feminist porn awards

Why the Feminist Porn Awards Are Important

What other awards show hands out glass butt plugs? They're just so... functional.

As Josey Vogels, one of the announcers noted, you wouldn't want to use an Emmy in the same way. An Oscar might work but it would require one helluva warm-up.

All kidding aside, of much greater importance than the sexual possibilities presented to the winners are the films that brought them the attention they deserve.

The Feminist Porn Awards are not about supporting either mainstream pornography. We have the AVNs for that. Unlike most awards shows, they want to recognize porn that isn't content with the same, old conventions of the cultural entity we are all wank off to.

Why be boring when you can actually show female pleasure or people of diverse backgrounds, body-types and fantasies getting it on? Whatever your sexual orientation, I would imagine most people are into the idea of getting off to people they like the look of getting it on because they want to.

We live in a world where people are slowly coming around to the idea that there's no right or wrong way to get off and though the mainstream porn industry is usually one of the first adopters when it comes to technology, they are notoriously reticent when it comes to pushing social boundaries. Try finding a bisexual porno...


Sure, there is plenty of material catering to every conceivable niche of fetishist but when it comes to more controversial issues around gender and race, it can seem like much of what is being produced is slightly anachronistic and caters to prejudices which have no place in our world.

The argument that these purveyors of antiquated ignorance are merely providing "what the customer wants" don't hold much weight with me. John Donne famously stated that "no man is an island" and when the media and the communities around that man make clear what is acceptable and what is not, it leaves him little choice beyond falling in line or opting out.

Thankfully, the "avant-garde of pornography" is gaining ground; exposing us to new scenes and opening our eyes to the spectrum of sexual possibilities presented to humanity.

Appropriately, the first winner of the night was Buck Angel, who was the "Boundary Breaker of the Year". A clip was shown of Buck's work and, having never viewed any transsexual porn before, I was somewhat surprised at the incongruity presented by the image of a very masculine person with a vagina.

I suppose it seems rather naive but while I'd read a fair bit on the subject and seen my fair share of pictures, I'd never been presented with a video like that. Mind you, I'm not one of those people who deliberately seek out everything the Internet has to offer them and my address book is not known for sending me every latest dirty clip posted to XTube either but it was still something of a revelation.

Buck also happened to look a lot like a friend of a friend (which added to the personal dissonance) and while I wasn't particularly turned-on by what I was seeing, it was definitely interesting.

In contrast, I did enjoy the clip from Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide to Oral Sex but thought the scene accompanying Kelly Holland's win for Sexiest Straight Film was straight out of a soft-focus/soft-core porno of yesteryear.

Quite a few of the clips I saw had a very appealing rawness du moment, being shot on video and featuring seemingly non-professional participants who were having what appeared to be some very hot sex.

In all fairness to the films that did win, it's hard to judge 'em from a simple clip and I'm less inclined to give a shit about whether they get me hot 'n bothered or not and simply give them props for what they represent: a breath of fresh air in an industry that seems desperate to take on the trappings of its cinematic brethren.

Many of the winners (Buck Angel obviously excepted) didn't seem to be making all that much money from their films (at least not the kind of dough you hear about in their mainstream counterpart) but they all came across as really passionate and dedicated to providing alternate perverted media for whatever scene they catered to.

Shine Louise Houston, for example, started her own production company while working at Good Vibrations after years of post-art school graduate depression (I know how that feels...). Bren Ryder nearly became a fireman! Sure, there stories might not seem that different from anyone who changed careers to pursue a passion but these women are making a difference and they deserve recognition for that. It's also nice that, unlike the solipsistic wankfests that comprise the vast majority of awards shows, everyone involved had a good time.

And I know I'm not the only one who enjoyed Dainty Box.

So let's see:

Butt plug trophies
Honest porn
Sexual activism
Trey Anthony (the MC)

What's not to love? Seems pretty important to me.

For a full list of the winners, check out Good for Hers' website.

feminist porn awards

Bottom photo coutesy of David Waldman.

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