I’m back in the bay, and wow. What a whirlwind of events up in Toronto! Did I say Feminist Porn Retreat? More like Feminist Porn Marathon. The last few days have been a bit of a blur, as I’m winding down from jam-packed weekend of screenings, panels, and meetings. And I’ve just barely begun to catch up on emails and return to my regularly scheduled programing here in San Francisco. (Speaking of which: I’m training — and fundraising — for a 191 mile relay race next month, and I’ve got my eyes set on my first Olympic Triathlon coming around the bend! More on that later…)
As I mentioned in my last post about the awards and conference, I was there with my new behind-the-scenes job at Pink & White Productions. Shine’s film BED PARTY was nominated — and it won Best Boygasm! The Feminist Porn Awards gave it a special honor — and a cheeky name — that importantly recognizes male sexuality and pleasure within the feminist porn framework. I’m proud to have been a part of production. Special congrats to its staring kinky porn couple Eden Alexander and Sebastian Keys. I’m grateful for their bravery and trust in sharing such an intimate part of their lives with us. (You want to see my favorite picture of them? NSFW for adorably big balls, so click here. A close second place is his puppy mask.) You can watch the trailer — and full film — on PinkLabel.tv.
As 2013 Heartthrob of the Year, I had the honor of passing the torch to this year’s Heatthrob: Zahra Stardust! A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with her first-hand and she’s a fucking firecracker: smart as hell, proud progressive politics, stunningly beautiful, and a versatile switch performer who has the magic touch. And she’s a fellow fisting freedom advocate! In my speech announcing her award, I said that strong performers are essential in feminist porn; and to me, she’s one of the brightest. I love that the Feminist Porn Awards recognize performers who are not only sexy as hell, but also incredibly kind and outspoken individuals. Brava!
A beautiful moment happened at the awards show, that just blew me away. The event coordinators held a remembrance for my late friend, Carlos Batts, complete with showing some of his work, and a heartfelt speech by Tristan Taormino. They awarded him Indie Porn Icon (he was a truly innovating artist) and then his late wife and muse, and my Doll, April Flores accepted his award on stage with a moving speech which incorporated some of his own words from past interviews about his art.
Art is the strongest form of activism. Art encompasses everything. It encompasses the queer movement, fat activism, racism, all the “isms”—that’s our job… My motivation is to cross boundaries and create a dialogue, and that’s what I’ve done it for since I was a kid. – Carlos Batts (RIP)
It was one of the most powerful remembrances of an artist that I’ve witnessed in person, and the room seemed united in love for someone so important to our community, and a dear friend. Even people in attendance who had never met Carlos were in tears, visibly moved. We had celebrated his birthday at the Bloor Holiday Inn last year, and this year I was inspired again and grateful to have known him. This photo below captures the moment beautifully.
The awards ceremony was incredible and I’m so fortunate to be able to go every year and participate. Each year there are more and more producers creating exciting new works, and it feels like the conversations and dialogues are growing, public perception of porn is changing, and as I continue to work on both sides of the camera, I’m grateful for all the support and encouragement along the way.
While I was in Toronto, I also shot porn! I had barely enough time to squeeze in a quick scene for a new queer porn site. (To be announced soon!) What was really special about this shoot, besides my co-star being ANDRE SHAKTI, was that I was reminded how lucky I am to be able to negotiate what I’d like to do for the camera. That’s one part of what makes queer porn so special to me, which is that it’s not necessarily bound by the same constraints as other kinds of pornography. So for what was less than a quarter of my mainstream rate, Andre and I simply made out and dry-humped on a bed. Though they only wanted about 15 minutes of footage, they let us go for as long as we like, and we ended up grinding for almost an hour. Let me say that I was so wound-up and horny, that I got off — hard. It was super satisfying, and I love that I can not even take off my underwear to have one of the hottest scenes. Here’s a sneak peek:
I also attended the Feminist Porn Conference, and was booked solid with presentations and seminars. My favorites were the Business Track sessions. This year I presented a “CrashCourse” Affiliate Marketing 101 seminar (More Buck for your Bang) designed to empower performers and producers with the knowledge of affiliate programs and how to use them to encourage ethical porn consumption (by helping fans with a direct link of where to purchase) and very importantly, helping to narrow the financial gap between performers and producers. Performers often think that there’s only one paycheck for a scene — but with just a little know-how, we can add affiliate links — like the kind on my blog — and continue to be supported by our work, like royalties! I teach an ongoing workshop at Pink & White especially for the adult community. I also had the pleasure of presenting for the first time with Pink & White’s web developer Chris Lowrance in which we attempted the impossible — how to build a website (in a 90 minute session) and you can promote it with SEO companies as indexsy. Entitled, “If You Build It, They Will .com”, we presented web development and troubleshooting specifically for porn sites focused on queer and feminist content. You can find the handout on Pink & White Productions, and look forward to a video presentation soon (our new CrashCourse project will help educate new content creators.) Can you tell I’m totally jazzed about this new direction in my work-life? I love my job!
There were so many wonderful people I met, some in person for the first time, I can’t possibly name them all here. But I’m eagerly awaiting next year, when the Feminist Porn Awards celebrates its 10th Anniversary, which will also be my 10th year in porn. It will be epic!
Without further ado, here’s the winners. (You can also browse the complete list: Feminist Porn Awards Winners 2006-2014.)
The 2014 Feminist Porn Awards
No Artificial Sweeteners
Sonya JF Barnett (The Madame)
Trains | Paul Deeb (Pillow Book Productions)
Steamiest Straight Movie
The Temptation of Eve | Jacky St. James (New Sensations)
Golden Beaver of Canadian Content
Power at Play | Carey Gray (House of Switch)
Sexual Freedom (Sex Stories 3) | Ovidie (Frenchlover TV)
Feminist Porn Awards Smutty School Teacher Award for Sex Education
Tristan Taormino’s Guide to Bondage for Couples | Tristan Taormino (Adam & Eve)
Something Better: Performers Talk About Feminism & Porn | Ms. Naughty (Indigo Lush)
Best Slumber Party Ever | Samuel Shanahoy (tee vee dinner)
Hottest Straight Vignette
Xconfessions | Erika Lust (Lust Productions S. L)
Hottest Lesbian Vignette
Women Reclaiming Sex on Film | Madison Young (Madisonbound Productions)
Hottest Kink Movie
Rubber Bordello | Soma Snakeoil (Snakeoil Media Productions)
Heartthrob of the Year
Movie of the Year
Silver Shoes | Jennifer Lyon Bell (Blue Artichoke Films)