Submission Possible

Article by Deb Kavis

Other sexual revolutionaries like the writing of Carol Queen and the grit and radical works of the Beat generation were a big influence on my writing. When it comes to travel documentaries, I love what Anthony Bourdain brought to the genre.

I think he did a beautiful job of authentically connecting with folk around the world and using food as a connector, as a language in which we got to know the folk he was interviewing and the cities.

I’m really trying to bring that same essence into Submission Possible as we use sex and kink as a connecting thread in which we get to know the people, city, and queer culture of a region.

What changes have you observed in the adult industry from the time you started until now? What do you believe is the future of the industry?

I first started performing in 2002 – so almost 20 years ago. A lot has changed in that time.

In 2002, queer porn wasn’t yet a category and feminist porn hadn’t really yet developed into the movement that it is today. Feminist porn was being made and queers were making porn but there wasn’t a label for us at the video store or tags for us on any of the VOD platforms or awards that were specifically for queer porn.

The number of feminist and queer porn makers has grown exponentially in 20 years. There are hundreds of queer porn and feminist porn filmmakers creating work now and 20 years ago there were maybe a 10 or so of us making films on a consistent basis. PinkLabel.TV is one of the best resources out there for finding a vast array of feminist and queer porn from filmmakers all over the globe. It’s the number one spot I send folks to when wondering where to look for feminist porn.

In the past twenty years we have also seen a rise in erotic film festivals, which is so exciting. Film festivals are my favorite way to watch erotic films. There has been an exciting amount of change and continued activism to do away toxic structures that existed in the mainstream porn industry when I first started performing.

It’s so hard to tell what the future of the industry will hold. It will both be influenced by technological advances such as Virtual Reality but also there is an exciting pull to get folks back into the theaters (or drive-ins) to watch porn at film festivals and on the big screen in a community setting.

We will continue to see more feminist, queer, trans, and sex positive voices being heard and making work in adult film. We are finally starting to shatter the idea that porn needs to be separate from feminism or is anti-feminist. It’s so important for us to document our own sexual culture and porn has always been the medium in which we could find graphic documentation of our sexual culture and our fantasies. I delve deeper into this in my book “The DIY Porn Handbook: Documenting Our Own Sexual Revolution”.

There is still immense stigma and I feel like sometimes I’ve been having the same conversation for twenty years in regards to porn being another medium for self-expression. Folk hold so much internalized sexual shame and porn becomes an easy place for them to shift that shame over to and just dismiss an entire genre rather than finding an erotic film that resonates with you, getting curious about what filmmakers are creating work that depict the narratives and themes that interest you.

There is still a lot of work to do. It’s a potent and powerful medium. I’m excited to bring this same passion for slaying sexual stigma into television and feature film with my new production company Empress in Lavender Media.