This week’s Halli Casser-Jayne show is all about answering the question: is feminism in porn an oxymoron? The adult entertainment business has been a male-dominated industry for so long–is it even possible that these two seemingly incompatible realms could (and, if we might say so ourselves, should) work together?
We’re joined on the show first by Ohio University’s Professor Joseph Slade. Dr. Slade is a topic expert and the author of Pornography and Sexual Representation: A Reference Guide, the definitive book on the adult entertainment business. Professor Slade opens by informing–or, perhaps, reminding–us that, “It’s virtually impossible to define obscenity any longer to anyone’s satisfaction.” He goes on to give us a rational, educated definition (and history!) of a topic so many of us are afraid to talk about.
We speak next to Lux Alptraum, the editor of Fleshbot dot com, the web’s foremost blog about sexuality and adult entertainment. She says, “My mission is about promoting positive sex and sexuality, encouraging people to talk about sex and feel comfortable about sex, and in a lot of ways porn is a really direct way of doing that.” We talk about how the internet has changed the industry, broadened the availability, accessibility and appeal of various types of adult entertainment, and how between “feminist” porn and “humanist” porn are really joint concepts.
Leena Sky, a psychology professor, mother of three, and adult film star, is our next guest. Leena has three degrees, including a PhD in education, and says that the adult entertainment industry is something she would have gotten into younger than she did if she’d had the confidence at that time. For Leena, this career represents a sexual and existential liberation she’s long been seeking–she says she’s happier doing this than she was as a professor, a therapist, or a counselor. We discuss the erroneous concepts behind why people get into this industry, and how Leena’s path led her here. “I didn’t set out to be a porn star,” Leena says, “but I’ll be honest, as much as I maybe shouldn’t have wanted it, this role fits me most.”
Next we’re joined by Petra Joy, a celebrated director, producer, author and curator of feminist pornography, and Aurora Snow, an adult film star and writer. Petra’s been producing and directing erotic films since 2004, and says, “I think it’s very important that men and women are represented as as equals in all kinds of film, and especially in porn, because porn is just a mirror to me. Porn is very political, it shows what goes on in the bedroom, it shows what goes on in relationships, and if it just perpetuates the old and dated roles that gender has.…then things can’t improve and change.” Petra’s opinions and insights on this topic are as fascinating as they are invaluable, and her considerable experience (in producing, it must be said, absolutely exquisite films) adds a tenor of permanence and importance to this discussion that is rarely achieved when working with this topic.
Finally, Aurora Snow, an adult film star and writer, talks to us about a recent film experience that was definitely more harrowing than her typical fare! It wouldn’t make sense to spoil you for what is truly a fascinating story, and, of course, this review has hardly done the episode justice. Hear Aurora’s story, and engage in a discussion that’s as necessary as it is rare, by listening to this week’s Halli Casser-Jayne Show for yourself! We promise, it won’t disappoint.
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