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Jul 17 2007

“A price I was willing to pay”: Hard Porn, Sex Work, and Consent

This is one of the smartest, most thoughtful things I’ve read lately about sex — not just porn or SM, but sex — and I wanted to call y’all’s attention to it and talk about it a little.

480pxcanis_lupus_layingIt’s by spanking model Adele Haze (I don’t know why spanking models are called models instead of actors or performers when they work largely in movies, but except for curiosity I don’t really care). In this piece, Haze talks about a shoot she did with Lupus Pictures, a kinky video production company that’s renowned/ infamous for making movies with extremely heavy content: very hard spankings/ beatings, done with intense implements, causing real suffering and serious bruises and marks.

346pxalineetvalcour_t1p112Haze makes no bones about the fact that the actual “getting caned” part of making this video was very difficult and not at all pleasurable. But she also makes it clear that she found the experience extremely satisfying, and doesn’t regret it in the slightest. She found it professionally satisfying — Lupus’s production standards are apparently very high, and as a performer it was an artistic pleasure to be working with them. And she found it sexually satisfying — the caning itself was far from enjoyable, but the prelude and the aftermath were an intense erotic pleasure, and she was able to tap into some very dark fantasies of non-consent in a way that she hadn’t been able to before in a professional setting.

Spank_me_cane_mePertinent quote: “So yes, I knew there would be pain, and I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it. I wrote it off as a side-effect: a price I was willing to pay. In hindsight, I’m glad to say that my judgement on this was sound.”

I think the thing I like so much about this piece is that it makes the parallels between making spanking porn and doing any other kind of job vividly clear. And it makes the parallels between making spanking porn and being in any other kind of sexual relationship vividly clear as well.

LoveitSee, in any kind of job, and in any kind of relationship, there are things you like and things you don’t. Even if it’s a job or a relationship that you’re basically happy with, there are going to be parts that are hard to deal with. What makes a job or relationship a healthy one is that the good parts make the bad parts worth putting up with — and that you’re free to make that decision.

Hot_english_punishmentAnd that’s true for porn — all porn, not just spanking porn — as much as it is for any job. I think some people have a tendency to think that if every single thing on a porn shoot isn’t a perfect erotic dream for every performer, it’s therefore exploitation at best and coercion at worst. (Eros Blog, the blog where I found this piece, has an excellent analysis of this coercion/ exploitation question with porn in general and with Lupus Pictures in particular, in his piece Evil Porn Werewolf Enslavers Debunked.) But if you look at making porn as (a) a job and (b) a sexual relationship, you realize that porn doesn’t have to make all its performers perfectly happy in order to be a healthy job. It just has to make them happy enough. There has to be enough about it that they like, sexually and professionally, for the stuff they don’t like to be worth putting up with.

(Via Eros Blog, who got it via Spanking Blog. God, I love the Internets.)

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Cruella

    Guess who’s featured in the latest carnival of the feminists?
    http://cruellablog.blogspot.com/2007/07/carnival-of-feminists.html
    Love it if you took a look and maybe posted the link back here? ta!

  2. 2
    c4bl3fl4m3

    So, yeah, that meme that you chose me to be part of that I’ve totally slacked off on doing? I finally posted it.
    http://c4bl3fl4m3.livejournal.com/519003.html
    Sorry for the delay (and the OT comment).
    Go check it out, leave your thoughts.

  3. 3
    Iamcuriousblue

    Great post! I liked it so much that I linked to it on the new “Blog of Pro-Porn Activism” I co-edit. (Shameless plug):
    http://bppa.blogspot.com/

  4. 4
    Eclectic

    You took me on SUCH a detour through a pile of different spanking blogs and movie reviews, I just got back to the last few entries you’ve posted!
    I do have fun violating “NSFW” labels. I amused myself showing co-workers pictures of the ’05 Folsom Street Fair which were
    Safe for work: http://www.twistedmonk.com/blog/fsf-new01.jpg
    Not Safe For Work: http://www.twistedmonk.com/blog/fsf-new02.jpg
    Oh, hell, no! http://www.twistedmonk.com/blog/fsf-new03.jpg
    (Disclaimer: the use of the word “hell” above is purely a linguistic convention and does not imply any endorsement by the author of any theory of an afterlife.)
    BTW, have you seen Bitchy Jones’ blog? http://bitchyjones.wordpress.com/ has some excellent writing about nicely dark fantasies.

  5. 5
    Al

    Have you read Niki Flynn’s Dances with Werewolves? An interesting take on much the same sort of ground.

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