Sep 132013
 

New Mexico Supreme Court sides with Pornotopia Film Festival and Free Speech

Albuquerque, NM (September 12, 2013) – Pornotopia Film Festival won. The NM State Supreme Court decided in a 4-1 decision that The Guild Cinema & Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center have a right to host Pornotopia Film Festival. The court was clear: hosting one erotic film festival, on one weekend of the year does not make the Guild an “adult amusement establishment,” just like a club that plays jazz music once a year would not become a “jazz club.” This ruling guarantees that Self Serve and The Guild Cinema can carry out their festival without fearing that free speech will be abridged. Self Serve is already planning the next PORNOTOPIA UNCENSORED festival for November 1st, 2013.

The Pornotopia Film Festival was a well-attended film festival in Albuquerque from 2007 to 2009. As Director & Self Serve Co-Owner Matie Fricker explains, “Despite its controversy, Pornotopia has received overwhelming community support for being a festival whose aim is to change the way people see sexuality portrayed in film.” She adds, “Much like the environment at our shop Self Serve, Pornotopia featured films promoting a positive, educational and empowering erotic experience.”

In 2008, the Guild Cinema was cited with a zoning violation for showing an erotic film. Today the state’s highest court reversed that citation. In overturning the lower courts’ ruling, the Supreme Court concluded, “Because the Guild engaged in only occasional showings of adult films, the Guild is not an adult amusement establishment as defined in the Albuquerque Code of Ordinances…”

Self Serve thanks to the ACLU of New Mexico, the Guild Cinema, supportive Nob Hill neighbors and all the volunteers who helped create Pornotopia Film Festival. About Self Serve: Self Serve is a woman-owned sexuality resource center & boutique. In a culture where sex is sensationalized and unrealistically represented in the media, we offer a space that is frank, honest and friendly. Our compassionate and non-judgemental sex educators give you the space to ask the questions that make other people blush. Self Serve offers bodysafe toys, intimate lubricants, natural skin care, locally made gifts, books, dvds, classes and private events.

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Contact: Molly Adler

Self Serve: 505-265-5815

molly@selfservetoys.com

Jul 162012
 

Last week, I had a great interview with Amber Strocel of Strocel.com for her popular podcast, and my episode covered everything from feminism to size positivity, authentic pleasure in pornography to owning your sexuality.

Part of her write up:

I had a frank discussion with Shanna about sexuality, feminism and body positivity. How do mainstream representations of sex and sexuality reflect on gender dynamics and the way we view women? Are adult films demeaning and oppressive to women? And how can we move past the negative feelings we have about our bodies and embrace ourselves as we are? Shanna answers all these questions and more. Plus she gives some great tips for improving your own sex life.

My podcast with Shanna Katz is not what you would call family-friendly, so if you have kids within earshot and you’re not up to answering some hard questions, you may want to save this one for later. But if you’d like to hear a smart, funny, feminist sexologist discuss how to love and enjoy your body, listen to our conversation here:

 

Click here to listen to us chat!

Mar 102011
 

Sorry about the web silence folks! I’ve been in the process of moving from Phoenix, AZ to Denver, CO, and haven’t really had much internet, and definitely haven’t had much in the way of time.

But never fear; I’m back! And right now, I’m in the wonderful state of Rhode Island, and I have not one, not two, but THREE classes here over the next few days.

Tonight, I’m teaching I Know It When I See It: Feminist and Ethical Pornography. We’ll talk about what ethical pornography is (and what it is NOT), who is making it, what it entails, and some issues that still remain, like being more inclusive for trans women, people of color, people with disabilities and more, as well as ways individuals can get involved if it is of interest to them. That’s at the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health tonight (March 10th) at 250 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI, starting at 7pm.

On March 13th (Sunday), I’ll be at Brown University at 5pm talking all about body autonomy and positivity as sexual freedom:

If You Can’t Love Yourself…How the Heck Can You Love Anyone Else? List Art Building, Room 110 (64 College St.)

In today’s blitz of media and judgment surrounding our bodies, it can be incredibly hard to love yourself. From rules surrounding pubic hair to epic retouching with Photoshop, how are we to know what beautiful bodies really are? We’ll talk about body autonomy and body positivity, inclusive of size diversity, ability levels and much more, as well as discuss how we as a community can create a supportive and more body lovin’ space for everyone!

And then, if that wasn’t enough for all your fabulous folks on Rhode Island, I’ll also be co-presenting with the wonderful Megan Andelloux on Monday the 13th at Noon at Brown on being a sex educator in the real world:

All Roads Leading to Pleasure: Sex Educators in the Real World

Salomon Center, Room 203 (Main Green, between George and Waterman Streets)

Ever want to know what it’s like to be sex educator in today’ society? Interested in going into the field of sex education? Or maybe you don’t really know what a sex educator does. Come listen in as Shanna Katz and Megan Andelloux share their very different journeys in the world of sex-ed, discussing how and why they entered the field, what the spaces they occupy, and the wide variety of ways in which sex educators can make a living.

 

I hope to get to see some of you at some of these classes!

Shanna

 

Feb 212011
 

I am participating in Lady Porn Day, which is tomorrow the 22nd, as put together by the wonderful Rabbit Write. A few of us are starting today, a day early, so as to bring more awareness to it, and allow other to know about it and post tomorrow.

Lady Porn Day 2011

The prompt is to generally talk about porn from a woman’s perspective — what IS porn, what turns you on, what exactly is this new “women’s/couples friendly porn,” how has porn changed your life, what are your thoughts about porn, erotica, etc. And I’ve decided to write about ethical pornography, sometimes called feminist pornography.

Ethical pornography is one of the new waves of porn. It’s been happening for years with people like Carol Queen (and Bend Over Boyfriend) and those running Fatale Media, but also through queer venues like NoFauxxx and Pink and White/The Crash Pad Series, as well as through non-traditional porn channels like Tony Comstock’s films (sexumentaries if you will). It includes new releasing companies like Good Vibrations’ Good Releasing, which features HeartCore, ReelQueer and PleasureEd titles, and up and coming websites like GoodDykePorn.com or the Feminist Porn Network. Work create by those like Tristan Taormino, Toby Meyer-Hill, Shine Louise Houston, April Flores, Jackie Strano, Jamye Waxman, Madison Young, Bren Ryder, Courtney Trouble, Tina Horn, the Comstocks, and much more fall into this category, and I’d say it is an absolutely growing field.

What makes this porn ethical? Let’s see — the stars are chosen not because they fit some socially constructed mold of what we define beauty as, but because they love being sexual, are excited to perform in front of the camera, and so on. In ethical of pornography, you’ll see size diversity, people of color (not in a stereotypical “My Daughter is Fucking Blackzilla” type of role), people of various gender presentations, a variety of orientations, a spectrum of ages of 18 (not just the common 18-22 range), people with not traditionally define abilities, those that are often labeled “alternative” and much more. Ethical pornography looks at the fluidity of sexuality and identities, and realizes that all of them are hot and sexy, and therefore places diversity in their shoots.

How about the actually fucking — what makes that “ethical” or “feminist”? Well, the companies I’ve named above are very open minded in what sex means. This means that they don’t pay you based on who you are fucking, or what acts you choose to do, but they just pay you for performing.  By doing this, it knocks down this hierarchy of solo being the least, girl/girl being a little bit more, girl/boy being the average, and anal getting the most money and praise, and it also stops the misogyny behind paying more for hetero scenes, and defining those in porn as boys and girls.  Aside from paying all their stars equally, ethical porn companies also allow their performers a freedom to have the kind of sex that turns them on, allowing the stars to be authentic to their own pleasure. If they are doing an anal scene, it is because they like it, and it turns them on, not because a director told them to. Same goes for kissing — they’re kissing their scene partner because it is hot to them, not because they’re required to as part of a contract. This often leads to more chemistry between scene stars, more authentic orgasms, and in my mind, a hotter scene to watch because you know they are actually enjoying it. Those in ethical porn also get to pick their own names, choose whether or not they’d like to use barriers (although some companies strongly recommend that non-real life partners use barriers, and one or two require it), sometimes choose their outfits/locations, and much more.

Shooting ethical pornography is more of a group effort. Rather than trying to fit into a mold based on previous films/fitting into the perception of what men want in their porn, ethical pornographers work with their staff, with their stars, with everyone to try and put together an authentic piece of visual erotica that is true to all of those involved, whether everyone is treated equally (regardless of position on crew or their identities), and where people leave feeling comfortable and happy.  I don’t like the term feminist pornography much (although that is the title many people prefer), because I have run into a lot of anti-porn, anti sex positive, anti-pleasure feminists. As a feminist-identified person, this really offends me that part of a community that I part of feels that what I do hurts others. More so, I don’t think you have to be identified as a feminist to make good, sex positive pornography — I simply think that you need to be ethical and stick to those values.

No, there is currently not a lot of money to be made in ethical pornography. No one is raking in six figure salaries, and most shooting sex positive porn aren’t getting paid much per scene. It’s still very independent and very underground, perhaps that is why it is still feasible to make it ethical. Often times when things get “big” or “main stream,” it is harder for those involved to have their voices heard.

My above list of ethical pornographers is not exhaustive, certainly. There are so many people working hard, either on their own or as part of other companies, to try and create sex positive spaces in porn. Some of us (myself included) don’t have our own companies, but rather pick and choose who we work for — I’ve directed content for Good Dyke Porn and Dark Horse Theaters, and am getting ready to work with Good Releasing on a Erotic Documentary about the intersections between sex and disability. I am certainly no full time pornographer, but working with ethical porn companies have given me the opportunity to  bring my sex positive background and emphasis on inclusiveness to film. Everyday, more and more people are working to change the industry (for ex — Wicked requires all of their stars to wear condoms, which is the antithesis of what often happens in the more mainstream industry), both from inside mainstream and by creating new spaces.

As a “lady” identified person, this is what type of porn turns me on, this is what I want to watch. It doesn’t matter if it is kinky, or kisses and massages, or the genders of the performers. I get off knowing that the people on the screen got off filming, that they are paid equally no matter what they did, that they represent more of the diversity of sexuality. I don’t think there is such thing as porn for women, as women’s tastes are just as diverse as everyone else’s. Some enjoy watching kissing, while others find it boring and want more “hardcore” sex scenes. So to me, as a woman, I enjoy porn that follows my own ethics and beliefs.  So in celebration of Lady Porn Day, I raise my class to all those who have created the world of ethical porn, work in it, and/or enjoy it, because that is how I believe porn should be.

-Shanna

Nov 012010
 

I’ve been to this festival, and spent time with both Matie and Molly (owners of Self Serve) as well as the wonderful Pornotopia volunteers. Pornotopia is where I first saw glimpses of Crash Pad Series, Chemistry, Silken Sleeves and other wonderful, sex positive and ethical clips clips of pornography. I’m heartbroken to hear that it must be postponed due to city regulations and their inability to find a space. Please support Self Serve and their other events, and if you have a space to host Pornotopia, please pass it on!

Shanna

Erotic film festival once again finds itself at odds with city zoning codes.

Albuquerque, N.M . – Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center and the volunteer organizers of the Fourth Annual Pornotopia film festival regret to announce that this year’s celebration of erotic film is being postponed indefinitely. The City of Albuquerque’s highly restrictive zoning regulations have effectively banned the festival from all potential venues, despite all efforts by the planning committee to find a suitable location within city limits.

In protest over Albuquerque’s blatant attempts to censor films protected by the First Amendment, Self Serve announces Pornotopia CENSORED: Cirque de Sex, a live celebration of eroticism, sensuality and the joys of free speech.

Cirque de Sex will feature performances by September Smith, Cookie Fortune, the Gender Offenders, Burlesque Noir, Saywut, a sneak peak at Pornotopia 2010 and more! The show will be followed by a dance party.

The show will be held November 6 at 8 pm at the Sunshine Theater, 120 Central Ave SW, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tickets are $10 – $20 sliding scale and will be available at Self Serve in advance.

The Pornotopia Film Festival has been an influential force over the last three years in changing what is viewed as sexy. “Mainstream porn fosters a culture of shame and unrealistic ideas about sex and our bodies,” says Matie Fricker, Self Serve co-owner and festival director. “Much like the environment at Self Serve, Pornotopia features films promoting a positive, educational and empowering erotic experience.”

Self Serve co-owner Molly Adler points out, “ If there is no room for these films to be seen, how will people’ s perception of sexuality ever change? The films slated for Pornotopia 2010 deserve to be seen. The festival is ready to go; we just need a screen to call home.”

Pornotopia has not been canceled. The organizers are currently searching for a proper venue outside the city of Albuquerque.

For more information, please contact Matie or Molly at Self Serve.
More Info: www.pornotopiafilmfestival.com  or  www.selfservetoys.com
Contact: Matie Fricker, matie@selfservetoys.com, 505-265-5815
www.selfserved.blogspot.com

About Self Serve
Self Serve is a fun and welcoming adult retail store and sex education center. Through its store, Web site and special events, Self Serve provides opportunities for all people to learn about sexuality and their bodies while shopping for high-quality pleasurable products. Self Serve supports women, LGBT people and anyone seeking healthy, positive sexual attitudes and perspectives, and sensual pleasure in everyday life.

Sep 272010
 

While I’m here in San Francisco, in addition to teaching classes at Good Vibrations, providing a demo for Venus Playground at Folsom, and working on my book for Fascinations, I am also shooting two sets of couples for GoodDykePorn.com.

Today’s shoot involved the always bubbly and sassy Courtney Trouble, as well as queer up and comer (pun totally intended) Jolene Parton. It was a super hot shoot, where Jolene strapped it on for the very first time ever, and Courtney went to town on Jolene with the Njoy Eleven. Hot hot hot! The whole shoot ended with lots of giggles, and a bit of mattress wrestling, and that was the tamest thing that happened.

I had a blast, and am looking forward to shooting Tina Horn and James Darling tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy this picture of Courtney and Jolene from the beginning of the shoot.

-Shanna

Good Dyke Porn SF Shoot 1

Sep 012010
 

As many of you know, I’m a sexuality educator, presenting workshops on sexuality, classes on relationships, discussions on identities, and much more. One of my favorite discussions to have is a lecture/discussion I do on feminist and ethical pornography. Why? Because I believe there is indeed such a thing, and as of late, have been working on becoming a pornographer, a maker of hot, ethical porn.

What does that mean? I means including people of a variety of orientations (although I tend to shoot more for sites that are queer specific), varying gender identities and presentations, various ages, sizes, and ability levels, and people of color. That one is hard, because despite all of my searching, I’ve yet to find a person of color wanting to shoot for me that happens to be in the same area…however, I am aware of this need, and will continue to try and keep diversity of all sorts in the porn I make.

Also very important to me is that there is a real connections between the stars. What does this mean? Well, sometimes, it’s a connection, a chemistry, a hotness that just happens. I seem to be like the Yente of queer porn — the people I put together for scenes tend to have really really hot chemistry, just like that. Other times, it’s filming real life couples.

In the case for GoodDykePorn.com, I filmed a real life couple, Dani Starr and Dylan Starr, a cute set of Butch/Femme dykes, and encouraged them to have the sex that THEY liked, that THEY thought was hot and sexy and fulfilling to them. The result? An extremely hot and sexual scene with lots of connection, lots of fun, and of course, lots of sex play.

Bren Ryder, owner of GoodDykePorn, wrote a wonderful post about this scene, and I wanted to share it with you. I’m so glad the two of us see eye to eye on real-ness, and how scenes should be shot — I always make sure to include lots of shots of facial expressions, in addition to interesting angles, and of course, the occasional close ups.

As a side note, I’ll be filming more this fall for GDP, and am looking for real people (no experience needed, no size/age/etc requirements) who’d like to shoot for me/GDP, particularly in Arizona, New York or San Francisco. Interested? Contact me!

-Shanna