Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bravo, Nica Noelle

Ah, @brainjunk, you've done it again. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly admire you more than I already do, you go and put this in the Huffington Post.  As someone who has "...secretly and often with a great deal of shame spent their hard earned money supporting adult film and keeping all of us 'feminist porn directors' working..." I salute you.

And as someone who has both “…offered praise and encouragement…” and “…written thoughtful, detailed reviews…” of your movies, I appreciate your honesty about who is watching.  To me the concept of “feminist porn” is meant to shut men out of the conversation.  We’re the perverted exploiters of female sexuality, the raincoated adult theater masturbators who only want to use women for our pleasure and see them as objects.  That this is not, in fact, the case is often overlooked by those whose ideological fervor tends to color their view of the world with a stark black/white us/them palette.

One of the (many) things I have always appreciated about Nica Noelle’s work is that the sexuality is always positive.  Even in situations where there is clearly a dominant partner in the exchange the portrayal is affirming as opposed to degrading.

I posted a version of the above to my Tumblr account almost immediately after reading Nica Noelle's Huffington Post essay on feminist porn.  I didn't have time, or didn't take the time, to expand on it because I wanted to get something posted quickly to call attention to the essay. But if you'll indulge me for a moment I want to expand a bit on one of the points Nica raised, and I referenced:  "secretly, often with a great deal of shame." That pretty much sums up my relationship to porn and explains why every now and then, I chuck the whole works (often including a rather extensive library of porn titles) and walk away from it, sometimes for years at a time. But I always come back.I'm probably addicted to porn.  Well, the truth is that I am addicted to porn and have been for decades.  What I'm trying to work out is the shame part.  I've started to accept the fact that this is a part of who I am, just like I had to come to terms with my bi-sexuality a number of years ago. Because what and who I am would not be accepted in my community or by my family, my predilections need to remain secret.  

I will have to live with the constant threat of exposure and the need to be dishonest with people I love and respect.  It sounds lame to insist that "they wouldn't understand," but it is true.  Hell, I'm not even sure I always understand it myself. The secret/shame aspect of porn is one of the things that I'm pleased to have Nica address and acknowledge.  I think sometimes the producers of adult take advantage of the secret/shame syndrome to push product that they know isn't any good but which we can't really complain about without outing ourselves.  It's a con game and we're the marks.  And as long as there haven't been porn producers like Nica Noelle (and a handful of others) the scam works.

But just like the old song says "how you gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Pair-ee," the cat is now out of the bag.  The portrayal of real sexual interaction between two humans (forget about the gender) with mutual pleasure as the goal (including instances where there is a clearly dominant partner) puts the lie to the insert-tab-A-into-slot-B-fake-moan-fake-passion-switch-positions-money-shot style of porn shooting which, sadly, still dominates the industry.  There are those who are satisfied with it -- guys who still get instant wood from looking at a Playboy centerfold.  
For me, given the risks I take to obtain and view porn I need/want more than that.  And thanks to Nica Noelle I now EXPECT more than that.  Thank you Nica.  Keep doing what you do and keep refusing to be labeled except perhaps as someone who "makes porn for human beings."

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