Monday, June 30, 2008

Daily Acts of Sexual Activism

Peeing in Public and/or semi - public places

On Friday night after the San Francisco Trans March I marched my way into San Francisco's premier dyke bar, The Lexington, with my friends Donna and Lorelei. We proceeded to lend our selves to debauchery and a cocktail which we slurped in the corner of the bar. But what does a girl do when it is time to visit the little ladies room and there are 25 ladies standing in line all trying to do the same? My solution - grab two plastic cup which have been discarded after the consumption of alcohol, walk into the ladies room, stand in the corner, unzip your pants, squat as needed, and release urine. I was amazed at how many girls in line were amazed by my action. It seemed quite practical to me. Why is it that we think we must pee behind closed doors? That we must pee in a porcelain receptacle and not a portable plastic one? Men feel confident in their bodies and genitals and pee in front of one another on a daily basis. Their sex hangs outside of them on display to be viewed by all while women's sex is hidden under jeans or dresses and we squat over toilets barely making contact with our genitals - if at all - in this ritual which we perform every time our bladders fill. The women's jaws dropped, some of them smiled, a couple girls said I was their hero, and one woman said "I thought I had seen everything in San Francisco." All this over exposing myself in a ladies room to urinate.

At the Trans march Donna pulled down her panties as she squatted in the grass like a perfectly manicured spaniel and her friends circled around her to shade her from the public gaze. It was a friendship circle. A circle of protection and love that supported her in her decision to make her private act public.

At the AVN Porn Awards Annette Schwartz sits next to me talking to our agent while she casually hikes up her evening gown and pees into a plastic cup. Her confidence in her body and sexuality fills a room. She is powerful and in control of her body and in know way afraid of her fluids.

Perhaps as porn stars dealing with fluids,fluid exchange, bodies and sexuality on a daily basis have made us immune to the social commentary on where our fluids belong and just how we should dispose of them. So much of the private has become public and we have come to embrace our bodies and fluids and not fear them. Instead we roll around in them in celebration or in the very least we capture in a cup.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Being the other half

It takes a strong being to hold our hands, to hold our hearts and hold our bodies close after we come home from our day at the office. As porn stars we open ourselves up to those around us, giving part of ourselves to the scene, connecting with new individuals on a physical and sexual level. Yes we all know it is work when the camera is rolling and for the most part everyone is very professional, but that doesn't mean that we remain mechanical creatures and that we aren't emotionally exposed as we are connecting with these individuals on a very personal level for your enjoyment. So how do we create that boundary? That boundary that lies between our personal and business relationships. This is the constant struggle that exists internally for adult performers.

Sex work is part of my sexual identity. It is a part of who I am. I had no idea how my professional life would impact who my personal partners would be. Some partners find it novel at first that there girlfriend is desired by millions of fans. But that can quickly wear off and be replaced with overwhelming jealousy. I had just begun my career as a porn star when I fell in love with my last girlfriend, Gauge. And although Gauge seemed supportive at first, when the constant travel kicked in and letters from fans, interviews, media and photos all over the internet of other people giving me orgasms, it was no longer something that she could handle. She felt that she was losing me to them. And although my love for her never faltered she was unable to handle being the partner of a sex worker. At the time we would scoure the internet looking for partners of sex workers support groups. And we found nothing. We were never able to find her the support she needed in order to deal with the emotions that she was having as a result of my career. One of my first porns that I produced is entitled The Tail of a Bondage Model and it is the story of the internal struggles of a sex worker and maintaining a lover in your life while you are working.

I now find myself on both sides of the fence. I'm still an adult performer and so is my partner. We have learned to communicate honestly about what are boundaries are, what we know that we can handle and what we know that we can't. We have learned to create sacred sexual activities that are only meant to be between the two of us and that are not for sale for entertainment. And we have learned to negotiate and that nothing is ever in stone, that people change, boundaries change and that we must allow for that. And although this may sound all well and good and perfectly healthy it has taken plenty of therapy and fights to get us to this point. And it would have been so nice to have tapped into a community of dialouge around this subject while in my relationships me and my partners are grappling to create some sort of language that works for communicating around a relationship in which sex work is added to the equation. And now there is.

Sexual revolutionary and artist Sadie Lune has been creating dialouge,art and activism around just this subject. Her new blog Working Hearts
is addressing issues such as how does your personal life effect your work and if my partner fucks or uses sexual energy at work will they have enough left for me at home? These are questions that run through our minds as partners of sex workers. She discusses the creation of emotional and physical boundaries around sex work. And gives a voice to both partners of sex workers that she holds dialouge with and gives voice to a myriad of different sex workers. Having these voices illustrated for us on her blog gives birth to a community of sex workers and their partners and lets us know that we are not alone. Sadie Lune is building connection amongst partners that can often feel isolated and ashamed of their insecurity, jealousy, and frustration.

Not only is Sadie writing about the boundaries between personal and work but she will also be exhibiting a site specific installation examining tokens of affection from lovers and clients, during the month of September in the windows of Madison Young's Femina Potens.