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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Vulva Is in Love with Feminist Porn

You might be asking, what is feminist porn? To me means it means constant and never ending consent, a shift in point of view, it is freeing ourselves from limiting, shaming, normative and negative views of sex, looks at sex beyond physical contact, it includes a wide range of marginalized bodies and realities, shows different levels of abilities, is free of rape culture, oppression and racism, it means female pleasure from our perspective, allows for the freedom of self representation and ownership of our bodies, it is individually sexy, hot, fun, it has storytelling, displays love, has real orgasms, has different representations of beauty, shows the use of barriers, and shows different kinds of sexual practices. And yes, these kinds of ideas around pornography can include the bodies of cis men.

So when I got the opportunity to team up with CUE POC (a roving party for Queer People of Colour (QPOC) in downtown Toronto, They are a community oriented party and collaborate with different queer organizations and feature guest DJ talents within the QPOC community) and Good For Her to fundraise for the feminist Porn Awards I was full of excitement and all smiles! Good For Her explains that thFeminist Porn Awards (FPA) honor pornographers whose groundbreaking work offers a fresh perspective on the sexual expression of women and everyone who finds themselves under-represented in mainstream pornography. 
So if you live in to Toronto area, are down to support the FPA you are so humbly welcome to join us this Saturday!

What? CUE POC + Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards Fundraiser!
When? Saturday February 22nd 2014
Where? Cold Tea Bar
Address: 60 Kensington Ave. (major intersection Spadina & Dundas)
Who? QPOC + Friends/Lovers/Supporters
Why? Sweet Jams+ QPOCs + It's FREE + Porn Screening + Sexy Raffle Prizes
***Accessibility info: venue + washrooms are wheelchair accessible - washrooms are single stall + gender neutral 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Vulva Is Made for Sexual Consumption?

A few months ago I was tabling at an event organized by a friend of mine, where I was selling some of the crochet jewelry and accessories that I make, including crochet genitalia. A person was checking out the goods I had on display and the conversation we had went a little something like this:
- what are these
- why these are vulva pins
- oh...but why would you make them and sell them here? They are better off being in a porn shop or something...
- why do you say that?
- they are vaginas...
I was thankful for this persons comment and welcomed the short conversation we had, but I have noticed that in all the conversations I have had around my vulva pins, cis men - people who were born male and live their lives as men- have never failed to view the vulva pins as any thing more than a sexual representation of the female body. I have started to wonder, have female bodies been constructed for and understood through the male gaze? And have I been unknowingly participate in that gaze?

I am far from ashamed to admit that I watch a lot of pornography, and what I have noticed specifically about easily accessible mainstream heterosexual porn, that depicts penetrative sex between a man and a woman, is that these films are not free from voyeurism, male fantasy and sexual conquest. In her 1975 essay titled Visual Pleasure & Narrative Camera author Laura Mulvey, suggests the male gaze occurs when the camera draws the audience into the heterosexual mans point of view. Through voyeurism lingering on curves, body parts etc. she explains that this serves to frame the female body as an erotic object for sexual conquest to be dominated by both the character in the film and the audience. She goes on to explain that within male fantasy, seldom do we see the point of view of the female body/character.

I have been thinking about how point of view as explored by Laura Mulvey relates to the way that I have been making my vulva pins. Have I been perpetuating and reflecting a male gaze? When making them, I have chosen to physically position myself on my back, open my legs and use a mirror to see my vulva. But in reality, when in this position without a mirror, I can't actually see the entirely of my vulva. All I see is my clitoris, part of my labia minora and the top of my labia majora. In using a mirror I have shifted from reflecting my own personal gaze of my body and instead have served to reflect the gaze of someone looking at my vulva. Similar to the male gaze in mainstream pornography I have drawn my audience into a point of view that situates them as onlookers of my vulva pins. I believe this point of view can easily draw parallels between the fantasy or reality of heterosexual men's sexual position as voyeurs of the female body. In making my vulvas this way am I welcoming and participating in objectification? What do you think?