One of the first questions people usually ask upon meeting me is what I do for a living. When I respond casually that I’m a production assistant on queer porn, then the questions really get going. What does a porn PA do, exactly?
I’ll tell you one thing: much to my regret, I am not a fluffer. I know, I know, it’s a great tragedy for me, too.
I dreamed of working on a porn set from when I was a teen, thumbing through copies of Club Magazine and trolling various AOL cybersex forums. I dreamed of being on NoFauxxx or SuicideGirls, and got into erotic modeling intending to take it further. But life got in the way of my exhibitionist dreams, and I didn’t revisit my love for porn until I founded the Ladies High Tea and Pornography Society, a discussion, Sunday tea, and porn appreciation gathering I threw for a few years in London. When, at 27, I started performing in adult films, I never imagined I would one day be on the other side of the camera. Keep reading »
My first real game, the one I remember best, was Zork — good, old-fashioned white text on a black background. I was obsessed with it, the challenges intrinsic in playing it, and the mythology attached. I read the books that came with the series obsessively, and even did a school report (sadly not preserved for posterity) on the Underground Empire for a class in school. Infocom ruled my childhood, inspired my imagination, and got me interested in storytelling. Part of what I loved so much about Zork was the lack of a player description. You were an adventurer, and that was that: no gender, no race, none of that mattered. All that mattered was exploration, creativity, and a willingness to accept that sometimes, if you planned poorly, you’d be eaten by a grue. I didn’t even really think about my character, because it was just me, wandering through the map. There was no default. Keep reading »
I woke up one morning last week to my Twitter in an uproar. That’s reasonably common in my world, as many of the people I follow are marginalized and there’s a lot to be angry about. Turns out that the FBI has seized MyRedbook, a California site where masseuses and escorts could advertise for clients for free, and arrested two people, Eric Omuro and Annmarie Lanoce, in connection to “using the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution” as well as money laundering under several aliases.
As of right now it’s not entirely clear if those arrests were the main focus of the sting, or if there will be more upcoming. It’s terrifying to many people close to me, who used MyRedbook to advertise their erotic entertainment services because other options like Eros were too expensive or less trafficked by paying customers. We don’t really know what options sex workers who had profiles up on MyRedbook have to protect themselves from investigation. I’m among them, as I used to advertise on MyRedbook as a professional dominatrix. Keep reading »
“There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.” — Janis Ian
Judging from the popularity of femme-on-femme makeouts being used to sell products from Versace to concert tickets, one would think that lesbian porn is a big seller. The best thing a pop star can do to fan media attention is fake interest in another woman, after all, so we must be eating up lesbian porn. Right? Keep reading »
Recently I got a chance to meet Isabel Dresler (safe for work), who I’ve taken to calling “photographer to queer porn stars.” She’s shot with some queer porn faves like Courtney Trouble, Dylan Ryan, Andre Shakti, and Siouxsie Q. We got to chatting at a shoot for the cover of the East Bay Express on the local porn scene, where Betty Blac, Jolene Parton and I helped fulfill her desire to have a photo taken while she was being smothered by breasts.
There’s an interesting combination of intimacy and high fashion that manifests under her gaze. I was curious to ask her a bit more about it, as well as why she decided to focus attention on marketing photos for sex workers. I liked how she called herself more of a scientist than an artistic photographer, investing her time in the study of her subject (which could be anything from insects to fancy homes). Everyone seems to be obsessed about the sex part of sex work, but it’s still work. As such, middle class indoor sex work often requires some practical and related investments: a decent website, a second phone, and, of course, some excellent photos.
Here’s my conversation with Dresler, after the jump: Keep reading »
Women are given mixed messages on a regular basis. We’re told that we’re shattering glass ceilings and are independent ladies, while at the same time we’re told we’re a mess barely keeping ourselves together. Just today I got a Facebook advert demanding my attention so I can discover the newest fad diet that doesn’t really work. I’m told I should love my body and loathe it on a regular basis. I’ve come to expect that kind of thing.
Recently The Washington Post cited a study by the Bureau of Justice purportedly telling women that we should stop taking so many lovers and instead marry our “baby daddy.” That choice of words speaks rather clearly about the fundamental racism and classism indicated within the article and the logic being displayed. We are not talking about wealthy white women here, are we? Keep reading »
So it turns out 55 percent of Americans now support gay marriage. I suppose my little queer heart ought to be delighted that we’re slowly stumbling into being treated “just like everyone else.” Instead, if I’m honest, I feel disappointed in the gay rights movement. Keep reading »
The NYPD has finally agreed to ban the confiscation condoms as evidence from people they suspect of being sex workers. With similar measures having been fought for and won in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., this seems like a win for sexual health, right?
Well, sort of. The headlines I keep seeing aren’t actually accurate: “NYPD to stop seizing sex work suspects’ condoms,” “NYPD To Stop Seizing Condoms From Suspects As Evidence Of Prostitution,” etc. This sort of shoddy reporting might mean that the public thinks that condoms as evidence is an issue over and done with, when in fact there is more to do. The policy announced by NYPD Commissioner Bratton bars confiscation of condoms as arrest evidence in prostitution, prostitution in a school zone, and loitering for the purposes of prostitution cases, which is a great start. But it’s not as overarching as the mainstream media seems to think it is. Keep reading »