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Not your rescue project

Posted at 23:07 on 5 Jan 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Happy 2014! I've been a bit of a hermit so far this year: a combination of recovering from NYE, caring for a sick cat, trying to catch up on work, and (as of this weekend) coming down with a cold myself. As a result, I've been on Twitter more than usual, where I've witnessed something truly extraordinary emerge in the last few days. #notyourrescueproject is a hashtag created by sex workers, for sex workers, to challenge the media and radfem narrative that paints us as victims incapable of consent.

The thread arose out of a conversation between @wassailinggirl, @mollidesi, @nagarvadhu and @BlasianBytch, among others. Right from the start, this was a conversation rooted in the experience of sex workers from a range of backgrounds, including migrants, women of colour, and abuse survivors (although these origins have been obscured by subsequent press coverage focussing on tweets from white SWs).

WassailingGirl has put together a Storify that documents the conversation's beginnings - it's long, but it's well worth reading. I saw the hashtag kick off on Thursday night, and added a few contributions of my own. Shortly afterwards the conversation exploded until it was flowing faster than I could follow it.

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Tags: Politics, Sex worker rights


Women watching porn

Posted at 11:48 on 20 Jan 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Before Christmas I was asked to participate in a feature for FHM on women watching porn. For my non-UK readers, FHM is a "lads' mag", a lifestyle and softcore porn magazine for young men, kind of like a cheaper version of Penthouse. Interestingly, these publications also seem to be one of the few resources for young men which openly discuss sex and relationships, and so they aren't without value - although the quality of the advice varies hugely.

I hadn't met the writer before. When he'd asked for recommendations for "woman friendly" porn I sent him the list of websites nominated for a Feminist Porn Award last year. He'd bought short-term subscriptions to four sites for us to look at: The Art of Blowjob, Bright Desire, I Feel Myself, and X-Art.

I showed up at his North London flat, and he poured me a glass of red wine while we waited for the other woman he'd invited - one @lucyannhancock, another journalist and (I think) a friend of his. When Lucy arrived she joined me in a glass of wine - I think both of us felt that booze would be required to not find this experience weird. Originally, it was going to be Lucy and GirlontheNet, but GotN sadly had to decline when she learned that FHM intended to take photographs, and suggested me instead.

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Tags: Fairtrade porn, Female gaze, feminist porn, media, other pictures, reviews, Sites and studios


Girlfriend-friendly porn - tested!

Posted at 17:35 on 21 Jan 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Girl friendly porn, tested by Pandora Blake and Lucy Hancock

Read the full article in the February issue of FHM, now on the shelves in the UK - it's on pages 122-123. If you aren't in the UK you can order a digital copy here. And if you haven't seen it already, don't forget to check out yesterday's blogpost on the hilarious, fascinating experience of watching porn for a men's lifestyle magazine.

Girl friendly porn, tested by Pandora Blake and Lucy Hancock

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Tags: Fairtrade porn, featured photos, Female gaze, feminist porn, media, other pictures, Photos, Politics, Sites and studios


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