Censorship, Feminism, Porn, Porn for Women — December 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Porn For Women Retrospective 2010

Another year has whizzed by and it’s time to do another rundown of all things porn for women in 2010. This year the adult industry has again endured tough times in the face of ever-increasing free content and the dismal global economy. Nonetheless, erotic content for women continues to grow and become more popular. There’s been a real attempt by many in the industry to try and cater to women, perhaps out of desperation. There’s also been an explosion of queer and alternative porn.

In The News

Hello Ladies. Isiah Mustafa, the Old Spice Guy* “Hello Ladies.” In February, Isiah Mustafa first uttered the opening line to the now much-loved Old Spice ad and caused an internet sensation. The advertisement took a quirky view of masculinity and also unashamedly appealed to the sex drive of straight women, something that is still rare. Now millions of women around the world have begun to fantasise about a well-spoken black man who’s on a boat… and a horse.

* Playboy TV made headlines in November when they announced a revamp of the channel, setting their sights on female viewers. They plan to offer “softer” content with “real chemistry, nonenhanced body parts, varied body shapes and contextualized’ sex.”

* In January the Shady Lady ranch in Nevada caused a stir by getting approval to offer male prostitutes to female clients – a first. One of the new workers (“prostidudes”) called “Markus” caused a stir by comparing himself to Rosa Parks. He didn’t last long, quitting in March. The Shady Lady continued on without him.

* The Twilight books and films were so popular that some took to calling the saga “porn for women”. I disagreed.

* British women’s porn pioneer Anna Span put her filmmaking career on hold to run for parliament in March. She stood for the Liberal Democrats using her real name of Anna Arrowsmith and came in third, considerably increasing the LibDem vote.

* The ongoing saga of the .xxx domain continued and I was actually quoted in the Guardian opposing it.

* It was also a huge year for censorship – which I’ll address a little later in the post.

The Magazines Are Back

Filament* 2010 was a bumper year for UK startup magazine Filament, with strong sales and an expansion into the US and Australia.

* Playgirl announced that it was going back into print after a year of web-only publication. The headline-grabbing nude photoshoot of Levi Johnston (Sarah Palin’s would-be son-in-law) prompted the turnaround; his pics appeared in the February edition, causing much distress because there was no full-frontal nudity.

* In January Candy Rain, another magazine for straight women, was launched. Only one issue appeared all year however a benefit has recently been held to assist in publishing the second.

New Porn for Women Movies (Straight)

Life Love Lust* In my opinion the best film for women released this year was Erika Lust’s Life Love Lust. Her beautifully-produced vignettes have a depth and vision not usually seen in porn. She also dared to portray sex that results in… a baby. For The Girls interviewed Erika in July and I included pics from the movie here.

* Petra Joy released Her Porn 2, another compilation of erotic short films and excerpts for women. I found this important because it includes my first short film, “That’s What I Like”. Petra also completed filming her fourth feature, despite ill health and numerous production issues.

* Netherlands-based director Jennifer Lyon Bell teamed up with Belgian artist Murielle Scherre, aka La Fille D’O, to create Des Jours Plus Belles Que La Nuit, a depiction of a real couple making love in real time. It won a Feminist Porn Award for Best Direction. It is due to be released in the US soon, following the already successful Matinee.

* Mimi Balfour created a softcore erotic film called Man of My Dreams which also won a Feminist Porn Award.

* Sex advisor and author Jamye Waxman directed 101 Sex Positions For Lovers which was filmed in Jamaica and featured real-life couples.

* Larger producers Playgirl and Sweet Sinner continued to release new features aimed at straight women regularly in 2010. Major studio New Sensations also created a new line called “Romance”, aimed at women and couples.

Lesbian and Queer Porn

Queer porn mafia at the AVN awards - pic by Courtney Trouble* Artist and porn star Madison Young had a huge year in 2010. She directed and starred in a swathe of films including Pregnant With Desire, a new film exploring the sexual aspects of pregnancy. Madison herself is expecting her first child in 2011.

* Queersexual personality Jiz Lee was everywhere this year, appearing in many indie and alt films as well as popping up in more mainstream productions. She also set up her own charity website, Karma Pervs and appeared in a massive queer orgy for her 30th birthday on Crash Pad Series. For The Girls interviewed her in November.

* Courtney Trouble was also a queer filmmaking powerhouse this year, releasing numerous films through the Reel Queer Productions label including several titles in the Roulette series and Seven Minutes In Heaven. She also maintained her stable of queer porn sites including NoFauxxx.

* French director Emilie Jouvet took a group of queer friends on a sex tour of Europe and released Too Much Pussy: Feminist Sluts on the QueerX Roadshow, an erotic documentary of their trip.

* Triangle Films made waves with their major production River Rock Women’s Prison which won several awards.

Statistics and Surveys

* In February the Sun reported that more women were watching porn than ever with 76% of readers “admitting” to enjoying porn.

* In June, Cosmopolitan reported on a survey of their readers and found that 60% of their readers enjoyed porn, either alone or as part of their relationship. Another 15% said they hadn’t seen it but were open to the idea.

Awards and Festivals

Berlin Porn Film Festival* In April the fifth annual Feminist Porn Awards were announced with gongs handed out to a variety of groundbreaking straight and queer films. The list of nominations was substantial, revealing just how much the female-friendly and alt porn movement has grown. 2010 saw the first Emerging Filmmaker award handed out to Tobi Hill Meyer.

* The AVN Awards continued to mostly ignore alternative films, concentrating on the mainstream industry. Tristan Taormino won Best Educational Release for her Expert Guide to Threesomes but that was about it. The awards night was attended by the “Queer Porn Mafia” (Jiz Lee, Dylan Ryan, Amber Flores, Madison Young and Courtney Trouble among others – see pic above).

* The Pornutopia erotic film festival held in Albuquerque was cancelled after local authorities told them they were breaking zoning laws. The city maintains it isn’t censorship but the festival directors aren’t convinced.

* I didn’t get to attend the Berlin Porn Film Festival this year which was a pity as they had a record-breaking attendance. Jennifer Lyon Bell conducted a workshop on porn and feminism and Emile Jouvet’s film Much More Pussy received an honourable mention.

* Cinekink, the kinky film festival based in New York, toured the US throughout the year. I’m pleased to say my film That’s What I Like featured at a number of screenings.

Our Porn, Ourselves and The Anti-Porn Brigade

Our Porn, Ourselves* 2010 saw a major increase in campaigning against pornography, thanks mostly to Gail Dines who was flogging her anti-porn book Pornland to anyone who’d listen. Dines uses shock tactics and generalisations to argue that porn was “hijacking our sexuality” and ultimately should be prohibited. Dines said “Women defending porn are likely deluded by the near trillion dollar industry.” My reply to that is here.

* Religious groups are also moving to ban porn using the dodgy concept of “addiction”. In May I looked at Dirty Girls Ministries, a site that charges women money to help cure their “addiction” to masturbation and porn.

* Blogger and author Violet Blue fought back against the anti-porn movement, creating Our Porn, Ourselves, a gathering of pro-porn activists including many women who enjoy explicit material. Violet’s Facebook page had over 3000 members when Facebook shut it down without warning or explanation in July.

* Moral panic about the “sexualisation of children” has also spurred numerous calls for censorship. In July a conference in the UK attended by Australian academic Catharine Lumby sought to cut through the nonsense and properly study the issue. They pointed out that most of the “research” on the issue is biased or poorly conceived. I wrote about the issue here.

Other Censorship

Looking back at my blog posts over the last year, it’s depressing to see how often censorship and anti-porn campaigning comes up. Perhaps its a personal obsession but I think it’s part of an overall trend. The governments of the world have woken up and they want to control the internet. Part of that is a panic over online porn and a demand for increased censorship. Here in Australia, the nanny state has gotten worse in 2010 with numerous arrests and crackdowns on adult material.

Operation Titstorm* In January a storm erupted in cyberspace over reports that Australia had banned the depiction of small breasts in porn and were also banning female ejaculation. The news came from The Sex Party and I wrote about it on this blog post. Within days the story had gone viral and turned up in mainstream media. The censors eventually denied that this was the case, although it did publicse the fact that material can be considered child porn if the models *look* underage.

Nonetheless, it rapidly became an established internet “fact” and even resulted in web vigilantes Anonymous attacking the Australian parliament in “Operation Titstorm” as part of a protest against the proprosed mandatory internet filter.

* In March TV show Hungry Beast raised awareness of censorship with their report on the way magazines alter images of female genitalia to meet classification guidelines: “Too Much Genital Detail

* In May Garion Hall, the owner of AbbyWinters.com, was found guilty of “making an objectionable film” – even though the magistrate didn’t watch the film or ask for anyone else to classify it. It was the first conviction of its kind in Australia. Abby Winters has now moved all operations to The Netherlands.

* Also in May, an adult shop owner was sent to prison for three months for selling X-rated films in Sydney. Since then there have been numerous raids on sex shops and a crackdown on selling explicit porn in several states. It is not illegal to own or buy X-rated films in Australian states but it is illegal to sell them. NSW has since given police the power to decide if a film is illegal on the spot, rather than handing it over to classifiers.

* In July Australian Senator Stephen Conroy announced that the planned mandatory internet filter would be delayed pending a review of the classification categories. The subsequent federal election saw a minority Labor government with the filter still on the cards.

* In the US in April, adult director and author Tristan Taormino faced protests from a “family” group before giving a presentation on porn at Princeton University.

* In December, the UK parliament decided they wanted to jump on the censorship bandwagon, looking at a plan to ban online porn unless adults “opt in”.

Ms Naughty In 2010

Pic from the model shoot at For The GirlsProfessionally, this year hasn’t been the best for me. The biggest problem has been neverending delays with the upgrade of For The Girls. You can read the full, painful story here. I still haven’t got a refund and I lost so much time waiting, putting things off. I also held off on my plans for more erotic films. So it’s been very frustrating.

Indeed, writing this retrospective based on my blog posts has been difficult simply because I haven’t posted as much this year. Twitter is partly to blame but I’ve also been spending time doing other things.

Still, the last couple of months have seen me get back on track. I’m still editing the footage I shot in November and I also took part in a fabulous male model shoot at the start of December for FTG. The results are fantastic.

2010 marked my 10th anniversary creating porn online. It’s kind of hard to believe I’ve been doing this for so long. I have been suffering a bit of porn fatigue lately but I’m also motivated to head into the new year with a fresh mind and try new things. Lots to do!

Perhaps my biggest non-porn achievement of the year was cycling 500km over 9 days in September. I also attended the Rise of Atheism conference in Melbourne which was inspiring and interesting. And I handed out “how to votes” for the Sex Party which was more fun than I expected.

Some larger blog posts from 2010

Defining the harm of porn – a look at Michael Flood’s research and why it’s flawed
What Oprah didn’t tell you about porn for women – I wrote a guest piece for Good Vibrations blog on my favourite topic.
Dear kinky people, cut vanilla a break, will ya? – A somewhat controversial post about how vanilla sex is sometimes derided as boring or repressed.
It Gets Better… But why should it be bad in the first place? – Are teenagers forever doomed to be horrible to each other?
In 2010, a prosecution for procuring an abortion – My thoughts on abortion.
Fiona Patten reveals how the NVE classification was derailed – a video from the Humanist Conference detailing how porn was almost legalised in 1999.
How sex with your head in a toilet bowl can be OK – Not all porn is degrading
The female gaze does not exist? – Another bit of musing (and arguing) on the terms “porn for women” and “the female gaze”.

Eye Candy Posts

Admiring the mankini
The Dirk Diggler dick from Boogie Nights’ last scene
In defence of facial hair

Previous End Of Year Posts

Porn for women retrospective 2009
Porn for women retrospective 2008
Porn for women retrospective 2007
Porn for women retrospective 2006

Image Credit
Pic of the Queer Porn Mafia by Courtney Trouble from here.

One Comment

  1. Nice overview, but i miss one item:
    New in 2010: in The Netherlands is a tv channel launched with erotic for women. It is called “Dusk!”
    Now, at 31 dec 2010 we are reaching 1.2 milj. household. And you can see by Dusk! all films of: Candida Royalle, Petra Joy, Erika Lust, Jennifer Lyon Belland Anna Span. Also the film “Men of my dreams” and a lot more. All the films are reviewed and rated by a panel of more than 500 women.
    You can see the Dusk! top ten of 2010 on: http://www.duskpanel.nl/dusk-top-tien-2010