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Celebrating 500 Patreon Posts!

Posted at 15:00 on 24 Nov 2020 by Pandora / Blake

It’s hard to believe it, but I now have over 500 on my Patreon! I actually hit this milestone a few weeks ago and in all the chaos of life it passed me by. To be precise, this will be my 512th post to Patreon since I started in April 2016. We’ve been on a rollercoaster of activist causes, legal battles and kinky fun, and I don't intend to stop any time soon. Here’s a highlight reel of some of my favourite moments over the last four years.
 

April 2016 - Did a week of research and sent a ten thousand word response to the Government consultation on age verification - as long as my MPhil thesis!
 

June 2016 - Gave interviews to dozens of publications including The Guardian and The Independent about winning my legal appeal, and Ofcom’s ruling to allow my porn site Dreams of Spanking, to reopen after being criminalised the previous year.
 

Keep reading »

Tags: book, campaigning, media, Patreon, round-up

10 comments

No, you can't shoot your documentary on my porn set

Posted at 14:00 on 19 Oct 2020 by Pandora / Blake

Image is from Oh Joy Sex Toy, who are definitely not who this post is aimed at.

Over the years many journalists, television producers and documentary makers have wanted to talk to me about my work in the sex industry. In the past I did my best to give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve spent hours on the phone giving interviews, I’ve helped producers sort out venues and performers for documentary work, I’ve sent backstage content for TV companies to use. I believe strongly in demystifying and destigmatising sex work, and I’ve tried to help when I can.

But I've reached a point where I'm extremely wary when it comes to my dealings with the mainstream media. And I've never once said yes to one of their most common requests: to shoot a behind-the-scenes documentary about ethical pornography on a set where I am the director. 

Keep reading »

Tags: documentary, ethical porn, media, porn, rant

62 comments

The abuse of the "rough sex" defence

Posted at 13:03 on 5 Dec 2019 by Pandora / Blake

There's been some worrying stories going around about defendants in murder trials trying to get lighter prison sentences by claiming that the murder was just "rough sex gone wrong".

In New Zealand, 21 year old British backpacker Grace Millane was killed while on a Tinder date to celebrate her 22nd birthday. She messaged her friends to say she was having fun, but later that night her date killed her by "pressure to the neck". 

He told jurors it was an accident during consensual kinky sex. But after she was dead, he searched online for ways to dispose of the corpse - and then went straight out on another Tinder date. After Googling for large duffel bags, suitcases and car hire, he later shoved her body in a suitcase and buried it in the forest.

Keep reading »

Tags: BDSM, erotic asphyxiation, in the news, kink acceptance, law, media, violence against women

867 comments

Privacy blunder as govt announces age verification commencement date

Posted at 11:28 on 19 Apr 2019 by Pandora / Blake

This week the DCMS announced that age verification will come into effect on 15 July 2019. Hilariously, they can't even send out a press release without making an embarrassing privacy mistake. From the Guardian this week: 

"Unfortunately for the government’s attempts to calm fears on the privacy issue, the news was announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport in an email that exposed the contact details of almost 300 recipients. DCMS was also responsible for implementing the new GDPR laws in the UK, which mandate large financial penalties for breaches that expose personal data."

We don't even need Private Eye - DCMS are more than capable of satirising themselves.  

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, DCMS, in the news, media, Open Rights Group, privacy

208 comments

Age verification: Where do things stand?

Posted at 15:42 on 25 Mar 2019 by Pandora / Blake

After the Digital Economy Act passed in July 2017, implementation of age verification has been repeatedly delayed. We were initially told it would start being enforced in April 2018, but it was put back till the end of 2018. In November the Minister for Digital, Margot James, claimed that it will come into effect by Easter 2019, but as far as I know things aren't yet in place to enable the BBFC to begin enforcement.

This leaves website owners and viewers in a state of uncertainty, not knowing at what point they will need to start age verifying to access porn - or publish it. A recent YouGov survey showed that more than three-quarters of Brits have no idea this is even happening. Meanwhile, there are still irregularities and uncertainties with the policy, which I lay out in detail in my recent academic article: Age verification for online porn: more harm than good? My Patrons (at Ally tier and above) can access the full article here.

Which sites will have to comply?

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, audio porn, Digital Economy Act, freedom of expression, in the news, media, Mindgeek, Open Rights Group, politics, porn, privacy, sex workers' rights

87 comments

What the BDSM community can teach us about consent

Posted at 18:29 on 14 Nov 2018 by Pandora / Blake

The Metro has just published a piece on What the BDSM community can teach us about consent. I was interviewed for this article last month, and I'm absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.

‘This idea that consent is a contract is really pernicious,’ Blake says. ‘Consent is revocable and ongoing, and being encouraged to change your mind is necessary for consent. By saying you’ve changed your mind, you’re helping your partner respect your boundaries.’ 

Keep reading »

Tags: BDSM, consent, in the news, interviews, media, workshops

7 comments

Privacy threat posed by AgeID hits the mainstream news

Posted at 19:53 on 9 Feb 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Pandora Blake talks about age verification on Sky News

One of the difficulties of campaigning in the arena of sex and sexuality is how difficult it is to get mainstream attention. Even when issues potentially affect the privacy and freedom of a majority of adults, most publications will post stuff related to sex as a lightweight "lifestyle" feature rather than as serious news.

So it was ground-breaking for Sky News to feature a report on the dangers of mandatory age verification, in particular the threat posed to personal privacy if MindGeek successfully establish a monopoly with their AgeID software. I watched the video as it was first broadcast live on the bus on my phone with my headphones on. It features an interview with me and - somewhat to my surprise - excerpts from my film trailers I had posted on YouTube. It's a trip to see (fully clothed) snippets from your indie porn films used to illustrate a mainstream news story - even more so when watching it on public transport!

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, AgeID, Digital Economy Act, in the news, media, MindGeek, porn, privacy, security

21 comments

Feminist porn in the Hackney Citizen

Posted at 07:34 on 8 Oct 2017 by Pandora / Blake

Screenshot of article in the Hackney Citizen

Check out this awesome writeup of my feminist porn workshop in local paper the Hackney Citizen!

I was expecting quite a short piece - maybe something like this listing in Time Out (which coined the delightful phrase "patriarchy pounding pornos") but instead Hackney Citizen lavished 1200 words on the event, and went into quite a lot of detail about the subject matter too. The piece talks about the history of feminist porn, what makes porn feminist, the importance of good working conditions and what to look for behind the scenes, and how kinky sex and satire have a place in feminist porn.

Keep reading »

Tags: ethical porn, feminist porn, in the news, media, press, public speaking, talks, workshops

4 comments

Age verification critiqued on Radio 4

Posted at 17:35 on 30 Jul 2017 by Pandora / Blake

Photo of credit cards, one of the potential means of age verification mentioned by Digital Minister Matt Hancock

So while I was away this month, I got cited by a Radio 4 presenter.

I listened to the segment on the BBC website after a heads up from some kind folks on Twitter. You can listen to it here until Wed 16 August - the relevant section begins at 32:51. Presenter Eddie Mair was interviewing Matt Hancock, the Digital Minister, about the age verification policy enshrined in the Digital Economy Act 2017. Unfortunately, Matt Hancock didn't come across very well. He sounded bumbling and under-informed, unable to give any clear answers about how age verification will work in practice. After claiming that age verification won't require giving any identifying information, the only means of verifying your age that he was able to think of were a passport and credit card - both of which involve revealing your identity, and exclude many marginalised adults without access to these documents from being able to look at porn. Not only that, but it's in doubt whether credit cards will be accepted by the regulator as a compliant form of age verification, as it's possible for under 18s to have them. Clearly Matt Hancock hasn't spent much time looking into this.

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, Digital Economy Act, Digital Economy Bill, in the news, interviews, Matt Hancock, media

169 comments

Huck Magazine article on indie porn

Posted at 21:02 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.

Keep reading »

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

 

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