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<nettime> Power to the Pornographers: Audacia Ray interviews Sharing is
lotu5 on Tue, 8 Jan 2008 09:44:47 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Power to the Pornographers: Audacia Ray interviews Sharing is Sexy


Sex blogger, executive editor of $pread, film director and author
Audacia Ray recently interviewed Sharing is Sexy, Furry Girl and
Madison Young for her column at Hot Movies for Her.com. Check out her
column here:

Power to the Pornographers: A Naked Revolution?

The idea of pornographers with ethics and strong political convictions
seems ridiculous to many people. After all, isn't porn just about
overly-tanned hedonism, driven by the desire to make a mint while
surrounded by swarms of hot chicks who wouldn't otherwise give you
(assuming the portly, fiftyish male 'you') the time of day? Not so
fast, assumption-maker...

When the oft-cited Suicide Girls was launched in 2001, it positioned
itself as a site of female-empowerment via Internet nudity. In
subsequent years, this turned out to be a bit more complicated and
maybe not really the way things were running behind the scenes. Still,
there are independent pornographers whose hope for the empowering
mojo of independent porn springs eternal. The Sharing is Sexy (SiS)
collective is one such group - their freshly hatched and totally free
website launched just last week...

Read the rest here:
http://www.hotmoviesforher.com/580/sex-tips/power-to-the-pornographers
-a-naked-revolution/

For the complete interview with Audacia and Sharing is Sexy, read
on...

Audacia: Who is the collective behind Sharing is Sexy? What are your
individual stories and why did you decide to do porn?

We are sexy guerillas, running through the city at night with ski
masks on and our dildos strapped to the barrels of our M16's like
grenade launchers for orgasms. You've probably seen us at a sex
party, or a queer film screening, but we were blending in, totally
clandestine, hiding our g and p spot powers under our ordinary sexy as
hell appearance. We are artists and activists who you've marched with,
locked down next to, screamed beside, sipped wine at ridiculous art
openings with and chuckled at the whole situation, or painted banners
and fixed your bikes with, or sat across from on the bus. We like our
anonymity and try to maintain it.

lotus: I came to porn through a few avenues. After years of media
activism, it only seemed natural to turn all those cameras back
onto myself. After years of hunting down images that would activate
resistance in the bodies and hearts of others, making images to
activate bodies into pleasure seemed like a natural development. Then
in art school, a professor asked in true Twisted Sister style, "why
are you here? what do you want to do?" and I then asked myself, what
if in all the art activism I'm doing, I'm leaving out the things
and people I really care about? What about my relationships, loves,
desires? Ultimately, when I came out as transgender and came into
being genderqueer, and began to love my lover's strap on I realized
that there are whole worlds and galaxies of pleasure and sexual
experience to be explored and became really dedicated to working on
porn.

klm: Sharing is Sexy (SiS) is a group of intellectual and creative
individuals who want to participate in a constructive consensual and
sexy community.

As for my individual story, is that like what was it like for me
to come out? I mean my story is layered; I'm a performance artist
originally from the east coast who moved to the west coast to continue
making art and explore life.

I decided to do porn because I thought it would be a fun way to piss
off my mom and stick it to the man. I also, like the idea of bois and
grrrls across the globe masturbating to my image.

j: I came to SiS with the remembrance that the realization of my
desires has healed my cunt from shame and abuse and from this sexual
liberation I am ready to share my desires.

Audacia: What is the mission of Sharing is Sexy?

klm: My mission is to make sex fun again. I want to create a safer
space for those who want to explore their sexuality and gender. I want
to break down stereotypes of what sex workers look like and who sex
workers are. I want to feel sexy, have you feel sexy, and have both of
us not feel ashamed for feeling sexy.

lotus: My mission is to create and propagate hot queer porn, and in so
doing to create our own community and foster others. I want to explore
all the seuxalities that have been excluded and denied from 99% of the
sexual imagery most people see, to find the erotic space beyond the
binary of male and female and to reimagine the possibilities for human
pleasure augmented by the network and the latest technology, from
social software and networking sites to diy sextech hacks. Given these
goals, I advocated for our porn to be free and copyleft, licensed
under a Creative Commons By-NC-SA license, because the genius at the
heart of licenses like the GNU Public License is their contagiousness.
I want people to get off looking at our confusing bodies and to share
our images and sounds with all of their friends, to repurpose them, to
make their own cd's, copy them all over the web and let our radical
queer energy spread farther than we can imagine.

Audacia: Is there any money changing hands - do models, photographers,
web designers, etc get paid? Will there be any parts of your site that
visitors have to pay to see? Why/why not?

klm: As far as I know there is no 'money changing hands.' I mean
nobodies paying me.

I would like it if the site stayed absolutely free. I think having a
network of individuals who want to promote sex and sexualities that
have yet to be seen, that are only talked about behind closed doors
submerged in dark cold basements, and practice among polyamorous
lovemonsters is important to be present especially in an accessible
place like the world wide web.

louts: For me, SiS came out of anti-capitalist activism. I've been
apart of movements against capitalism, building alternatives, impeding
global trade agreements, working to abolish borders. These movements
work collectively, all volunteer, with as little involvement with
the economy as possible. So, with SiS, all our content is free, we
try to spend as little as possible, dumpster what we can, leech
resources from universities and jobs and make everything free. I
see patriarchy, capitalism and heteronormativity as all linked and
supporting networks, and I want to work against all of them using a
multiplicity of strategies and strategic subjectivities.

Audacia: How do you think creating porn can challenge perceptions
about sexuality?

lotus: We are fostering our own sex positive community. Our
perceptions of sexuality change at every meeting when we watch porn
and talk about it, they change every time we setup the lights for the
photo shoot and joke about it. We are changing the perceptions of the
community of friends around us by opening up new dialogs that have
been hushed for so long in our puritanical country.

I see porn in the massive stream of images of sexuality that we are
constantly bombared with. If most of these images are heterosexual and
monogamous, and depicting a tiny slice of the possibilities available
to us, that harms all of our abilities to imagine and explore outside
of those narrow confines. I see SiS as creating sexual images with
sexualities and genders as yet unimagined in order to facilitate more
people in finding their own sexual liberation and fertilizing the
growth of sexual experimentation.

For me, SiS is a process of experimentation with my own sexuality. I
am interested in fining out how these new sexual experiences, being
photographed getting off, seeing photographs of myself, sharing those
images, talking about them, will activate my body and myself towards
new forms and levels of resistance.

j: Porn is so perverted, right? Be shameful of your sex and feel guilt
for the unconsensual acts that you have survived... If only I could
have not been bombarded with such absurdities in my life. Well heck,
here I am now. It was hard but with every moan and orgasm I share, a
revolutionary joy pulses from my loins only to resonate in everything
I am. There are the everyday challenges that can be overcome in
sharing our sex and desires, yep, queer bodies are sexy...The more
this sticks around in our desires the more we can push those social
insecurities aside and the more we can say yes! yes! yes!

klm: Whose perceptions? Who is "our"?

Audacia: How do you see the relationship between Sharing is Sexy and
feminist, queer, and indie porn?

klm: SiS is feminist, queer and indie porn.

lotus: Feminist, queer and indie porn are my inspirations. No Fauxxx,
Annie Sprinkle, Carolee Schneeman have all inspired me to want to
create my own sexual imagery. Still, I haven't seen much feminist,
queer, indie porn. We've seen some, but there is definitely a lack of
it. Most porn is totally mysogynist, capitalist and just not sexy. I
wish there were more models for this kind of porn, so I'm making them.
Most gay and lesbian porn is not queer, it's just gay or lesbian on a
mechanical level because you have same sex interactions.

j: I can't wait to make dirty dumpster porn with hoochies in homemade
bloomers.

Audacia: How do you see the relationship between Sharing is Sexy and
mainstream porn?

klm:    mainstream porn = good
    	Sharing is Sexy = better

lotus: One of our primary goals is to not discredit sex workers and
"for pay" porn sites. Personally, I refuse to deny the agency of porn
performers. Part of our project is to demonstrate that people want to
express themselves sexually with porn, and will do so without money
involved.

Still, my relationship to mainstream porn is antagonistic at best.
I haven't spent a lot of time doing a general survey of the porn
industry. In SiS, we work collectively, non-hierarchically, we do what
we want.

I acknowledge the arguments of many anti-porn feminists as having
some accuracy when looking at the vast majority of mainstream porn,
which is just awful. I see more recent moves like Vivid Alt as just
cooptation of indie and queer practices by a massive corporation which
is just trying to make a profit. Our project is partly a response
to Suicide Girls, which is composed of mostly women who fit western
beauty standards but have tattoos and piercings. A lot of alt porn
isn't really all that alt.

The laws in the US around porn are so restrictive as to make it very
difficult for people without a lot of money to make and distribute
porn, as we have found, and so the situation is that a few large
corporations are making all the billions the industry brings in every
year. I would much rather see something like Xtube or Pornotube have
the popularity of Youtube, and see millions of people experimenting
with their bodies, their toys and their cameras.

Audacia: What are your views on the commodification of sexuality and
bodies through porn?

klm: If you want to commodify my body that's cool. I just want a
yearly percentage of any profits you make off of it.

But seriously, I think commodification can be a form of reclaiming
one's body. I'm setting the price of my body and I'm allowing you and
eveyone else who visits SiS to consume my body.

j: The first thing that comes to my mind are single mothers who are
sex workers struggling to survive and support their families. If
there is commodification at the price of dignity, in a billion dollar
industry, that industry is corrupt and that is immoral. Living wages
and dignity for all!

lotus: Throughout history women's bodies have been more exploited than
other bodies for the profit and pleasure of those with more power, in
particular white european heterosexual men. I see the commodification
of women's bodies within that trajectory, as something to be resisted
at all costs. Still, every image and body is commodified under global
capitalism, so even attempts like ours to operate outside of the
economy can't claim purity, as they will still function in relation to
profit making industries and circulate in the art business.

One of the most interesting and exciting things about porn is that
it can function like a short circuit for the attention economy. Porn
gets a lot of attention, and if our current information economy is
so intimately related to attention, then it seems like a line that
cuts through the system. If you take your clothes off, someone will be
looking. The question for me is, what to say once people are looking?
And what we are saying is that we want a million genders for a million
people, that we want an infinite multiplicty of sexual practices to
propagate, that we want to empower people in learning about their own
desire and following it, that we will be empowered by the system we
find ourselves in by finding its weaknesses and we will use them to
get what we want.

j: If there is anything that is impacting our desires and how we see
our bodies negatively, then that is what we need to resist. Because
oppression is rooted in those lies.

klm: It runs so deep that people don't even know what their desires
are or what their desires can be.




--

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