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T he Feminist Porn Book is the first collection to bring together writings by feminist porn producers and feminist porn scholars to engage, challenge, and re-imagine pornography. As collaborating editors of this volume, we are three porn professors and one porn director who have had an energetic dialogue about feminist politics and pornography for years. In their criticism, feminist opponents of porn cast pornography as a monolithic medium and industry and make sweeping generalizations about its production, its workers, its consumers, and its effects on society. These antiporn feminists respond to feminist pornographers and feminist porn professors in several ways. They accuse us of deceiving ourselves and others about the nature of pornography; they claim we fail to look critically at any porn and hold up all porn as empowering. More typically, they simply dismiss out of hand our ability or authority to make it or study it. But The Feminist Porn Book offers arguments, facts, and histories that cannot be summarily rejected, by providing on-the-ground and well-researched accounts of the politics of producing pleasure. Our agenda is twofold: to explore the emergence and significance of a thriving feminist porn movement, and to gather some of the best new feminist scholarship on pornography. By putting our voices into conversation, this book sparks new thinking about the richness and complexity of porn as a genre and an industry in a way that helps us to appreciate the work that feminists in the porn industry are doing, both in the mainstream and on its countercultural edges. So to begin, we offer a broad definition of feminist porn, which will be fleshed out, debated, and examined in the pieces that follow. As both an established and emerging genre of pornography, feminist porn uses sexually explicit imagery to contest and complicate dominant representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, body type, and other identity markers. It explores concepts of desire, agency, power, beauty, and pleasure at their most confounding and difficult, including pleasure within and across inequality, in the face of injustice, and against the limits of gender hierarchy and both heteronormativity and homoIntroduction : The Politics of Producing Pleasure Constance Penley, Celine Parreñas Shimizu, Mireille Miller-Young, and Tristan Taormino normativity. It seeks to unsettle conventional definitions of sex, and expand the language of sex as an erotic activity, an expression of identity, a power exchange, a cultural commodity, and even a new politics. Feminist porn creates alternative images and develops its own aesthetics and iconography to expand established sexual norms and discourses . It evolved out of and incorporates elements from the genres of “porn for women,” “couples porn,” and lesbian porn as well as feminist photography, performance art, and experimental filmmaking. It does not assume a singular female viewer, but acknowledges multiple female (and other) viewers with many different preferences. Feminist porn makers emphasize the importance of their labor practices in production and their treatment of performers/sex workers; in contrast to norms in the mainstream sectors of the adult entertainment industry, they strive to create a fair, safe, ethical, consensual work environment and often create imagery through collaboration with their subjects. Ultimately, feminist porn considers sexual representation—and its production—a site for resistance, intervention, and change. The concept of feminist porn is rooted in the 1980s—the height of the feminist porn wars in the United States. The porn wars (also known as the sex wars) emerged out of a debate between feminists about the role of sexualized representation in society and grew into a full-scale divide that has lasted over three decades. In the heyday of the women’s movement in the United States, a broad-based, grassroots activist struggle over the proliferation of misogynistic and violent representations in corporate media was superceded by an effort focused specifically on legally banning the most explicit, and seemingly most sexist, media: pornography. Employing Robin Morgan’s slogan, “Porn is the theory, rape is the practice ,” antipornography feminists argued that pornography amounted to the commodification of rape. As a group called Women Against Pornography (WAP) began to organize in earnest to ban obscenity across the nation, other feminists, such as Lisa Duggan, Nan D. Hunter, Kate Ellis, and Carol Vance became vocal critics of what they viewed as WAP’s illconceived collusion with a sexually conservative Reagan administration and Christian Right, and their warping of feminist activism into a moral hygiene or public decency movement. Regarding antiporn feminism as a huge setback for the feminist...


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