Rachel Rabbit Write of rabbitwrite.com has created a cool campaign, proclaiming February 22nd “Lady Porn Day”.
What is Lady Porn Day? Rachel says it’s a day that encourages discussion and celebration of women empowerment from/with/in pornography. A large part of our culture still believes that women are incapable of owning our sexuality. This shows up in shaming of sexually active women, in degrading and criminalizing women who take charge of their bodies and their pleasure. As Rachel puts it, it’s a response to a “world where many girls still expect their first orgasm to come from someone other than themselves.”
Some of my favorite people are also blogging about Lady Porn Day, including Cindy Gallop, Dr. Carol Queen, Dodson and Ross, and Gala Darling. Everyone is encouraged to blog and post videos about any reaction that “Lady Porn Day” inspires for them, be it through personal stories, feminist theory posts, interviews, and more. Also note that “pornography” takes a broad definition that includes everything from adult movies to erotica and romance novels, to nudes on tumblr.
That said, when I was asked to participate in Lady Porn Day, my initial reaction was… mixed. I think this is mostly because I don’t identify as a lady. I identify as genderqueer, as neutral though I often play with gender. How I feel most comfortable is within androgyny. There’s a buzz around Feminist Porn, thanks to Toronto’s Good For Her creating the Feminist Porn Awards, soon to have it’s 6th annual ceremony. Part of me would have preferred the term be “feminist porn day” instead of “lady porn day” — or what I think is perhaps a more accurate term: “ethical porn day”. Because I feel that in essence, that is what is at the heart of Rachel’s project. People of all genders and sexual orientations — and this includes ethnicities, size, ability, kinks/desires — can find problematic issues within pornography in need of discussion, as well as can celebrate the porn they’ve found that works for them in a healthy way.
How can porn be healthy, when so much we see of porn is a 4-letter word shrouded in sexual shame? I talked recently at UC Davis as a speaker for their Generation Sex Week, and shared with students the powerful messages I had received from queer people who had viewed my work and written to me to express how impacting it was to see themselves represented on screen. It validated their sexuality in a way they had not yet experienced, and for a few — in some very personal and intimate letters — having found this validation gave them the strength to come out as queer and to get out of abusive relationships and paths towards a healthier life.
Those stories are something I hadn’t anticipated when I started doing porn. But shortly after The Crash Pad was released, I found my inbox with messages that shared these amazing stories. I’m grateful, and it’s informed a lot of my theories behind why queer porn is important, why pornography is important in general. Why pornography, and sexuality in a broader sense, and the ownership of our sexualities (no matter our gender) is vital to our health and happiness.
Here’s a video taken on the set at CrashPadSeries.com (while I was being massaged by the AMAZING Chocolate Chip) in response to one of the questions, how can porn be feminist:
So, in participating with Lady Porn Day, part of this project is to list our favorite porn/performers.
It’s actually great timing. Not too long ago, I was asked about the absence of transwomen in queer pornography. Though the subject is a complicated one for a variety of reasons, and because I don’t identify as a transwoman and can only assume what it is like to have such experiences, I feel that the best way that I can reply to this question is to simply share some of the women who I know are out there and whose work I love. With that in mind, here’s link love for Ten Transwomen in Queer Porn. Some of the links are to porn sites that have established themselves as “queer”, usually a mix of genders and sexual orientations… however I don’t want to define for others what queer means to them. This list is about sharing the links to openly trans women for viewers searching for performers whom they can identify with, appreciate, and love. If you happen to blog about queer porn, don’t forget these ladies! Also, this is not in any order. If you know of others, please comment and share links to their sites!
2. Julie from Crash Pad Series
In 2007, Julie and Michelle Aston took the world by storm in a rough and raunchy scene that caught the attention of the Feminist Porn Awards and was awarded Hottest Trans Sex Scene. Since that scene, several transwomen have appeared at the Crash Pad, including Tobi Hill-Meyer, Drew DeVeaux, Maya Mayhem, and Juliette Stray.
8. Yasmine Lee
Yasmin performs on TSSeduction.com, which is a Kink.com website run by a transman and like many of Kink’s websites, there’s a high level of respect for models and seems to take the mainstream “fetish” of transwomen into new and definitely kinky directions.
9. Bailey Jay
Though I missed seeing Bailey at the AVN Awards, I am glad that my friend Syd was able to get a chance to meet her and snap a photo. Recently I had the pleasure of going on Bailey’s radio show and chatting with her and Matt. I adore Bailey!
10. Wendy Williams
Wendy may be one of the most popular porn performers. I’ve yet to meet her, but watched her announce at the 2010 AVN Awards with Margaret Cho. I believe she was the first transsexual porn star to make a silicone mold sex toy.
Besides the links above, also check out GoodVibes.com’s Trans Movie selection. Because all the movies at Good Vibrations are pre-screened, it’s a decent selection for finding a title that has a transwoman in it who is not unethically objectified. The category is a mix of transmen and transwomen (and some genderqueers too! 😉 ) and has both mainstream and indie transwomen in porn. (Vaniity is so hottt!)