Wednesday, July 27, 2011

how about we get a progressive sex shop downtown?!

On the front page of today's local paper is an article on "Adult Business" discussing the issue of getting a sex shop -- and a gun shop -- in town. While conflating sex and violence, as the tendency unfortunately is in our society, an intriguing question about the healthiest place for locating an adult business came up.

In response to a city councilman's suggestion the commercial zone be widen to allow an adult business to get set up on the outskirts of town, a city councilwoman notes that "the healthiest choice to locate them for our community” is not necessarily "anywhere along the highway.”

I like her point. New women-run and female-oriented progressive sex shops, such as Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis's Uptown neighborhood only 45 minutes north of town, have shown that progressive sex shops can have a positive effect on their neighborhoods.
Founded in 2003, Smitten Kitten has seen a rundown stretch of blocks transform into one of the hippest stretches on Lyndale Avenue, inspiring a surge of gentrification. The shop's owner, Jennifer Pritchett, holds a graduate degree in Gender and Women's Studies. In 2005, she co-founded the first ever community advocacy organization and adult industry education organization, The Coalition Against Toxic Toys. Pritchett has spoken about healthy sex toys and practices at colleges and universities, including at our Lutheran college in town.

To our local newspaper, a Lutheran minister who is also the head of an organization that has led the fight to rid his community of adult businesses, argues that they give "a negative impression of his hometown." But the trend of progressive sex shops show that they can in fact contribute to the health and prosperity of our communities.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

censored: feminist porn, topless toddler girls, and quizzical mama

Eyes of Desire
In today's new porn by women post at Good Vibrations Magazine — "Eyes of Desire: Mutual Gaze and Reflective Role-play" — I discuss Candida Royalle's Eyes of Desire. The film picks up on the exchange of a desiring gaze, which Royalle introduces in her early Femme Productions erotic rock videos; but in this film's case involving the use of a telescope.

As I will discuss more in posts to come, Eyes of Desire and Eyes of Desire 2 also interest me for their featuring of a range of sexual preferences and reflective approach to role-play. Other Femme Productions films such as My Surrender (1996) and The Bridal Shower (1997) also focus on characters demonstrating a mindful appropriation and play with erotic fantasies without becoming reduced to the part they perform. On the contrary, role-play here becomes a way to expand the characters’ sexual play-field, suggesting how new porn by women can serve as a vehicle for women (and men!) to explore their sexualities, and even a radical, liberatory new language with which to approach heterosexuality.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

i make porn and i love it

"Owning 5 dildos is not proof of being sexually liberated. Knowing how and if you want to use them is." 
[Murielle Scherre, owner of the ultra hip international underwear fashion company La Fille D’O and new porn maker of J’fais du porno et j’aime ça (2009; I make porn and I love it).]

Scherre's new porn film includes twelve exciting and exquisite vignettes that are bound to make you feel good. I write more about each vignette in my post today at Good Vibrations Online Magazine; "I make porn and I love it: catchy music video porn for the young and hip."

As I say in my post (which is an excerpt from my book), the style of Scherre’s films reflects her side gig as a DJ as well as her trendy sense of sexy design that has made her vintage inspired, upscale lingerie so popular around the world among a hip, alternative young crowd, including famous musician artists such as Lady Gaga, Robyn, Roisin Murphy, Juliette Lewis, and Vieve La Fete.

J’fais du porno et j’aime ça was originally released in August 2009 as a supplement to the popular Belgian lifestyle magazine Goedele and is now distributed by La Fille D’O. Explains Scherre:
I hold nothing against porn itself. What does make my skin creep is the total lack of the pure basics of what I consider good sex: the hunger, the curiosity, the eagerness, to surrender, to give into your needs, the satisfaction ... This project is an open manifest to reclaiming what is given to all of us but what seems to be lost to the commercially driven. 

Scherre also collaborated with Blue Artichoke Films' Jennifer Lyon Bell on Skin. Like. Sun. (2009), a longer erotic experimental documentary music video portraying the sex of an actual couple who also performs on Scherre's J’fais du porno et j’aime ça. I encourage you to check out her work!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

dirty diaries and more naughty tidbits

"Skin" (Dirty Diaries)
In my latest post featured at Good Vibrations Online Magazine today, I focus on the Swedish, heavily state supported porn DVD Dirty Diaries (2009); a collection of twelve artistic and feminist porn films produced by artist and filmmaker Mia Engberg.

As I was writing that post, which is based on material from my After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters book, I began to think I should perhaps feature some of the stuff that I have cut OUT from my book. -- I have cut some film discussions from my book, mainly because I don't find those films all that good or successful according to my criteria for evaluating quality in porn (I present those criteria briefly in this post). If you follow this blog (or not and are just checking in); what do you think? Would you be interested in checking out those outtakes? Please let me know. And thanks!

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