After Pornified – How Women Are Transforming Pornography and Why It Really Matters
A Book Review, by Lady Cheeky: Originally published on EvolvedWorld.com
What do you think about when you hear the word “pornography”? In the United States at least, that word usually conjures up images of brightly tanned, women on their knees and overly built men with perma-erections in various states of orgasmic euphoria. Pornography has classically been made by and for a male consumer base summarily ignoring the female audience that was always assumed to not be interested in sexually based entertainment. It’s interesting to note though, that 40 million Americans visit porn sites regularly and 1 in 3 of those viewers are women, (probably more if you figure that a lot of women would be too shy to admit to it). However, with the ever-increasing demographic of women who enjoy porn on a regular basis this old-fashioned image may need to make way for a new paradigm of pornography, Feminist or “Re-visioned” Porn.
In the new book AfterPornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters (from Zer0 Books) by Anne G. Sabo, Ph.D., Ms. Sabo catalogs and explains the history and the need for Feminist Porn.
“ … the great thing about porn affecting us is that it can actually have a good effect on us. Re-visioned and transformed feminist porn proves my point. Re-visioned porn can change the way we think about and practice sex in positive ways, just as mainstream porn has affected the way we picture and practice sex in negative ways”.
By highlighting and examining revolutionary feminist porn filmmakers and their work, Ms. Sabo delineates how each artist brings their unique vision and aesthetic to their films and how that impacts the world of erotic filmmaking geared toward women. She also speaks with these illustrious filmmakers, Candida Royalle, Erika Lust and Lisbeth Lyngoft to name a few and interviews them about their vision and their process. Ms. Royalle, for example, outlines (with great sub-categories) two essential elements one must incorporate in a good feminist sex flick:
1. High cinematic production value and
2. Progressive sexual-political commitment.
Ms. Lyngoft also throws her hat in the ring with her must have list, one of which is “To create a powerful female character who is determined and who goes with her desires”. This seems to be the main current that runs through the feminist porn genre; giving the female lead agency over her own body and desires.
Breaking down scenes from classic feminist porn films and then dissecting why they change the landscape of the pornographic film business is a unique and fascinating aspect of Ms. Sabo’s book. It’s almost as if the reader is being schooled in sexuality & feminist theory and practice by an intelligent and noted scholar. In fact, Ms. Sabo is an academic-cum-public educator who has researched feminist pornography for over a decade and is a noted expert in her field. The reader benefits from her expertise by covering topics that range from pushing the limits with progressive porn to music video porn all written with intelligence and aplomb. As a fantastic plus, Ms. Sabo finishes off her book with a healthy appendix of filmmakers, websites, women-oriented sex shops, and progressive sex film awards and festivals to further quell your new lust for more feminist porn.
Ms. Sabo has done her research and it shows in this illuminating and detailed treatise on the re-visioned/feminist porn movement. This book is a goldmine for all sex-positive women and men who at least believe that there is nothing wrong with porn that a little balance can’t fix or even the steadfast feminist who wants to broaden his/her knowledge base on the issues of sexual agency of women in adult film. The casual reader will also find something to take away from this book, a new respect for the women of porn and a newly minted image when they next hear the word “pornography” brought up in conversation.