Forget Hugh Hefner, Learn About These Pornographers & Activists Instead
Here is a comprehensive list of pornographers, sex positive feminists and pleasure activists to focus on instead of that dead misogynist.
So, Hugh Hefner is finally dead and a few people are mourning him on my timeline, waxing poetic about the greatness of Playboy and casually dismissing his misogyny and the claims of abuse lodged by his live-in “Bunnies”. Such is life in a misogynistic world. Apparently we are supposed to overlook Hefner’s commodification of women’s bodies for white male profit and consumption in favor of celebrating his skill at excelling at these things. Oh, and he gave some money to some places.
Instead of adding to the timeline of RIPs I decided to create a shortlist of BIPOC y’all can support that are really making changes and revolutionizing the porn industry, queer/feminist porn studies, sexuality studies and engage in sex worker activism/advocacy:
Shine Louise Houston:
Miller-Young is the author of “A Taste for Brown Sugar” the first book ever to really explore Black women’s performances/images in porn media! (Twitter: @DrMireille)
Lee is a genderqueer porn performer and activist. I borrowed the term “pleasure activist” from them. Website.
Bell is a Black graphic designer and club owner who founded Black Jack, a black gay men’s safer sex club in LA and started BLK Magazine in the late 80s for African American and LGBTQ readers.
Lane is the former editor of the first black lesbian erotica magazine Black Lace. She won an Audre Lorde Quill Award from the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum for the work she did for BLK.
Please see the section ‘How “Black Lesbian” Trans*s Feminism, or Can Women Have Dicks?’ in Kai M. Green’s essay “Troubling the Waters,” which can be found in No Tea, No Shade. He does a really great close reading of some of Lane’s articles from Black Lace.
Marlon M. Bailey:
Just because I love his essay “Black Gay (Raw) Sex.” He is also a professor of gender studies and American studies and wrote Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, and much of his published work focuses on gender and sexuality.
Love is a former porn performer, fetish model, and director who is also a sex worker advocate and published writer. You can follow her on Twitter: @SinnamonLove, and read her essay “A Question of Feminism” in The Feminist Porn Book.
Sprinkle is a former sex worker, famed sex educator, sexologist and activist, porn producer and magazine editor, and self-proclaimed feminist stripper. Visit her website.
Books Worth Checking Out:
The Feminist Porn Book, edited by Tristan Taormino, Celine Parreñas Shimizu, Constance Penley and Mireille Miller-Young.
A Taste for Brown Sugar, by Mireille Miller-Young
The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, and the Erotic Edge, edited by Tristan Taormino
Coming Out Like a Porn Star: Essays on Pornography, Protection and Privacy edited by Jiz Lee
Death of a Playmate by Teresa Carpenter (1980) –winner of 1981 Pulitzer Prize
What To Read About Hugh Hefner’s Complicated Life And Legacy –a collection of articles that are pertinent to read, including an exposé by Gloria Steinem.
Featured images: via Jizz Lee, Marlon M. Bailey and Morville Miller-Young
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