Skip to content

Why I Make Porn

March 30, 2010

My friend Ni0 from Feminism – Art – Porn – Sex gave me permission to repost from her blog. I really like some of the things she’s written and I’m here to share some of them with you. At least the ones that apply to the themes of this blog. She’s also a pretty darn good artist so you should definitely check out her site and take a peak around. The aforementioned blog is rather new, but she also has a site that’s been up for a while and just as interesting. Take a look and with that I bring you her post “Why I Make Porn.”

It occurred to me recently that I’ve been working as an editor for Feck for a year. During this time, I have also contributed a little to their websites. I currently have two folios up on I Shot Myself and an upcoming, homemade film on I Feel Myself and something in the pipeline for Beautiful AgonyI want to discuss my motivations for working at Feck and contributing to these websites.

A convoluted backstory, God help us all!

When I was 14, I was out shopping with my mother and we passed a place advertising exotic dancers. Mum must have commented because I said to her “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women doing that if they want to.” I can’t recall exactly what she told me, but the point that stuck with me was that the problem with sex work is it leads to the exploitation of women.

So just as I was starting to think about sex work, I was already aware of it as a complex issue and feeling guilty about the titillation I secretly felt about the idea of performative sexuality.

As I got older and came more strongly into a feminism that my parents had always encouraged, this further confused my feelings about my interest in sex work. I worried that my desires and fantasies were no longer my own, but a product of some sort of patriarchal brainwashing. It was really fucking confusing. Often it still is.

However, this conflict was almost entirely theoretical as until I moved away from home at 22, my actual exposure to pornography was minimal. That said, I had created quite a lot of pornographic drawings of my own and had posed for a little nude photography for a girlfriend of mine. This led me to start to consider how sexuality could be depicted in an exciting and interesting way while still remaining “Art” with a capital “A”  (with a bunch of critics nodding, stroking their chins and making thoughtful, insightful comments.)

When I moved away from home and was able to explore my sexuality more freely, I started looking around at the porn out there. Surprise surprise, most of it was absolute crap. Yet a lot of it was still arousing in some way. Porn became tied up with my own sexual awakening, as my use of it came not long after my discovery of orgasm and helped me tap deeper into my own erotic imagination.

It was about this point that I came across Violet Blue and her sex positive, porn positive attitude. I read The Smart Girl’s Guide to Pornand while it didn’t really say anything I hadn’t already started to feel myself, it helped me understand something – that as a feminist woman, I can enjoy porn and that’s OK. As a matter of fact, I have a right to enjoy it. Yes porn tends to exploit woman but that’s because porn currently tends to aim itself at a very simplistic idea of a male audience. By allowing myself to consume porn, I also become a customer who creates a new kind of market. At least, that’s my idealistic dream. I have a lot of those.

Then I read Alan Moore’s Bog Venus and Nazi Cock-Ring and this was what really tipped the scales for me. Fuck, I love Alan Moore. He’s so sexy with anarchistic, bearded, comic book writing ways. Let’s quote him directly.

“With the guilty and embarrassed tone thus set for the impending reign of Queen Victoria, we find pornography in the condition that has by and large defined it ever since: a wretched ghetto with which no respected artist would desire to be associated, and which therefore rapidly becomes the province of those with no literary or artistic leanings whatsoever. The once rich erotic landscape was effectively deserted by the genuinely talented. It turned eventually into a genre that not only had no standards but also appeared to think it had no need of them”

Alan Moore, Bog Venus Vs. Nazi Cock Ring, 2006.

Ok, so the essay isn’t flawless, some of the opinions are extreme and I don’t agree with everything Moore says, but it inspired me nevertheless. Here is the conclusion I came to:

Porn is not bad because of some property inherent to it. Porn is bad because of our defective attitudes towards sexuality, women, gender and so forth. Because we see sexuality as despicable and base, we see the people who create consumable sexual products as immoral and bad… so it can be something of a self fulfilling prophecy.

In conclusion… sort of?

As attitudes towards sex change (painfully slowly) for the better, so they do with porn. A couple of producers of porn with a conscience the likes of Tony ComstockFeck,NoFauxx etc are arising. Sexually explicit, yet beautifully constructed comics such as Alan Moore’s Lost Girls are shining examples of sex treated openly, excitingly, differently… most importantly, thoughtfully, as serious subject matter.

So what I did by joining a company that makes porn was test myself, test my notion that porn can be ethical, empowering, all those happy things. I contributed and continue to contribute my own material as a test to myself.

So far I don’t felt exploited, instead I feel excited and dream more strongly about someday creating my own independent pornography that works exactly how I want it to and depicts the kind of fantasies -I- have. I feel excited in the same way I get excited about making art, except this is even better because maybe, just maybe, someday I will make art so good that people come all over it.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. wayne permalink
    March 30, 2010 2:22 pm

    I like (most of) the ideas in this! There ISN’T anything wrong with sex, or porn, or erotic art, or,,,,,,,,,,,. The porn that I find offensive is the type which degrades someone, usualy a female, and treats them solely as a vessel for someone else, usualy a male, to use for their own gratification. I’m not a big fan of ALL erotica either, but that would most likely be due to diferent tatstes, not content.

  2. March 30, 2010 2:24 pm

    That’s a good point about taste versus actual content.

  3. March 30, 2010 10:26 pm

    I confess, I love porn. I consider a womans body to be art in the highest form. I have my tastes, they differ from many other men, but not all men. I don’t like the stuff that degrades women such as B&D, or any type of humiliation. I know that there are women who like it, more power to em.

    BTW, how are the toy reviews coming, and will you be posting any endorcement photos? ;^p

  4. naturegirl1 permalink
    March 31, 2010 11:03 am

    I’ve had several discussions about the “exploitation” aspect of porn & I’m not so sure that the woman is alone in being exploited. If a consenting adult is willing to perform sex acts with another person or persons in front of a camera or live audience for financial gain then I think the only people being exploited are the individuals who pay to watch!
    Then there is the old chestnut of what constitutes porn! To me, watching consenting adults do what is essentially, nice things to one another shouldn’t be classed as porn at all. There are plenty of movies out there with scenes of depraved violence that are far more pornographic to watch. (the Saw films spring to mind, what sort of moron thought that seeing people do such things could be entertaining? And what sort of morons actually pay to watch crap like that?)
    I’ve posed for art classes, Ive allowed Phil to photograph me naked, I’ve even been photographed in the act of having sex, I’m quite proud of my efforts! I certainly do not look at the photos & think “oh my lord, those look grim”, in all of them I was clearly enjoying myself & did them of my own free will. I never felt that I had been exploited, even in the most sexually explicit ones.
    Sex is fun, long may it remain so. But you can stick the violent stuff where the sun doesn’t shine.

  5. March 31, 2010 6:24 pm

    I don’t have anything against porn, it’s just that most of the porn I see I find kind of…well, not that interesting. Maybe it’s just the porn I’ve seen or maybe it’s because I studied film, but the sound, the dialogue, the lighting..it’s all so blah. In a two hour porn, there’s about five minutes of actual footage I find hot. Anyway, that’s just personal taste as opposed to a stand about porn.

  6. March 31, 2010 6:43 pm

    You’ll have to explain what you mean by the people who are being exploited are the ones watching/paying? I don’t quite get what you mean by that, and I would be interested in knowing more.

    There as definitely been a line drawn between porn and erotica, I don’t think the difference is that clear really. Porn to me is basically sexually explicit material. I don’t think that violence as portrayed on film is necessarily exploitative if the actors are consenting adults, but I think that that statement is implied in any healthy discussion of sex, sex work, etc. I find it saddening that we always have to specify that it’s has to be between consenting adults. That seems to be a clarification we tend to make when speaking of a subject that most people aren’t comfortable with or could be misinterpreted as perverse.

    But getting back to the distinction between porn and erotica, it seems that erotica has come to entail an aesthetic or form that contains more class, or that is more artsy, meant more for women than men, meant to evoke feelings as well as turn the heat up. As opposed to porn, which is usually considered to contain no redeeming quality besides showing explicit sexual acts. I don’t know if such a distinction is all that useful. Personally, I think that one shifts much too easily into the other.

  7. wayne permalink
    March 31, 2010 6:57 pm

    “Erotica” may be marketed more towards women and possibly couples but I would argue that it is not necessarily more appealing or even acceptable to women than to men. Not every male likes the type of porn that I mentioned finding offensive. I would like to believe that the majority of “real” men have the same basic tastes and dislikes as I do. The standard scnenes where some woman is blowing a guy and he’s talking smack to her, or grabing her hair and forcing himself deeper into her mouth I find totaly disgusting. Same with the scenes where the guy is slapping her ass and calling her names like bitch or whore. (Not that there’s anything wrong with some spanking between consenting adults! ;-p ) Erotica on the other hand, which involves some more atristic cinematography, a story line that goes beyond the actual physical acts, and presumably a relationship of some sort between the subjects that is based, again, on more than they physical act of fucking? I find those films to be not just titilating from a visual sense but also appealing in the emotional aspect. I guess anyone who performs sex for pay with someone they don’t feel some sort of connection or attraction to are the people who I would say are being exploited, albiet voluntarily most of the time.

  8. April 3, 2010 9:23 pm

    Yeah I really like that comment – it would be good if more people made the distinction about personal taste.

  9. naturegirl1 permalink
    April 30, 2010 8:44 am

    The fact that people are parting with hard earned cash to watch some others copulating (and presumably enjoying themselves!) smacks of exploitation to me.
    On a different tack, I’m not that enamored with most “porn”, let’s call it adult erotica, I find the images too predictable & frankly, boring! However, I have to admit to sometimes watching video of amateurs & getting moderately turned on by that. There’s something real & honest about two or more ordinary people, warts/flabby bits/stretch marks and all, having a good time that holds far more appeal for me.

  10. April 30, 2010 2:57 pm

    Yeah, a lot of people like amateur porn for those reasons.

    I’m not convinced about the viewers being exploited though, with that logic the same thing could be said of any form of entertainment that we pay to watch. And quite frankly, a lot of people get their porn for free.

    I agree though on the boring and predictable front though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: