikaLust 

Fifteenth Post – XConfessions in Berlin

Erotic filmmaker Erika Lust is showing a director’s cut of XConfessions tonight in Berlin. 

The event is hosted by the Berlin Film Society. The XConfessions series is inspired by online confessions posted by visitors to her website. This is the first time an event addressing explicit erotic films that explore the narrative of sex as cinematic creations has been held by the society. 

   

I was able to see XConfessions at London’s Raindance Film Festival in September. Watching a director’s cut of pornography in a public cinema space felt exciting and strange – we are so used to keeping our sex lives locked away in our bedrooms, confined to a computer (or smart phone) screen. 

Sharing this moment with strangers felt new and dangerous. An act of sexual expression which had nothing to do with any of us getting naked. A declaration that we watch pornography – it was significant that on the night I went, the majority of the audience were female. 
Despite a lot of questions I still get for being a woman interested in writing about pornography, it just shows women do watch porn!

Lust’s work looked incredible on the big screen – a testament to her artistic filmmaking as well as her bold approach to depicting female sexual agency and pleasure.
Due to high demand for the screening, which has now sold out, the Berlin Film Society is hosting an encore screening of XConfessions on Friday 12th February (Babylon Kino, 9:45pm). If you are in Berlin, go and experience this for yourself. Details here.

If you’re not in Berlin go to xconfessions.com to see the full online versions of Lust’s work, featuring incredible performers and created by a nearly all female production team.

For more information on Erika Lust’s work in feminist pornography check out my recently published article in the International Business Times.

Fourteenth Post – Written in The International Business Times

Last month I wrote an article for The International Business Times featuring erotic filmmakers Erika Lust and Vex Ashley. 

The article was published at a time when Bollywood actress and former porn star Sunny Leone was praised in social media for her grace under the pressure of a sex-shaming interviewer. A positive moment for women in the porn industry but highlights how far we have yet to go.

Read the full article here.

Twelfth Post – Happy Birthday Porn Protest!

A year ago we assembled at Old Palace Yard in Westminster to protest against the changes in the law banning certain sexual acts 

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 which bans sex involving using bondage and/or gags, fisting, facesitting, urination, female ejaculation and spanking or caning beyond moderation was brought into effect on 1st December 2014 – without any public consultation. 

On 12th December 2014 we gathered together to show our frustrations, to meet other like minded people and to whip up a media frenzy to raise awareness of the suppression of sexual and creative freedoms within independent pornography. I covered the event in my blog last year.

In the following months I interviewed Courtney Trouble and Jiz Lee for a small series of posts on the changes in legislation called Criminal Behaviours and wrote a guest blog on consent for a Girl on the Net. It formed a huge part of my writing in the past year, and when I got the email from Charlotte Rose announcing a second protest I cleared my Saturday afternoon and dug out my warmest jumper for more activism in the cold.

Exactly one year on, we gathered back together in the same place to show our solidarity and defiance against the threat to our sexual freedom.

Charlotte Rose, organiser of both Porn Protest 2014 and 2015, is keen to raise as much public awareness as possible on the changing laws.

“If we stop fighting, the next generation will have nothing left to protect,” she explains.

“The excuse of ‘protect the children’ is the only reasoning that the government claim, yet all children that want further information about sex are being denied this education in school.”

The Internet provides a resource to learn about anything you could think of, but when it becomes the only method to learn about sex this warps our understanding of a fundamental human impulse. Both young people and adults stand to suffer if we remain silent about sex and let erotic entertainment perpetuate misconceptions about sexual expression. 
 Charlotte Rose adds “the attack on consensual activities is growing. If we don’t do something now we will be put into sexual oppression and no government has the right to take your personal liberties away!”
There were speeches from key players in the fight against the legislation at the protest, such as Jerry Barnett from Sex and Censorship, Jane Fae of Backlash and obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman. We also heard from representatives from the NHS, a plethora of sex workers and a women’s sexuality group which had not existed this time last year. It was inspiring and galvanising to witness speeches from these men and women.

Pandora Blake, who was present at last year’s protest, is an erotic artist, producing, directing and performing in films featuring spanking – illegal since December 2014. She has been a visible public advocate of sexual expression since, had sent a message from her holiday to be read out at the protest.
Pandora’s website, Dreams of Spanking, was shut down in August 2015. We spoke before the protest about her experiences in the past year. 

“When the regulations came in I wasn’t sure how they would play out in practice. Sometimes vaguely worded or ill-thought out laws are brought in, but not actively enforced. However, the enforcement was far swifter, and more heavy handed, than I expected.”

During the several months of investigation, with the support from Backlash and Myles Jackman, Pandora fougaht the actions every step of the way. The final decision was given in August and the website was taken offline. Pandora remembers being informed of the investigation swiftly after appearing on a panel on pornography for BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour. 

“It seems likely that my public criticism of the new regulations brought me to ATVOD’s attention,” she concludes.

“Many of my fellow pornographers who distribute similar work depicting spanking that leaves lasting marks have not yet been contacted, so it’s hard not to see it as political censorship.”

This targeting reflects a growing concern that it isn’t about the content, but how we publicly express our rights to sexual freedom. Pornography is only the first step on a much more sinister journey to suppress freedom of speech. Encouraging people to speak out against restrictions on UK pornography is problematic in that barely anybody will admit they consume any kind of erotic media. 

It is important to keep having these conversations, with as many people you feel comfortable with, to make as many people as possible aware of how online expression is being affected. We cannot leave it to porn producers and sex workers to fight for our rights as consumers of online media. This has the potential to affect everybody, and you know you will miss it if (/when) it goes.

Follow Charlotte Rose on Twitter, check out Sex and Censorship and Backlash‘s websites and join the conversation.

Criminal Behaviours – Ban This Sick Filth

So I’m a little late to the party, but this totally merits blogging about:

There is a compilation of all recently banned acts available to enjoy. American producers Courtney Trouble and Kitty Stryker have joined forces with UK producer Pandora Blake to create Ban This Sick Filth; part-documentary, part sex tape response to the changes in UK law.

Think of it as a sexumentary.

“A compilation of films and interviews on porn censorship and its impact in the UK and USA, “Ban This Sick Filth!” is a political and sexual revolution.” – Ban This Sick Filth

DVD_wrap_templateI recently featured Courtney Trouble and Kitty Stryker in my blog on female ejaculation. Trouble mentioned this project in her interview and its fantastic to see it is now a reality. The project is available to either download or own on DVD.

Pandora Blake has also released this video blog, featured on the compilation, which outlines the changes in the law and how it affects her as a fetish porn producer in the UK. It is well worth a watch. A written account of her involvement in the project is also available here.

“This is the sort of resistance I like best: rebelling against censorship by deliberately distributing banned material, combined with fundraising and education about the issues.”– Pandora Blake

glamour-shots-4159

This response communicates how resilient, creative and eloquent producers in the porn industry are. These laws affect the kinky, queer and feminist film makers way more than the dreaded mainstream hardcore porn makers. It is great to see how we can argue our case for accessible, sex-positive porn, which embraces all niches in a safe sane and consensual way.

Ban This Sick Filth beautifully demonstrates how we can effectively communicate our point of view, as well as demonstrate how much fun these fully consensual acts can be.

Ban This Sick Filth is available to buy via this link.

Follow Courtney Trouble, Kitty Stryker and Pandora Blake on Twitter.

Criminal Behaviours: Female Ejaculation

Female ejaculation is the expulsion of fluid from the paraurethral gland before or during orgasm. That’s the official scientific description, you can read it on Wikipedia. Actually doing it feels a lot better than the sterile description offered online.

People have tried to make me squirt like it’s an achievement. It was something they wanted to do to me, rather than something I wanted. When they tried it felt too much like I wanted to piss and I couldn’t do it.

The first time I did squirt it was by accident. Sir was using his fingers inside me, giving me a good, hard fucking and suddenly he felt something wet hit his forearm. It took us both by surprise; we weren’t trying to make me squirt. I think that is why it happened – no performance anxiety. We quickly made making me squirt our new project.

I enjoy the release of it, and the mess it makes.

Courtney Trouble and Zahra Stardust c/o Trouble Films

Courtney Trouble and Zahra Stardust c/o Trouble Films

Courtney Trouble is a pornographer based in the USA. Her company, Trouble Films, produces queer and kinky porn starring fabulous performers who enjoy a lot of the acts on the UK porn ban.

“It is sexist and oppressive to allow male ejaculation in adult entertainment and ban female ejaculation and porn will continue to be an oppressive place  until these bans are lifted,” Trouble says.

“There is nothing categorically obscene about a woman – or any person – having an orgasm, or what lovers do with that orgasm.”

Men are still free to ejaculate however (and on whomever) they please. A huge amount of porn finishes with a man coming – usually on someone’s face – this is still legal.

Male ejaculate is often used to degrade or to show ownership of whomever is receiving the face full. It carries risk of sexually transmitted infection and frankly, it can sting if you get it in your eye. Female ejaculation doesn’t show dominance. It is largely overlooked by scientific testing so it is unknown if female ejaculate is a carrier of STIs. So little is known about it, it is a contentious issue whether it is actually real.

As for the eye stinging, I’ve yet to find out about that, my aim is pretty good.

“Female ejaculation is an orgasm, plain and simple. There wouldn’t be any mystery about it if science had treated the sexuality of women with any amount of dignity or respect,” Trouble adds.

Courtney Trouble

Courtney Trouble

Trouble Films have released a fantastic blog by Assistant Pornographer Kitty Stryker which addresses each of the banned acts and showcases a wealth of defiant films.

Trouble Films are still able to make and produce lots of lovely pornography in the US. Trouble aims to release a Banned in the UK DVD or film in the near future in support of her British peers.

“I would only surmise that if a similar ban passed in the USA, I would be jumping the gun to protest. I imagine my response would be more artistic and boisterous, like making a Banned in the USA live porn show and take it on tour. I’d have to take to the streets to protect my art and my rights to free speech.”

I would buy tickets to that show in a heartbeat.

Follow Courtney Trouble on twitter or check out her website here. For more information on Trouble Films click here.

Criminal Behaviours: Fisting

The word ‘fisting’ is deceptively violent. The act of fisting in sex is far less aggressive.

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Fisting is where someone gradually inserts their entire hand into their partner (or themselves) and can be performed on men and women alike. There are no sudden movements, it isn’t an act of aggression. How the hand moves (or doesn’t) is a matter of preference, like the difference between rough sex and gentle love-making.

In my experience fisting has been a slow process. It isn’t something that is part of my regular sexual activity, but rather something to enjoy with my partner on evenings where I’ve felt particularly aroused.

Trust is a huge part of fisting. For my partner to fist me, I have to relax and they have to go slow. It takes patience. It is a gradual build-up of fingers and a lot of lube. It isn’t aggressive at all; it’s one of the most intimate things I can experience with her.

When Sir fists me, it offers a rare moment of quiet. Our scenes are usually punctuated with strikes, and cries of either pleasure or pain. Being fisted as a submissive is different. He is quiet with concentration, I’m almost silent with fear and excitement. His hands are strong, I know the aggression he is capable of. He could hurt me with the slightest movement of his hand when doing this. Sir is gentle with me, he continuously checks to see if I’m ok. It is an act of complete trust. It’s also really hot.

Fisting Day was set up by porn performers Jiz Lee and Courtney Trouble in 2011. Rather than being the latest Hallmark holiday, Fisting Day aims to tackle this widespread censorship, to tackle the myth that fisting – an act globally censored in pornography – is inherently painful, obscene or wrong.

The day, held on 21st October, welcomes contributions from bloggers, journalists, film makers and other fisting enthusiasts.

“I do not think [fisting] is disgusting or offensive,” says co-founder and genderqueer porn performer Jiz Lee. “Many people think sex in and of itself is obscene.”

Lee discovered fisting in their twenties. They describe their love of fisting in  their blog, which you can enjoy in its entirety. With such a positive description from Lee, it is hard to understand why fisting has such a bad representation.

“Some people think fisting is intense in a bad way — that it hurts,” Lee writes. “But anyone who loves fisting knows that it can be the most intimate and beautifully connecting experience with a lover. [It] isn’t any more scary than any kind of unwelcome sexual advance.”

Fisting does not carry a higher risk of harm. All sex acts can be weaponised fisting can be conceived as violent, but so can missionary heterosexual penetrative sex.

Lee adds deeming one consensual sex act more acceptable than another “creates an unhealthy limitation on the diversity of human sexuality.”

The ban compromises the freedom of speech amongst UK porn producers. The legislation may even impact on an individual level.

“To restrict the depiction of a sex act means the possibility to restrict the sex act itself,” Lee explains.

Jiz Lee

Jiz Lee

The laws do not directly affect Lee, who is an American performer but they have worked in the UK before and now feel constrained by our country’s laws.

“I’ve only shot once in the UK, with Petra Joy. The film is(S)he Comes, and it features a scene where I ejaculate.” Lee expressed some concern about the ejaculation, and the absurdity of worrying about it at all!

“It feels ridiculous to be concerned about it, especially considering the feminist platform of it’s director.”

Fisting is intimate, however unconventional it may seem. For those who enjoy it, the question of violence is so far removed from the act that it’s aggressive moniker belies the pleasure and satisfaction it can offer.

Many thanks to Jiz Lee for their contribution to this blog post. Follow Jiz Lee on Twitter and check out their website here.