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Feast your ears - tasty new podcasts coming soon

Posted at 10:27 on 22 Sep 2017 by Pandora Blake

I've had great fun lately recording episodes for two excellent podcasts, which are coming out imminently - do look out for them! I spent some time in conversation with Dave Pickering for 'Getting Better Acquainted' a couple of weeks ago. The podcast is on Soundcloud and you can listen to previous episodes here. It's described as part-interview show, part oral history project and part autobiography through conversation. There's some really cool episodes out already - I recommend listening to the one with Meg-John and Justin, and the one with Sadia Azmat (like episodes of Friends, only more interesting and politically relevant). I find it stimulating and enjoyable; well-paced conversations with interesting people about interesting topics. I'm looking forward to catching up with more of the back catalogue.

Dave's a fantastic host; he really put me at ease and I felt very comfortable talking about all sorts of things with him. As a result I went into a little bit more detail with him about certain aspects of my life which I have not revealed before, so when this podcast comes out it will contain an announcement which I think will be news to most of you. My episode is coming out on 4th October - I'm not going to say any more about it just yet, just that there is something coming which will enable everyone to get to know me a little bit better :)

The second podcast I've appeared on recently is Story etc. It's a relatively new, high-production podcast of which there are six episodes so far, on the topic of fiction. Each episode has a theme - previous themes have been inclusion, myth, secrets, science, interaction, and music - and contains a mixture of original creative writing, and interviews with a number people who have got something to contribute on that topic.

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Tags: audio, Getting Better Acquainted, podcasts, Story etc

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Digital rights conference in London: ORGCon

Posted at 10:00 on 14 Sep 2017 by Pandora Blake

Open Rights Group presents ORGCon - The Digital Fightback Begins

I'm really excited to be going back to ORGcon, the UK’s biggest digital rights conference. I haven't been since 2009, when I found it really inspiring and took away ideas that have stayed with me.

Myles Jackman and I will be sharing a 30-minute slot, covering how porn is "the canary in the coalmine" when it comes to free speech, the privacy risks of the Digital Economy Act, and where we go from here. I also hope to cover within that how porn censorship will impact upon members of marginalised communities, with a particular focus on queer sexuality - a subject close to my heart, and to many of yours I think.

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Tags: Age Verification, Digital Economy Act, events, ORGCon, Porn Censorship, talks

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Feminist porn talk at The Book Club

Posted at 17:00 on 7 Sep 2017 by Pandora Blake

Feminist Porn: how to find it and feel good watching itLast Thursday evening found me screening porn to a crowded basement bar in Shoreditch, as part of my workshop ‘Feminist Porn - where to find it and how to feel good watching it’. It was totally sold out, and when I got there I realised I'd underestimated how big an event it was going to be; there were apparently a hundred people there including ten journalists, so the whole thing was a bit higher profile than I'd anticipated. I hope that the coverage is favourable, and that my material wasn’t too controversial for the members of the press who were there.

My intention was to introduce the topic of feminist and ethical porn to people who wanted to learn more about it (including talking about the differences between those two terms, and some of the problems that have been raised with ‘feminist porn’ as a phrase), and to also screen some short samplers of some of my favourite feminist porn films, to give an indication of the variety available under that umbrella.

To kick things off I gave a very brief history of feminist porn, starting with Candida Royalle’s Femme Productions of the 1980s (read a heartfelt bio of her here), and introducing other important feminist directors and producers since then, from Annie Sprinkle to the present day. The first screening was a short clip starring Annie which kicks off with her schooling a male lover in how to lick her pussy. I wanted to show that porn which bucks mainstream trends and centers female pleasure and desire has been around for several decades now, and is going from strength to strength.

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Tags: Alyx Fox, Annie Sprinkle, BDSM, Bishop Black, Chelsea Poe, consent, ethical porn, events, female porn, feminism, feminist porn, fetish porn, Four Chambers, Foxhouse Films, Pink & White Productions, public speaking, Rooster, trans porn

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Sextech, Porn and the Law - A glimpse into the future of sex and sexuality and its regulatory framework

Posted at 09:00 on 21 Aug 2017 by Pandora Blake

I am delighted to have been invited to speak at an event in October, organised by the Society for Computers and Law (SCL), entitled 'Sextech, porn and the law - a glimpse into the future of sex and sexuality and its regulatory framework'. 

I shall be on a panel with the fantastic Dr Kate Devlin, Sarah Jamie Lewis and laywer Neil Brown, and the event will explore the technology of sexuality in detail including its history, current and future developments, privacy and security, and legal issues affecting production and sales. My talk will centre on how the legal framework affects the production and distribution of online pornography, with a focus on the new Digital Economy Act and its forthcoming policy of mandatory age verification. After the four talks there will be a Q&A session which provides an exciting opportunity to ask the opinions of some of the leading experts in this field. 

The idea for the event was prompted by the interest in Neil Brown's excellent article 'Sextech: sticky legal issues?' which talks about sex toys that have internet connectivity, and the resultant data collection, privacy and security issues; and about sex robots and the various ethical issues around them. I really recommend a read. 

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Tags: age verification, events, law, obscenity, porn, public speaking

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Age verification - more questions than answers

Posted at 17:50 on 20 Aug 2017 by Pandora Blake

Since the Digital Economy Act passed in April, age verification is coming to the UK - and the government have announced a deadline of April 2018. Thanks to the combined campaigning efforts of myself and various groups, we managed to get an amendment passed which averted the worst case scenario regarding prohibited content. But with web blocking still in place as a potential sanction, and no safeguards for user privacy, the Act still represents bad news for UK internet freedom.

I’m not the only one concerned about this. The Open Rights Group are also worried about the consequences of this badly-worded new law. This month I’ve had meetings with Executive Director Jim Killock and Legal Director Myles Jackman about age verification and what we can do about it. ORG have a long history campaigning for digital rights, and I've been a member for over ten years. We'll working together over the coming months to campaign on age verification and privacy, alongside my work with Backlash and as an independent voice.

I joined ORG in meeting Chris Ratcliff from the Digital Policy Alliance, the cross-party group consulting to the Government on the age verification policy, and also with a representative from the DCMS (the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport - the ‘digital’ has been recently added), the branch of the civil service who are responsible for implementing it. The meetings were useful in allowing me both to make my concerns known, and ask questions to improve my understanding of the situation. Although I learned a lot, overall it seems that as far as age verification is concerned, there are still more questions than answers. 

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Tags: age verification, AVMS, BBFC, censorship, DCMS, Digital Economy Act, Digital Economy Bill, Digital Policy Alliance, digital rights, Mindgeek, obscenity, Ofcom, Open Rights Group, porn, porn law

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Feminist Porn: where to find it and how to feel good watching it

Posted at 09:40 on 16 Aug 2017 by Pandora Blake

Feminist Porn: where to find it and how to feel good watching itI'm really excited to be giving a workshop on ethical porn and how to find it, on Thursday 31 August. It's part of the Sex Ed for Grown Ups series of events on sex, sexuality and gender, held at The Book Club in Shoreditch, London. I shall be talking about what makes porn ethical, and how to find porn you feel comfortable watching. Porn is a very personal topic, and some people's squicks are other people's squees. But it's a fact that the free tube sites where a lot of people browse for porn don't make it clear whether what you're watching was consensually or ethically produced, and don't include much material by queer and feminist producers.

I'll be sharing some of my favourite porn which has not been created for the straight male gaze, but instead centres the pleasure of queer and female performers. The evening will include some screenings of hot feminist porn clips, plus the opportunity to discuss what we see. I'll give advice about how to be an ethical porn consumer and find porn where the performers were treated well. I'll also talk a bit about my experiences as a performer and producer in the porn industry.

The workshop is on the evening of Thursday 31st Aug and costs just £6 + £1 fee, so it's super affordable. Tickets are available here on The Book Club website. It should be a fantastic event - I hope to see some of you there!

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Tags: ethical porn, events, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, film screenings, porn, queer porn, teaching, workshop

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#MasturbationMonday: what's the weirdest object I've ever used to masturbate with?

Posted at 15:25 on 31 Jul 2017 by Pandora Blake

I don't know about you but I find Mondays a bit dull - back at work, energy dipping after the weekend, and five whole days to go until next Saturday - so I thought let's spice them up a bit! I'm excited to introduce my first #MasturbationMonday! I'm hoping to find inspiration in the hashtag for semi-regular naughty posts, and I encourage you all to share your selfies, stories, favourite images and video clips, recommendations and nudes on Twitter, tumblr and Instagram with the hashtag #masturbationmonday.

To kick things off, here's a smutty interview I did for Erika Lust's Masturbation Interview series - it's always an honour to be asked to do an interview by Erika, and I was happy to oblige. It was a interesting and quite sexy to think about questions I'd never considered before such as 'what colour is your orgasm?' and 'do you agree that there should be masturbation areas in airports?' So if you ever wanted to know what the weirdest object I've ever used to masturbate is, whether I've masturbated in public, or been caught masturbating, now's your chance to find out! 

Pandora Blake #masturbationmonday interview with Erika Lust

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Tags: #masturbationmonday, Erika Lust, interviews

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Age verification critiqued on Radio 4

Posted at 18:35 on 30 Jul 2017 by Pandora Blake

Photo of credit cards, one of the potential means of age verification mentioned by Digital Minister Matt Hancock

So while I was away this month, I got cited by a Radio 4 presenter.

I listened to the segment on the BBC website after a heads up from some kind folks on Twitter. You can listen to it here until Wed 16 August - the relevant section begins at 32:51. Presenter Eddie Mair was interviewing Matt Hancock, the Digital Minister, about the age verification policy enshrined in the Digital Economy Act 2017. Unfortunately, Matt Hancock didn't come across very well. He sounded bumbling and under-informed, unable to give any clear answers about how age verification will work in practice. After claiming that age verification won't require giving any identifying information, the only means of verifying your age that he was able to think of were a passport and credit card - both of which involve revealing your identity, and exclude many marginalised adults without access to these documents from being able to look at porn. Not only that, but it's in doubt whether credit cards will be accepted by the regulator as a compliant form of age verification, as it's possible for under 18s to have them. Clearly Matt Hancock hasn't spent much time looking into this.

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Tags: age verification, Digital Economy Act, Digital Economy Bill, in the news, interviews, Matt Hancock, media

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The wrong kind of pain

Posted at 16:49 on 21 Jul 2017 by Pandora Blake

My laser hair removal appointment was meant to be yesterday afternoon, but had to be postponed after my train stalled at a platform halfway there due to a track fault, and we had to disembark. I was grateful to be able to reschedule the appointment rather than lose it, but the delay did have one unwelcome consequence.

Before my appointment yesterday, I made sure to do a close shave of all the relevant areas. The heat from the laser is transmitted down the length of hair to burn out the follicle, so you need to shave beforehand to prevent burns - if the hair is too long, it will have more time to heat up and will hurt a lot more. Today, I have a light dusting of 24 hour stubble - barely visible, but more than enough to make me wince as the laser passed over it.

I love being smooth, but I hate sting!

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Tags: laser

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Tantra Punk podcast

Posted at 15:28 on 19 Jun 2017 by Pandora Blake

Tantra Punk logoI love recording audio. Since I haven't found time yet to record my own podcast series, I welcome the chance to appear on other peoples'.  Tantra Punk is a podcast devoted to sexual liberation, healing and empowerment, with a new episode released every week or so. He interviews a fascinating range of individuals, from shamans to social workers. I spent an hour talking to him on Skype, and our chat is now available on his site.

We talked about what it means to be a queer feminist porn producer, my ethos behind making films and creating Dreams of Spanking, my fight with ATVOD, the Digital Economy Bill campaign, age verification, what ethical porn means to me - especially when it comes to performer's rights - and lots more. Do have a listen!

Legalizing Feminist Porn with Pandora Blake - Tantra Punk Podcast 109

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Tags: activism, audio, digital economy bill, feminist porn, interviews, podcasts

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