Many Different Delicious Flavours: Celebrating People of Colour in Porn

“In most mainstream porn, people of colour are typically portrayed as "other", and entire plot lines revolve around stereotypes,” explains Alison Lee, Manager of Good For Her. “Rather than subjects, People of Colour are frequently treated as objects, and desirability is completely linked to ‘otherness’ and the idea of "exotic" sexuality.” Wanting to combat this portrayal, Alison and Coco LaCrème have organized tonight’s Delicious: A Celebration of People of Colour in Erotic Film, a fundraiser for the 2011 Feminist Porn Awards.

Good For Her carries a lovely selection of titles featuring performers of colour. “We have a diverse clientele, and they want to see a bit of everything when it comes to hot, feminist porn. People want to see themselves and their crushes reflected in the porn they watch, but they don't necessarily want to wade through a whole un-sexy sea of racism to get off.” Lee goes on to cite numerous performers who are starring good flicks, including Jiz Lee, April Flores, Micky Mod, Wolf Hudson, Mr. Marcus, Tyler Knight, Sinnamon Love, Kelly Shibari and Sophia St. James. Some directors who are producing fine work include Shine Louise Houston, Carlos Batts and Nenna.

The fetishization of People of Colour is porn is a long-established trend that the industry seems unwilling or is possibly unable to break. Interracial scenes are particularly troubling for the mainstream porn establishment to deal with. “I talked recently with a director from Europe who had her cover art,”relates Alison, “showing a tame, positive image of a white woman and a black man, essentially censored as the major stores she dealt with there wouldn't carry it. When this movie was picked up by an American distributor, they changed the cover art.”

On the other hand, Lee suggests that queer porn producers are not struggling as much with this issue. “Queer porn tends to throw off all the shackles of mainstream porn, and doesn't necessarily have the same financial goals as a lot of straight porn, making it easier to give the deluxe finger to the porn establishment.”

Fortunately, it is not all bad news. Through her “sometimes porn-weary eyes” Alison has found some “great directors working within straight porn that are wise and sensitive about issues of representation, and take the time to do it right, and are true to their audiences, who want powerful, sexy, smart and diverse performers in their smut.”

Delicious: A Celebration of People of Colour in Erotic Film takes place Friday January 21 at Bread and Circus (299 Augusta Street) in Toronto. Featuring performances by Masti Khor and Wrong Note Rusty, screenings of clips from Dangerous Curves, Rough Sex 2, Tight Places: A Drop Of Colour, and Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out and hosted by the wonderful CoCo LaCrème. Presented by Good For Her.

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