The Queer Porn Revolution

Alma Cork

Mainstream porn not genuine enough? Then make your own and queer it up.

I'm currently streaming one of the episodes from the queer porn series known as The Crash Pad, made by Pink&White Productions - and damn is it hot. At the moment Red, a femme genderqueer model, is screwing Javier, an extremely sexy transman, with a strap-on, and I'm not sure I can get through the rest of my word count without taking a break.

Queer porn has been receiving more and more interest recently, as many people have found mainstream adult industry productions to be deficient, or just not catering to their interests at all. Six years ago Courtney Trouble started up the queer erotica site Nofauxxx.com, partly because she thought mainstream porn to be lacking 'chemistry' and because she thought "the dominant adult industry was ... simply not making any porn that I actually liked. So I made it myself." At that time, the only other queer porn site in existence, Ssspread.com, was starting to close down, although other 'alternative' porn sites, such as suicidegirls.com and raverporn.com (now eroticbpm.com) were only just beginning.

'Alternative' porn doesn't seem to be the same, or even quite as progressive, as queer porn. Instead, 'alternative' porn seems to exotify non-mainstream identities and cultures, such as goth, emo, ravers, etc. While I'd agree with the idea that it is healthy to have 'alternative' people in porn, I have to wonder if concentrating on what makes them so alternative and using that to sell the porn is really any better than the lack of such bodies in the dominant industry. For instance, if you were to tell me that as a transwoman I should be able to get my kicks from the kind of porn that focuses on trans people, then I'd think you were clueless. Sure, there are some wonderful performers out there, such as Buck Angel, but transsexual porn is predominantly about objectification of the transsexual body. Porn, for me, shouldn't be about objectifying bodies, but about celebrating them and letting the expression of those bodies (and the personalities within them) shine through. It's not what you do, but how you do it, and I consider the same idea to follow for all identities, bodies, genders, and sexualities, whether or not you have tattoos or piercings and irrespective of what music you listen to. Indeed, Nofauxxx.com includes the following in its mission statement: "We do what we can to support the activists who fight for awareness of cultural appropriation. This is why you will have a hard time finding mohawks, dreadlocks, or any fad-like cultural style which doesn't come from a genuine participation or deep knowledge/respect for the culture it's borrowed from. We aren't perfect here, but we do try to put thought into our porn & who it might disrespect."

Instead of being aimed at any specific group or interest, queer porn blurs the lines and features a range of sexualities, lifestyles, and genders. You'll find genderqueers, BDSM, trans people, butches, bois, femmes, and even straight people; the boundaries are hazy and anything goes as long as it's hot, passionate and real. Queer porn also aims to be female-friendly and feminist; Nofauxxx lists this as a specific aim and includes many women in its ranks of guest photographers.

Pink&White Productions is also run by a woman, Shine Louise Houston. She started Pink&White after finding it difficult to recommend good lesbian porn when she worked at Good Vibrations in San Francisco. Simply, there wasn't much out there, and the world of mainstream porn still featured 'dykes' who were straight in their private lives. So, like Courtney Trouble, she decided to start making some real, honest dyke porn herself, asserting that "There is power in creating images, and for … a woman of colour and a queer to take that power … I don't find it exploitative; I think it's necessary."

While The Crash Pad is still largely dyke-based, it also uses models from many different genders and sexualities. Pink&White describes itself as creating "adult entertainment that exposes the complexities of queer sexual desire ... dedicated to producing sexy and exciting images that reflect today's blurred gender lines and fluid sexualities". After viewing some of their episodes, anything seems to go here, and the models' sexual expression and passionate performances are more important than providing scenes particular to any one kind of sexuality. Radically, to me at least, some of the latest episodes even include bio males. Even more pleasing to me is the inclusion of trans models, both male and female, although their transness is never exotified. This form of porn seems to celebrate queer bodies, providing the individual models with a greater degree of agency, and the most horny thing about the videos is seeing how much the models seem to be enjoying themselves. They're not just fucking to some sterile script, building up to a predictable money shot, but instead they come across as being on fire with passion and sensitivity. In one of the episodes two bios indulge in some sweet and increasingly steamy caresses, throwing in some daddy play for good measure. At the end of the scene you can hear the amused producer say "Do you guys want to cool off a little bit now?" followed by some laughs, and it hit me that they weren't just acting there; they really were that excited. In fact, some of the models in The Crash Pad also happen to be partners, adding to the genuine chemistry. It's real sex with the volume turned up: loud, sweaty, and passionate, and in fact it's been compared to gay male porn due to its intensity. Another refreshing aspect of The Crash Pad is that its models range from the unknown, with no experience in front of the cameras, to the pros, and when Houston originally started filming the first Crash Pad film, released in 2004, she got her friends to be the models.

Queer porn is also as much about the art as the titillation. While the films have a do-it-yourself, independently produced style, they certainly do not come across as amateur (although babeland.com holds Crash Pad DVDs in its amateur porn section!). Courtney Trouble says, "I'd like to think that my target audience are the true connoisseurs of alt-porn, erotica, and queer porn; people who like to look at porn for both arousal and thought-provocation." Meanwhile, the directorial style of Shine Louise Houston includes imaginative lighting and multiple camera angles, along with a back story that includes high-tech voyeurism and hidden cameras.

More episodes of The Crash Pad are being added to the site all the time, and Pink&White have also released their latest feature film, Champion, a 'lesbian martial arts film'. Directed by Houston, it features one of Pink&White's producers and stars, Shawn (aka Syd Blakovich). Meanwhile, Courtney Trouble's first movie, Roulette, is due for release in March. The Nofauxxx site says that the film aims to showcase "a community of ladies, artists, and queers with varying reasons for wanting to make porn; be it exhibitionism, politics, or money. We intend to visually explore those messages without sacrificing the explicitness of the scene or distracting the viewer from the sole purpose of porn: arousal!"

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and cool down.

http://crashpadseries.com

http://www.nofauxxx.com