Patreon update: sex work research, feminist spanking porn in the Guardian, and more

Posted at 00:00 on 9 Aug 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: Patreon update

First posted on Patreon, 9 August 2016. Patreon backers see these updates first; I add the posts to my public blog a month later.

 

Hi Patrons! Here’s my update just for you about the work you’ve helped to make happen in July. After June’s hectic news and Dreams of Spanking relaunch, it’s been great to start settling back into something approaching a routine...

 

Latest blog posts

Exciting news - I’ve finally been able to publish a documentary I made a year ago about porn performers and their opinions on UK porn laws. As part of my sponsored caning fundraiser for Backlash, all the participants were interviewed before their canings and spoke about their thoughts about porn criminalisation and censorship. I edited their interviews together into this short documentary, looking at why porn performers, kinksters and spanking enthusiasts were so opposed to the new legislation. It's only 17 minutes long and is a really succinct summary of why the current UK regulations are so damaging. Go watch it!

I've also sadly had some bad news to share about an amazing public service that’s now under threat - the Open Doors sex worker support clinic in Hackney. They provide support to sex workers in East London, regardless of legal or immigration status, on whatever they need - issues from homelessness to mental health, drug use, domestic violence, sexual violence, language skills, immigration and stigma. They are non-judgemental, completely confidential, and have saved lives. And now they’re under threat; not only facing dramatic funding cuts, but being forced to change the way the operate and required to hand over details of service users to the police. I’ve put together a checklist of ways you can help support this absolutely vital service, and I’ll be making sure as many people as possible are aware of this - please help me spread the word.

 

Media

I first met Lily O’Donnell at the Feminist Porn Conference in Toronto in 2014, and she recently interviewed me on how feminist porn frees women from shame for the Guardian. I was really happy to see this piece go out. For so long the only mainstream press coverage of feminist porn has been endless rehashing of ‘can it exist?’ so it’s brilliant to see a major UK paper publishing a piece on how and why spanking and complex consent play in pornography can be feminist.

SpeakXXX is a project that launched earlier this year, providing a platform to share views and opinions from experts in  and around the adult industry. I met with them tonight and we had an animated discussion for well over an hour, on topics ranging from sex education to porn criminalisation, what feminist porn means to me, and my experiences in the industry. I’m delighted to be working with them to share my authentic experiences as a feminist porn producer, performer, and sex worker - the more of our voices are heard, the more easily we'll be able to counter misinformation and stigma. The interview was recorded, so keep an eye on their website as they add more information.

I’m also anticipating an appearance in another major UK paper, having had a long interview with journalist Corinne Redfern at Fabulous magazine for the Sun. I’ll be really interested to see what their take is; we talked about porn, feminism, consent and industry standards, but of course you can never be sure what will make it into press and what will get cut. This should hopefully appear soon, so watch this space!

 

Political campaigning

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the 13 Steps to Suppression photo project by Charlotte Rose and Jane Fae. They are producing a series of photographs depicting each of 13 acts criminalised in UK porn, in a humorous and artistic way. My contribution was for "spanking", of course! The project will be launched on Dec 3rd, and photo prints will be auditioned to raise money to fight UK porn censorship.

I've also given an extensive interview for Raven of the Sex Work Research Hub for her study on duality and sex work stigma, talking about the need to lead a double life as a sex worker, and how it impacts me and my work. This is a really important piece of research because the social stigma surrounding sex work is, for many, the most damaging part of the industry. Whatever reason we choose sex work, we are all subject to stigma which can make it hard to work independently, can be challenging in personal relationships, and can make it difficult to leave the industry should we ever wish to - after all, how do you account for the gap in your CV if you’re unable to talk about sex work? It was a fascinating conversation and I think this research will be a really useful contribution to the discourse once it's published.

In other news, I’m really making the most of being back up and running with Dreams of Spanking. We just had our first shoot of our new life, shooting with a trans femme performer who is publicly documenting her transition online. I want to continue doing my best to raise the profile of marginalised communities within the BDSM world. Now that Dreams of Spanking is legally exempt from the repressive AVMS regulations, I want to take the opportunity to continue being subversive and revolutionary!

I intend to keep explicitly making innovative and political choices with the porn I make, neither chasing profit nor resting on my laurels. With everything I publish, I aim to break conventions in one way or another. I want to broaden people’s horizons, open minds, and improve diversity of representation.  Dreams of Spanking has always been a political project for me, not just a business, because porn is such an effective way of getting and holding people’s attention and converting them to new ideas. So many people watch it, and you can expose them to new ideas in a way that is accessible and palatable. Porn is a great place to start changing the world!

Pandora xx

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