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Yet Another Porn Documentary: Public Sex Private Lives Focuses on Lorelei Lee, Princess Donna, and Isis Love

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from www.sfweekly.com – What is so scary about a sexually empowered woman? Why is it that if you’re pretty or, dare I say, sexy, some people think your IQ drops 50 points? At times smart women are described as plain, while sexy women are depicted as stupid. The judgment does not stop there. Many myths exist about the sexually empowered female. Today I want to talk about the sexually empowered women who make a conscious choice to be in porn.

Society paints porn stars or women who work in the industry as damaged. “Why would any self-respecting woman fuck on film for money?” the argument goes. I believe this stereotype exists because society simply cannot fathom that doing sex work is a conscious choice for a lot of women. In reality, porn is not just for the desperate; it can be a job like any other. If you do it right, it can even be a career.

Along my journey of sex-positivity I met a filmmaker named Simone Jude [pictured]. Jude makes documentaries. Her first documentary was called Immaculate Confession. It follows the stories of priests and nuns who fall in love. Jude is the daughter of a priest and a nun who fell in love, so her parents were part of the film. It was released in 2008.

Her latest documentary explores women who make porn for a living. It is called Public Sex, Private Lives, and it releases later this year. The film follows the lives of Lorelei Lee, Princess Donna, and Isis Love. These are women who are well known in the pornography industry. They are what most people think of as porn stars. In her documentary Jude aims to show they are a lot more than that.

Jude got to know Lee as a friend. Lee was the inspiration for the short film Lorelei Lee, which won best director and a couple other awards in 2009 at the International Documentary Challenge, a timed filmmaking competition. Around the same time, Jude met Princess Donna. The more time she spent with these women, the more she thought a documentary of this type was necessary.

“Coming from a place of examining people’s judgments around sex workers and more, specifically performers, I thought it would be really compelling to not only explore their day-to-day life on set, but their daily lives within their families and their personal relationships, and really get a sense for the fullness of their life beyond the porn.” Jude says.

Lee is a writer, and she is pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing at NYU. She is also a teacher at NYU. She flies to San Francisco on weekends to make BDSM porn. Princess Donna sees herself as an artist. Her art is the BDSM porn she creates for WiredPussy.com and Kink.com’s Public Disgrace. Isis Love is a mother who found a way to be a mom and a model at the same time.

“All three of these women have been in the industry for over 10 years and have made a career out of it,” Jude says. “I would like this film to humanize the porn performer. I would like people to walk into the film thinking of these women as porn performers and walk out thinking about them as real people with real lives, dreams, and aspirations. I want to challenge the audience’s idea of what these women can do now that they have done porn.”

Porn is definitely not for everyone, but Jude says she hopes that people will come to respect these women’s choices. I myself had preconceived notions before I became a sex-positive writer and explored the porn community. I’ve found that porn is filled with intelligent, strong women who are so much more than what we see on screen.

Jude’s parents named her after Simone De Beauvoir, the French writer. It makes sense that this artistic, intelligent, kind documentarian would be named after one of the most influential feminists of our time. Both Simones discuss female oppression and attempt to change a perception that people have. Viva la revolucion, I say!

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