Life is good and busy and happy. I’m working on a new essay for this blog – a one-year later follow up of the anti-sex/anti-porn/anti-freedom of speech move to block my lecture at Corning Community College in 2013. A lot of bizarre/fascinating stuff happened after that talk to catch up on.
Until then, here’s some stuff you can check into.
I’m the newest blogger for Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger! In my colum, Free Sex with Conner Habib, I’ll be giving sex and relationship tips weekly. I’ll also offer up some mini-sexual history lessons – it’s all on her site, PattiKnows.com. My first entry is a foundational one: “How To NOT Have Sex Like A Movie Star.” The concept is pretty simple: Contrary to the widely-held notion that sex should be totally immersed and connected, it’s okay to think during sex. I’m excited to be working with Patti. She’s got a much more mainstream take on sexuality than I do, but she’s the real deal. Smart, no bullshit, and willing to have someone like me on her site to push boundaries and broaden readers’ horizons!
My essay in the “The Banal and the Profane” series from Lambda Literary was released last month. It details a week in my life, day-by-day. Rather than be like, “Um, I went to the store and the I watched TV and then I jerked off” or whatever, I decided to write little vignettes about everyday reading. Reading that isn’t considered reading. There’s one little essay each about a parking ticket, the back of a condom wrapper, bathroom graffiti, twitter, the books under my bed, and a lit reading. It was a fun assignment, and I’m happy to be involved with Lambda.
My essay, “What I Want To Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars” is up on The Stranger. This is my first long-form essay in awhile, and it covers a lot of ground. It was very personal: about a boyfriend of mine who struggled with me being in porn, and it’s also cultural: it dissects all the unthinking arguments against pornography. Specifically, it takes to task a lot of the “radical feminist” arguments against porn that are really just hate in disguise.
Here are a few excerpts:
At a restaurant in New York, there was a small opening for discussion, and Alex and I talked, just a little, about porn.
It just all seems to contradict, he said.
To him, me being in porn seemed out of place in the rest of my life. I’m a spiritual person and I went to grad school. I taught college English courses and studied science. The porn, for him, didn’t match up with all of that. I started to grow quiet. I didn’t like that I was growing quiet; after all, it was my big chance to talk about my job and my choices. But framed this way, in the form of contradictions, it didn’t seem right. “Contradictions” was a word that meant I’d already lost the battle.
It’s just so dark, he said. How do you know it’s not all just coming from a dark place?
I didn’t want to shut down, so I tried to answer in a sideways manner.
In an interview, religious scholar Huston Smith was talking about his teaching job. The interviewer asked Smith how he knew, when he taught his students about all the different religions, that he wasn’t emphasizing one religion’s virtues just a little more than the others, trying to indoctrinate them.
“Because my heart is pure!” Smith said.
Because my heart is pure, I told Alex. I wish you could just look inside and see that I was doing this because I want to, and that it doesn’t make me love you any less.
But I can’t, he said. I can’t see that.
He reached over and rubbed my shoulder. It must be hard for you to date anyone, he said.
I have rarely felt so alone as I did in that moment, sitting there in New York, with my boyfriend touching my shoulder.
In high school, when I was a kid, a friend asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
A porn star, I said.
It was a funny, half-formed kid’s dream, but I meant it.
I’d seen porn, like most of the kids in my school at that point, and this was before the internet. Aside from the fact that the cool kids were talking about it, I wanted to do porn because it seemed like a no-brainer. People gave each other and themselves and the audience pleasure as their job? It was an amazing prospect. I wouldn’t have to be a banker or a stockbroker or whatever. I could be a porn star.
Well, have fun getting AIDS, he said. He meant it, too.
Patriarchy, you say first. (Don’t worry, I won’t get into all the facts about porn being the one place where women are paid at a consistently higher rate than men.)
Once, a woman online, a “radical” “feminist,” told me I was a rapist because I subjugated women. But I’m in gay porn, I said. No, no, you’re a rapist, she insisted. I looked at her website, which was dedicated to saying trans* women were not real women and that they’d infiltrated feminism by using deception.
When you hate us that much, you might notice: You hate other people, too.
When you hate us that much, you might notice: Even “rape” becomes a meaningless word.
On Tangentially Speaking with Chris Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn – me and Sex At Dawn author Christopher Ryan had a long, fun conversation about the nature of reality, sex, technology, and more. I’ve been on Chris’s podcast once before and we go all over the place. He’s the best, and it’s a great listen to get a broader picture of both him and me. Plus, I think we make some dumb jokes.
On Sex with Emily with sexologist and Dr. Drew/Loveline cohost, Emily Morse – Emily and I are pals from a couple of yeas back and we talk a lot about blowjobs. It’s, like, our thing. We also talk about how I got into porn and whether or not men should powder their balls (sometimes, I say.) It’s a good, fun conversation with lots of sex tips.
My petition to fight censorship from Twitter on their Vine app is still going! As soon as I get enough signatures (we’re almost there!), I’m going to figure out what the hell to do next. I’ve never done this petition this before. So click here to sign and we’ll fight the power together.
I appeared in über-hip/totally good-looking Swedish fashion magazine Bon to talk about the politics of nudity. The print magazine is in English and Swedish; the website is only in Swedish. But you can google translate and look around their fashionable landscape.
I recently spoke at University of Florida as part of their Sexxx Week. If you’d like me to speak at your school or organization, click here for info.
I was featured in an article on Jezebel about Duke University student and porn star Belle Knox. The article focuses on the archetype of the college girl in porn – how viewers love to watch, but when there’s an actual college student making porn in real life, people lose their shit.
Still working on my book, Remaking Sex, which will be out from Disinformation late 2014/early 2015. It’s an expose on all our attitudes about sex, and tours through science, philosophy, politics, history, economics, and more. The book works to overturn all our assumptions and ask questions we need to ask more often (Why do we cover our private parts? Why can’t I eat a sandwich at my office desk, but not jerk off? Why are we ashamed of masturbation?). And it’s got a few suggestions on how we can approach sex, as a culture, in a healthier and more peaceful way.
That’s all for now. Love,