I'm so excited that the London Porn Film Festival is back next week and bigger than ever, with eight amazing short film programmes, a "Fuck me in the ear" audio porn workshop, a sex education panel, a full-length feature film, and a special programme curated by the guest of honour, Lina Bembe. This is the third LPFF and it's become one of the highlights of my year. I love having the chance to soak up new porn creations from across the world, and hang out with other people making queer, feminist and kinky porn in the UK and beyond.
Even more thrilling, I'm featured in three films that are screening this year! Two Dreams of Spanking films have been selected, Velvet Touch - a collaboration with Chelsea Poe and Courtney Trouble of QueerPorn.tv - and Even Teachers Make Mistakes, my popular and playful new schoolgirl-with-a-twist film, have both been selected, in the The Wetter The Better and The Kinks Are Alright categories respectively.
You lie face down. The room is warm, and candles burn on the nearby mantelpiece, casting a warm glow over over you and illuminating your naked skin. You notice the candles, and find yourself wondering if we will indulge in some wax play...
We lift your head up a little. The silk blindfold is a caress as we tie it over your eyes. Your mind begins to settle as your naked skin tingles in anticipation.
After the Digital Economy Act passed in July 2017, implementation of age verification has been repeatedly delayed. We were initially told it would start being enforced in April 2018, but it was put back till the end of 2018. In November the Minister for Digital, Margot James, claimed that it will come into effect by Easter 2019, but as far as I know things aren't yet in place to enable the BBFC to begin enforcement.
For me, International Women's Day is grounded in its labour rights roots. In 1857, garment factory workers in New York City went on strike to protest appalling working conditions, long hours and low pay. The protest led to the formation of the first women's labour unions, and labour organisers in Copenhagan created International Women's Day in 1910.
In 2019, women still do the majority of childcare work and housework. Jobs disproportionately done by women continue to be exploitative, with zero hour contracts, long shifts and low pay. Discrimination and harassment are rife, and women are not believed when they report sexual abuse. Abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland, and austerity policies hit women the hardest.
I'm participating in a regional meeting for the Bristol University research on sex work in the UK tomorrow. I responded to this consultation in July last year; I haven’t shared my response here because it goes into detail about the way I work as a sex worker, which is too private to share in this forum, but I did send a response talking not only about the work I do, but about the ways that criminalising sex work harms more marginalised workers. Backlash also sent a response, advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work as a harm reduction measure.
The researchers are holding a number of regional consultation meetings across England on Thursday, and I’m attending the London regional meeting as a representative of Backlash. It will involve a presentation by the research team on their draft findings, followed by a group discussion on the findings, then an opportunity for presentations and a plenary discussion. My colleague Rosie Hodsdon will be attending the Leeds meeting; she is an academic at the University of Northumbria who has been very active and vocal on issues around porn and sex work law, and is also a volunteer for Backlash.
Good news for those who care about consent: this week 'upskirting' became illegal in the UK. This refers to the act of photographing under someone's clothing without their consent and usually without their knowledge. The new law makes it illegal for anyone of any gender to violate someone's consent in this way, if the intention is sexual gratification, or to cause distress and humiliation. Click here for the government page explaining the changes.
Fans of fetish porn will be familiar with the "upskirt" genre, photos taken of someone's genitals or buttocks, with or without underwear, in a voyeuristic style, often staged as if the performer was unaware that the photo was being taken. It's an innocent fantasy, which for many people harks back to the first accidental glimpses they caught under someone's clothing as a child. But I hope that all fans of this fetish genre would insist that the performers pictured did actually consent to the photos being taken.
Now I'm pregnant, I wanted to talk about the complexities of being trans, non-binary, and having a big bump - not to mention a bigger chest... As if that wasn't complicated enough, I'm also a sex worker. I couldn't find many resources about being non-binary and pregnant, never mind a non-binary pregnant sex worker, so I thought I'd put something out there. Well, I don't know if I can call this a "resource", it's mostly me talking about why things are VERY CONFUSING in my head right now, but if you're in the same situation hopefully it'll show you're not alone (hiiii) and if you're not trans or not pregnant, maybe it will give you a bit of an insight into what it's like.
If you're in London, the best way to answer this question is to attend Skeptics in the Pub next Monday, at The Monarch in Camden.
Obscenity Lawyer Myles Jackman asks what the truth behind age verification is by exposing the arguments, history and impacts of balancing child protection against adult free speech and privacy rights.
The Digital Economy Act 2017, which comes into force this March, will compel adult pornography websites in the UK to verify that their users are over the age of 18. This measure was predicated on the assumption that it would prevent under 18’s being “harmed” by pornography; yet has potentially disastrous unintended consequences for adult privacy and the free speech ecosystem.
I've got some big news to share... I'm pregnant, and I couldn't be happier about it!
I'm 16 weeks pregnant with a small but already visible bump; the above photo was taken a few days ago. My baby is due in July and I'm ridiculously excited! It's the biggest adventure I've ever been on, and my partner and I are thrilled as we get ready for this next phase of our lives.