Posted at 01:14 on 24 Feb 2014 by Pandora Blake
Towards the end of last year I hired a part-time personal assistant, and it was one of the best professional decisions I've ever made. It's freed me up to spend less time on admin, and more time networking, campaigning and working on the creative and political projects I'm passionate about. Just what I needed to re-inject some inspiration and enthusiasm into my work.
Since hiring AJ, I've been able to follow up several exciting opportunities to talk to people about ethical porn, spanking and sexual freedom - from the FHM feature and QueerDiscOx radio show recently, to being interviewed about feminist pornography for a Masters thesis, and appearing in both a BBC3 documentary shoot about young people and porn (I don't know when the program will be aired, but will keep you updated), and a Guardian article (I was told it would be published six weeks ago, which leads me to guess that it might have been cancelled). All this has led to some tricky conversations with friends and family, and lots of thinky thoughts about the media, identity, visibility and the potential consequences of sticking my head above the parapet. Living in interesting times.
These changes have allowed me to get more involved not only as a content creator, but as a consumer as well. For instance, I've been making a conscious effort lately to buy (and watch) more feminist porn, which has been a thought-provoking and very horny process, even though I haven't yet found time to write all the reviews I want to write. It also freed me up to attend a fascinating evening of talks on sex workers rights hosted by Gender Sex Talks, which not only taught me a lot but left me feeling affirmed, supported, and keen to get more involved in the campaign for full legalisation of sex work. If this is something that interests you then a) you should read this Storify which contains many, many learnings, and b) let's talk more - follow me on twitter and say hi!
So it's all good: I'm re-connecting with my reasons for doing all this in the first place, and meeting and talking to so many amazing women, queers and sex workers along the way. It turns out that having enough opportunities to network and connect is good for my emotional well-being as well as for business. Community is important - who'd have thought it.
I've got several exciting opportunities yet to come; it's going to be a whirlwind of a spring.
The kinky film festival Cinekink will be screening the Dreams of Spanking film My Inner Little Girl this Saturday in New York City. I won't be able to attend, but it's amazing to be included. The film is a solo masturbation and spanking fantasy scene, my first orgasm on camera, and you can find out more about it here.
Saturday 8th March will see me in Bristol for Eroticon 2014, the UK conference for erotic writers and bloggers. I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the opening keynote on sex and censorship, alongside the frankly intimidating expertise of Myles Jackman and Zak Jane Keir. I'm planning to make good use of the trip to attend as many sessions as I can on the Saturday, and will also be at the Meet & Greet the night before. It looks to be a great weekend, and tickets are available here.
Whats your name?
What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2014?
Being able to talk freely about sex, and about the minutiae of working in the erotic industries, with a community of wonderful, open-minded, likeminded people. After having to keep half my thoughts to myself in daily life, events like this are much-needed refreshment for the soul.
What are you most nervous of about Eroticon 2014?
I've got eight minutes to talk about how censorship has affected me as a pornographer, and I'm not so much nervous as absolutely certain that I'll run over. I hope my fellow panellists will keep their poking sticks ready to shut me up in time!
What do you hope to get from Eroticon 2014?
Learnings, inspiration, new friends, and solidarity!
What is your bad erotica writers pen name?
Swarovski Zoneout. I guess that's what the jewelry brand means by "unforgettable moments" ;)
But the really big event for me this will be in April, when I'll be travelling around the US and Canada for the whole month. I've never been away from home for a month before, and the prospect is both delightful and terrifying. I'm really looking forward to it, and I can't believe how much needs doing before I leave.
My tour will begin in Toronto for the Feminist Porn Awards and Conference, at which I've been invited to speak on non-consent scenarios in ethical porn. I've submitted a few films to the awards too, so we'll see. I'll then be flying to Los Angeles to stay with Alex (I've missed her SO MUCH) and Paul for a couple of weeks, and I'm hoping to squeeze in lots of spanking shoots and sessions while I'm there. Then another flight, to spend a few days visiting my friend Jade in her hometown, before I finally end up in Atlantic City for Boardwalk Badness Weekend.
The icing on the cake is that my dear friend Zoe Montana will be flying all the way from Australia to attend the party, and I'll have the pleasure of sharing a room with her. I miss Zoe all the time and can't wait to spend a long weekend with her, surrounded by our wonderful spanking community. I intend to play hard, party hard, stay up all night talking and hug all my friends non-stop. It'll be the perfect way to round off the month.
I'm taking bookings for shoots and sessions throughout April, including double sessions with Alex in LA and with Zoe at Boardwalk Badness, so if you'd like to book me for anything in Toronto, LA or Atlantic City, get in touch!