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Friday, June 24, 2016

Queer Porn Talk


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In honor of Pride month, I want to talk about queer porn. Queer porn is an inclusive and often subversive genre that showcases performers of many sexual orientations and gender identities which are seldom included in mainstream porn. The genre is steadily growing but there are still a lot of people who aren't familiar with it. So, let's look at the “who, what, when, where, and why” of queer porn!

WHO
            Courtney Trouble and Shine Louise Houston are responsible for some of the most popular queer porn sites and production companies. Trouble runs the websites Indie Porn Revolution (formerly NoFauxxx) and Queer Porn TV, as well as her own production company TROUBLEfilms.  Houston is the creator and director of the Crash Pad Series, which is made by her company Pink & White Productions. She also runs PinkLabel.TV, a streaming site that features her films and films from other queer porn producers. Both Trouble and Houston (and their production companies) have won multiple Feminist Porn Awards, Xbiz Awards, and have been nominated for AVN awards. Aside from these two fantastic producers, there's a growing number of other indie porn producers and individuals creating sexy queer porn. As for queer porn performers, they are a wonderfully diverse group of people. You'll see lots of different gender presentations, body sizes, ethnicities, kinks, etc.

           
WHAT
            So what exactly is queer porn, and how is it different from other porn? Well, most importantly, queer folks are involved in the whole process: directing, starring, and buying. Its focus is on representing different sexual orientations and gender identities, usually in a way that is very authentic and sometimes also educational or political. Unlike most mainstream porn, it's target demographic isn't necessarily straight white men. Courtney Trouble explains it like this: “I feel like [queer porn] is porn that's been taken a step above and beyond what 'lesbian porn' or 'gay porn' has offered. It includes all genders, all identities, and shows sex between queers in an honest, respectful, and artistic light.” Similarly, Chelsea Poe, a trans porn actress, put it this way: “I think the reality of queer porn is it's art and it's about creating space for marginalized people.”
          
            Queer porn inherently means showing many kinds of sex acts and ways to have sex. You're more likely to see people using sex toys, strap-ons, and lube, and practicing safer sex. It's typically less scripted and more authentic. This is how Kitty Stryker explains being on a queer porn set: “You really feel the electricity of how these various people have sex together... The goal is to have sex in the ways that feel good for you and your partner/s, right at that moment. As a performer I’ve found it very freeing; as a [production assistant], I find it healing and informative to watch.”


WHERE
            A lot of queer porn is being made is San Francisco and the Bay Area, which makes a lot of sense considering the area's long history of having a large LGBTQ+ community. As the genre grows, an increasing number of retailers are selling queer porn films.
         
WHEN
            In 2002 Courtney Trouble created NoFauxxx.com, an inclusive porn site that explored queer sexuality and started the “Queer Porn” genre. Three years later, Shine Louise Houston founded Pink & White Productions and released the film Crash Pad, which inspired the ongoing Crash Pad Series.

WHY?
            Most importantly, why does this genre exist? What purpose does it serve?
When mainstream porn features queer people there is often a certain level of fetishization or exploitation. In mainstream lesbian porn, for example, it's not uncommon for the performers to not identify as lesbian or anything other than straight, and it's typically created for a straight male audience. And a lot of mainstream porn featuring transgender performers usually only includes trans women, is full of harmful stereotypes, and uses demeaning language (such as the T-slur).
            Visibility and representation for the queer community is important. We don't often see our identities and sexuality reflected by mainstream media, including pornography. And the same is true for people of other marginalized groups which queer porn strives to include. About the diversity of the Crash Pad Series, Mary of Confessions of a Sex Toy Rep said, “Personally, I wanted to challenge myself to see people outside conventional standards of beauty as sexy, sensual beings worthy of pleasure. I found this intentional exposure affirms my body positivity and allows me to see myself as a sexy, sensual being. I’m not within our society’s standards of attractiveness, and it’s been a hard road to get to a place where I can love myself and value my pleasure.”

            To show more of the impact that queer porn has, I'll end this with a couple tweets showing what else Chelsea Poe and Crash Pad Series have to say about what queer porn means to them and why it's so important:


By: April
Follow on Twitter @VivaLaSexyBlog


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