Friday, May 22, 2009
My Ethics, Chopped to Smithereens (PICS)
I couldn't resist looking at the beautiful man-body chopping wood next door so I did something I think (I thought?) is really, REALLY wrong: I took sneaky pictures of him without his knowledge or consent. And now I'm doing something even MORE wrong: I'm posting one of them here:
He's not our neighbor, he just delivers and chops wood for our neighbor. And I HAVE to watch him do it, because the guy is incredibly beautiful. Not his face, just his whole old-fashioned working-man's body with that wedge-hourglass shape. The thick pants with the shiny metal details, the gloves, the white tank top, the cap, the scraggly mullet and those pale muscles built up in the shade and from working outside when it's raining, because it rains all the time where he works. He's like an 80's version of the guys in old propaganda posters like these:
I have always been in love with watching men do physical labor. Even though I felt sort of dreadful about it, I was compelled to run and get the camera. I stood in the kitchen and snapped a few pictures where he could have turned around and seen me. But before that happened, I ran into the bedroom and took pictures of him through the crack between two panels in our shoji screen so he couldn't catch me watching him through the magnifying lens of our camera. My desire to capture his image forever outweighed the voice in my head reminding me I was doing something wrong. Something I've seen/heard of other people (men) doing that sickened me, but that memory didn't stop me from doing it myself.
You shouldn't spend time on fetish-oriented forums online if non-consensual voyeuristic photography (and other stuff) bothers you. You'll find out things that you just don't want to know and see things you weren't meant to see. Like pictures of used maxi pads guys steal out of public restrooms or photos a foot fetishist surreptitiously took of his neighbor's niece's bare feet while their family unwittingly enjoyed a barbecue in their driveway. The woman was probably in her twenties and the guy who took and shared the pictures described his sneaky method for capturing them and the type of camera and settings he used and how he managed to not get caught.
The freaky part is the way these people usually don't even acknowledge the line they're crossing, or worse, act like they're ENTITLED to snagging these things that belong to other people. Of course, half the time someone with common sense will challenge these people or point out the err of their ways, but most people don't bother to post any opposition, instead just showing their appreciation for what the voyeur-thief has "created"/salvaged for the members of the board. Or they will critique the spoils, like the guy who complained that the neighbor chick with the bare feet was so fat, how in the world could the spy-photographer possibly think anyone would be interested in seeing her or be aroused by her himself? So not only is this woman with the arched foot and a BBQ rib in her mouth being displayed on the internet without her knowledge or consent, she's ALSO having her weight criticized. AWESOME, right?
I pretend that I'm not quite as bad as these sociopaths because I know what I'm doing is wrong. But I guess that actually makes me worse because I know it's wrong and I'm doing it anyway (and those guys on the forums might know it's wrong too, they just don't waste time making a big show of acting guilty about it the way I am in all of my gross hypocrisy).
I can pretend I'm conducting an experiment or research. That I'm a writer
. That the end result of provoking thought about these important issues of privacy, consent, and all SORTS of interesting things is worth the negligible or nonexistent "damage" I'm doing. And after all, it's a really REALLY grey area, right? I mean, how many people would even think me taking and posting the picture of the axe man is wrong if I didn't tell you that *I* think it's (maybe) wrong? And this isn't really a blog entry about that guy, it's about me or the collective us and the image is actually a snapshot of me -- the voyeur -- and my thoughts, not him. It's entirely possible to intellectualize it that way. He could be anybody. You can't see his face. No one will ever know who he is. Probably not, anyway.
And would he care if people DID know? Maybe he'd WANT to be credited and known far and wide as The Woodsman Who Got Trixie Hot. Of course, that brings me back to the obvious trespass of not asking for his permission to photograph him in the first place, but speaking of consequences, *I* certainly don't want to pay them. I don't want *him* to know he was chopping wood next to TASTYTRIXIE and therefore knows about our websites and where I live and can tell everyone how to find me (I'd have to tell him about our sites in order for him to give INFORMED consent, though that disclosure would be out of ethical, not legal obligation; you don't have to specify where or when something will published on a consent form, just that you as the photographer have all rights to the photos which legally you don't REALLY need to do anyway since in our country the photographer automatically owns the photos, not the model). I don't want to tell a big strong stranger with an axe and a cock that he gives me a boner and I want to take pictures of him -- LOTS of pictures. Well, I do sort of want to tell him that, but I know it's not such a good idea/could cause problems. He might be weird or scary or even if he isn't, then our neighbor (a decent neighbor, not our scary neighbor) would know about us and that would make everyone on the block uncomfortable. Most of all us.
If it were my actual neighbor out there making me hot chopping wood, I wouldn't have taken the pictures. Because that would be violating the good neighbor code of pretending each other doesn't exist. And I certainly wouldn't take pictures of his young daughter! Even if it were to record how she trespasses on OUR property, walking just three feet past me sitting in our window
. Well, maybe I would (for proof of trespass only!), but I wouldn't post them on the internet. But maybe only because I'm a pornographer and could get in trouble for it just by virtue of that fact.
When I pondered these things aloud to Delia
, she doubted my assertion that if it were a woman out there, hanging laundry or washing a car, I totally wouldn't have taken the pictures. She's probably right. After all, I took this picture (without her knowledge/consent) of a hot redhead fishing because she had a really great ass:
It's the kind of picture you can get away with taking in public and even sell prints of in local galleries that don't have any artistic standards. It's the kind of picture no one (except other wankers) would bat an eye at as long as you keep up the appearance of it being completely innocent. Even though I know that I took it purely out of sexual/sensual interest. And I know that any straight man with a camera would have taken it for exactly the same reason (or to prove to himself that he wasn't) whether he would admit it or not, and there are tens of thousands of men with cameras with hobbies or professions doing exactly that. I know a lot of people who take completely g-rated innocent-looking pictures and jack off to them later even if they didn't intend to when they snapped them.
Part of me feels justified in posting this because there are so many writers and artists and reporters and network television stations getting away with doing so much worse with absolutely no compunction. It's only people like me who openly call ourselves pornographers who are recognized for exploiting and objectifying others even though we play be much stricter rules and are faced with much harsher penalties for violating them than any other industry would be. But that train of thought is just another diversion from asking myself how *I* would feel if my neighbor were peeping through a crack in the blinds taking pictures of ME doing yardwork or thinking he's not home when I sunbathe naked on our deck when actually he's hidden behind a tree and rubbing his crotch against its bark. Of course, I'd feel totally different about it if I had a teenage son or daughter being spied on. But the guy chopping wood is clearly an adult. And he wasn't sunbathing naked. And again, I don't think I'd care if my neighbor secretly stood in his kitchen taking pictures of me as I walk around OUR kitchen at night topless (which I do sometimes with the blinds open, not because I'm an exhibitionist but because I just don't care) as long as he didn't hang them in the post office with our address printed on them or something.
Meh. Now that I think about it, I really don't care. As long as someone stays on their own property (not sneaking onto mine or a stranger actually stalking into the neighborhood to spy on us or putting on an obscene display of masturbating and shooting cum into our yard) and is only taking pictures of what I do outside or with the windows open then who cares. It's kind of fucked up, but not a huge deal. It's not like I'm lying in wait every day, conducting surveillance on everything that our neighbors and their visitors do.
After completely overthinking this, I absolve myself from guilt. It's harmless and legal. But I guess if I give myself permission to be an opportunistic voyeur-perv-photographer that means I have to stop being shocked and offended by other people who do the same thing. I'm reluctant to do that.
Here's a couple with a sleeping bag and no picnic basket that I shot entirely because I knew they were setting out to lie down together and *do things*:
If I hadn't admitted that and had posted the picture somewhere else, like on a stock photo site using woman-approved keywords like "young love" and "spring romance" (and cropped out our cracked windshield & wipers giving away that I'm like a dirty old man doing a drive-by) it would probably be perceived in a totally different way. It would just be a bad snapshot. But because of who I am and what my site is and my confession that I'm a voyeuristic pervert who sees sexual potential everywhere, it seems more DIRTY and exploitative than it really is. What if a local television station were doing one of those weather "stories" about how people were still going to the beach even though it's overcast, and those two lovebirds were in the background? Would the station be committing an evil deed? If not, why does it seem so evil when I do it and admit that I see erotic potential? And why would it seem so much grosser and more evil if I were a man instead of a woman?
Speaking of double standards and being a horny woman, check out this post by Goddess Glory where she describes her friend getting mad at her for drooling over a waitress's ass
". . . my mind was completely focused on fantasizing bout our waitress' beautifully ginormous ass sitting on my face, cutting off my air supply."
Labels: confessions, ethics, fetishes, gender issues, neighbors, PHOTOS, privacy, sexual consent, TURN ONS, values, voyeurism, wankers
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In Passing: Feminist Porn
Thanks to our friend Nerdy Anna
for pointing out this post on Feministe about porn
sparking a discussion about whether or not "feminist porn" exists, etc.
Honestly? I only hastily skimmed the post and avoided taking a close look at the comments. Not because I don't think it's a worthwhile discussion. Not because I don't want to help "represent" the feminist pornographers of the world. But because for me right now, the most feminist thing I can do is make money and be free of debt, because paying credit card companies tons of interest is totally not feminist. With that being my focus I view reading and participating in these oft-irrational discussions as a big waste of my time. I was much MUCH happier reading the Feministe post on The Golden Girls which I, of course, agree with.WARNING: reading the following rambling may be a total waste of YOUR time, but it was highly therapeutic for me to write about it.
I've got a number of drafted blog posts and of course plenty of thoughts about sex, feminism, porn, and all that "good" stuff (or bad stuff, depending on your perspective). But I'll take this opportunity to just briefly touch on a few of my positions and answer the question, in short form, of whether or not I think the porn *I* make is feminist.
(and especially being self-employed, and especially making GOOD money, ESPECIALLY if it's better money than men are making and especially all of these things in THIS country and cultural context) is feminist. Even if you're making money on something that seems totally counterproductive to feminism.
*The interesting thing -- the KEY thing -- is acknowledging that behaviors and products (and I use that term very loosely -- could be a piece of merchandise or the end result of certain behaviors or a speech or whatever) can be feminist in some ways, and not in others. You can do something that makes feminist progress in one area, but is regressive in another. That duality is intrinsic to the movement(s) and anybody who thinks it's possible to be and live and think and affect 100% feminist is fucking delusional. Because you can't control other people's reactions. Because sometimes making progress in one direction means distancing yourself from another point on your (or the group's) carefully mapped travel plans. Because everybody has something unique to contribute, and while they might excel in one area, they won't in another. THAT'S WHY WE NEED DIFFERENT WOMEN REPRESENTING DIFFERENTLY. Because it's not feminist at all to think we all want the same things, or to demand that we pursue the same things. Because it's humanly impossible to consistently put FEMINISM before yourself all the time. Because for some of us feminism means putting OURSELVES (specifically MYSELF or YOURSELF, in your case if you are a woman) first. Because life is just way more complex than "feminist" or "not feminist".
Maybe it's like a big scavenger hunt. There are tons of things on our list, things we should have RIGHTS to. Maybe you go look for education. Maybe sister over there goes and looks for health care. Maybe another goes and looks for safety. I hope there's someone out there looking for reparations. MAYBE I WILL LOOK FOR THE MONEY. Maybe I will look for proof that my body is not YOUR body, and maybe you'll be fucking confused because you think that if I sell my body to a man that I'm violating YOURS. Maybe I will have time to hold your hand and we can find RATIONAL THOUGHT together, huh? Wouldn't that be nice. Maybe we'll all accept that we all have the right to anger, and that a lot of it is righteously directed at each other.
Maybe you have no clue how often I advocate for some of the most unpopular feminist causes and rights while I am in some of the most hostile environments for doing so in the first world. Maybe you have no idea how much thicker the leather is on my militant boots than yours and your buddies, with your unproductive running-off-at-the-mouth. Maybe you underestimate how much more effective being feminist is on this platform than on yours. Maybe I love getting ALL. FIRED. UP! Maybe that's why I suppress my work on it so often. Because that fire comes close to incapacitating me with screaming.This is so not short or coherent the way I planned for it to be, but it's making ME feel better, and THAT is feminist.
*Do I, Trixie, make feminist porn (if such a thing exists)?
I do think feminist porn exists/is possible. I totally disagree with anyone who thinks it's a contradiction in terms. At the root of that mistaken belief is a huge double standard regarding PLEASURE, but that's a topic for another time.
Many people would say, "yes, Trixie's porn is feminist". I personally would say that the the individual chunks of porn I/we make are only feminist sometimes
. I will also say that I do not *want* all of the porn I make to be feminist. Because my sexuality and personality do not always cooperate with feminist ideals, nor do other people's. Because our fantasy worlds cannot and should not be bound by politics. Because sex as we experience it/feel it TRANSCENDS politics (even if it never transcends politics in reality). Because sometimes you specifically fantasize about un-feminist things because your ideals have created such intensely taboo triggers. Because it wouldn't be feminist to deny myself all of me. Because the most feminist thing I can do is MAKE MONEY and to represent myself as a feminist while I do it.
The major way my work is feminist (outside of or next to the money-making arena) is that I consistently remind people who I belong to (MYSELF) in contexts where it is unexpected. My body belongs to me. I consistently assert my will, my self-ownership, even when it is counterproductive to making sales. My work as a whole is feminist because I REFUSE TO BE A NON-PERSON or a partial person or a person only part of the time. Anybody who looks at my work as a whole (or even/often just in small parts) can see that I REPRESENT MYSELF AS A WHOLE PERSON. To an extent that I think very VERY few people, men OR women, in ANY industry or from any walk of life, are willing to do or are allowed to do or know how to do or are brave enough to do or have risked as much to do. I AM A WHOLE PERSON, and my work in porn is contained within that and presented from that place of wholeness. Being a whole person and INSISTING UPON wholeness everywhere is awesomely feminist. Paradoxically it means that I cannot BE wholly feminist or affect in feminist ways all of the time.I could spend a lot of time describing what I mean by "a whole person", but I'll just clarify a little by saying I don't mean "perfect" or "finished" when I say "whole" On the contrary, I mean I am and deserve to be and insist upon staking my claim on IMperfection, meeting my primitive needs, fucking-up, growing sideways and in general pursuing happiness.
You *can* make feminist progress in your own life and in others' by making art that is gender conscious, class conscious, and power conscious EVEN WHEN your representations of it are stereotyped and politically incorrect (sometimes BECAUSE they are, especially if they're totally campy and over-the-top). Especially when it acts as therapy and finds meaning/truth. And MOST especially when it's presented in a broader context that is overtly or even covertly political and/or built on a feminist foundation or told by a feminist voice (even when some of those stories and characters played are distinctly NOT feminist).
I, presenting myself as a whole person, am the context. In everything I do. And I am feminist. That is the powerful truth in my life and work and someday I hope I'll be better at articulating it.
Labels: ethics, feminism, gender issues, identity, politics, pop culture, PORNOGRAPHY, priorities, rants, spiritual issues
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Short Arms Make for Good Pedicures
SHORT ARMS MAKE FOR GOOD PEDICURES
I got a girly foot job today. Because there was a special half-off deal going on. And because we rented a nice room to shoot in tomorrow and really, what's the point in blowing money on a fancy room to shoot swank nudey pics if your toes look nasty?
My "nail technician" was a cute heavy-set blonde with her hair done up in Bjorkesque knots. She was not much taller than I am so her arms were pretty short in comparison to her boobs which stuck out a lot. As a result, my toes patted and prodded her fluffy pillows of breastage. During the massage portion, my feet (one at a time) were even engulfed in her cleavage.
I know you all think I'm a total fucking pervert who couldn't help but get off on this sexually, but honestly I kept my thoughts pure in spite of the pleasant feeling of my feet touching a cute-looking woman's breasts. I *do* love touching people with my feet on both a sensual and sexual level, but I got the feeling that this girl was fairly new to her craft; she seemed very preoccupied, as though she were trying to follow a script she learned at beauty school or was handed by the salon owner.
I'm guessing it's probably difficult to have her body invaded like that when she's trying to work and that she has to do some mental and emotional work-arounds to deal with having strangers' feet jabbing and patting and smushing against her tits. My feet are really small so I can only imagine that people with normal or large feet REALLY press up against her. Given her inexperience and her personality I just felt sort of awkward on her behalf. Awkward in a way that would be hot if it were fiction, but that any decent woman could resist eroticizing (at the time, anyway). My nail technician seemed to hold her cards close to her chest when I tried to get her to talk trash about our respective towns; she avoided say anything very personal or in a familiar tone.
She was pleasant, but clearly had her guard up. I chalk it up to the boobs and being new to her trade, but it might also have been because her boss could hear us. Regardless, I felt it was NOT the time to be getting all horny over the feet-on-boobs action. Even when I saw my little toeprints-made-of-lotion dotting the front of her black shirt. Even when she said, "you're still wet so I'm going to keep you here a little longer." Even then, I did not allow myself to indulge in x-rated fantasies."But Trixie, it's not like she could read your mind! Why censor your thoughts?"
BECAUSE. Sometimes dirty thoughts leak out like bad gas and fill a room with discomfort. I believe they do, anyway. Some people can intuitively pick up on someone else's hard-on, even if it's purely mental and poses no physical threat. I have no desire to victimize a professional nail technician even if the victimization is only happening in my head. It's just disrespectful . . . sometimes you have to rise above your baser instincts. Without acting rigid and readably uncomfortable, you have to detach yourself, particularly when you see that the other person is sending signals that detachment is what she needs.
People who touch other people for a living without actually doing sex work -- therapeutic massage, nails, hair, facials (haha), etc. -- still provide very intimate services that are supposed to make customers feel good, physically and emotionally. I think they go home feeling similarly emotionally exhausted by the shifty boundaries they've dealt with all day, touching people's sweatiest places, hearing their stories, trying to be receptive to chat while not annoying clients by talking TOO much themselves (or entertaining clients who like that sort of thing). I think they deserve a lot of respect (and good tips) for that and deserve to preserve some boundaries; I would just feel wrong about violating that, even in my head. Especially when my feet are already on her boobs.
Labels: arousal, boundaries, customer relations, ethics, fantasies, luxury, privacy, TURN ONS, work
Monday, May 28, 2007
WEB-LOGHere are some interesting nuggets I ran across in the past couple of days:Breast Implants Linked to Higher Suicide Rate
The researchers discovered the suicide rate is 73 percent higher in participants with breast implants relative to the control group.
That's some pretty fucked up shit that can't easily be disregarded considering it was a fifteen year study that "collected information on 24,600 women who had received breast implants for cosmetic purposes". I wonder, though, how many of those women got the old silicone implants and/or just bad hack-job surgery in general that could put a dent in anyone's positive outlook. Still . . .A sleepy sex entry from Glazing the Donut
After my post about molesting Delia in her sleep
, it's a bit of odd synchronicity that I clicked on GtD from my sidebar and found such a relevant post considering I rarely visit there otherwise it would, by now, be moved to Old Mutes & Rare Updates
. Regardless, it's a fantastic entry touching upon the type of sex play the mainstream porn world pretty much ignores: guys who like to get their entire faces sopping wet in pussy juice.Another Smarty-Pants Coed's Eyes Opened to Porn
It's a little muddled, but this chunk has inspiring potential:
The exploration of fantasy can take you out of the limitations of the typical roles that you are required to fill, whether you are gay, straight, bisexual, male, female or transgender. The rise of “tranny” porn, female domination porn and female ejaculation in porn are all examples of women taking on the traditionally gender-specific roles of men, and using penises, either real or simulated, to ejaculate in ways that most people previously believed that only men could. UCSB grad student J.D. Scott, author of a soon-to-be-published paper on the “transgressive images of female bodies,” describes how straight men are the largest consumers of these sorts of female-domination porn films.
I'll withhold my potentially lengthy commentary.
Fourteen Year-Old's Self-Portrait Stolen for Porn DVD Cover
The one and only discussion I saw of this on a porn industry board only focused on her being underage and really disregarded the theft and HORRIFYINGLY stupid, unprofessional and demeaning response from the porn studio. Porn webmasters seem to be saying, "how DUMB to subject your business to legal scrutiny for using a minor's image!" rather than, "how low and unethical to steal and try to profit from a copyrighted piece of art made by a teenage woman and then have the balls to hurl moronic insults at her and tell her that she doesn't deserve one red cent." I hope she gets a lawyer and rapes TVX's wallet dry.
Oh sweet JESUS: I found another thread about this on another adult webmaster board and most of the responses are (predictably) even more offensive than the ones I read elsewhere, though are balanced out by a few sensible thoughts.
Sensible reaction from an adult webmaster:
Their response to her is sickening. People like this need to be blackballed from the industry.
Stupid response from adult webmaster:
Sorry I must have missed something. Please show me the proof where
A) the girl posting is actually the girl in the pic
B) she is actually underage in that pic
C) she did not give them permission to use the pic.
if she's full of shit SHE is the one in big time trouble.
Another stupid response (from an adult webmaster I have always found to be REALLY FUCKING RETARDED):
The picture was taken in 2004 when she was 14. Now it is 2007, so she is 17. Yet she is surfing and entering pornsites even though she is underage, and she apparently possesses porn as well (otherwise how would she have a copy of the DVD?). I smell major, huge, stinky bullshit.
problem is this is all probably fake shit on her part to get money. I can not beleive all the idots on that site that actualy believe. She should be sued for giving us all a bad name. Ironically she probally sucks more cocks than the average porn queen
Does this give you an idea of why "networking" with my supposed colleagues can be really fucking unappealing and truly appalling? It's particularly hilarious to hear a porn peddler accuse someone of doing fake shit to make money and another to act as though it's inconceivable that a seventeen year old would have access to porn (or that somehow her porn surfing negates any claim she has to her art and image).
I'm still feeling sick from my cold, but the weather is BEAUTIFUL and I'm loving having longer daylight hours exchanged at night for with some kick-ass moonlight. Yesterday one of the few things I managed to accomplish in my sickly haze was fixing my archive links over in the sidebar so the past few months show up again.
I have a couple of shows scheduled today
so maybe I'll see you in the chatroom; my group show yesterday was filled with pleasant conversation and nice people who asked me nonsexual questions on purpose to aggravate the impatient wankers. Have you read any John Irving? Do you believe in wormholes? Are you transgendered like your girlfriend?
I would definitely be open to discussions regarding the implant/suicide connection, the theft of Lara's image, or (of course) whether I should be blonde or brunette. I've gotten a few emails since my post the other day
, but I'm still curious about how this crucial matter impacts each person who encounters me.
Labels: copyright, ethics, health, links, rants, the porn industry, webcam shows