Sep 27, 2011

I Interview Nica Noelle About the APA

I had a pretty interesting chat with Nica Noelle, adult director and head of Sweet Sinner films and a porn industry staple for years. She, along with Madison Young, January Seraph, Maggie Mayhem, and others, are at the helm of the brand-spanking-new Adult Performers Association out in Lalaland. Some have claimed that the APA is a personal politics vehicle for Nica and her friends, who have quite publicly complained about the Free Speech Coalition's new attempt at a centralized testing agency for the porn industry, Adult Production Health & Safety Services, while others are hailing the APA as a long-overdue resource for porn stars. I wasn't sure what to think, and I had a lot of questions about this "organization of adult performers and our supporters who are passionate about improving health, safety and quality of life for adult film entertainers." So I asked Nica all of them.

I was very impressed with her articulate answers and am verrrry interested to see how things shape up for the APA. A snippet from the interview, the rest of which you can read (and PLEASE comment on!) over at WHACK! Magazine:


The organization plans to facilitate dialogue and understanding between the gay and straight porn industries. What steps would the association like to take?
 
There’s a lot of tension between the gay the straight porn communities, and a lot of fear, hostility and misinformation. Obviously both sides would benefit from increased understanding and cooperation as well as unified safety and testing standards.  We plan to facilitate some much needed dialogue so we can move forward as a group.


Another goal is to be a group health plan for performers. Is health insurance a major issue in the industry?
 
It’s beyond major. It’s at a crisis level. Performers should and must have access to health insurance, and there is no item of higher importance on our agenda than this one.  It’s untenable that any adult performer should go without basic medical care. We work with our bodies, and we kiss and touch each other on a daily basis. It is absolutely necessary that we get our physicals, mammograms, and wellness appointments as needed, and investigate and treat symptoms in a timely manner.

If you're interested in the welfare of porn performers, this is a must-read. Not to toot my own horn (toot-toot!), but this is big stuff. Tell me what you think, here or over on WHACK!

Sep 26, 2011

Links-a-doodle

Ok, guys, I have TWO WHOLE NIGHTS at home this week, during which I promise to write two original posts that I hope will be good (but if I promise they will be, that's just cocky). In the meantime, it's almost 11:00 pm, I just got home from meetings and an interview with Jessie Lee (absolutely beautiful woman, btw), and I'm pretty bushed. So let's link-o-rama, shall we?

1) DADT is over! I can't wait to see equality for LGBTQ soldiers slowly creep into the US military! I'm sure, however, that a quiet and probably vastly under-reported backlash will occur. We rarely hear about the all-too-frequent rapes in ourmilitary because it's a hush-hush topic--I can't imagine intolerance in what's possibly the most testosterone-and-conservatism-fueled culture in Western society will disappear overnight. One need only watch members of the crowd booing an active member of the military on national television at last week's GOP debate to be reminded that narrow-mindedness still rules some parts of the world. But still, every step toward equality is a good one. Let's hope the growing pains don't last too long!

2) Speaking of equality: STOP THE PRESSES! Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah just gave women the right to vote! Has the world gone... suddenly less mad? One of the most sexist country's in the world has apparently had enough of state-mandated awfulness... or the King is going for a PR boost. I do think that any step toward more rights for women in Saudi Arabia, where being born with a vagina basically sentences a person to a life of servitude and invisibility, is great, but if a gal can't drive herself to the polls or even vote in elections that have some real bearing on the government... the move toward fairness might just be a nod at the rest of the world's general disapproval. Seems to me that if the King is savvy enough to realize the rest of the world thinks his country is backward for treating women like chattel, that's kind of an admission of guilt... which would seem to imply the need for real change. Perhaps there's a reason to be more optimistic and less cynical? Or maybe I'm just in a good mood...

3) And, in case you somehow managed to miss this huge story: redheads are being turned away from one of the world's largest sperm banks because there's not enough demand for redheaded babies. Frankly, I can't do much but scratch my head at this. Has anyone seen Christina Hendricks, Julianne Moore, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Kidman, Misti Dawn, Camille Crimson, Damian Lewis, Rupert Grint (shut up he's legal now!), or... hell, I'm gonna go ahead and admit I think he's hot... Conan O'Brien lately?  Or, hello? ME! Redheads are damn sexy, and we're a dying breed. The latest numbers are somewhere around 2% of the world population! What ever happened to preserving threatened species? ...y'all are jerks.

Sep 24, 2011

We Are Experiencing Scheduling Difficulties

I want to apologize for the paucity in blogs the past week, folks... I'm having a sort of headless chicken few weeks here and not much time for blogging. Cross my heart and hope to die: next week will be better! I'm working on a few posts and will be all over this bitch soon!

In the meantime, well, it's the weekend! Go have fun, for goodness sake! Get away from your computer and enjoy the weather before it gets cold! Silly bastards.

...still here? Ok, fine, go read my review of Salacious Magazine over at WHACK! It's fabulous, as is Salacious itself. Want proof? Here:

"It’s like Penthouse Forum back in the day, except if Penthouse was a particularly horny sub boi with a thing for comic books and sleaze, and had a bunch of super-queeny theater kid friends who all wrote dirty love letters to each other. Kind of drunk. And covered in glitter, leather, and Vaseline."

Go read it! Love you all!

Sep 21, 2011

This is Fabulous!

I haven't been writing reviews of porn for a while. Sometimes, in this line of work, you just get maxed out and have to give it a rest for a while, to get your breath back. And I'm happy to report that today I got a shipment that I am really excited to watch. It's been a long since I've felt excited about watching DVDs that I've been sent; hopefully this means I'm ready to dive back into watching way more porn than is strictly necessary or advisable. In fact, I might just dive in right now...

See you on the flip-side! I've got a loooong night ahead of me!

Sep 18, 2011

Confessor

I'm sitting in the Salt Lake City, UT airport. I've been here for almost four hours already and I've got a few hours to go before my redeye back to New York. Stupid, stupid awesome fun times in Colorado causing hangovers that cause the missing of flights. Gr.

But I've got some quality time with my computer, which is pretty ok. Over the weekend I got to thinking about the interesting position I inhabit as a woman who writes about but does not participate actively in the porn industry. I'm kind of a middle ground between the average consumer/appreciator of pornography and an industry insider. I know a lot about people on both sides of the spectrum, but I fall in the middle of it. I know many people in and out of the industry and see the perspectives of both. I know specialized industry language, but as a mere observer and commentator, I retain a lot of the curiosity and confusion of an outsider.

All of the above is kind of "duh." But the thing that's been capturing my attention lately is how OTHER people respond to me when they find out that I occupy this space between "in" and "out." I end up acting as confessor for some, and as a mostly-blank projection screen for the fantasies, fears, and insecurities of others. I don't come across, at least I don't think I do, as a "porn person." I look like any other person you meet at a party or a bar. But when I'm introduced as "This is Lynsey. She writes about porn," people either open themselves wide and ask questions, or they start to see me in a new way and assume they know things about me. The first few sentences of conversations I have with people I've just met are incredibly revealing about them. Just a few memorable first lines:

"Do you do sex work?" (no)
"I don't like porn at all." (yeah right)
"I'm addicted to porn." (oh?)
"Do you know Sasha Grey?" (no)
"Do you know Jenna Haze?" (yes)
"...how did you get into... that?" (needed cash)
"I watch porn, but I know that every time I do, I'm emotionally damaging myself." (...wait, what?)
"How do the guys groom their pubic hair? Do they wax?" (I have no idea, actually!)

...and so on. When I meet a new person, I never know if our introduction will  be perceived as an opening into a new and interesting world or a terrifying opportunity for revelation. I've heard confessions of addictions, joy about those same addictions, come-ons, put-downs, and everything in between, and it's fascinating. Once that initial, "This is what I do" card is dropped, all bets are off, but I often cease to be a real person for those I meet. I become a repository for fears, a source of information, an interesting curiosity. And most the time, I'm happy to be such. I feel like a priest in a confessional, a fly on the wall of the lives of people who often have not taken much time to think about their relationship to pornography until that moment... or who have spent entirely too much time thinking about it and cannot come up with any response other than shame. I enjoy pointing out to people who feel guilt about watching "violent" porn that the vast majority of it is made by people who very much enjoy that kind of sex--that watching a woman get "demeaned" in porn is often documentation of an empowering experience for that woman. I like to provide much-needed facts for people who have long wondered about the "mysteries" of pornography but never had the initiative to seek answers. I am a debunker, a lending library (literally--I've lent out dozens of DVDs), an insider and a myth, all in one.

Sep 16, 2011

Two Totally Terrific Questions, Part II

Dale asked: New follower. Discovered you on twitter and have started to follow your blog. I absolutely loved your piece on you former military friend! Questions. Do you have a book out? You mentioned somewhere that you had both a girlfriend and boyfriend. Do you still (or at all) think of yourself as bisexual? Looking forward to reading from your archive. Thanks.

Hello, Dale. Thank you for following my blog! Due to the nature of what I write about, I don’t get many comments (I think people are hesitant to take part in some of these questions in case their wife/mom/whoever finds out… or maybe just nobody’s reading… but I’ll take the former option), so it’s always good to get feedback!
As to your questions:
1)      No, I don’t have a book out, but I am currently (and slowly) working on two! One will be fiction (probably a graphic novel) and the other will be more essay-based. I’m so glad to hear you’re interested, because I’ve been needing a kick in the pants to jump-start my work after the summer craziness subsides. This might be it!
2)      As for my orientation, that’s a great question. I’ve been pondering it lately. I’d like to consider myself queer, in that I don’t go for men and/or women but am turned on by certain people regardless of their gender. However, as I have yet to place myself squarely inside the queer community or indeed have any lovers who identify on the queer scale, I can’t say I’m certain of this. But I will say that I love women, and men, and androgyny turns me on like woah. I have quite a thing for 70’s era David Bowie, genderqueers, many types of bois, and femme men. So yes, bisexual is a start. J

Sep 15, 2011

Two Totally Terrific Questions, Part I


From various spots around the interwebz:

Wilson said: what do u think abt straight men who like women who enjoy lady sex?

I’m not exactly sure how to answer this question because I’m not entirely sure about what I’m being asked, but here’s a stab at it.

I’m not maybe the best person to ask for a subjective opinion on this because as a woman who loves ladies and ladysex… I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t. I mean, sure, I get the theories as to why some people aren’t turned on by it, and I know it varies from person to person depending on taste, but I can’t really get outside of my own head to really understand why ladysex could be anything but great. But more to the point, I know that straight men especially love ladies, having sex with ladies, and looking at ladies, so it seems to stand reason that they’d also love watching ladies have sex with each other. Double the fun, right?

But that’s answering as if we exist in a cultural vacuum, and sadly, we don’t. The issues that this question raises are multitudinous. For instance, there’s a gigantic double standard in our culture that while it’s acceptable for straight men to unabashedly adore watching women go at it, it’s decidedly less acceptable for straight women to gush over how hot it is when men get it on. Frankly, I can see no good reason for this, but there are certainly enough not so good reasons for it. 

Women who have sex with women can easily have ladysex without being branded “gay” or even bisexual in a lot of ways, because female sexuality is considered (and may well be, but the jury is still out on that one) more fluid than male sexuality. Because a lot of ladysex is viewed as undertaken (especially in porn) primarily for the pleasure of men, watching it happen can be a turn-on both physically and mentally for a man, who feels little of the territorial sexual jealousy that he might get from watching a woman with another man. He can also watch a woman be sexy without comparing himself to another man, feeling nervous by the possibility of homoeroticism, etc. It’s fine for a guy to watch ladies get it on. But the opposite? Bah! A man who even touches another man in the wrong manner, or god forbid kisses him, is automatically labeled “gay.” There’s virtually no wiggle room for most men.
I think because the long-standing relationship model (which, by the way, is steadily being routed but still persists in rarely-examined corners of our lives, like this one) relies on the idea that the male partner in a heterosexual couple is the “important” one, I think that the idea of a husband or boyfriend hooking up with another man is potentially scarier than a woman doing the same with another woman. In gross generalizations, men tend to assign more importance to the physical act of sex than to the emotions behind it, whereas women (again, gross generalizations here) do the opposite. And for straight women who fall in love with men, the overriding idea in relationships is that male attention is more important than female. So for a woman to have sex with another woman, from the man’s perspective, is hot but not emotionally important. Whereas for a man to have sex with another man, even within the context of a relationship (threesome, voyeurism, etc), the fear that an emotional attachment might be made is a problem for the woman. And, of course, there’s that deal-breaking terror: “What if he’s really gay and drops me?” 

So on these many levels, I think the idea that ladysex is a turn-on for men makes sense, culturally, where mansex doesn’t always do it so much.

Most porn does very little to temper these erotic dreams with sometimes-less-sexy realities: sometimes when women have sex, they’re in love. Sometimes they like it better than sex with men. Sometimes they run off together. Sometimes, if there are two women with a man, it’s not ALL ABOUT THE MAN. Gasp! I love threesome porn, don’t get me wrong. And I love threesomes. But I find that in most pornography, the idea is that a man will be watching and therefore the man must be the focus of the action: the cock is fought over, coveted, and worshiped. Sure, this could be fun in a real threesome situation, but ladies having sex is often NOT ABOUT THAT at all. So I sometimes find that men who “enjoy ladysex” in their porn might not get a very well-rounded picture of what ladysex is all about in real life. Just a disclaimer.

Then of course there’s the ancient bias that the female body is more beautiful than the male, which persists to this day and which I find distasteful. I mean, they are beautiful, those lady-bodies. I love them. But to say they’re more beautiful than man-bodies… That’s just silly. I believe that because women are taught from an early age that one of their biggest goals—if not the biggest goal—in life is to be beautiful, women carry themselves that way. They know they’re gorgeous. It’s not hard to notice when someone is projecting attractiveness. So naturally, when we see women together, we think: double-whammy of attractiveness. But the flip side of the coin is that men, and people of other genders who have way more obstacles to accepting their appearance in the first place, are not taught to think they’re attractive. Or, if they are, the attractive factor is rated below aggressiveness, intelligence, money, etc. So while I don’t think the male body is inherently less attractive than the female body, men just don’t project sex appeal in the same way that women do. When they do, and do it well, you get superstars: George Clooney springs to mind. That guy KNOWS he’s hot and boy does it ever show. Women are on him like… women on George Clooney. But the cultural bias that exists in all of us until we confront it tells us that male bodies together are not attractive by virtue of their maleness. But fuck that—I know plenty of women who LOVE gay male porn and erotica. I do. Watching men get into their sexiness is a huge turn-on, even to a queer like me. If the men actually think they’re sexy, we will too!

But then there’s also the idea that a friend brought up to me recently, which was that for him as a straight man, watching lesbian porn was a big turn-on, but he couldn’t quite get himself the whole way there unless there was a cock in the scene, too. And while at first I was confused because…well, that’s not how it usually is for me… I realized something. The reason amateur porn, and gonzo and POV pro porn is so popular is because the whole idea of pornography for those who aren’t hardcore voyeurs (ie, don’t get off just on watching but in taking part) is that you imagine yourself in the action. If your mode of having sex involves your penis, well then, it makes sense that the porn that gets you off would feature a penis you could imagine as yours. And furthermore, even for those who get totally into girl-porn but can’t quite reach the mountaintop of arousal…

So, I guess the short answer is: I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying people of the sex/gender(s) you like getting together for a little sexytime.

Sep 13, 2011

Shameless Self-Endorsement (and India Summer, too!)

Well, hey, if I'm on a "not really thinking but posting anyway" kick... Let's do more self-promotion and links! Weehoo!

1) I did a really fun interview with the hyper-hot, super-spiritual, highly horny, and impressively articulate India Summer for WHACK! Magazine that published today. I think anyone who reads this blog will like it. A sampling:


WHACK! You’re big in feature films and are one of the industry’s most prized actresses. Did you ever act before you got into the biz?

INDIA SUMMER Can I tell a fart joke here?

WHACK! You mentioned once in an interview that you want to make your own sexual statement without boring, banal, thrown-together sets. If you wrote a sexual manifesto, what would you call it?

INDIA SUMMER In that interview question I was probably just shooting for having high production values and avoiding cookie cutter scenarios in anything I produced, (easier said than done) but if I wrote my sexual manifesto what would it be titled?
“Make Fuck Not Hate,” or
“I Fuck Therefore I Am,” or
”How to Have Mind Altering Sex,” or
“The Fucking Truth,” or
“How To Experience Guilt-Free Sex by Transcending Your Social Conditioning,” or
“I’d Rather Be Fucking,” or
“Who Said Love and Sex Have to go Together?”
But seriously maybe “Enlightened Sexuality.”

2) I absolutely hate sharing videos of myself, but I'm rather proud of this one, so without further ado, my reading at Bluestockings Books in NYC this weekend as part of LitCrawl NYC, on behalf of Sean Labrador Y Manzano's anthology, Conversations at the Wartime Cafe:

Sep 12, 2011

Links-a-Million: Hell is a Drag, Performers are Coming Together, K-Y is Cool, A Cop is Horny, and Porn is the New Punk

I've scheduled too many trips for myself in a short amount of time, along with full-time work, WHACK! interviews and upkeep, a poetry project, and so on and so forth. I'm kind of going mad over here. So, rather than try to make my brain work for too long on anything, here are some cool things you could check out. Oh, yes, they're sexy. Of course they're sexy.

1) LA BAMBA 2: Hell is a Drag, starring burlesque temptress Tara Lihn as artist Rob Fatal and the sex-bomb Jiz Lee as Richie Valens on a gender-bending kidnapping rescue adventure! Oh yeah, there's drag. There's camp. There's horror. This awesome-fest is a student production, and can use donations. Get yo' asses over there--you may never get to see this insane carnival of kickass if it doesn't get enough funding, and nobody wants that! Donate now! (via JizLee.com)

2) I hear rumors of an Adult Performers Association in the works from some outspoken and concerned workers in the industry! Their goals? To consider testing standards, form a group healthcare plan, addressing the rights of performers, act as a resource for health information, open up a more reality-based than rumor-mill discussion between "gay" and "straight" (and queer) sides of the industry, and liaising with the media to promote a more positive image for adult performers. To start. I'm excited to hear more... Keep your eyes on Twitter and the larger interwebz, folks. This sounds fabulous!

3) I want to just lend my voice to the chorus of "yes!" about this new K-Y Brand Intense commercial. Ohmigosh, lots of people use lube! Go, K-Y! Now... keep going!

4) Haaaahahahahahahaaaaa.... *breath* ...hahahaaaahaaaahaaa! Oh man. I hope this was worth it for both of them.

5) Porn Is the New Punk, by Danny Wylde, on the ever-impressive Smitten Kitten. I know, I know, I'm kind of fawning over him, but really... doesn't he deserve it?

Sep 10, 2011

Conversations at the Wartime Cafe

I just returned from reading a short piece I wrote for inclusion in my fellow McSweeney's alum Sean Labrador Y Manzano's anthology, Conversations At the Wartime Cafe. A few of us east-coast scribblers included in the anthology got together and read at Bluestockings Books on the LES here in New York. Our pieces centered around our experiences as writers during the War on Terror. It's not the kind of thing I like to glamorize often by talking or writing about. My life as an adult has centered around New York City, and I have been against the wars raging in the Middle East since day one. I saw the towers fall here and it shaped my life, and it still does. But it seems almost disrespectful to talk about it that way sometimes. Commodifying the experience of terror. Sentimentalizing something that is real. Making ceramic plates and conservative mantras on the pain and confusion of that day. Building wars of aggression on the backs of the suffering.

But writing the pieces for Sean's anthology and tonight reading them in a room full of New Yorker's on the almost-ten-year anniversary... I came to realize just how much the twin towers falling and the aftermath that continues to drag itself along on blood-stained feet has shaped me. The images of bodies falling from a hundred stories up when I'd just learned to call New York City home ten years ago--I hadn't realized until now just how burned into my memory those silhouettes are. How much my reality as an adult has been the constant reference to that one moment.

I've felt for a long time that we were crybabies about the whole thing. Not that it wasn't horrible; it was. Not that I don't mourn those who died; I do. But the number of lives our country has taken away from the rest of the world in retribution, holding up that attack ten years ago as a shield against blame for the wrongs we have committed... it makes me sick to think of it. And so I often don't. I avoid thinking about the profound influence that these things have had on me and my life. But right now, sitting here alone and running a fever and somewhat confused, it's washing over me. This is my reality and has been since I was eighteen: that there is nothing just here. There is and never has been an easy black-and-white in war or in politics. There is always that grey cloud of asbestos and fear, even in the brilliant fall morning light, because simplicity was lost long ago, sometime before we knew how to write it down. I often feel that my generation is diffuse, dissolute, disillusioned. That we lost our sense of magic on that morning. But really, I don't think we ever had it to begin with. Really, I think every generation must find this truth in one way or another. We simply have a moment in our collective memory to point to as the root of our childhoods falling away into ideologies clashing, stock markets flopping like dead fish, religions exploding. But what's funny is that in the world we live in, where we are at once more connected than ever and yet further from one another, separated by each other by the screens of our gadgets while tethered to the realities of what our military is doing abroad displayed on those same screens... that we have chosen to largely avoid banding together under that moment. We are too cool, or something. We see the grey in it and we can't figure out how to stand side by side, hand in hand, to find a common emotion here. We clutch our smart phones and can't look each  other in the eye, having come of age in a time when there is no common ground that is sure footing. It's all slippery, it's all subjective, it's all relative, and there is no real comfort there. But is adulthood a place where there can be comfort?

I'll read again tomorrow afternoon, with Sean Labrador Y Manzano, Nick Johnson, Britt Melewski, Keely Hyslop, M.G. Martin, Annie Wilner, Molly Kat, Soumeya Bendimerad, and Tess Patalano. Unnameable Books, 600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn. Would love to see some friendly faces.

Sep 8, 2011

You Know What I Love? Ladysex

A friend told me a few days ago that when she told her husband she was excited for my impending visit, during which we would spend some time with our lesbian friend together, he said, "So what, are they going to spend all their time talking about having sex with women?"

She was offended by this question, and I'm glad she was, because that's a willfully stupid thing to say. Obviously women who have sex with women, like our mutual friend and I, don't restrict our conversation to "ladysex," as my friends and I laughingly called it all weekend. We made a joke out of it and referred to "ladysex" at every possible opportunity to poke some fun at the sadly narrow-minded husband. Normally we wouldn't talk that much about it: those of us who enjoy the sexual company of women don't freak out and only talk about that subject when in the presence of others like ourselves, any more than people who have sex with any other type of person talk about the kind of sex they have. That's just small-minded and silly.

But then again, I've started thinking about it on my own, and you know what? While we might not restrict our conversation to ladysex normally, I think that when I'm with my lady-loving female friends, we actually do spend a fair proportion of our time talking about that topic. Here's why:

1) I'm a horny person and I write about sex and porn professionally for several publications. I'm particularly interested in the social, cultural, political, and personal impacts of non-normative sexual practices, gender roles, and queerness of all kinds. So when anything tangentially related to ladysex comes up, my mind veers in that direction.

2) My friends--particularly those with interests in ladysex or any of the things I write about--know that I'm knowledgeable and curious about these topics. They also know I love to talk. So they discuss their ideas, experiences, and frustrations with me, and sometimes ask questions.

3) It's not all that often that those of us women who like ladysex actually get together and have an opportunity to talk about it. So when we do, we really enjoy talking about it. Sharing experiences, ideas, techniques...  you know, war stories and the like. It's fun, and in a world where "ladysex" is referred to by numerous even sillier names ("girl-on-girl" when obviously everyone involved is at least 18 and therefore a woman, etc), represented so flat-out badly so much of the time (we've all watched "lesbian" porno scenes in which it could not possibly be more obvious that none of the women are at all interested in other women), and rarely discussed openly and honestly (safer sex practices between women, for example, are mysterious at best and completely unknown at worst), it's actually important to talk about it. To remember that even though our tendency toward "ladysex" might not be the defining trait of our characters, it is a part of what makes us who we are. To be happy that we've had the experiences we've been lucky enough to have and to feel validated amongst a group of people who understand those experiences--isn't that what people do with everything else? Isn't that what's so often missing in the discussion of sex? I say, talk about ALL the sex you have, whether it's with a man or a woman or a toy or a genderqueer or whatever! Talk about it, validate it, think about it, write about it. Do it and love it and be proud!

So, that being said... you know what I love? Ladysex! Loud and proud, baby!

Sep 6, 2011

The HIV Scare is Over, But Probably Not the Hysteria

Patient Alpha, who tested positive for HIV at the end of August, has re-tested negative! Yippie! The results of a second test were announced on Saturday, after the porn industry had been shut down for almost a week, and the unnamed, un-gender-identified, un-age-specific patient doesn't have the virus after all! Let's all dance around with glee for a few minutes to know that our friends in the industry aren't at risk.

Ok, now that that's over: let's discuss the issues this whole scare has brought up. Actually, not so much ";et's discuss" as "now I'll rant":

1) The industry needs a central testing clinic that can keep track of all performers' statuses. I recognize the problems inherent in this practice: Porn Wikileaks made them abundantly clear by posting private information about porn peeps all over the internet. But having a central database that easily accessible and can provide important information on STI status seems vital. The Free Speech Coalition is setting one up in APHSS, but it can't be up and running soon enough.

2) Testing seems, still, to be the way to go. According to an article on OpenMarket.com, with the vague information available on the number of active performers in the industry, the porn population is incredibly less likely to contract HIV than the general population. Like, 0.0007% versus 0.0016% less likely. Chew on that, AHF and condom-pushers.

3) Then again, condoms are fabulous, as are all safer-sex practices, and I feel that if performers want to have safer sex on camera, they should be lauded rather than scoffed at/hired less/paid less. I realize there are a few practical impediments to condom use on sets, but look at Wicked's success, and the hotness of using barriers and etc. in queer porn. If safer sex is had by people who are totally hot for each other to begin with, the props don't take away from the sexiness of the scene, IMHO. Take a look at CrashPadSeries.com if you don't believe me.
And furthermore, I have to interject that in straight scenes where condoms are used but pop-shots are expected (we could get into a discussion of the probability of STI transmission in various sex acts, but you can look that up on your own and I hope you will--suffice it to say that while not 100% safe, pop shots are significantly safer than internal ejaculation), I am consistently impressed with the skill shown by the condom-wearer. It takes skill and finesse to pull of a sex scene and pop shot in any case; stopping at just the right moment, ripping off the condom in one smooth motion and THEN popping your load? Very impressive. A skill not to be sneered at!
And of course, the fact that we're so settled on the idea that "consumers don't want to see condoms" says a lot about our attitudes towards sex in this country/culture. Ie, they're f-ed up. Shouldn't we be happy to see evidence that performers are having safe sex? I mean, shouldn't that make us feel good?

4) But testing is still way important. If condoms enter the picture in a big way, I hope very much that they'll enter WITH mandatory testing.

5) No matter what, it's great that the threat of HIV this time around has been lowered! Stay safe, all you sexy people in porn valley and elsewhere! We love ya and we want you at your best!

Sep 2, 2011

A Cartoon

I was thinking of blogging tonight but instead started picking up the detritus around my easel. I found a piece of cardboard I'd used as a palette a while ago, with some dried black and tan and red paint on it. The black looked a bit like a frumpy lady's head and the tan looked a little like a sheepdog's head. And the red dot between them... well. I turned it into a cartoon, and I rather like it. So here, ladies and gents, some doodled degeneracy: