My First Encounter With Feminist Porn

Updated: May 1

Porn created by women *for* women had to be light-years better than male-created porn, right? Right?


Photo by Arianna Jadé from Pexels



Feminist porn? WTF? Porn created by women for women? I jumped at the chance to attend Toronto’s Feminist Porn Awards several years ago.


I knew women were making female-centered porn which I assumed, I hoped, meant it would suck less than male porn. My friend Janessa, far more a connoisseuse of sex, kink, non-cishet sex, and big dicks than I, headed eagerly to the Bloor Cinema to watch porn we expected wouldn’t involve a lot of tedious pounding of female orifices and ejaculations on faces, which has always struck me as disrespectful at best and degrading at worst.


The music was far better with none of that mow-wow-wow crap and the camera work with an iPhone! — an iPhone! — was light-years better than I would have expected. The acting was clearly consensual, the actresses quite proud of their work, and, as one might expect from women who don’t have a male porn-manufactured objectified view of what’s attractive, they represented different body types. No cookie-cutter plastic-boobed underfed Barbie Dolls tiresomely found in male porn.


No conveyor belt of gorgeous ready-to-go-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-foreplay women served up for the pleasure of guys who got the role because genetics favored their manly parts.


Porn Is Intrinsically Toxic For Men (And Women Too)

We watched foreplay, diversity, the female perspective and real orgasms, and a few told an actual story. This fulfilled my greatest fantasy for female porn — a plotline!


Too bad it was even more boring, overall, than male porn.



The WTF-ness of ‘feminist’ porn


I’ve never been a porn aficionado, for all the usual reasons many women have. What’s in it for me?


I saw some when I was in college. Sometimes it was hot, but usually, after ten minutes it got boring. I mostly laughed at the notoriously bad acting and the ridiculous Superfly-’70s-era music soundtrack.

Git down ’n’ funkeeeeeeehhhhhh!!!


The women were always raring to go, even with vintage porn’s famously ugly guys catering to male fantasies: The ugly guy always nailed the hot chick.


I’d read about a female porn industry but never investigated it. Given how boring I found mainstream porn, it was hard to get arsed even about this. But I wondered: What does it look like? What would I consider exciting, erotic porn?


For Janessa and me, the Feminist Porn Awards were even more disappointing than sex with Donald Trump must have been for Stormy Daniels. An hour of our lives we’re never getting back.


While we agreed we didn’t find any of it erotic, we understood the movies’ appeal to others, given the contenders had been chosen to display the wide variety of female sexual fantasies and desires utterly lacking in mainstream porn.


Still, some of it was so un-erotic we’d turn to each other and go, “What the fuck was that all about?”


The first movie is best referred to as Trucker Chick, and ranked as the most unerotic porn flick I’d ever seen, at least until we got to the next one. Trucker Chick spoke to her lover — I’m unclear as to whether said lover was male or female — about how she’d wait on the highway for them to swing by and maybe take her somewhere for what sounded like dom-sub sex. LoverCritter didn’t show up and Our Heroine got gang-molested (not raped; this was the most sexless porn ever) by truckers emerging from the shadows.


Um, ewwwww.


What made me uncomfortable was how this came less than six months after a horrific gang rape and murder on a bus in India. However, the movie was too lame to be offensive. There was no sex or hot men. Just a lot of quick-cut artsy-fartsy scenes and images, interspersed with a seemingly unrelated subplot, if you can call it that, of some other chick being tied up in a pretty damn uncomfortable position from the ceiling. Not the last we’d see of that in the next hour.


The next was so lame neither Janessa nor I could figure out who the hell would find it erotic. A woman in a white satin shift, in a dark, dirty-looking warehouse, hands tied behind her, jumped a rope twirled by various men who looked to be the brothers, boyfriends, and maybe husbands of the production crew rather than from a cattle call on Mandy, standing outside the spotlight.

Creepily, I thought, they encircled her, watching her sweat her ass off jumping rope and bizarrely, drinking whiskey on the rocks and smacking their lips.


Again I say, and Janessa was with me on this one, WTF?!?! Is there some bizarre female jump rope fetish we don’t know about?


Every woman is different and many of our fantasies might be utterly mystifying to others, and I can understand one about enjoying the male gaze — I am, after all, an ex-belly dancer — but not dorky-looking guys drinking and watching me jump rope semi-bound.


Chacun à son goût, as my mother likes to say. To each her own.


Number Three featured full-frontal nudity and actual sex in the form of masturbation. Once again set in a dirty old building. Tight budgets, I guess. It didn’t do much for me but it was straightforward, and it wasn’t all artsy-fartsy WTF like the first two.


The next was the closest any of them came to the sort of porn I might want to watch, even though it left me filled with hot raging — ennui. Its imaginative storyline appealed to my sci-fi side but still failed to fulfill my cis-heteronormative tastes.


A married couple watch porn while having sex. The wife, with a click of the remote, brings the man in the video into their bedroom, where he joins them on the bed. A threesome, right? I hoped for something I hadn’t seen yet — intercourse between a man and a woman, but at no time during this hour did we see any woman’s vagina penetrated by dick.


Maybe I’m too cis-het ‘vanilla’ for feminist porn.


The biggest problem was the unconvincing actor playing the husband, who was clearly gay from the moment he stepped on screen. He tried to play a man attracted to his wife but it was akin to watching Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory allegedly fall slowly for Amy. Jim Parsons was too gay to convincingly pull off an asexual-turned-heterosexual geek.


Not coincidentally it was a gay man who directed this entry. Big freakin’ surprise. While the wife’s vagina never came anywhere near either dick, we got to see some big body builder’s manmeat pounding the little husband in the ass — which by the way took it so easily I concluded the actor who played the husband was likely a veteran of gay porn.



Is this what lesbians do for fun?


The next was another masturbation piece bringing new dimension to the word ‘lame’. A gal in a latex suit lubed herself up and took a swim in a nearby pool.


Oh yeah. Oh baby. It’s so hot.


Another featured tying a woman into an uncomfortable position and hanging her from the ceiling. No nudity, no actual sex, just one chick doing her best to suspend my disbelief. I leaned over to Janessa and asked, “Is this what lesbians do for fun?” She’d know better than I, the little bisexual hedonist who’s done shit that would make Traci Lords turn blue.


She didn’t get it either.


The only film making any sense to us as eroticism was one about a physically disabled woman (Actual Porn Star name: MIA GIMP) who uses a special walking crutch that clacks down the street. She fantasizes about running and masturbating with the crutch. I guess this is what the selection committee meant when they said they chose diverse entries. We figured okay, if this is what folks with disabilities want to see, clack on, my friends!


The last was the most comprehensible Not Our Sort Of Porn but it met our expectations of true porn — it had nudity, sex, and made sense rather than leaving us with the chronic WTF? feeling. The new boyfriend walks into the bedroom where his attractive girlfriend waits. They have a discussion about his family whom she’s about to meet. She confesses there’s something she hasn’t told him and starts removing her clothing. The gal is a natal man in transition. I failed to notice the penis in the underwear as it was undersized, due I assume to hormone treatments. Her body was otherwise fairly female, although she still looked a little male around the torso. The boyfriend is clearly vexed but he doesn’t say anything, he helps her finish undressing, thinks about it a bit and finally does her in the ass. We understood how this was a transgender fantasy, being accepted by the new boyfriend when he found out.



Porn with a plot for boring-ass cis-het chicks


‘Feminist’ sounds like a bit of a misnomer for what I saw at the ‘Feminist’ Porn Awards. What we watched wasn’t political or ideological, just more inclusive. It lacked what I dig most: My boring-ass vanilla taste for cis-het man-penetrating-the-woman.


Also, it still mostly lacked anything resembling a plotline.


My experience with porn is limited; I probably haven’t seen anything produced after 1985. The few I’ve seen include the end of some sci-fi thing with a guy in a black outfit and a Woolworth’s C3PO mask getting blown by a woman who had trouble getting him to cum on her face.


I haven’t seen Sylvester Stallone’s porno from like 1971, and what you see of it in this three-minute trailer shows zero nudity or ‘mature themes’, and he looks kind of silly and weird, but it’s STILL more erotic than anything I saw at the Feminist Porn Awards. Ladies, we can do better…!


Taboo II from the series explored how the family that lays together stays together. My ex once brought home The Erotic Adventures of Alice in Wonderland which wasn’t too bad. Alice was an uptight virgin who embarked on a kind of cute journey of sexual discovery.


One I liked, and watched again recently on YouTube, was Young Lady Chatterley II. Among its many charms included Adam West as a dorky repressed professor who finally gets laid.


It wasn’t Oscar-winning storyline material, for sure, but it beat My son has a big thick cock, I think I’ll fuck him.


Do you know what I’d like to see for feminine porn?


Women’s romance novels, brought to the silver screen in all their throbbing-manmeat-penetrates-her-quivering-moist-love-flower glory.


If nothing else it will eliminate all the tedious tortured descriptions of sex and genitalia necessitating the author’s ever-more-desperate search for descriptive euphemisms, a big challenge when every other scene is down ’n’ dirty and she had to search for ever-more-obscure euphemisms she hadn’t used yet.


I’ve never been a fan of bodice-ripper romance novels, mostly because the heroines are too wussy for my taste (once again, I haven’t read anything written since probably 1985) but with a little modernizing to make them stronger heroines, it would work better.


Or rework real movies as porn has always done.


Chris Hemsworth starring as The Gunslinger in The Good, The Bad and The Underlaid!


Ryan Gosling as The Lifeguard in Beach Blanket Bang-o!


Salvatore Esposito in Under The Tuscan Buns!


Justin Bieber in A Hardon Day’s Night!


Marie Clare has listed 75 Porn Movies With Great Plots And Better Sex.


I’m up for a few extra suggestions. Good, feminine, cis-het porn where the woman gets penetrated at least occasionally by guys.


It’s out there somewhere, to quote The X-Rated Files.


CC0 public domain at Pxhere



This post first appeared on Medium in September 2021.

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