Spring Fever! Porn Studies and Feminist Porn

photo by isabel dresler
photo by isabel dresler

Can you feel spring in the air? We can, and it’s bringing a season of fresh ideas when it comes to feminism, pornography and academia!

First to bloom is the release of Volume 1 in the new journal Porn Studiesseeking to create discourse and critique around pornography in its myriad forms. It’s an idea that legitimizes writing serious media studies about the topic, something many scholars have avoided for fear of stigma. The topics range from research methods into pornography (McKee), porn and/as sex education (Albury), to critiquing the way we critique porn studies (Atwood and Smith). It’s the academic journal being discussed everywhere, from TIME to the Atlantic.

Particularly exciting is that this journal includes a “forum” section which allows for shorter, current studies about new developments in the realm of porn and academia. This first double issue includes sex worker voices writing for themselves, including Stoya (Feminism and the mainstream) and Madison Young (Authenticity and its role within feminist pornography). My own piece, Finding gender in porn performance, got mentioned by name in TIME – I’m so flattered! It’s about my exploration of my own genderqueer identity through experiences on queer porn sets:

Queer porn gave me words to explain the way I have felt my entire life, by giving me the opportunities to have experimental or explorative queer sex as an embodied, queerly gendered person. In other words, by being allowed to ‘be myself,’ I found myself.

It’s available to read for free for a limited time, so go check it out! There’s a lot of hot intellectual stimulation of all sorts.

Upcoming issues will include topics such as race and pornography (which Kitty Stryker will be interviewing Betty Blac for!), music and pornography (seeking submissions until July 2014), and surveillance and pornography (seeking submissions until September 2014).


Also upcoming is the Feminist Porn Conference, a two day conference in Toronto immediately following Good For Her’s Feminist Porn Awards. It’s part of the largest gathering of feminist pornographers in the world, and includes many panels and presentations from porn performers as well as directors, producers, and other workers within the adult industry. I’m honoured to have been asked to deliver the closing keynote for the conference, as well as being a panelist on “Feminist Pornography: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It Matters” alongside Lynn Comella, Ms. Naughty and Tanesha H.D. It’ll be my sixth Awards and second Conference – I’m really excited to be seeing all the talks, meeting so many feminist pornographers, and talking critique all day long! It’s like my idea of heaven.

Keep an eye on this blog, along with Twitter (Indie Porn Revolution and mine) for behind the scenes tweets during the Feminist Porn Awards and the Feminist Porn Conference!

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