In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Lorelei Lee studies and teaches writing at NewYork University and at the San Francisco Center for Sex and Culture. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Transfer, $pread magazine, and Denver Quarterly, as well as in the anthologies Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys and Off the Set. Lee has worked in the adult film industry since 1999, toured nationally with the Sex Workers’ Art Show, and is a Literary Death Match Champion. Along with Stephen Elliot, she is the cowriter of the independent film About Cherry. She lives in San Francisco and Brooklyn. Her writing can be found on the blog, I Deserve This, I ’ve been working in pornography for over ten years. That is my entire adult life. More images exist of me performing naked—or more accurately , performing in lip gloss, false eyelashes, stilettos, latex, lingerie, and all manner of other symbolic accoutrements and scraps of skimpy fabric—than images of me doing anything else. I didn’t choose this profession as a political act. You will not hear me say that I decided to get naked because I believed it would be sexually liberating or empowering. I’m not going to tell you that when I took off my clothes in front of the camera for the first time, I immediately knew I was on a path to self-discovery. The journey of the last ten years was not something I planned, and the truth of my experience is much more complicated than the public discourse on pornography and sex— shouted out in large, bright headlines from magazine and newspapers— would have you believe. What I can tell you is that as I continued to do this work—as I came up against my own ideas about femininity, power, and sex—I found strength in the part of my identity that developed out of my experiences as a sex worker. I found a manifesto of my own ethics, and I found that, to my surprise, I believe deeply in the positive power of sexually explicit imagery. Cum Guzzling Anal Nurse Whore: A Feminist Porn Star Manifesta Lorelei Lee I am a feminist, and I am a pornographer. I have been paid for sexual performances of every kind. After a lot of reckoning, I’ve come to believe that the work I continue to do makes the world a better place for women to live in. This, of course, is a story that has been written before. Though it took some time for me to discover the radical, sex-positive writings of feminists like Nina Hartley, Patrick Califia, Carol Queen, Tristan Taormino, Annie Sprinkle, and Dorothy Allison, I did finally discover them, and their work has provided necessary comfort and advice for me during the last decade. Lately however, I’ve read an onslaught of sensationalist books and articles about pornography, feminism, violence against women, exploitation, prostitution, and/or how feminism and/or pornography have affected the libidos of men and the “success” of women at landing long-term partners (see “The End of Men” in The Atlantic, “Why Monogamy Matters” in the New York Times, “Why Are Men So Angry” in The Daily Beast, “How Porn Is Affecting the Libido of The American Male” in New York Magazine). These articles swim in my head—they provide a dizzying view of attitudes about sexuality in the US, using lurid soft-focus photos and reports of the writer’s own porn viewing, or the porn viewing of someone they know, that almost invariably offers only a narrow platform for an ideological argument, rather than any kind of thoughtful or encompassing analysis. Opinion pieces are fine, but I’m hungry for something more. When it comes to pornography, it seems that anyone who has ever seen a naked image feels empowered to offer a definitive perspective, but these interpretations rarely allow for the tremendous range of experiences through which pornography enters people’s lives. Many of the authors of recent books and articles on porn fail to take into account how race, class, religion, region, gender, and orientation affect the conditions under which adult material is viewed or analyzed. They disregard the variations in what is considered “pornographic,” and they don’t consider the larger societal conditions under which the homogeneity of the bulk of American-produced adult imagery is directly correlated with hundreds of years of stereotyped expectations of femininity. They fail to realize that these ideas of femininity might be reflected in...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.