A few more interview snippets to keep your mouths watering and your brains working, my darlings…
Drew Deveaux is the hottest thing to hit the queer porn scene in the past few years, taking fans and performers alike by storm, winning this year’s Heatthrob of the Year award at the Feminist Porn Awards, and generally being the sexiest genderqueer trans woman on the blue screen. I personally find her entrancing, and her super-mega intellect incredibly alluring. I interviewed her for Madison Young’s TheWoman’s POV about a week ago, and I’m posting part of the interview, about finding her sexuality through porn, here to whet your appetites:
Coming from a background like yours—you’re very educated—you have a lot of options. You spoke about this at the Red Umbrella Diaries
when I saw you in March. You said that you get responses like, “Well, that’s
choice for you.” But it really is. Would you characterize yourself as a highly sexual person since you were young? Or has this decision actually made you more sexual?
DD Oh my gosh. Both. Certainly sexual, yeah. I’m definitely not denying that. But I think, given my history of being trans, I had to really search for a long time in order to really latch onto my sexual confidence. Really finding myself sexually was a difficult thing, and that links into the representations of trans women in porn and elsewhere, of ones that didn’t make any sense to me. Being queer and trans was not even something that seemed actually possible.
Basically when I was younger, when I was a teenager, everyone was like, “Oh, you’re just a super-effeminate boy. You’re gay.” And since I was a young kid, I was always pegged as a gay male. And I was like, “But, no! Actually, I like girls! And I kind of feel like a lesbian.” Which was the only vocabulary I had for it at the time. So you know, you add on top of that all the stigma and shame that so many people who don’t fit the mainstream definitions of what’s construed as sexy or sexually healthy, whether you’re gay or trans, whether you have a fat body, whether you’re differently abled, all these kinds of things… It can take a lot longer to come into yourself sexually.
So that has been a process and it still is a process. I think doing porn has been a hugely important way of positively reinforcing my power and identity as a sexual being. That’s not something that I sought getting into porn. I wasn’t looking for validation or affirmation, but at the same time, it’s provided me all these opportunities to experience sex in a whole bunch of different contexts, and to really think about sex, and to have sex that was really hot and amazing with talented people, to watch a lot more sex, to reflect. As I’m putting these things out there, as I’m being in some ways a role model, a visionary for trans sexuality… I’m really having to think about it. I feel like I’ve had to really push myself hard to get over a lot of things, like my own insecurities and my own shit around my sexuality. I don’t think anyone’s perfect. I don’t think any porn performer necessarily has everything figured out and is completely over all the stigmas and shame and trauma. But I think that they’re able to really reflect on how they shape it…
And I think that a lot of the work I’ve been doing recently has been a lot more vicious than some of the earlier work in terms of incorporating aspects of kink and power dynamics, dirty talk, and really reconnecting with some of the power that can happen in those kinky power-play dynamics where I can feel really ashamed and that can actually be a sexually awesome experience. So, yeah, it’s a process.
Jennifer Lyon Bell of Blue Artichoke Films
and I had a chat about the Dutch television channel Dusk, a female-oriented channel that shows erotic/sexual programming made particularly for women. Dusk has been getting a lot of press in the US lately for inventing the term “porna” to apply to this type of programming–as opposed to “porno” made largely for and by men. The full interview will be used for an article on Dusk on WHACK! Magazine
in the next few weeks.
Me: In the meantime, how do you like the term “porna” they’re using for female-centric erotic material? Would you apply it to your work?
Jennifer Lyon Bell: I do appreciate that they’ve come up with a simple word to describe porn that appeals to women. Personally I’ve had a hard time coming up with terms to describe what I do — “explicit erotic film”? “Alternative erotica”? “Feminist porn”? I do wonder if the word “porna” gives space to describe films that, while they may be made by women, appeal very much to men as well. Along the way, I’ve discovered that there are a ton of men out there who are searching not only for more authentic depictions of female sexuality in particular, but also of more authentic depictions of sexual relationships in general. I’m not sure that the word “porna” covers that. And that’s the situation I’m in, since both women and men seems attracted to what I’m trying to do.
All that being said, I’m proud to have my films on the Dusk channel, and pleased that women do respond so well to them. So I’m happy to have it called “porna” if that helps women understand why they might be different than the “porn” they’ve probably seen before.