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Feminist Porn: where to find it and how to feel good watching it

Posted at 09:40 on 16 Aug 2017 by Pandora Blake

Feminist Porn: where to find it and how to feel good watching itI'm really excited to be giving a workshop on ethical porn and how to find it, on Thursday 31 August. It's part of the Sex Ed for Grown Ups series of events on sex, sexuality and gender, held at The Book Club in Shoreditch, London. I shall be talking about what makes porn ethical, and how to find porn you feel comfortable watching. Porn is a very personal topic, and some people's squicks are other people's squees. But it's a fact that the free tube sites where a lot of people browse for porn don't make it clear whether what you're watching was consensually or ethically produced, and don't include much material by queer and feminist producers.

I'll be sharing some of my favourite porn which has not been created for the straight male gaze, but instead centres the pleasure of queer and female performers. The evening will include some screenings of hot feminist porn clips, plus the opportunity to discuss what we see. I'll give advice about how to be an ethical porn consumer and find porn where the performers were treated well. I'll also talk a bit about my experiences as a performer and producer in the porn industry.

The workshop is on the evening of Thursday 31st Aug and costs just £6 + £1 fee, so it's super affordable. Tickets are available here on The Book Club website. It should be a fantastic event - I hope to see some of you there!

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Tags: ethical porn, events, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, film screenings, porn, queer porn, teaching, workshop

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A new conversation about 'ethical porn'

Posted at 17:26 on 12 May 2017 by Pandora Blake

I'm really pleased to be featured on a newly-launched site, ethical.porn, a fantastic timely addition to the conversation about the politics of porn production - click here to read my contribution. This is a really important issue to me: as a producer and director my production ethos is always performer-centric, and prioritises transparency, explicit performer consent, and equal pay for equal work. My work as a performer has informed my politics about porn working conditions and I hope that even when I'm directing, I still see things from a performer's perspective.

I look forward to following the conversation - there are some fantastic contributions on the site, including by feminist porn pioneers such as Shine Louise Houston and Ms Naughty. I hope this will have some influence on the often overly simplistic mainstream and feminist discourse about porn, and complicate the standard takes on the issue with some much needed nuance and critical thinking.

The mission statement of the site is as follows:

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Tags: decriminalisation, ethical porn, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, politics, porn, sex worker rights, working conditions

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Huck Magazine article on indie porn

Posted at 22:02 on 5 Apr 2017 by Pandora Blake

You may remember my post last month, telling how I had a journalist and photographer over to my home one evening to watch me and Blath shooting a ritualistic, witchy content share scene. Well, the photos and resultant article are now available in Huck Magazine.

The piece contains some good stuff: talks in a positive way about queer kinky porn, critiques the Digital Economy Bill and Age Verification, and quotes Vex Ashley and Bishop Black along with me and Blath. It also does a bit to center our work in the historical context of political porn, rather than trying to claim that we are inventing it (as a lot of journalists do when they hear about alt porn for the first time). And at least there isn't any pointless "can porn be feminist???" questioning. I have to admit I'm also struck by the pictures - the photographer did a great job of capturing the dark sexy vibes of the scene (credit to Blath for the arty lighting). Sequins and "decriminalise sex work" postcards: yup, that's a queer porn set.

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Tags: age verification, Blath, Digital Economy Bill, ethical porn, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, media, porn, queer porn

 

Introducing the London Porn Film Festival

Posted at 17:30 on 29 Mar 2017 by Pandora Blake

Postcards of the London Porn Film Festival

I’m SO happy that London has *finally* got its very own London Porn Film Festival, courtesy of those fabulous queers over at Wotever World <3 It’s on next week from Friday to Sunday (April 7-9), and I’m delighted that they are showing two Dreams of Spanking films: Please May I Come, Mistress and Queer as in Fuck You. Even better, I shall be there to do some Q&As! Ever since I first attended the amazing Berlin Porn Film Festival in 2014, I’ve longed for a London equivalent to showcase radical queer porn in its many beautiful diverse forms, so this is super exciting - please help me support it so it can become an annual event!

Please May I Come, Mistress is part of a 100-minute programme with seven other shorts under the title ‘A Thousand Queer Sexualities - films that span a breadth of erotic possibilities, and at the same time subverts them and swerves past the easy answers’. This film screens alongside Since You Asked So Nicely by Ms Naughty at Bright Desire, starring myself and Parker Marx in my first published boy/girl scene - which is queerer than you might expect.

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Tags: Charlie J Forrest, Dreams of Spanking, ethical porn, fairtrade porn, Fauni Cate, feminist porn, film festivals, queer porn, Wotever World

 

Queer Porn at the British Film Institute

Posted at 14:51 on 28 Mar 2017 by Pandora Blake

Myles Jackman, Jiz Lee, Pandora Blake and Jay Bernard at Sexit, BFI Flare

When I started making spanking films I never once imagined that I would get a chance to screen them at the British Film Institute. Porn - especially queer porn and fetish porn, and Dreams of Spanking is firmly in both camps - is in many ways innately counter-cultural. When I launched the site I didn't expect the draconian criminalisation that would follow; but equally I didn't expect that queer porn, specifically my queer spanking films, would be considered cultural enough to be shown somewhere like the BFI.

It's a bittersweet juxtaposition, perfectly illustrated by something I noticed when I arrived at the BFI for Flare, the LGBTQ film festival, at which I was taking part in a panel discussion around how porn law affects queer porn. The banner across the Flare reception desks proclaimed the sponsors of the event; and there on the left was the legend "Supported by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport." How ironic that the very department of the civil service supporting this event is the one which introduced a statutory instrument in 2014 criminalising many forms of queer porn, including my own. It was surreal to speak about that criminalisation, to a sympathetic audience eager to learn how they can resist state oppression, at an event supported by the very public body responsible for that oppression. For me, that dissonance aptly summarised the widening gap between legislation imposed from above by those who have no clue about sexuality or sex work, and an increasingly open-minded public who mostly consider the sex lives of consenting adults to be their own damn business.
 
Before the panel proper, I recorded a video interview alongside queer porn icon Jiz Lee, and Chocolate Chip, who stars in Snapshot, the new "porn noir" sexy whodunnit by Shine Louise Houston, with questions asked by Flare programmer Jay Bernard. Jay is one of the curators of the festival, and they did an amazing job co-ordinating the Sexit panel and programming queer films that center people of colour. The interview was intended to be streamed via Facebook Live, but apparently the BFI is an old old building with shitty connectivity, so it was recorded instead - I'll link the video as soon as it's available. 

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Tags: activism, Digital Economy Bill, Dreams of Spanking, ethical porn, Extreme Porn legislation, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, Gender politics, Jiz Lee, kink activism, listen to sex workers, Myles Jackman, obscenity, porn, queer porn

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DIY porn workshop FAQ

Posted at 16:54 on 1 Mar 2016 by Pandora Blake

Express Yourself Through DIY Porn

This coming weekend I'll be running my first ever workshop, a full day event hosted by the amazing people at the School of Erotic Mysteries, who are passionate about helping people explore and express their sexual power. It's going to be the first event of its kind (that I know of) in the UK, and I'm really excited to have the opportunity to share the knowledge I've accumulated during ten years working in porn. If more people made their own porn we could transform the industry for the better - make it more authentic, more diverse and more representative of the gorgeous variety of real people's sexuality. Plus it would give more people the chance to experience the many rewards of expressing your erotic self on camera - it's an incredible buzz and a journey towards greater self-love and creative satisfaction!

We've had lots of interest and many people asking questions about the event, so we have put together the following FAQ. If you have any other questions, ask away - and if you want to dip your toe into the waters of erotic performance in a supportive, accessible and non-judgemental environment, perhaps I'll see you on Sunday.

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Tags: DIY porn, events, fairtrade porn, porn, School of Erotic Mysteries, teaching, workshop

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Empower Yourself Through DIY Porn

Posted at 15:51 on 19 Feb 2016 by Pandora Blake

Empower yourself through DIY porn - workshop flyer

A couple of years ago I wrote an article about why I think we need more DIY porn - to improve industry working conditions, increase diversity of representation, and empower more people to see and express themselves as the sexy creatures they are. Well, if you thought making porn might be something you might want to try but you don't know where to start, I'm now developing my DIY porn thoughts into a full day hands-on workshop, in collaboration with the School of Erotic Mysteries.

This event will take place in central London on Sunday 6th March - just two weeks away! It will run from approximately 10am-5pm with a break for lunch, and we’ll focus on building your confidence and capacity to the point where you have the skills and inspiration you need to go home and start shooting.

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Tags: DIY porn, events, fairtrade porn, porn, School of Erotic Mysteries, teaching, workshop

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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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