The Feminist Porn Awards Recap, Part. 1!

As I blogged about a bunch last week, the Good For Her 4th Annual Feminist Porn Awards were over the weekend and I was lucky enough to fly up to Toronto to be there.  Because we helped sponsor the event (yay!), I had been emailing back and forth with Good For Her manager Alison Lee for the few months leading up to the weekend and was already super excited to meet her.  I also followed a few of our favorite SF queers on twitter saying that they were going to be there as well, so before I even set foot across the border, I knew I was in for a pretty awesome weekend.

After taking an early flight into Toronto on Friday morning, I met up with Alison Lee (from Good for Her) and NoFauxxx.com‘s Courtney Trouble for lunch and had such fun chatting all about queer porn and the upcoming awards later that evening.  Total shoutouts to these fabulous ladies who rock the porn/sex/sexuality world with amazing style.  Afterwards Trouble and I hit a vintage/screen printing shop nearby before I headed back to my room and took a much needed nap.  Who wants to be exhausted at a late night event with a bunch of awesome porn folks?  Not me!

I was invited to the pre-awards VIP party at the Berkley Church (where the awards were held – yep, in a church!) so I glammed up and headed over to the venue a little early to get a chance to meet everyone before the actual ceremony started.  That turned out to be a great idea, because there weren’t a ton of people at the VIP party, so it was easy to make my way over to people and introduce myself.  As it turns out, most of the San Francisco queer porn circle was nominated for Feminist Porn Awards, so a bunch of them headed north to attend.  I hung out with the amazingly awesome Jiz Lee, Syd Blakovich, Madison Young and Dylan Ryan, along with Courtney Trouble and I snagged a seat next to Trannywood’s Ian Sparks.

Courtney Trouble and I, before the awards began
The actual awards went super smooth, including the award that I presented (after being super nervous).

Here are of a few of the winners that I remember offhand (or have pictures of), but here is the entire list of 2009 FPA winners to fill in the gaps.

Madison Young started out the night by nabbing the Hottest Kink Movie award for Perversions of Lesbian Lust Vol.1.

Crash Pad Series 2 – Unlocked (this scene) won for Steamiest Trans Scene, which I totally agree with.  Not only is it extremely hot, it’s one of the only transwoman movies I’ve ever seen that isn’t “chick with a dick” shemale porn.  Plus it’s got Michelle Aston, and we know how I feel about her.  So Good!

What I remember next is Mini Balfour of Cleopatra Productions winning both Most Sensual Softcore & Golden Beaver Award for Canadian Content for Man of My Dreams.

This year’s Most Deliciously Diverse Cast honor went to NoFauxxx’s Courtey Trouble for her first full length porno, Roulette.  Yay diversity!  Thanks Trouble!

 

The very suprised and very humbled Dylan Ryan took home the 2009 female Heartthrob of the Year.

Then I presented the Indie Porn Pioneer Award (thanks to Ian Sparks for taking the picture!)

Which went to…..  Madison Young!!

Obviously I took this picture later in the night, but I thought it was the most fitting for the win!

And finally, the last award of the night, the Movie of the Year went to… drumroll… Shine Louise Houston’s Champion! While unfortuantely Shine wasn’t there, all the other SF Queers involved (aka all of them) hit the stage in celebration.

Jiz Lee and Courtney got comfortable on the stage to watch the clip while…

Syd gave a thank you speech… with her pants down… with Madison Young in front… and Jiz Lee bringing upthe caboose.

Like I said, the awards were awesome.  Check out tomorrow’s post for all my after Award pictures!

xoxo
-J.D. Bauchery

19 thoughts on “The Feminist Porn Awards Recap, Part. 1!”

  1. Sounds like a great night!

    However J.D. regarding

    “Crash Pad Series 2 – Unlocked (this scene) won for Steamiest Trans Scene, which I totally agree with. Not only is it extremely hot, it’s one of the only non-exploitative trans women I’ve ever seen. Plus it’s got Michelle Aston, and we know how I feel about her. So Good!”

    Yes that is a great scene – however I wonder have you actually tried talking to any TS/ Shemale porn performers about exploited they are? Or are just making assumptions?

    What about the Shemale Domme’s who work for Kink.com’s
    http://www.tsseduction.com
    for example?

    Syd Blakovich, Madison Young and Dylan Ryan all work with Kink on some of their other sites. Madison actually does a lot of work for Kink. It’s about time Kink did some female-shemale stuff – with performers who are into it of course.

  2. Geri –

    Fair enough. You’re right. What I meant was it’s the best transwoman porn I’ve ever seen that isn’t crap shemale porn. I’m not saying it’s not out there – just that I’ve ever seen. I’ll edit this post to reflect what I meant.

    I haven’t seen any of the kink.com stuff, but thanks for sending it my way.

    Thanks for calling me out. You are absolutely right about making assumptions and basing my comments on only a few people’s experiences. I aapreciate you writing in.

    best,
    J.D.

  3. Geri,

    Have you talked with trans porn performers? While I’m not going to speak for everyone, I would say that 99% of the time anything with the word “shemale” in it is going to be exploitative. Yes, some folks identify with the term, I support those who do, and if they made porn and called it shemale porn that would be a different matter. Most of the time, though, performers aren’t choosing that label. And it’s not just the label but an entire fake image that’s forced upon them. I have a dozen or so friends who have done “shemale” porn and each of us hated having that word used for us. One friend is triggered just by hearing it. I have to say “the ‘S’ word” whenever I talk with hir about it.

    It’s likely that there’s some non-oppressive mainstream trans porn out there, but it’s not very visible as such. In order to find it, you’d have to have someone sensitive to the issues watching a lot of it – and as someone sensitive to the issues, I don’t think I would be able to handle that.

    As for tsseduction, I don’t know anyone who’s been shot for them, but as a viewer I’d want to skip it. They make it very clear just on the front page that it’s not for someone like me. It’s aimed at folks who are curious about an exotified image of trans women — not those of us who want to see trans women having sex the way they want to and certainly not those of us who are trans women ourselves. I’d recommend sticking with the Crashpad. They’re slowly getting more trans women involved.

  4. Hi Tobi,

    I know a few, and have spoken to, and communicated with, a good number of trans people. Including some who work or have worked in porn and other types of sex work.

    This is a really highly complex issue regarding gender and sexual identity. But to explain it as quickly as possible from my pov and experience there are not just one or two trans genders there are many.

    I’m completely aware that many m2f’s find the term “shemale” very insulting and inappropriate, and I do too if it is clearly being applied to someone inappropriately. I would only ever apply the term myself to an m2f trans who has a fully functioning penis which she shows every sign of enjoying using during sexual activity. Such as the trans performers on the ts seduction website who are very active and top the men they are with. They all appear to be comfortable with being a chick with a dick in much the same that Buck Angel is comfortable with being a dude with a pussy. Hopefully all, or at least, most of the TS ladies on that website are not being grossly misrepresented as individuals.

    Calling Julie from the CrashPad a shemale would be totally wrong as she has had full gender reassignment. I’m not really sure she should she even be called a transwoman rather than just a woman as she has fully transitioned.

    I wonder also if CrashPad is going to be inclusive of trans women who are mainly or only attracted to bio men?

    I feel you are being overly analytical and biased when you say of TS Seduction that “It’s aimed at folks who are curious about an exotified image of trans women – ”
    I think it’s aimed at people who are attracted to dominant chicks with dicks. And what’s wrong with that? I do think it’s funny that they call the men on the site straight though. That’s not remotely straight sex they are having. Quite a few of those guys are also to be found performing with men, and with women on different Kink websites. And when they perform with other men they get called gay by Kink. And the women they perform with on other kink sites again get called lesbian when they perform with women on other Kink sites – etc, etc. Why can’t they just say these people are bisexual or just “sexual”? 🙂

    Maybe because porn can’t really function like that – or at least not yet.

    Which finally reminds me of a bisexual identified girl who I spoke to a while back who was perplexed at being presented as a lesbian after she’d done her first girl/girl shoot in porn. “I’m not a lesbian, I’m bi.” she said. I asked if she enjoyed doing the actual shoot. She said she had. So I pointed out to her that the vast majority of women who perform in porn get called lesbians because the vast majority of them do girl-girl scenes. It’s not something she could afford to take seriously. There are plenty of bisexual men in porn who usually only get called bisexual when they do mmf scenes. The rest of the time they get called gay or straight depending on what they are doing – or they might get called “gay-for-pay” etc. And as I see it a big part of coming to terms with being bisexual is coming to terms with the fact that other people are going to call you all sorts of things that you’re not.

  5. Geri,

    Ha, yes, I’ve had the same thoughts about bi and queer folks being labeled as lesbian, gay, or straight depending on the specific scene.

    As for my over-analysis, I’ve got a women studies degree and was raised on feminist media analysis, so it very well may be over-analysis, but it still really applies to real life sometimes. In this case, kink.com obviously has an intended audience. And if I showed that front page to my 150 of my closest porn enjoying trans friends, maybe 2-4 would want to see more. Even simply language changes while keeping the same images and content could bump that from 2-4 to 20-30. So while some trans folk might enjoy the content, it’s obviously not being marketed to us.

    “I would only ever apply the term myself to an m2f trans who has a fully functioning penis which she shows every sign of enjoying using during sexual activity.”

    See I’ve still got a problem with that. That description fits me just fine, and I also identify with a non-binary gender. Yet I still wouldn’t want to be called a shemale. Most of the folks I know who fit that description wouldn’t either. The word has a very degrading and derogatory history and references much more than what bits a woman has and how she uses them. I mean, how often do you hear the word being used outside of a context of porn or harassment?

    But most importantly, any term with a derogatory history, especially one that most folks aren’t reclaiming, needs to be applied consensually. While I don’t know anyone at tsseduction, I’d be willing to bet a pile of money that at least one performer resents being labeled a shemale, because usually it’s a lot more than one — regardless of how they use their bits.

    When it comes to non-oppressive porn, I’ll admit I can get rather picky, but to me that’s the point. What’s the difference between your average girl-on-girl and dyke-made porn? There’s a lot to pick out there, it can be subtle sometimes, but for folks connected to queer women’s communities the difference can be astounding. Also, I’ll note that something having oppressive or exploitative elements isn’t the end of the world. It’s kinda par for the course when you look at media in general. But that’s why I feel it’s important to differentiate and celebrate those who are consciously and specifically trying to create porn (or media in general) free from those oppressive or exploitative elements.

  6. Oh, and one more thing. Given the tendency to label people based on the scene they are in, it feels very appropriate to me to call the guys on TS seduction and other such sites straight (or at least call the scenes straight). I mean, the guys in any movie featuring women with strap on cocks fucking men are usually called straight. So to make a special exception for men being penetrated by women who use strapless cocks would only make sense if you didn’t think of them as women.

    That’s one thing that ts seduction and other sites like it tend to get right — and they have to because their targeted audience is straight guys and you can’t draw them in by telling them that they are not straight.

    Oh, and I want to thank you for having this conversation with me, your challenging me to articulate some thing I’ve been thinking for a while but don’t often break down into such detail.

  7. The way I make the distinction for myself and my choices on the site has much less to do with body parts and how people get off with them and far more to do with how the movie is marketed and the language the filmmakers chose to use. Yes, I fully understand that to market to the masses, you sometimes need to forget about being p.c. and just go with what sells. For many filmmakers, selling is the bottom line, and while I accept that it is important, it’s also just as easy to see that the folks that carefully market their porn to actual trans audiences that want more than to just see the ‘dick chick’ are in it less for the $ and more for their communities and to be able to see their/their friends’ bodies being represented.

    I’m not going to say that I think either porn is right or wrong, necessarily, but I do think it is important to see who the porn is being made for and marketed too. When it comes to the Crashpad movie that started this discussion, I feel like I can safely say that this movie was filmed for transwomen to see their bodies represented in a way that isn’t all about them being an “other” or as rare sex objects there for someone else’s enjoyment. And just to touch on why I think the movie (Crash Pad Series – Episode 9: Julie & Michelle) should be identified as a movie featuring a transwoman and not just a woman, even though she is post op, is that I think it is really important to have easily identifiable movies that feature trans performers for people to find, especially movies with transwomen, as they are hard to come by.

    When I first wrote this recap, I really had no idea it would spark this conversation, but I am whole heartedly glad it did, because it’s important to bring these “shhh’ed” topics to the table and really get to the nitty gritty of how they work within the industry and beyond. Oh, and I want to inspire people to make their own good, non-exotifying transwomen porn, just like Tobi is.

    Thanks
    J.D.

  8. Well Tobi & J.D. I think this could easily turn into a very long conversation. “Labeling” is an endless topic for so many of us queer folk it seems.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that CrashPad actually has Kink.com on their allies page and lists direct links to two of their more “lesbianish” paysites.

    On the Erotica tab here:
    http://crashpadseries.com/wordpress/allies/
    Right next to Hot Movies For Her 🙂

    Kink pride themselves on being lgbtq friendly and inclusive. Many of the tech and backroom staff as well as the performers are lgbtq community people. And recently Margaret Cho directed Jill Sobule’s latest music video using Kink’s studio facilities.

    Regarding TS Seduction and the sexual orientation of the men it appeals to I feel you might find the video documentary here:
    http://news.behindkink.com/blog/default/2009/04/20/The-Best-of-All-Worlds-TS-Women-the-Men-who-Fuck-Them
    Interesting.

    It’s clear the two first timers being interviewed here don’t see themselves as straight – or gay.

    A woman wearing a strap-on and fucking a guy is something that frequently crops up in bisexual porn btw.

  9. Thanks for the link Geri, it’s a really interesting look at the industry. And yes, Kink.com does some great work. While TS Seduction isn’t for everyone maybe, that in no way says that Kink.com isn’t putting out a ton of quality fetish porn of all kinds.

  10. Geri,

    Thanks for the link, too. I watched it and definitely liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I could see myself getting into it. I still had my complaints, but when the target audience is chaser-esque curious guys, how can you not buy into the trans-misogynistic cliches of “best of both worlds” and “more feminine then most girls,” etc. I won’t fault anyone for doing what they feel they have to in order to make money. Not everything has to be marketed to me — I’m well aware that the chaser community has more disposable cash then radical trans feminist activists.

    My point with marketing, though, is still pretty important. I mean, if you took my favorite authentic dyke-made feminist porn, but then labeled it “cum guzzling teen lesbo sluts 47,” then I’d probably never give it a second look. I guess what I’ve been trying to say is that that’s the same impression I got when I saw the TS seduction’s front page with all it’s “shemale cock, shemale ass, shemale anal, and shemale fucking.” I mean, I suppose it helps with the search results and reaching your audience, but it also tells me that my community and I are not a part of that intended audience.

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