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The Feminist Porn Awards celebrates its 10th anniversay this year

Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a full-time community builder and official ‘head bee in charge’ of the food, fat and feminism blog, Fat Girl Food Squad. She has serious feels for all things coffee, hip-hop, drag, Kardashians and pizza. Send posi...

Celebrate inclusive adult films with The Feminist Porn Awards

From SheKnows Canada
Although it might not seem like it, porn is a feminist issue. And the intersection between feminism and porn — two items that seem like they should be perpetually at odds — has spawned a movement and a community that are set on taking on an industry that has largely debased women.

Over the past 10 years, the feminist porn movement has grown to be strong and the community more widespread. This has been largely in part to sex shop Good for Her and their annual event, The Feminist Porn Awards (FPAs) — a multi-night celebration of all things female and sex positive.

The FPAs had humble and somewhat political beginnings. The team behind Good for Her was frustrated with the porn industry's lack of diverse representation, and many of their workers and customers wanted more pornography featuring people of colour, trans folks, queers and lesbians. It was being produced, but not enough people knew about it or where to get it. So The Feminist Porn Awards was created by Chanelle Gallant (former store manager), who envisioned something that would recognize, endorse and celebrate those who were making feminist porn.

A lot has changed since the first Feminist Porn Awards in 2006. Carlyle Jansen, founder of Good for Her, says, "We've gotten bigger, expanded the number of nights and events. We've received more submissions from amateur porn makers as well as professional ventures." More and more people in the mainstream have been willing to have an open, honest and frank discussion surrounding porn, feminism and feminist porn, with people of all genders and orientations embracing the concept of feminist porn. Carlyle tells me, "Everyone is welcome, and we try to make that abundantly clear. Questions, critical thinking and openness are all welcome, as is a desire to just enjoy the show!"

More: An interview with Erika Lust, erotic filmmaker and mother

So what exactly is feminist porn? Tristan Taormino, a sex educator and co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book, defines feminist pornography as "porn that is generated in a fair manner, signifying that performers are paid a reasonable salary and, most importantly, treated with care and esteem; their approval, security and well-being are vital, and what they bring to the production is appreciated." The Awards is spread out over three days and includes such events as film screenings, Q&As with the actors or directors and a gala. Since feminist porn is still such a politically charged topic, Carlyle has said, "We believe that just the idea of feminist porn is inherently political and the Awards show is naturally subversive. We create a sexy, fun show that people can experience on whichever level they choose. ‎The overall message is about different kinds of sexy."

Though the feminist porn community is growing, it's still rather small in nature, with a small core of folks who work together. Carlyle tell us, "The Feminist Porn Awards are a great place to introduce new faces and works into the fold and to invite people to the conversation. It's an event that unites many people separated by geography or genre or reason for calling themselves feminist." More than anything, this event opens up people to new ideals of pornography and gives an inside view into the kinds of porn feminists feel good about watching. Carlyle and the rest of the staff at Good for Her are hoping attendees of the Awards will spread the word of ethical, feminist porn.

More: Getting in touch with your sexuality

So how can you support feminist porn without attending the Awards? Finding out who the artists are and supporting their work, including Erika Lust, Lily Cade, Queer Porn TV, Ms. Naughty and Jincey Lumpkin, to name a few. You can also start the dialogue and join the movement of folks who are learning about feminist porn, and share its forward-thinking and progressive elements with those who might not know about it. If you are located in Toronto, this year's Feminist Porn Awards will be held from April 15-17, 2015. Check out Good for Her's website for updates and information about the upcoming events.

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