All photos from my scenes in "Ban This Sick Filth", a collaboration between Courtney Trouble, Pandora Blake and myself
It's been funny, not ha-ha, but somewhat ironic that the last week has been filled with people telling me that free speech needs to be absolute, and that I just don't appreciate the necessity for it.
While I've been working on a porn that critiques and challenges obscenity laws... with more obscenity.
Originally, it was meant to challenge the UK's VOD restrictions- things I do at home, like fisting, squirting, and spanking, are now banned for me to do on film. As we worked on it, however, it morphed into a wider critique of how porn, often decided to be without "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value", can and does serve as validation for sexual diversity, queerness, and an enjoyment of non-heteronormative sex.
In lieu of all the fervor about freedom of speech, I feel inclined to remind folks that obscenity is one of a few things not protected under "freedom of speech". I don't have the right to distribute or advertise my creative work, because I'm naked and orgasming in it and a bunch of white old dudes will argue in a courtroom about the artistic and educational merit of that. Considering a local community makes the decision on what is immoral for them, rather than a national standard, what is obscene and what it beautiful varies wildly from state to state. What might be completely acceptable and even tender in the Bay may well be horrifying and traumatizing to people in a conservative state.
I cannot completely anticipate the possible reactions or consequences of what I do, but I can make a pretty decent guess- I might get arrested, I might get doxxed by someone like Porn WikiLeaks, I might end up shot by some Elliot Rodgers PUA/MRA wannabe. Or I might be pointed at as someone perpetuating violence against women in the work I do. So, knowing those possibilities, I try to reduce by ethical carbon footprint in how I critique.
The thing is, when working on this porn, I recognized that, for example, there are people who watch porn for sexual education. That sense of awareness gave me some feelings of accountability to the viewer.
While it would've been, in many ways, a lot easier to have the banned acts be things that are nonconsensually thrust on me as the bottom, I also knew that we live in a culture that considers fisting violent. I know we live in a society where 5 year old rape victims have been said, by judges, that they were "asking for it". I know we live in a society where to say men shouldn't catcall is considered some sort of misandrist rallying cry. I didn't want to add to that culture by implying that these were acts I didn't want happening to me, I didn't want there to be a question about my consent. I wanted to show how absurd it is that I can do these things with the same people offscreen and that's legal, but if it's on a camera, suddenly it's obscene.
I think obscenity laws are ridiculous and worth making fun of. There are ways, I think, to both critique society, government, and law without falling into the tedious and easy trap of perpetuating ignorance or falling into boring stereotypes. While I know very well fisting isn't inherently violent, I also know that my depiction informs people, and maybe I should avoid having it be part of a rough sex scene involving face slapping and smutty talk so I can show people that it can be intimate and sweet. I choose to do a scene where I giggle through my caning instead of crying, because I want to show that these acts are ok, and a desire for these things is ok to have.
"Ban This Sick Filth" is a pet project I care a lot about, not only because I care about picking away at obscenity laws, but also because it was playful, and fun, and sends the message I wanted to send without being mean. And it's very intimate- doing watersports for the first time with a real life partner was really precious to me, and a challenge. I feel like this came from my heart, inviting people in to see why I love "sick filth", rather than dismissing them as ignorant for not feeling the same. And I can't wait to share it with all of you!