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Nan Kinney of Fatale Media Interviewed

Edmonton- [Vue Weekly]- Nan Kinney [pictured right] has been in the authentic lesbian porn business for 25 years. Until a little over a year ago, I had no idea that there was such a thing as authentic lesbian porn.

I, like many people, thought girl-on-girl action was relegated to the rather personally repulsive domain of straight chicks going at it for the benefit of heterosexual males. I said as much in these pages, which is why the fine ladies over at Fatale Media sent over some of their titles for review.

I was shocked. This wasn’t the pornography I grew up with. These were real woman in real relationships doing the things that lesbians actually do. Beautiful and messy, filled with emotion and no bleached long hair, fake tits, freakishly long nails and high heels in sight.

Kinney is the president and founder of Fatale Media and the executive producer of all of Fatale’s videos. In 1984 she co-founded On Our Backs, a magazine of lesbian erotica, to fill the void she and her friends had found when searching for representations of themselves in pornography.

Fatale’s movies have been featured on American, Canadian and French speciality television channels and they’ve been covered in many mainstream publications. Fatale’s most famous movie, ironically, is Bend Over Boyfriend. The video is a how-to for heterosexual couples making the foray into strap-ons. (Dan Savage likes to call that “pegging.”) Fatale distributes for other women-owned porn companies and produces their own movies. Kinney runs the business with her partner of 10 years, Christine Cassidy.

With titles like Dominatrix Waitrix, Turn Me Up, Over and On, Bathroom Sluts and Superfreak, no one at Fatale is shy about talking lesbian porn. I caught up with Kinney at work in California.

Vue Weekly: What title are you most excited about right now?

Nan Kinney: One Night Stand. For quite a while now, one of my ambitions has been to broaden out the world of lesbian porn more globally, other than just based in the US and California, basically. When I found out about these gals in Paris doing lesbian porn, porn made by lesbians for lesbians, I was really excited. So I went “Send me a copy!” So they sent me a copy and I just love this movie. It’s just one of my favourite all-time lesbian movies. I like the way it’s shot. It’s kind of, I don’t know, garage-band shot. Kind of grainy, very realistic. Different performers in every scene, very good chemistry with them. You get the sense that it’s in Paris, but they’re not showing the Eiffel Tower every few minutes. They just did a wonderful job.

VW: What is the difference between girl/girl porn and lesbian porn?

NK: Well girl/girl porn’s been around for a long time. That’s all we had when I came out. When we started On Our Backs magazine, it was because there wasn’t anything that we as lesbians, trans or bi people could recognize ourselves in. Girl/girl porn—don’t get me wrong, it’s fine and I like looking at it sometimes—it’s produced with a male viewer in mind. The women are usually pretty femme. It’s kind of like femme on femme. Sometimes very high femme, like big hair, fake breasts, very fantastical looking. It just doesn’t really portray what lesbians do, what I do in bed and my friends do in bed and the kind of sex that we have. It’s very limited kind of sex in girl/girl porn. And you can kind of tell that the women aren’t that into it. Usually they’re straight or maybe they’re bi but they’re not really into it. You can really tell they’re performing for the camera.

There’s this whole other thing happening, so let’s start making our own. When you look at authentic lesbian porn you’re going to see a wider variety of women. You’re going to see more masculine women, butch women, trans women. They’re going to be having lots of different kinds of sex, a little more intense. The connections between the women are usually more palpable because they’re usually more into it, the sex is more believable than girl/girl porn—I think, anyway.

VW: And you sometimes use real couples in your movies, right?

NK: Yes, most of the people we work with are real couples. We don’t usually work with mainstream porn stars. That’s not our deal, our deal is to work with real life people. They’re very generous to share themselves with us. I have always felt so thankful, it’s very intimate. Working with real people, it’s not a job. That’s another difference between girl/girl porn and the more real lesbian sex stuff is, that’s really them. They’re not doing it for a job.

In part two of my interview in two weeks: transmen sex, the past and future of porn, women’s relationship with pornography, lesbian video on demand, how making porn is like “missionary work” and Prop 8. Until then, check out all of Fatale’s videos at V


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