Porn News

Women behind the camera for new breed of adult film

Toronto- The third annual Feminist Porn Awards show is sold out, proof this is an idea whose time has come.

Organized by the female-focused sex store Good For Her, the awards tonight at the Gladstone Hotel are to be followed for the first time by a screening of clips from nominated porn flicks at the Revue Cinema tomorrow night. Tickets to both events sold out in record time.

Feminist porn might not yet be a dictionary entry, but Good For Her staff are very familiar with the kind of adult movies that appeal to women of all sexualities – and to broad-minded men as well.

To meet the criteria for feminist porn, says the store’s manager Alison Lee, video must portray genuine pleasure, not involve exploitation of women or a restrictive male point of view, and include females largely left out of the picture, such as the disabled or the transgendered. Such pornography shows women exploring their sexual desires in a safe place.

On the set of a feminist porn film, Lee says, “people usually indulge in their own fantasies, without some director barking orders all the time.”

Typically, feminist porn is better-scripted than mainstream adult movies and engages in issues concerning every woman’s right to express herself sexually.

There might even be laughs. Feminist pornographers embrace irony. An example might be one that could be described as Pleasantville meets The Stepford Wives carrying silk cords and chains.

That is not to say audience members at the fem-porn screenings will not enjoy – within the bounds of the obscenity laws – some very raunchy scenes at tomorrow’s screenings.

The films in the screening were all nominated – mostly by the store staff – for this year’s Feminist Porn Award. The award is a statue, called the Emma after the pro-sex, anarchist feminist Emma Goldman.

Toronto filmmaker Loree Erickson, self-described “queer femme gimp,” opens her video of a woman in a wheelchair enjoying the intimate attentions of another woman with a line about giving up invisibility. “Time to talk sex, be sex, show sex …”

This is the sort of porn you’d never find on late-night cable programming – it’s risqué rather than raunchy – and certainly shows no evidence of awareness of the camera. One thing about these women pornographers, says Lee, is that their work is very deliberate.

Niche audiences are now being catered to. Porn nominee Morty Diamond is a transgendered New Yorker whose video Trans Entities is among the first to detail sex between gay trans men.

Firefighter-turned-filmmaker and web producer Bren Ryder will join the directors at the Revue Cinema to talk about her work. Some straight men do enjoy lesbian porn, says Lee. And some straight women enjoy gay male porn, if only because the men are physically appealing.

One of the tales in Erika Lust’s Five Hot Stories for Her features two hunky, seemingly straight men tumbling into bed together. Straight girls might pick up a few pointers here.

Another of the stories is about Nadia, a woman desired and seduced by other women. This one, says Lee, “absolutely anyone – gay, lesbian, straight or bisexual – would enjoy the tension and eroticism of it.”

Lust’s film gets down to business with female fantasies: taking on the pizza delivery man or pole dancing in the middle of a subway car. Her film and City of Flesh 6: Lisa’s Little Secret from New York feminist porn pioneer Estelle Joseph actually have plot, theme and multiple characters.

The narrative element here makes one wonder why filmmakers are not adapting stories from a wealth of female literary erotica, from Anaïs Nin to Susan Musgrave and Nicholson Baker.

That’s easy, says Lee. Fem porn is low-budget and these filmmakers could never find the financing for the rich imaginings of time and place found on the page.


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