Tag: Ethical Porn

Call for Papers – Porn Studies Special Issue: Porn and Labour

by Jiz Lee on / Uncategorized

Porn Studies is an international, peer-reviewed journal, which publishes original research examining specifically sexual and explicit media forms, their connections to wider media landscapes and their links to the broader spheres of (sex) work across historical periods and national contexts. I’m proud to announce that I’ve been invited to be a co-editor, along with Professor Rebecca Sullivan of the Women’s Studies Program at The University of Calgary. Please see our call for papers below, and if you have any questions let us know!

FeaturedImage-porn-studies-pornography-labour

Porn Studies Special Issue: Porn and Labour

Guest Editors: Jiz Lee and Rebecca Sullivan

Critics of the porn industry are quick to claim its deleterious effects on consumers, and too often presume exploitative abuse of performers. Yet, such arguments ignore the voices of porn performers and producers. It has been the performers and producers themselves who have refused the silencing tactics of stigmatization and shame and spoken candidly in a variety of news and social media venues about their working experiences, their attention to craft and skill, and their efforts towards more ethical, respectful labour conditions. Yet, their strategies of negotiation toward greater self-determination remain problematically under-theorized.

Media and cultural entertainment industries are under greater critical scrutiny around precarious labour, problematic gender and sexual relations, entrenched racism and other forms of prejudice and exclusion, industry convergence, and occupational health and safety. At the same time, critical media and cultural industry scholarship notes an expansion of independent and DIY production, new forms of labour exchange and commercialization, collective and collaborative networking, and audience engagement. Pornography is no different and is, in many ways, leading this entertainment revolution.

This special issue of Porn Studies invites scholars, critics, artists and producers, activists, and educators to explore the contours of Pornography and Labour. Topics may focus on any aspect of pornography production that foregrounds the experiences of workers both above and below the line. Some potentially exciting areas of inquiry include but are not limited to:

  • Analyses of groundbreaking performers/producers
  • Ethical porn production and shared labour practices
  • Occupational health and safety issues for pornography performers
  • Pornography and its relationship to other forms of sex work
  • Casting, stereotyping, and niche performance
  • Pornography as craft
  • The commercial segregation of adult business, payment and advertising
  • Mainstream commercial pornography and workers rights
  • Piracy and the #payforyourporn movement
  • Studio systems and contract performers
  • Legal and social restrictions on porn performers
  • Critical ethnographic studies of porn production sets
  • Histories of the pornography industry and its labour regulation

Articles for peer-review should be between 5000-8000 words. Shorter thought pieces of approximately 2000 words may also be submitted, and the editors will make a selection for the Forum section. In the same document as your submission, on the first page, please also include a brief author bio of approximately 200 words and an abstract of 200 words.

Who can Submit
This is a scholarly, peer-refereed publication but authors do not need to hold an academic appointment. The editors welcome submissions from artists, critics, producers, scholars, activists, and educators. No affiliation with an academic institution, or adult industry organization, is necessary. Due to the mature nature of this subject, contributors must be over 18 years of age, or as legal to view such material in your location.

How to Submit
All submissions must be made online. Please consult the Authors and Submissions tab in the journal website, tandfonline.com for more information.

Journal Deadline
The deadline for submission is July 1, 2015. Authors will be notified by August 15, 2015 if their article has been selected for peer review, or for the Forum. The special issue will be published in Winter 2016.

Editor Contacts
Jiz Lee – jiz@jizlee.com
Rebecca Sullivan – rsulliva@ucalgary.ca

Continue Reading

“Ethical Porn” Starts When We Pay for It

by Jiz Lee on / Queer Porn

There’s a lot of talk about whether or not porn is ethical, but there’s not much discussion about the fact that most people are watching porn illegally. Forget “ethical porn” – let’s talk ethical porn consumption.

Though a small handful of Robin Hoods will feel they’re liberating porn to the masses, or take pride in being savvy enough to scam what they feel entitled to watch for free, the folks who go the extra mile to break the law are not actually the biggest culprits. It’s everybody else because they are watching it, but the type of porn that isn´t illegal is the Anime Rape You See In Porn.

Let’s face it, free porn is easy. It’s the first (FIVE?) page results on Google. There’s no need to pull out a credit card (if you’re lucky enough to own one). You don’t even need to register or log in to press play. (A big step in preventing underage users from gaining access.) But figuring out where to go and what to click is not the first priority for someone horny.

I believe most viewers don’t think what they’re doing is that bad. Some may not even be aware they’re in the wrong to begin with. Who could blame them? A lack of media literacy around how porn is made leads fans to make a lot of assumptions. I know this first-hand, as I continue to learn more and more about the industry as I move from performing in front of the camera, to helping behind the scenes.

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How can I be sure what I’m watching was ethically produced?” Without getting to sidetracked by topics of fantasy and film, marketing transparency and performer interviews, or going right to the source via social media — all of which help discerning viewers better research their options – the simplest answer is that paying for porn is the most direct way to ensure key ethical production values.

Jiz Lee Kimberly Grey and Tobi Hill-Meyer

Kimberly Gray and I check-in on the set of Tobi Hill-Meyer’s Doing it Again: Trans Woman Porn Project.

Without a credit card processor overlooking distribution, there’s no way to know for sure if basic labor rights took place. There is no 2257 Affidavit to prove performers were of legal age, no STI test results, no W9 or 1099-Misc IRS Forms, and there’s certainly no Model Release Form to ensure the people on film consented to have their image shared online. Unless it features a major star, most pirated content doesn’t even include performers’ names, let alone Custodian of Records addresses. There’s a mountain of paperwork missing. Paperwork that, for better or worse, is designed to protect performers’ rights and safety.

(I should take a moment to add, that of course porn is not perfect. Like any other industry, there are people who will use their position to take advantage of others. Working in the business has helped refine my ability to assert my boundaries, something that’s vital in the work we do. I don’t regret anything I’ve done, but if I could go back in time I would have stood up for myself more and been more explicit about my needs and opinions. There are lessons I carry with me moving forward. Shit may happen, but we learn from it and continue to try our best and avoid the bad apples.)

To be honest, the only time I’ve ever felt exploited, as a performer in porn, is when my work is pirated. When I sign a contract, it’s between the producer and myself. For someone else to assume that right feels non-consensual. (Technically, it’s illegal and a breach of site usage and copyright.) But it also hurts the profit margins that allow us to keep making work. I once came across a video I was in that had been viewed over 50,000 times. If even a fraction of those views had been paid for, the small porn company would have been able to produce another feature, pay performers more, and increase the quality and frequency of their work.

Imagine an independent adult filmmaker being able to pay top prices, cover all tests and travel expenses, produce high-quality content, and put forth the kinds of amazing images that push the representations of human sexuality. Instead of soaring to new heights and taking the world by storm to show the magnificent possibilities of human desire, small companies are slowly-but-surely making by on shoestring budgets. (Some days, working in porn feels a lot like my days in arts administration, minus the state funding.)

So, what can we do?

  1. Pay for Your Porn. This is the best and most direct way to support companies who make the work you love. We’ll be ever so grateful. Check out Siri’s article, Here’s Why You Need to Pay For Your Porn, as well as the Twitter hashtag full of performers’ voices: #payforyourporn
  2. Help others find porn you like. If you’re in the position to blog or share posts about porn, help others find companies to watch. If you’re a sex blogger, journalist, or sex educator, you’re in a unique position to educate your readers and students about how paying for porn can shape the kinds of sexual representation available for all to enjoy. (Plus, can earn affiliate commission from your recommendations. It’s a win-win.)
  3. Keep enjoying porn. If you’re going to watch porn for free and you’re finding videos you like and aren’t convinced you need to change, then there’s not much I can do to stop you. Go forth, but please keep in mind where the work comes from. Allow me to plant a seed, a promise that you’ll support us in a more direct way when you can.

We can still make right of the issue. Ethical viewers have incredible potential to shape the industry by ‘voting with their wallets’ and encouraging producers’ interests, in everything from distribution methods to casting decisions. Increasing production quality, broadening diversity, building sustainable businesses. People put off by not finding what they want (remember, there’s more to porn than PornHub…) can seek it out and encourage – through supportive words, network, or wallet – the content that gets them truly excited.

Shine Louise Houston PUT THE NEEDLE ON THE RECORD

CrashPadSeries.com stars Drew DeVeaux, Andre Shakti, with director Shine Louise Houston.

 

Now that you know how to help… here’s the best way to support my work behind the scenes with Shine Louise Houston at Pink & White Productions, which runs CrashPadSeries.com and the VOD hub for indie and emerging adult filmmakers, PinkLabel.tv. (Really, there are truly unique films on PinkLabel that would be censored or too artsy for the conventional porn outlets, plus the site’s studios get the most generous percentage I know of in the US. It’s as ‘fair-trade’ as it comes!)

You can watch my work on both sites. (If it’s your thing.) My most recent proud porn moments are Justify My Jiz, JL+DD: Jiz Lee and Danni Daniels, two collaborations that I directly profit from. (BESIDES the fact that I was so aroused by my perfect co-stars!) And CrashPad will always be my porno home.

My motto in porn has been “Be the Porn you want to see in the world.” But in this case, a better fit is “BUY the Porn you want to see in the world.” Let’s enjoy sexuality, ethically.

Continue Reading