It’s not usually in the legal paperwork, but contract girls are expected to promote the movies they are in by posting about them on social media networks and doing interviews. We tweet, retweet, and usually put up some kind of blog post somewhere. Digital Playground already has the dissemination of pictures and trailers covered pretty well, so my promotional blog posts are usually something about how much fun shooting the movie was or something else vaguely related with a mention of or link to my most recent scene organically worked in. I’m having a hard time doing that with Watch Over Me.
The sex scenes were fun to shoot. I very much enjoy working with both James Deen and Erik Everhard in a penis-in-vagina sort of way. Regardless of whether the acting was passable or not, Robby D seemed happy with the footage he was getting. All of my stuff had to be shot on the second day because of some vaguely explained thing involving locations, but it proceeded smoothly even with all of the wardrobe changes and shooting the dialogue pieces out of order. It was a great shoot, but the fact that it was on November 6th obscures all the other details.
November 6th, for those of you who live outside the United States, is election day. Both the presidency and Measure B (the LA County ”condoms in porn“ law) were being voted on last year. Every single person on set was likely to be affected in some way if Measure B passed because we all work in pornography. Along with many other adult performers (including Mr. Deen) I had spoken with every reporter who expressed interest about how the porn industry protects itself and why we believed Measure B wasn’t the most helpful option. We’d blogged, we’d tweeted, we’d used the best tools we had to fight it. I posted one last “NO on B” tweet that morning while I was waiting for the makeup artist to finish setting up her kit. People were already headed to the polls and, for the moment, there wasn’t much else to be done.
We’d shot everything leading up to my sex scene with Erik by the time we stopped for lunch. Normally the crew would have been joking around. We all would have been catching up on each others’ personal lives and speculating on industry gossip while we stood or sat with our paper plates and cans of soda. On that particular day all we wanted to know was what the exit polls indicated about the election. A few people pulled up articles on their cell phones. It didn’t look so bad for Obama or for No on B, but it didn’t look so great either. Two hours later the first sex scene was done. Things looked good for Obama and bad for No on B.
There were still pages of dialogue between James and I to shoot. As the evening went on, the news was being checked every hour and then half hour. It looked safe to assume that Obama was in for another four years, but Measure B looked close. On hour fourteen of the shoot we started checking every time we stopped for ten seconds to tweak a light. Midnight came and went. It looked like Measure B had passed. I took a moment to smoke a cigarette while the crew was setting up for the sex. I was frustrated by the likelihood that people who knew little to nothing about porn had voted for something that at best would make our jobs slightly more difficult and at worst could make performing more dangerous. I was angry at the people who felt they had a right to spread views that had no basis in reality, and who represented them as fact. My feelings towards the AHF (the people who drafted Measure B and put ads up all over LA) were conflicted because they appeared to do good work with things like HIV awareness, testing outreach, and medical care for people with HIV/AIDS but were either misguided or being less than honest when they said Measure B was about improving our safety. James came out and told me they were ready to get the last scene. There were brittle jokes among the crew about how they might not have jobs the next day. I focused on James and how much I love having sex with him. Hopefully it came across in the finished product.
We wrapped with enough time for me to pack my suitcase and make my flight to NYC. I got off the plane at the beginning of a nor’easter and spent the rest of the day responding to journalists who wanted to know what porn as an industry was going to do next. Fun fact: My phone doesn’t get service inside my apartment. I did all those interviews on the front step while snow blew down and trees cracked in half from the strain of the storm. Reporter after reporter, I told them I wasn’t a lawyer and I couldn’t speak for porn or female performers as a whole. I told them I didn’t know for sure what was going to happen and tried to explain the pros and cons of a couple of the options being thrown around. During the last interview, as I was reminding the reporter that the adult industry uses a test which (according to the CDC) detects HIV in under twelve days, my superintendent came out to put salt on the sidewalk. He interjected, saying that I was wrong and it takes six months. I excused myself to the reporter, covered the phone with my hand, and told him he wasn’t helping. I felt small, futile, and cold. I felt better once I’d gone inside and thawed out.
Vivid, Kayden Kross, and Logan Pierce have challenged Measure B by filing a suit against Los Angeles County. The law itself can be interpreted in a number of different ways. Digital Playground, among other companies, just doesn’t shoot inside the county anymore. We still rely on the testing protocols we’ve had and been improving for over a decade, we just have a much longer commute to the locations. Rumor has it that some Department of Health employees see being sent to an adult film set as sexual harassment. Regardless of how these factors play out, there will always be people who want to see depictions of sex and there will always be people who are willing and happy to perform in them.
“To that end, the first point: Antis need to LISTEN to sex workers. Actively listen. Listen to understand. Listen to each and every sex worker who speaks, and believe us about our own experiences. Yes, this includes listening to the most privileged sex workers—the independent, high-priced, White, Western escorts with college degrees who gave up careers in accounting because they just loved sex work so much. It means believing when they say they find it personally empowering and enjoyable. It also includes listening to the least privileged sex workers—the women who are working the streets, working for pimps, working across the Global South and in the poorest areas of the Global North, the women of color and trans women and disabled women who had no other options. It means believing when they say Antis’ advocacy is not helping and they prefer to organize for themselves.
Listening also includes paying attention to the rest of us, the majority of us: those of us who fall somewhere in the middle. Antis need to listen to those of us who have few options or shitty options and so chose this option. They need to listen to those of us who got into the industry pay for college, those of us whose disabilities make it tough to hold down a full-time job, those of us who enjoy it half the time and hate it half the time, who might like to leave sooner rather than later. Listening means not separating us out into the falsely dichotomous categories of Privileged Collaborator with the Patriarchy and Helpless Victim of Oppression and hearing us when we say there are other, better, helpful things they can do before taking our jobs away.”
Lori Adorable on Anti-Sex Work Feminism. Full post on Titsandsass.com
Buck Angel is an incredible, attractive, and intelligent person. He’s also so full of integrity that if integrity were a tangible thing he’d have to carry most of it around in a giant truck. Dan Hunt recently premiered a documentary called Mr. Angel about Buck at SXSW, and I really hope it does amazingly.
Here’s a picture from that time Ellen Stagg photographed us together.
The Surprising Adventures Of Lux Alptraum: In search of better smut. -
Here’s a personal confession for you guys: when I consume smut in my not work life, it is very likely written smut. I have a very specific system in place for finding the kind of stuff that I want, too. When I’m in the mood, I go Literotica.com (a site I’ve been loyally browsing for years), pull…
Loosely related comment: I think the best erotic/pornographic material is produced by people who are making what they personally think is hot. Therefore Lux finding and publishing things she thinks are hot means Fleshbot Fiction is probably going to be awesome.
Done done done done done
Congratulations to Molly! She just finished a gigantic art undertaking and every piece of it is beautiful.
(via Who Knew a Lingerie Tradeshow Could Be So Awesome? FW 2013 Highlights from CurveNY)
Oh-my-god that sheer sequined blouse/slip/whatever it is!!!
It’s a verb. It’s an action word as opposed to a noun like jerk or an adjective like pompous. I’m not sure who originated the term, but I always think of Jezebel.com when mansplaining comes up. Hugo Schwyzer did a great piece on it last year. I wrote a piece this week on my experience with hormonal birth control, and I’m grouchy about one of the comments I received via twitter.
It’s one thing for a woman* to recommend the IUD or question why I don’t use one of those instead. It’s a wonderful thing to see a woman sharing the details of her positive experience with one of the types of birth control available, or sympathizing and sharing their own stories. Also great is seeing men empathize or say “Oh man, I watched my sister/girlfriend/mom/friend go through something similar. She said ____.” or “It’s interesting to have some insight on this.”
[The reasons I haven’t tried an IUD are these: I have allergic reactions to some strange things. Thanks to my job, I have access to a group of men who have had penetrative vaginal sex with a lot of different women and all (three) of them that I asked said that they can absolutely feel the strings. Call me crazy, but whenever possible I try not to make their job harder. Any medical procedure that commonly makes periods heavier, longer, and more painful seems like a terrible idea, because mine are obnoxious enough as is. I enjoy the fact that I have theatrical and lengthy sex at work with larger than average penises, but I’m afraid I’d get some important part of my lady parts torn up if there’s something in there that has a “risk of uterine perforation” no matter how small that risk is. That last concern might be allayed if I had access to data on how often uterine perforation happens, how long the penis(es) of the woman’s sexual partner(s) are, how shallow or short the woman’s vaginal canal is when at full ready-to-bang elongation, and how vigorously they have sex. Like that’s going to happen.]
It’s another thing for a man to ask why I don’t just get sterilized.
See, I basically can’t. I’m under 26 and have not had children. I first asked about the possibility of getting my tubes tied at 14, just to find out at what point it would be an option. I’m sure there is some doctor somewhere who would be willing to ignore the medical community’s guidelines against surgically sterilizing a childless woman under the age of 30 or 35, but I probably don’t want them operating on me.
My initial response to why-not-just-get-fixed-guy was “Do you have a vagina? Or a medical degree? Have you ever even been to a gynecologist’s office? Then you should probably STFU on this one.” I let that feeling process for a day and I stand by it. But it’s not that simple. In contrast to people who are joking or trolling, I think this guy might have actually thought he was being helpful.
Everyone has a right to have their opinion. Everyone with access to the internet has the ability to publicly express their opinion on permanent record. Just because we have the right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an appropriate time or place to do it. I have the right to walk around in NYC topless. I wouldn’t take my tits out in front of a church, because it’s inappropriate. I also wouldn’t comment to Teresa Scanlan that bulimics should just not throw up. The occasional faux pas that smacks of mansplaining (or a female or gender nonspecific equivalent) is forgivable, but if a person continues to publicly express opinions on things that they don’t have experience with or knowledge about, I think it’s reasonable to start thinking of them as a pompous jerk.
*Woman defined as a person who was born with a vagina, vulva, and uterus. I recognize that some women started life with or still have penises. I also recognize that not all men have penises, and that some people are gender neutral or androgynous. I have yet to figure out how to write inclusively about things involving genitals without surrendering to hopelessly clumsy grammar. While I work on that, I’m trying to make a better effort at disclosing the context of my experience, including reminders that the past six years of my work experiences are in the mainstream heterosexual oriented porn industry, and remember to at the very least mention that there are many (wonderful and not wonderful) people in the world who are transgender, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, aromantic, or identify in some way that I haven’t heard of yet.
I wrote something for VICE and they published it online. Both the wonderful Molly Crabapple and the amazing Warren Ellis write for VICE. Maybe if I keep getting published I’ll turn into a real writer and have a sweet job option when it’s time to retire from the naked lady business and put my clothes back on. I envision this scenario as somewhat like Pinocchio but with nipples instead of noses and hard typing work instead of lying. Actually, scratch that. Three foot long nipples sound both frightening and inconvenient.
Stoya - Pop by Sean + Seng, Spring/Summer 2013