Porn: A Tool For Liberation?

September 30, 2011

Words by Felcia Dahlquist

based on an essay by Nomili Svensson

The mainstream porn industry is worth billions of dollars and has often been explicitly linked to violence and exploitation. So how can porn be a tool for liberation? Queer porn web- sites like NoFauxxx and producers such as Pink and White Production are dedicated to making queer porn, and this year the 6th Fem- inist Porn Awards took place.

Defining queer porn is difficult, as the 11 concept of being queer is a fluid one in itself. Queer is used as an umbrella term for trans- gender, homo- and bi-sexual people, or anyone who rejects the idea of labelling their sexuality. The queer movement questions the hetero- sexual norm, which makes clear distinctions between the way men and women look, behave and desire. Queer Porn portrays sex, lust and desire without labels. NoFauxxx describes queer porn as “a space to explore sex beyond straight, gay, lesbian, and gender binaries.”

It cannot be emphasised enough how much queer porn differs from mainstream porn. The mainstream porn industry makes money from movies with labels such as ‘Inter- racial’ and can turn things like race, weight and age into fetishes. Producers of queer porn, on the other hand, take pride in creating movies with a diversity of people yet avoid stigmatising labels. Shine Louise Housten, director of Pink and White productions claims that it is empowering for a queer woman of colour to create her own pictures, in a way that is not exploitative.

The main purpose of queer porn is of course arousal, but there is an undeniable political impact. Mainstream porn, media and pop culture creates objectifying images of women and ideas of what sex is meant to be like. In queer porn however, the main purpose is showing liberating images of sex where people are taking control over their own bodies. These are images of people exploring their sexuality and being free from labels, rules and norms.

Queer porn becomes political because it shows queer sexuality with pride, which is often considered somewhat taboo. Although LGBT people are generally accepted in society, that acceptance comes with the condition to not flaunt one’s sexuality. Heterosexual norms are present everywhere, whether we like it or not. We are fed images of sex and lust on TV and radio and in pop culture generally.

As queer people create images of their own sexuality, free from stereotypes of the hetero- sexual norm, queer porn becomes both political and liberating. One might say that through queer porn, queer people are finally defining their own sexuality instead of being defined.

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