Well, the year’s almost over. It’s been one of those wild years where so much happened that it feels like an eternity ago that I was celebrating the last day of 2012 (with Korean BBQ because that’s how you DO IT). And yet it’s all gone by so fast! I won a Feminist Porn Award, continued negotiations for a memoir-ish book about my experiences and knowledge re: the adult industry, got so-freaking-close to finishing a sample of my graphic novel for publishers, had articles published in a few places, was tapped for “expert advice” by Esquire magazine, and got a feature story accepted at a big-time feminist publication (no spoilers!). I also watched almost all of Star Trek: Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager because I am a huuuuuge geek. And a lot of other things.
And now we start it all up again. Here’s my take on the past year in the public, and what I hope to do in the next year, personally. (You don’t have to read the “goals for 2014” part. It’s tedious, I know. But I figure if I publish them, I’ll feel slightly more beholden to actually living up to them, ya feel me?)
A 2013 Recap in Sex, Feminism, and Porn:
- HIV in the industry shut down production three times this year, after the efforts of the AHF led by Michael Weinstein shuttered the AIM testing center and pushed through legislation requiring condoms in LA city permitted shoots both in 2012. Which led to, respectively, the loss of a centralized testing database to keep everyone informed about statuses (which did, ultimately, have its detractors but on the whole seemed to do a good job of keeping the talent pool informed), and a steep decline in the number of permitted shoots in LA. See a correlation? But do condoms really protect any better or worse than testing? Who’s to say? The only thing I can say with absolute certainty is that the anecdotal evidence (three industry moratoriums [moratoria? what’s the proper plural there?] in a year) does not point to condom legislation protecting people so much. In fact, since all four industry HIV cases this year are believed to have been brought into the talent pool from elsewhere, I’d proffer the possibility that, with less work to be had in LA as fewer companies want to shoot with permits and condoms, and as porn continues to come under fire for all of society’s ills and suffer from piracy, more performers are seeking escorting work outside the industry and bringing disease back in. The whole situation, in a nutshell, is fucked. What’s to be done? Big-name feminist director Tristan Taormino announced she’d be switching to condom-mandatory shooting, and I’m sure many others began to rethink their policies.
- So much coverage of feminist porn in the mainstream media! Woot! Ellen Page thinks it’s crucial! Dylan Ryan wrote for Jezebel! The Sundance Channel wrote about it! Hell, HuffPo has a whole category of tagged articles about it! This is good. This is very good.
- Bradley Manning came out as Chelsea Manning. Cue the public astonishment and debates about sex reassignment surgery in prisons–a conversation that’s way overdue. And the applause from my corner for Chelsea, who has more courage than… well… anybody.
- The sudden and tragic loss of Carlos Batts, art porn filmmaker and husband of performer powerhouse April Flores. Shock came alone with an outpouring of support, both emotional and financial, for the bereaved. Watching the indie porn community come together the way it did really pulled at my heartstrings, but I wish it hadn’t happened anyway.
- Danny Wylde, one of the coolest dudes in porn, quit performing, which is a shame. But he also published his first novel, Come to My Brother, which might lead to lots of new adventures for him!
- The launch of MakeLoveNotPorn.tv (out of beta) and the beginning (I hope) of a new era in which sex and porn are both appreciated, and yet kept separate. The mainstream release of Don Jon, which, as far as I can tell, drove home the same message. To whit: pornis entertainment, a form of media, that should not be conflated with real life, nor used as a surrogate for real human interaction and intimacy. Oh, Cindy Gallop and Joseph Gordon-Levitt… you two make me swoon!
- More public discussion of rape went on than ever… and yet so many setbacks. Rape apologies were everywhere, from the news media to the comments section of every article about rape ever, but at least there were a lot of articles about how shitty rape apology is. Deep in the bowels of the bile-spewing histrionics lay the seeds of a real conversation, which is at least tiptoeing up to the line of maybe-possibly changing something.
- Oh, and this. Cue moral outrage, feminist defenses, appropriation discussions, completely misguided attempts at mentorship… the works.
My Goals for 2014 (I won’t call them resolutions, because… I’m… counterculture. Also because that word sounds so final! I prefer “goals” because it sounds a little less judgmental if I don’t get these things done):
- Start doing reviews again! I’ve gotten away from my porn reviewing roots, and I feel a need to get back into it. I love helping promote the awesome efforts of indie filmmakers. I don’t have the time to do more than one or two reviews a month, but I’m open for business, particularly for indie and queer production companies! Hit me up, people!
- Get a publisher or funding for independent publishing for my graphic novel! Anyone out there want to throw a few thousand bucks my way? Or hook me up with a publishing contract?
- Finish a chapbook of poetry. I’m already working on it, but there’s much work yet to be done.
- Keep my sex advice column at Luna Luna Magazine going all year! I love helping people with their quandaries! Send me questions!
- Relaunch my website with an updated interface and… ads. Yup. Gimme da moneys!