Yesterday Madison Young shot some content for her production company with HBO on set to document it for their series Real Sex. The series has been around for a while; I recall at some point years ago catching a segment on Tantra that brought up the idea of different yoni animals to describe sexual appetites and ideal sex positioning depending on the shape of your cunt. Thank you HBO Real Sex for that random factoid. How authentic was it? I have no idea. But it was interesting. Annie Sprinkle has also graced the series — appearing on it seems to be a mark of visibility and notoriety that any person in the sex industry would take if given the opportunity. Like being on the Tyra Banks Show.
Whenever the mainstream view wants to portray a niche idea, the subject has to be contextualized, explained, simplified, and made accessible to the widest audience possible. So it should be no surprise that HBO trying to document feminist porn would want to cast the experiment in their own words, and also no surprise that in doing so they might step on toes.
I assisted the shoot by doing a favor and printing out 2257 documents. I was not invited on set so I followed online via Twitter. I’m not quite sure what happened other than the HBO folks not liking Danny Wylde’s Metal and turning it off.
Syd Blakovich and Kimberly Kane expressing their disapproval of HBO turning down the Music.
I’m curious just how bad it was. I texted my partner Syd Blakovich about how it went, and all I got back was “Fuct”… sooooo… who knows exactly what happened that was so disappointing, other than what could be expected? This morning I saw the open invitation from Madison Young to come to Femina Potens and to be queer and be visible. I’ve reposted it below, but first have some conflicted feelings about the situation that I want to share.
Here it goes: I think there’s good in selling out.
There, I said it. I think there’s visibility in it. Madison Young has privilege to access the mainstream, which she’s exploited to bring visibility to queer and feminist sex. I applaud her on this, as it’s done some good!
For example, she invited Syd Blakovich to walk the AVN red carpet with her. While the AVN and Porn Industry at large could care less about queer porn because they go where the money is — which means they’ll soon be interested because queer porn is starting to develop quite an audience — Syd’s presence on the red carpet raised some eyebrows and pushed queer porn visibility to the mainstream.
Madison is doing it again with bringing the queer and feminist world of porn into the mainstream. This time instead of AVN, it’s HBO. She invited Syd Blakovich and Shine Louise Houston on set as crew, and hired Kimberly Kane and Danny Wylde, some of her favorite performers.
Kimberly Kane, Danny Wylde, and Shine Louise Houston
HBO will spin their documentary however they want to with what footage they have. If that means a bunch of queers show up at the gallery demanding visibility, I’m not sure what the producers will do with it. (No shaved heads allowed?) In any case, I had said that I’d be there to support the gallery and I’m super curious to witness the inner-workings of HBO and see for myself how “fuct” it can be. Should be interesting.
As a queer feminist pornographer and artist who considers my craft and career to be much more than a day/night job but an extension of who I am, my politics and the movement that I am a part of, I was hugely offended by HBO’s politics that descended upon Madison Young Productions.
In being a sex positive feminist pornographer I strive to create a positive environment for my crew and talent. I feel like much of that environment and communication was compromised between me and my crew by having a mainstream network in our space and commanding and overriding decisions that should have been left up to me and my crew if they were interested in documenting our sex positive productions and practices. But instead we were all stripped of our power, left feeling exploited, and disempowered by a mainstream entity.
As the director, I own this experience. I brought in my sex positive comrades. People that I believe in. People that I want on my team and who I greatly admire their work and wanted to see them gain visibility. People like creative genius and revolutionary Shine Louise Houston and Syd Blakovich and fellow filmmakers, alternative thinkers, and performers Kimberly Kane and Daniel. These people are part of my team, my community, my family. And for any of these sexual revolutionaries to experience exploitation is not something that I want to be a part of.
The scenes with between Daniel and I and Kimberly and I were powerful, connected, communicative, aggressive, genuine and sex positive. I feel like the interview that I did after the scenes was informative and strong. But all of the world that buzzed around us. The mainstream world trying to grasp and capture a inkling of our culture was compromised of something completely different and I think it had the strongest effect on our crew.
This has deeply effected me. I thought about other sex positive heroes and mentors of mine such as Carol Queen and Annie Sprinkle. How has Annie tackled 4 Real Sex episodes? How has she created so much education around art and sex, sex positivity and sex? How has she tackled the mainstream? Over tears and pasta I looked up and I asked Mr Mogul “What would Annie do?” He suggested that I call her. And I did. I love Annie. She is my adopted mother and I don’t know what I would do with out her guidance and strength.
Annie said that we need to go through with this, but do it our way. Don’t be afraid to say no. To stand up for ourselves. So simple but so intimidating it seems. We need to create dialogue.
We can’t hide. And we can’t be exploited. So we must stand up for who we are and what we believe in. Tonight we will be filming at Femina Potens at around 6:30pm ,our art reception. We must stand up for ourselves. I want to hear from our community. This gallery is your space. It is our space. It is an honest reflection of who we are uncensored and I won’t have it any other way. I encourage you all to make your voices heard. Organize protests outside the gallery, crash the party, show up and be yourself, bring signs, wear buttons, start conversations and dialogue there about queer mainstream visibility and how we can destroy their exploitation. Today will be about our community in all its diversity, in all of its politics, in all of our opinions. We need to respect one another and open communication. Join me. Tonight Femina Potens 6:30, 2199 Market – Femina Potens was created as a soapbox for our culture and community. The world is listening. What do we stand for? What do we have to say?
Please pass this blog entry along to all community members.
Femina Potens will be organizing several dialogues around Queer Visibility in mainstream media and I will be posting those this weekend.
For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org