Here’s an interesting article about the Canadian feminist pornography awards. Now, pornography is a contentious issue within the feminist community but I think that what these awards are doing is a great thing. What they recognize is pornography that represents a multitude of desires and positionalities and which also rethinks and revises the ways in which women of colour are depicted (which in traditional pornography is usually in a highly fetishized and racist way).

Aren’t feminism and porn oxymorons? Good For Her is comprised of feminists who sell and rent porn. In 2006 they decided that it wasn’t enough to criticize adult films for not adequately representing women’s — and in many cases — male sexuality, and inaugurated the Feminist Porn Awards. This year’s celebration brings together a group of incredible filmmakers who are changing how women and people of colour are represented in adult films…

Anna Span is the UK’s first female porn director. She has an MA in philosophy, having written her thesis on women and pornography. Simone Valentino who starred in the first erotic film aimed at women of colour, directed by a woman of colour. Shine Louise Houston is the only queer woman of colour with a distribution deal for her erotic films. Peggy Comstock and her partner Tony are innovators of a new style of indie-documentary porn which features real life couples.

Directly due to the 2006 Awards, Good For Her’s porn sales tripled, proving that people are eager for an alternative. They want progressive porn that represents women differently, caters to a wide variety of tastes and offers relief from the mainstream porn aesthetic.

Good for Her believes that sexual representation is political, and that women deserve to have porn that shows sexuality in its fullness. They wanted to introduce the world to adult films whereby women have a voice in how sex is represented; a world where women experience authentic pleasure and are not reduced to tired sexual stereotypes. As 2006 winner and Village Voice columnist, Tristan Taormino says “Feminist porn both responds to dominant images with alternative ones and creates its own iconography.”

I recently did a project on pornography and I must say that I was truly disturbed by how much misogyny and violence is implicit within the genre. Feminist pornography is therefore ultimately very important. For example, I’ve seen a trailer for Tony Comstock’s indie-documentaries and they are truly moving and aesthetically beautiful as they try to tell the real story of couples who have been together for years and truly love each other. His depictions of seuxality are truly revolutionary within the porn industry and help to refocus the discourse around sexuality to one in which women are equal partners and are loved and respected instead of exploited and used.

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