I’m typing this at the airport, waiting for my flight to Berlin. I’ve had five hours sleep and I can’t believe I’ve actually made it this far and nothing’s gone wrong.
This is my third international trip this year and each time I feel like I’m getting away with something naughty. Like all self-employed business owners, I pay the price for time off in advance. All the work due while I’m away needs to be done ahead of time; plus I need to earn extra pennies to pay for the trip. I can’t imagine the ease of having paid leave – but then, nor can I imagine the frustration of not being in control of my own creative work. Overall it’s a trade-off I’m happy with. And after not being able to afford to take holiday for most of my twenties, it feels like an unimaginable luxury.
I don’t know if it was the sleep deprivation, but as I arrived at the airport I felt suffused with happiness. When I think of the lives lived by so many women worldwide less fortunate than me, I can’t believe the freedoms I enjoy – being able to express myself creatively and sexually, to travel, to be in control of my own life, earn a living doing what I love.
The Berlin Porn Festival is my next adventure – and I’m so excited! Whenever I’ve told any of my friends I’m going to Berlin, they have told me that it’s the best city, that I’m going to love it. It’s built my anticipation to a fever pitch. I didn’t know what to expect, so I’ve probably packed too much – clothes for warm weather and cold weather, for wind and rain, smart clothes, fetish clothes, and even DVDs of my film that will be screening – Instructed.
I didn’t plan for this trip, and I didn’t even decide to go until I found out that Instructed was screening – the film I made in Toronto with feminist porn pioneer Ms Naughty. As soon as I learned that it would be shown in Berlin, I knew I had to go. So far, my films have been screened at two festivals (Bikesmut and Cinekink – both in the US), and I couldn’t get to either. By contrast the Berlin Porn Film Festival is practically next door. This time, I had no excuse.
Instructed is an interesting first film to see screened in public, for two reasons. Firstly, my content share with Ms Naughty permitted us both to edit our own versions of the footage, so that we could each offer exclusive content to our members. But we co-directed it, and the two edits turned out surprisingly similar – it seems we had a pretty coherent vision. So I’ll be watching my film, but not my editing choices, which will perhaps give me a bit of pleasant distance. Film-maker anxiety might be a bit much to process given it will also be the first time I’ve seen myself as a performer on the big screen.
Which brings me to the second reason – this is the most sexually explicit film I have ever made. It’s still a new thing for me to publish a film online that includes a close-up shot of my cunt as I touch myself. The internet is quite different from a cinema full of people. I am still not sure how I feel about the idea of watching high definition video of myself on the big screen, inserting a buttplug and masturbating to orgasm.
As I said on Dreams of Spanking, this is going to be a baptism of fire. It’s definitely one of those seminal moments in the life of a pornographer.
The thing that makes me proud of this film, and like maybe I won’t have to hide behind my programme, is that my partner D also contributed. It was his written instructions that I trustingly followed on camera – without knowing in advance what he had written – and it’s his voice that accompanies the film as voiceover, telling my on-screen self what to do. My relationship with this film is still one of wonder and admiration that my boyfriend would go to such lengths to support my career and be part of my creative process. When I imagine myself watching it, I’m not blushing at the sight of my own cunt displayed the size of a cinema screen, but at the knowledge that despite my tendency to gallivant across the planet to hang out with pornographers, he loves me enough to find a way to get involved.
When we shot Instructed, I felt as if D was reaching across the ocean to wrap me in the glow of his loving dominance. Now I come to watch it on the big screen for the first time, we’re separated by distance again – and it’s comforting to know that his words, and his voice, will be part of the experience nonetheless.