Feminist Pornography: a Contradiction? (Part I)

Feminist pornography, as an alternative to mainstream pornography, is becoming more and more successful these days – especially with women. It’s a form of pornos that is safer for the actors involved. Their consent is respected, and they show real pleasure.

But this industry divides feminists. Some see it as a reappropriation of feminine sexuality; others see it as a perpetuation of misogynous violence.

By Raymond Viger

Annie Sprinkle, 64, (real name: Ellen F. Steinberg) is a legendary American feminist porno actress. She is one of the most famous names in the milieu, having appeared in over 200 films, and having directed two. She also worked as a sex worker for 20 years., and has a PhD in human sexuality.

Some say that working in the porno industry and being a feminist is contradictory. She doesn’t see things that way at all.

She recalls that her parents were feminists, but that they saw pornography as against their principles. It was when she studied feminism in university that she discovered “what a real feminist is,” and realized that she was one.

At the time, feminists were protesting against porn, but she didn’t see herself in their message.

Then the term “sex-positive feminism” was coined. This school of feminism appeared on the scene in the early 1980s, and came from the LGBT community. It opposed the anti-pornography views of many activists, and called for the liberation of women through their sexuality. Sex-positive feminism acknowledges the importance of women’s right to explore their bodies and their sexuality. Annie identified with this movement.

But in pornography, as in any other industry, there are good and bad employers, and therefore good and bad directors. Annie laughs as she tells of how she and her colleagues often said that those who put some effort into the lunch served to the cast and crew were good directors, whereas those who were satisfied with serving pizza and cold cuts were bad directors.

First seen on Raymond Viger’s blog, May 1st, 2019

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