Magazine interviews this month

Posted at 17:49 on 2 Feb 2017 by Pandora Blake

Sexual freedom campaigner Pandora Blake

I've had several requests for press interviews this month, and it's been a great opportunity to get the word out about my political campaigning and the other things I'm working on. I've talked to a writer Artefact magazine about the Digital Economy Bill and its impact on feminist porn that should be out in the next few weeks.

I also contributed to a feature with  Huck magazine , who interviewed me and queer porn performer Blath together. We co-ordinated a content-share shoot at my house especially for the interview, so that Huck's journalist and photographer could both come and have a look behind the scenes on a feminist porn set. (I get a lot of requests for this, but far fewer publications that are willing to pay for our time, so it was lovely that Huck were willing to help make it happen.) We shot a super gothy ritualistic scene featuring hot wax, knives, witchcraft and lots of other fetishy hotness! The Huck photographer took lots of behind the scenes pictures which I can't wait to see, and we gave an in depth video interview too. I might be able to put footage of the interview up on YouTube - although it might be a bit annoying to watch, as it has the journalist tap-tapping on his keyboard in the background, making notes as we talked! But it was totally worth it - he wrote an amazing piece, and was generous enough to let us approve it before publication. I wish more media folks were like this! I'm looking forward to seeing the feature and photos in print - and of course the scene itself will be available on Dreams of Spanking and Foxclure Films  once its out. 

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Tags: Blath, ethical porn, feminist porn, media, Patreon, queer porn

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Restricting niche porn sites is bad news for people with marginalised sexualities

Posted at 09:41 on 30 Nov 2016 by Pandora Blake

Restricting niche porn sites is a disaster for people with marginalised sexualities - Pandora Blake for The Guardian

Last week I had an article published in the Guardian about the impact of the forthcoming Digital Economy Bill, and its proposed restrictions on online porn. You can read it here - Restricting niche porn sites is a disaster for people with marginalised sexualities.

The article has received over one and a half thousand comments - and I was pleasantly astonished to discover that the majority of them are sympathetic or supportive. It seems that many people share my outrage that the Government think it a worthwhile use of time and money to legislate what consenting adults do for fun - or think that this bill is a proportionate, workable answer to the problems emerging from young people's lack of sex education.

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Tags: age verification, BBFC, classification, Digital Economy Bill, Dreams of Spanking, ethical porn, feminist porn, Guardian, in the news, kink acceptance, Kink Olympixxx, law, media, Myles Jackman, Obscene Publications Act, obscenity, porn, protest

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BREAKING NEWS: Ofcom have upheld my appeal against ATVOD!

Posted at 10:11 on 6 Jun 2016 by Pandora Blake

FEMINIST PORN MAKER THRASHES CENSOR

Pandora Blake, award-winning activist and feminist pornographer, has won her appeal to Ofcom against ATVOD and can reinstate her site Dreams of Spanking, which was banned under the AVMS guidelines in August 2015, triggering widespread anger among free speech advocates as well as porn fans.

The controversial Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into effect in December 2014, banning consensual sex acts from online porn including facesitting, female ejaculation, and spanking that leaves marks. Pandora Blake took part in the 'facesitting protest' outside Westminster, and also spoke on Newsnight and Women's Hour challenging the sexist and regressive nature of the regulations. She believes that speaking out made her a target for censorship.

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Tags: ATVOD, AVMS, censorship, Dreams of Spanking, ethical porn, feminist porn, Ofcom

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Age verification: Problems with classification

Posted at 21:01 on 20 May 2016 by Pandora Blake

Response to the Government consultation on Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography

1: Evidence of Harm

2: Sex education

3: Privacy, surveillance and freedom of speech

4. Credit cards, classism and social exclusion

5. Problems with the existing classification system

The proposals assume a straightforward definition of “pornography” which is not workable in practice. During the second reading of the Online Safety Bill in the House of Lords Baroness Brinton argued that:

“A simplistic definition of pornography will cause immense problems in our courts. How do you define arousal and to what level of arousal - partial, full? Is that arousal the view of the average person on the Clapham omnibus, or should the definition cover the various fetishes that people may have? The famous film director Quentin Tarantino is a foot fetishist. There are a number of people who have assessed his use of bare feet in all his films. Clearly they arouse people with the said fetish.”

If a website calls itself “porn” or “erotica” but none of its contents depict nudity, staged violence or sexual acts - a foot fetish website is a perfect example - should it be categorised as a “sex work” for classification purposes? What harm could a young person possibly come to, looking at artistically lit videos of bare feet?

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Tags: age verification, AV consultation, AVMS, BBFC guidelines, British Fetish Film Festival, CPS, ethical porn, feminist porn, fetish porn, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, media, Myles Jackman, obscenity, politics, porn

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How to respond to the age verification consultation

Posted at 19:13 on 5 Apr 2016 by Pandora Blake

A working group called the “UK council for child internet safety” have published a 44 page proposal document outlining new plans whose stated intention is to ‘protect children online’. The proposals have worrying implications for privacy and freedom of speech, and are based on questionable assumptions and widely-debunked statistics and studies. If they go ahead, online age verification will become compulsory for anyone in the UK wishing to view any web page anywhere in the world on which adult content (still images or video) is hosted. If a site does not install an approved age verification system, the government wants to be able to contact the site's billing agent to cut off their income, and/or their hosting provider to have the site taken offline entirely. These proposals formed part of the government's pre-election manifesto, which also promised the construction of a UK-wide firewall blocking adult sites that failed to comply.

If you think this is a bad idea, please respond to the consultation by midday on 12 April 2016 - that's one week from today. 

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Tags: age verification, AV consultation, BBFC, censorship, civil liberties, CPS, digital liberties, ethical porn, feminist porn, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, net filters, obscenity, Ofcom, OPA, piracy, politics, porn, privacy, sex education, surveillance, tube sites

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Interview with Marie Claire on feminist porn

Posted at 18:19 on 16 Mar 2016 by Pandora Blake

I recently had the pleasure of talking to the features editor of Marie Claire magazine Indonesia, who wanted to run an interview with a female pornographer. Somehow they stumbled across my name, and got in touch to ask if I'd like to take part. I was a bit surprised to be asked - with my niche spanking fixation and weird insistence on shooting non-consent fantasies, I'm hardly a straightforward representative of the feminist porn movement. But the questions were interesting, and I had fun answering them. I also enjoyed the challenge of finding a selection of pictures from Dreams of Spanking that were suitable for a mainstream women's magazine (ie. no nudity or spanked bums!)

I'm finding it a bit strange how many journalists are interested in talking to me about Dreams of Spanking now that the site is offline, when I struggled for ages to get publicity for the project while it was live. But I suppose if my experiences of government censorship help shed light on the conversation around porn, feminism and production ethics, it's no bad thing. I'm certainly pleased to see a feature like this in a mainstream magazine - it all helps to spread awareness of feminist porn. It's a bit surprising that this is still necessary after 40 years of pioneering work by female directors, but when prominent feminist celebrities are still unaware that any alternatives to heteronormative mainstream porn exist yet, I guess every little helps.

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Tags: Dreams of Spanking, ethical porn, feminist porn, interviews, Marie Claire, media

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Did I tell you I shot myself?

Posted at 12:18 on 7 Feb 2016 by Pandora Blake

Pandora Blake poses nude at I Shot Myself

While I was in Melbourne I thought it would be fun to shoot for some Australian porn sites. Thanks to my connections I already had some contacts, and before I left the UK Michelle Flynn had booked me to shoot for Yanks. Once I was there, I also sent off applications to Girls Out West and Feck. I didn’t end up fixing a date with Girls Out West, but Feck got back to me and booked me to shoot for two of their sites - Beautiful Agony and I Shot Myself.

I’ve been performing in porn for nearly ten years, but in all that time I’ve never worked for mainstream studios. All my experience has been in the UK spanking/fetish scene, where sites are mostly run by couples or individuals working from home, or for similarly small scale feminist porn outfits like Bright Desire. So going into the offices of Girls Out West and Feck offices for an interview was a weirdly new experience. It was surreal, as a relatively experienced performer, to be put in the role of a newbie, auditioning for production companies half a world away. The Feck offices in particular are dauntingly professional - I mean the idea of a porn company having offices in the first place is already a bit alien for me, used to the miniscule budgets of UK fetish porn - but Feck’s offices struck me as particularly snazzy; in the hipster bit of Melbourne, with a lobby and pot plants and a receptionist and lots of different people sitting behind desks in lots of different rooms. Porn on this scale is a totally different world.

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Tags: Australia, ethical porn, fairtrade porn, I Shot Myself, photos, porn, sites and studios

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Smut screening in Melbourne

Posted at 23:41 on 1 Feb 2016 by Pandora Blake

I was very lucky to be invited to attend a sexy film screening in Melbourne the weekend after I arrived, organised by Gala Vanting and others. I was impressed: it was a central, friendly setting with two screens, comfy seating, food and drink, and good vibes. No embarrassed jeers and nervous laughter from this audience; here was a collection of smut fans who were open to being stimulated and confronted by filth of all flavours.

By a happy coincidence, this event focussed on kink and fetish (my favourites!), although I can’t exactly imagine Gala curating a vanilla programme. Since I was going to be there, she included a film of mine and a Q&A, which was good fun - plus I got to raise awareness of porn censorship, which was very relevant since almost all the films screened that night would now be illegal to distribute in the UK.

It was an incredible programme. Some of the films I’d seen before; Action Painting and Expiatory were both in the short film competition in Berlin last year. They had struck me then - to the extent that I was enthusiastically describing the latter to some Melbourne friends a couple of nights before the screening, and then when we got there I was delighted to learn I'd be able to share it with them after all.

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Tags: Australia, ethical porn, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, fetish porn, Gala Vanting, Goodyn Green, Inside Flesh, Manuela Kay, Maria Beatty, Melbourne, Miss Alyx, Mollena Williams, porn screenings

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Porn Film Festival Berlin 2015

Posted at 23:13 on 2 Nov 2015 by Pandora Blake

The Porn Film Festival Berlin is literally a life-changing event - and I don't say that lightly. It has certainly changed mine.

This year was its tenth anniversary, and a record 7 500 people attended screenings of cutting-edge porn from around the world. The offerings are incredibly diverse, including feminist porn, fetish porn, experimental porn, queer and trans porn, from short films to features ... but the festival doesn't only showcase film intended to arouse, it is also packed with documentaries, art films, docu-portraits, and myriad factual and fictional pieces exploring sex, gender and sexuality.

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Tags: censorship, Dreams of Spanking, Eliza Grey, ethical porn, f-f, f-m, fairtrade porn, female gaze, politics, porn, Porn Film Festival Berlin, queer politics, Tai Crimson

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ATVOD's Preliminary View on Dreams of Spanking

Posted at 23:05 on 7 Jul 2015 by Pandora Blake

I spent all of May anticipating a letter from ATVOD regarding my porn site Dreams of Spanking, and by the time I went on holiday at the end of the month, none had arrived. I met with Ms Tytania (who successfully appealed to Ofcom regarding ATVOD's Determination against her site the Urban Chick Supremacy Cell in 2014) for coffee, and she gave me some more info on the appeal process. For instance, I learned that while her appeal was underway, she took her members section offline, but left her site and blog up. She also suggested that it might be months until ATVOD issued me with their Preliminary View (that is, their first report on the site and whether it is in breach of their guidelines) - they are pursuing lots of cases at the moment and in the case of UCSC, they sometimes kept her waiting a long time for a reply.

I came back from holiday feeling refreshed, and got stuck back into work on Dreams of Spanking with enthusiasm. The detachment and depression I'd felt after I first learned of ATVOD's investigation felt like a thing of the past. For a couple of weeks, I took pleasure in editing videos and promotiing the site.

Then I received a letter from ATVOD enclosing their Preliminary View on Dreams of Spanking.

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Tags: ATVOD, AVMS, censorship, Dreams of Spanking, ethical porn, feminist porn

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