Reviews

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“Contributors aren’t afraid to both objectively praise and criticize advances the industry has made (such as the way feminist porn has, for some, come to equate “soft” porn, and prescribe stereotypes of female desire), and provide both practical ways to become a smart feminist or queer porn consumer alongside academic approaches to the movement. The collection also rightfully includes essays on racial, queer, and transgender representations in porn, topics often marginalized in this discussion. Besides being extremely thoughtprovoking, this must-read collection is accessible to all readers, and the topic inherently makes it engaging and fun.”
- Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review

“The voices represented in The Feminist Porn Book are part of a growing grassroots movement of porn researchers and makers, sex educators and communicators, sex geeks and activists. We are pro-sex, anti-censorship feminists seeking to build on the four-decade long effort to criticize sexism and racism in both mainstream and adult filmmaking while creating new possibilities for sexually explicit representation and the labor that produces it. Our hope, our dream, is that feminist porn can help to shift the stigma on sex in our politics and everyday lives.”
- Editor Constance Penley quoted in “Pleasure Politics: PW Talks With the Authors of ‘The Feminist Porn Book’” Publisher’s Weekly

“The idea of porn for women is not only thinkable, and heard of, but the phrase is also increasingly being replaced with a more specific descriptor: “feminist porn.” Not that feminism — which, like porn, is not a monolithic entity — is entirely resolved on the issue: That’s why this book, which is filled with compelling essays by porn performers, directors and academics, has appeared now, decades after the “porn wars” began. These are testimonials about attempts to challenge those familiar foes of any Women’s Studies 101 class — from basic gender binaries to every “-ism” out there — but from inside the adult business.”
- Tracy Clark-Flory’s “The Feminist Pornographer” at Salon.com

“Feminism has come a long way since Robin Morgan wrote in 1974, “Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice,”—so far, in fact, that this past weekend saw the eighth-annual Feminist Porn Awards and first Feminist Porn Conference, an offshoot of the just-published The Feminist Porn Book, in Toronto. The mood was celebratory, political, and inquisitive, showcasing a sex-positive feminism that’s about far more than leaning in, or even leaning back…..Overall, the three-day affair showed more solidarity than anything else.”
- Rachel Kramer Bussel’s “Organic, Fair-Trade Porn: On the Hunt for Ethical Smut” at The Daily Beast

“With the hundreds of guests that came to the event, it’s clear that what’s happening here is a movement, an industry and a philosophy, all of which seem to be in a constant shift. For some, feminist porn may sound like an oxymoron — and in reality, feminist porn does remain a bundle of contradictions. None of this stops feminist pornographers from moving full speed ahead with an agenda of equality and fairer working conditions in porn…During the keynote speech, Taormino says it’s time to move the discussion to a big audience: “This a moment. We are having a moment of critical mass. We need to take this message and spread it beyond these walls… I want to see us in a space that is accessible and double this size by next year. And you are the foot soldiers who are going to make it happen.”"
Rachel Rabbit White’s “What Is Feminist Porn?” at Buzzfeed

“For Taormino and other feminists involved in making and studying pornography, sexually explicit media provide an opportunity to critically engage with the relationship between identity and agency. By subverting and diversifying the often-stereotypical portrayals of sexuality found in much mainstream media, feminist pornographers invite traditionally marginalized audiences to connect with sex as a medium of pleasure and power. These explicit portrayals, grounded in a cognizance of pornography as both an industry and a cultural form, empower viewers to take charge while getting off.”
- Reina Gattuso’s “How to Make a Feminist Porno” at Manifesta Mag

““If you care where your food comes from or who makes your jeans, were they paid a fair wage or exploited in a factory, then you should also care about the conditions under which your [porn] was produced,” says Taormino, author of The Feminist Porn Book, published this month, who also launched the first-ever Feminist Porn conference last Saturday at the University of Toronto. “We are not about creating fast food,” Taormino told the crowd. “We’re about creating a really different kind of a product that’s made in a different way, and that might actually be a little more expensive. If you’re only going to buy organic juice, then you should think about buying some organic porn.””
- Zosia Bielski’s “The Rise of Ethical Porn: She Chooses her Co-Star and the Fantasy” at The Globe and Mail

“Porn performers are often under-represented in this literature, and porn producers (even if they are also performers themselves) are often not represented because they occupy a management role. There’s comparatively less work exploring the production or business side of any sex industry. (There’s also a whole other conversation to be had, about whether or not producers or managers are sex workers, or should be part of sex workers’ spaces (and literature), but it’s somewhere The Feminist Porn Book does shine, in bringing together people who both perform in and produce (and study) feminist pornographies, in the same space, even if they aren’t on quite even footing.)”
“A Porn of Her Own” by Melissa Gira Grant at Jacobin Magazine

“The voices that stand out most are those who’ve been traditionally either left out of mainstream porn or fetishized in a way that leaves them cold. After a historical overview from Betty Dodson, Susie Bright, and Candida Royalle, the book presents women who knowingly entered porn to make women like them more visible. From April Flores on plus-size porn to Tobi Hill-Meyer on trans women’s fight to be included at levels proportionate to trans men to Loree Erickson on disability in porn, each practically echo the other in conveying porn’s real-life impact.”
- Rachel Kramer Bussel’s review at The Hairpin

“I like when there’s a real palpable connection and chemistry between the performers. It’s the moment when they make eye contact or there’s an energy between them and you can feel it, it jumps off the screen at you. That’s one of the things I really love about porn that turns me on; I wanna see a real connection between the performers.”
- “An Interview with Feminist Porn Veteran Tristan Taormino” by Kirthan Aujlay at She Does The City

“One of the coolest things about Constance [Penley] is that she insists that porn is just another genre, like horror or action movies – and that’s why its in film studies, not women’s studies. She approaches porn with the eye of a film critic, not an anti-sex or moral perspective, and she encourages her students to do the same thing. It’s a refreshingly grown-up attitude to porn and one that needs to be adopted more often. As Tristan [Taormino] pointed out in the press conference the day before, we shouldn’t be afraid to use the term “porn” to describe our work. To call it something else is to concede that porn is a different, scary thing that needs to be treated as special or walled off. In essence, it shouldn’t be. It’s a genre like any other with its own tropes and audience.”
- Ms Naughty’s write-up and review of The Feminist Porn Conference on her site

“Having a strong academic leaning myself, I found the chapters on the historical analysis of porn, and the development of feminist porn from an academic perspective fascinating. And on a more personal level I was very taken with being given the unique opportunity to read about the producers and actors experiences and feelings about participating in the production of feminist porn, and how they are redefining the widely held negative beliefs about women in porn to ones of empowerment, freedom of sexual expression, and pleasure.”
- Judi Reed of Distinctly Female

The Feminist Porn Book is a history lesson, it is a social justice platform, it is a scholarly journal, it is a conversation. I found it challenging, both personally and professionally, and I enjoyed the laughter and the difficult moments equally. In a general sense, I feel that The Feminist Porn Book has provided a valuable step forward in an important narrative that seeks to facilitate empowerment around all forms of under-represented sexuality.”
- SevErin Fauteaux of xoxoamore.com 

“The book’s answer to the implicit question of “where is intersectionality in our porn?” is heartening. Though Tobi Hill-Meyer writes about the slow, frustrating, transphobia-filled process of trans women’s inclusion in porn, Jiz Lee and Buck Angel write about how their porn has made their trans and genderqueer bodies famous. Bobby Noble illuminates what transed masculinities mean in terms of gender expression in feminist porn, while Loree Ericson talks about flaunting her femmegimp sex, and Fatty D rejoices in transcending the BBW ghetto, reveling in her ability to inspire other fat women. Maybe I should be apologizing to Alice Walker, but contributions like Sinnamon Love’s and Mireille Miller-Young bring womanism to The Feminist Porn Book’s feminism.”
- Caty Simon of Tits and Sass

“Feminist porn, and alt porn of every other variety, exists because it wants to provide what the unsatisfied masses are looking for: pornography that showcases what mainstream porn does not, and does so in a more ethical/less exploitative way, so that the viewer can find what they are looking for, get off to something that looks sexy to them, and walk away feeling good about the experience instead of stilted, shameful, and worried about their sexuality.”
- Lynsey G’s “The Feminist Pornographers and the Anti-Porn Feminists Want the Same People to Listen to Them

TV, Video, Radio & Podcasts

Constance Penley, Mireille Miller-Young, Dylan Ryan, and Clarissa Smith talk Porn Studies 101 on HuffPostLive

Tristan Taormino talks feminist porn on Joy Behar: Say Anything!

The editors of The Feminist Porn Book on Fucking While Feminist with Jaclyn Friedman

6.9 Questions w/Tristan Taormino by Kelly Shibari for HotMoviesforHer.com on YouTube

Watch editor Tristan Taormino give Feminist Porn 101 on HuffPo Live.

Ms. Naughty‘s Mini Doc on The 2013 Feminist Porn Awards & Conference

Dusk TV‘s coverage of the 2013 Feminist Porn Awards & Conference Press Conference

Syndicated Book Chapters

Jiz Lee, Uncategorized: Genderqueer Identity and Performance in Independent and Mainstream Porn, in Out Magazine

Dylan Ryan, How I Became a Feminist Porn Star, in Jezebel

Sinnamon Love, Transforming Pornography: Black Porn for Black Women, in Guernica Magazine

Nina Hartley, Porn Star On a Mission to Educate, in Vitamin W

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE FEMINIST PORN BOOK

“In terms both jarring and harrowing, women’s bodies became the terrain on which the 2012 election was fought. That the choices, experiences, and consequences of women’s sexual lives became fodder for such poorly informed national “conversations” is evidence of the pressing need for thoughtful, sex-positive scholarship which centers on women’s sexual agency. The Feminist Porn Book is just such a contribution, and I predict this volume is going to find its way onto the bedside tables of several generations of American women. This volume brings together academics, activists, and porn entrepreneurs who have a startling array of interactions with pornography as an experience, a business, and a field of inquiry. This text is straightforward and informative in ways that are unfortunately rare in the multi-decade feminist struggle over porn. It’s also fun and sometimes a bit naughty to read. The authors do not assume that the porn industry as it exists is the one essential and only possible incarnation of porn. Instead, they assume that when feminists engage, intervene in, produce, and study pornography, they can radically alter its formations and meanings. At the core of the book is the question: Can porn coexist with the principles of feminism? No matter how one ultimately adjudicates this question, The Feminist Porn Book leaves no doubt about the inherent value in the inquiry itself.”
Melissa Harris-Perry
Host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry”
Professor of Political Science, Tulane University
Author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

“Finally the time is right for feminist porn!! This book, a stunning collection edited by academics and artists in dialogue, accounts for the massive changes in technology, erotics, modes of spectatorship and embodied identities that have impacted and continue to impact the world of pornography. As this volume demonstrates, we are now far from the sex wars of the 1980′s, the sex panics of the 1990′s and well into a new era of erotic representation. In order to make sense of new and emergent worlds of desiring bodies, trans-femininities and trans-masculinities, transgressive racial performance and the erotics of disabled bodies, read Feminist Porn, and when you are finished, go out and make some!” —J. Jack Halberstam
Professor of English and Director of The Center for Feminist Research, University of Southern California
Author of Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal, The Queer Art of Failure, and Female Masculinity

“This thrilling anthology brings together scholars, producers and fans of feminist pornography to define an emerging movement of gender and sexual visionaries, working at the radically inclusive and egalitarian edges of sexual representation. The authors explore an ever widening range of body types, and a proliferating variety of images, sensations and feelings. They examine the conditions of production as well as the politics of representation. They show us the new feminist porn as deep play — challenging, exciting and important.
Lisa Duggan
Professor of American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies, New York University
Author of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture and The Twilight of Equality?: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy

“Finally: academics are actually talking to sex industry workers, pornographers are doubling as theorists, and feminists have grabbed the cameras. The Feminist Porn Book sets the agenda for new ways of thinking about the sticky social relations of dirty pictures.”
Laura Kipnis
Professor of Media Studies, Northwestern University
Author of Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in Americaand Against Love: A Polemic

“Combining unique contributions by creative makers and critical scholars, The Feminist Porn Book opens a wide ranging perspective on an emerging development. In our fast-changing media environment, feminist pornography evolves with the times and the new imaginative expressions of feminist artists as well as scholars who have moved beyond a simple celebration and offer a balanced view. This book brings the lessons of the ‘sex wars’ debates of the 1980s up to the present and is essential for understanding the current scene. A readable and smart must-have for any classroom dealing with sexual representations.”
Chuck Kleinhans
Associate Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University
Co-editor, JUMP CUT: a review of contemporary media

The Feminist Porn Book wades into a conversation that many feminists have only had about performers in the adult industry and finally brings the voices of those porn stars and directors into the room so they can speak for themselves. This anthology is filled with enough varying academic perspectives and first-person voices from within the world of porn to incite passionate and finally informed conversations among readers from every point of view. Brainy, fierce, and an indispensable antidote to simplistic anti-porn arguments.”
Carol Queen, PhD
Founding Director, Center for Sex & Culture
Author of Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture and Exhibitionism for the Shy

“This impressive volume of essays shows that thirty years after the feminist sex wars first erupted, porn is still a hot topic for the women’s movement, and for the scholarly study of gender and sexuality. It brings together a potent mix of academic, activist, and sex-industry-worker perspectives, and does a fantastic job with diversity across dis/ability, transness, and race/ethnicity. A great book for undergraduate classroom use.”
Susan Stryker
Director, Institute for LGBT Studies, University of Arizona
Author of Transgender History

“In this breakthrough collection scholars, artists and producers from across a spectrum of identities serve up profound new insights on making, consuming and studying porn. This book advances my understanding of how porn works, when it doesn’t, and why it matters. The short essay format makes this book ideal for teaching, but it’s essential reading for anyone interested in sexual politics, or indeed, contemporary culture.”
Richard Fung, Award-winning filmmaker and Associate Professor of Art, OCAD University

The Feminist Porn Book is a knockout! If this book doesn’t convince YOU of the powers, progress and potential of feminist porn, I’ll eat my bra. A vindication of the rights of pro-porn feminists and how we have been wronged.  This book will enlighten you and expand your mind. An ideal study guide. Sexy too! My enormous gratitude to the wonderful editors and authors of The Feminist Porn Book.”
Annie Sprinkle, PhD
Feminist Pornographer and Ecosex Activist
Author of Annie Sprinkle: Post-Porn Modernist and Hardcore from the Heart: The Pleasures, Profits and Politics of Sex in Performance

“This is the book that feminist scholars, teachers, students, and activists have been waiting for! Eloquent, smart, passionate, and engaging—each page of the The Feminist Porn Book offers a timely reminder of the continued importance of feminist interventions into the politics and production of pornography.”
Carol Stabile
Director, The Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon
Author of Prime Time Animation: Television Animation and American Culture and Turning The Century: Essays In Media And Cultural Studies

“To have writings from so many of the most important creators in feminist porn in one anthology is wonderful. It captures the past, present and future pioneering of this important film genre.”
Shine Louise Houston, Director, The Crash Pad, Crash Pad Series, and Heavely Spire and CEO, Pink and White Productions and Pink Label VOD