Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just The Marketing Whore Whoring Herself...

I'm going to be on XBN: Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network, on Saturday, April 5th at 9 p.m. (central).

XBN is a SWOP East Media Project, and I'm really proud to be asked.

I'd love it if any of you called in...

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Sex 2.0

Cory Silverberg, About.com's Guide to Sexuality, posted Conference Explores the Intersection of Feminism, Social Media, and Sexuality:
There are so few safe public spaces for people to explore, challenge, and share their thinking about sexuality that whenever I hear about a new conference giving people a chance to come together and talk about sex my heart lightens a little bit. Sex 2.0 is a one day event in Atlanta in April, focusing on the “intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality.” I virtually sat down with organizer Amber Rhea to find out more about Sex 2.0 and what attendees can expect.
There's still time to get to Sex 2.0, so if you can, do.

Amber's promised a post event wrap-up ~ which I am looking forward to nearly as much as if I could attend.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feminist Porn Awards

Annual Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards:

Why do the Feminist Porn Awards exist?

As Annie Sprinkle famously said, "the answer to bad porn isn't no porn. It's more porn!" Good For Her couldn't agree more. We all know that the world is inundated with cheesy, cliche, degrading, no-budget, patronizing and stupid porn. But we also believe that erotic fantasy is powerful stuff, and that women and marginalized communities deserve to put their dreams and desires on film too. As feminists and sex-positive people, we want to showcase and honour those who are doing it right, like filmmakers who understand that people of colour are sexual beings - not sexual objects. Like performers who want to see body diversity, so they shake their ample butts in front of the camera. Like everyone who ever said "why aren't my fantasies and realities ever reflected in porn?" so they picked up a camcorder and recorded their friends getting it on.

Good For Her wants porn to be held to a higher standard. We all deserve to see artistic expressions that celebrate who we are in all our glory, and artists deserve to have there work recognized. We think these are pretty good reasons to hold the Annual Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards.

See what's up for 2008.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

High-Five Friday: The Introduction

I typically try to set aside at least one day a week in which I try to get around to everyone I know's blog or website. I don't always leave comments because
some of the best posts are those which get me thinking and that often requires a bit of time (and may end up being a post of it's own

I find myself unable to post a comment easily

I find myself thinking "cool" but don't want to just post that and possibly look like a spammer

I bookmark/save the page/post, intending to come back but then, as time passes, I feel my comments are too little too late
At Sex-Kitten I occasionally do a review called "Gracie's Been Sleeping In Your Blog" (NWS) to point these gems out to others, but with all the sites I read and all the hats I wear, sites do not always fit at SK.

So here I am, pondering this problem today, wondering what I can do to sort of give everyone I read & admire a high-five which benefits them and doesn't take a whole lot of extra (distracting) work on my part... And then it hits me: Make a regular feature which links to these great sites and/or posts, carrying my admiration along with some Google juice.

This feature will be called High-Five Fridays and it's rather open theme means I can replicate the feature at any blog, but each with relevant high-fives.

Since it's easy to replicate, it lends itself to being a meme. And memes can be fun ~ I'd sure like to know who or what you've been reading this week which you think deserves a high-five. So if you care to join me, get on over to the new, official home of High-Five Fridays.

Note: I know I'm starting this late in the day, but anyone who plays today will get a free link at High-Five Fridays as a thank you for being an early (but late-hour) adopter. *wink*

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Sexy Performing Arts, Anyone?

The Nonprofit Finance Fund has announced a grant of more than $15 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to launch a national initiative called Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence.

The initiative will support up to ten leading dance, jazz, theater, and presenting organizations with grants of $800,000 to $1.8 million, plus technical and advisory assistance, in support of new programmatic, financial, and operational approaches designed to enhance their effectiveness, adapt to complex trends affecting the performing arts, and demonstrate what works to the broader performing arts field.

The largest performing arts grant in DDCF history is part of the foundation's new strategy in arts programming. While the foundation will maintain its commitment to contemporary dance, jazz, and presenting, as well as its national scope and strategy of awarding large, multiyear grants, it hopes to increase the flexibility of how its funds are used and will focus on bold new strategies and a holistic approach to how arts organizations operate.

"We hope that the approach of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will inspire others in the field," said NFF president Clara Miller. "Since the focus here is on innovation and experimentation at the 'enterprise level' of the arts, we hope we'll learn — and demonstrate — something valuable to all. DDCF's flexible use of funds, its approach of partnering with organizations pursuing new financial and operating approaches, and its focus on the role of transformational capital makes this initiative a truly important breakthrough."

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thoughts On A Conference Not Attended

I've been waiting for Libby to write up her experiences at the BlogHer Conference in Chicago (she only attended the "Off The Record" session, at the invitation of Susie Bright ~ part of that story is here in this entertaining-not-educational post), but I don't want to forget a few comments that I have...

First of all, I didn't attend the conference ~ this is important to note. Not only since my comments on the conference are all based on what others told me, but because the reasons why I didn't attend are, I think, equally important to what did happen there.

Primarily I didn't attend because there seemed little there to warrant my attention as a "sex blogger." There were just two sessions on the topic, one of which was the aforementioned "Off The Record" session. (And it's being designated as "off record" created great confusion, both in terms of assessing its value in the "should I attend" way as well as from Libby's "should I cover it" question. Should such a session be held again, great care should be taken to outline what "off record" means and doesn't mean.) The bottom line is that out of a two-day conference, there were only two sessions specifically for "sex bloggers."

While I'm the first to admit that "sex bloggers" are neither "all about the sex and only the sex" (most of us hate being called "sex bloggers" and chafe at the idea that we are limited to "just sex"), I am also the first to recognize that we are called "sex bloggers" (and other names) in order for the "mainstream blogging world" to differentiate "us" from "them". This isn't just a matter of censorship (though I will admit it plays its part), but a matter of categorization. No one, including "sex bloggers," wants kids or others who would be offended to stumble on in, so we rather collectively, if a bit reluctantly, agree to use the "sex blogger" moniker.

However, I'm also the first to admit, the moniker is more than a warning for visitors ~ it can be rather like a scarlet letter or a yellow star.

Now I'm not saying BlogHer was preventing "us" from attending the conference, but I've been to enough of these things to know what happens when you attend a "mainstream" session: Either you have to shut up about what you do or be prepared to face the consequences.

If you do the former, why go? You can't really network and you can't really ask questions because they must be phrased so generically that you get equally generic responses (and look like a simpleton).

If you do the latter, you risk being ostracized. At best, others will avoid sitting by you for fear you'll taint them (grown-up conferences often can resemble high school cafeterias). At worst, you become the poster-child for porn and are expected to answer all sort of questions and address issues past your scope just because you're a "sex blogger" (this is rather like being the only black person in a room full of white people).

And then there's the matter of the conference organizers themselves.

Once word gets out that "sex bloggers" have attended, they'll have to deal with complaints. While I find BlogHer.org is more tolerant than most mainstream groups (they even have a category for sex and relationship blogging), it's not difficult to imagine they would be forced to respond negatively to sex blogging simply because of a majority vocalizing outrage. This outrage, as we well know, would not only be directed at BlogHer but at sponsors and supporters. With few "sex bloggers" in attendance, we certainly would be the minority.

Again, "sex bloggers" could, like "food bloggers", attend more general sessions ~ but we sex bloggers wouldn't be as free to participate simply because "sex" freaks so many people out whereas other topics do not.

Given all of this, I opted not to bother to trek to Chicago for the event.

However, I did hear positive comments on the conference. When Libby told me some of the issues they discussed (she did not give me names or specifics but told me what they discussed, such as privacy, how blogging about sex and relationships had negatively impacted people's lives, etc) I wished I had been there. I think my years of experience would have been helpful, yes; but I also would have liked to meet and network with the small group who had attended.

What I gathered from Libby's comments was that this was a worthwhile experience and that more of this is needed. It made me wish that BlogHer would include we "sex bloggers" in their plans more.

Would it be fair to have 20 "sex blogger" sessions when no other blogging theme has so many? On one hand, the "sex" category clearly has far more specific matters to address than any other area. Name another category which has such issues with hosting, censorship, and legal issues. Sure, all bloggers should be addressing matters of ethics, responsibility, marketing, etc. But add "sex" and there's an added dimension or twist to all these things. And like I always say, mainstream sure can learn a lot from the adult industry. (Even privacy isn't a matter of safety only for those of us who post about sex and relationships.)

If an increase in the number of sessions aimed at "sex bloggers" isn't seen as the appropriate way to go, what about making it clear ~ to all ~ that "sex bloggers" are welcome and will be attending. Take the shock factor out by eliminating the element of surprise. Let folks believe that at any given moment they could be sitting next to a "sex blogger" as well as a travel, food or mommy blogger (and perhaps that lady is all four?) and that she might just raise her hand to ask a question or two.

We promise not to shock, or monopolize; but to elevate conversation. After all, our issues in specific pertain to a large part of the blogosphere; in general we are interested in all blogging issues.

By being more inclusive, not only do we all stand a greater chance of learning from one another, but we break down stereotypes. Perhaps meeting a fellow "sex blogger" will remove the silly fears that "we" are a perverted, disease-ridden lot ~ along with the fear of the unknown.

If you've thought about attending a BlogHer Conference but were put-off by all of this ~ or even if you hadn't before, but are thinking about it all now ~ BlogHer has a survey. You can take this even if you did not attend, so please take it and voice your opinions. Maybe I'll see you there next year?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Best Things I've Seen (Today)

I often feel like I'm a ranting, raving lunatic here. Drilling you and droning on & on...

So here are a few things that I spotted today which need only be pointed to:

Copyblogger offers a Copywriting Contest: $10,000 in Prizes for Irresistible Offers. (I'm even tempted to drop my clients and projects to enter this.)

Bacchus at ErosBlog covers the practical matters of defining the market (and porn consumers) in An Economist Confused About Porn.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Chicago Event: Women & Porn

Sex-Kitten.Net is proud to help with this event!

WOMEN AND PORN: How Women are Changing the Adult Film Industry from Behind the Camera

Hosted and moderated by Sex-Kitten.Net's own The Libertine aka 'Libby' this event features:

A screening of the documentary Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography ~ and Q&A with director Becky Goldberg.

Synopsis: Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography is a rare and empowering look into the pornography industry and feminist community to see how they intertwine within the politics and poetics of female sexuality. It shows women who are committed to making and supporting pornography that includes their feminist values and will go up against an entire industry, stereotypes, and sexism to get what they want. Who better to claim the adult industry for themselves than the women it depends on?

Following the screening
, there will be a panel discussion regarding women filmmakers and perspectives in the Chicago adult film industry featuring the following"

Carolyn Caizzi ~ director of Early to Bed Productions "Coming Home", the upcoming "Special Delivery" and other queer smut

And

Jack Hafferkamp ~ one half of the Libido Films production team (with partner Marianna Beck) and former editor of Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility.

Also, raffle prizes donated by Early to Bed, Sex-Kitten.Net*, and Libido Films!

Saturday March 24, 2007
at 7:30 PM

The Leather Archives Museum
6418 N. Greenview
Chicago, IL 60626

$5 suggested donation

Sponsored by Early to Bed, 5232 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago

* Sex-Kitten.Net is donating copies of Sex~Kitten.net Presents: The BDSM Issue, Dance of Submission, by Jude Mason, and one Tit-Elation.com's 'Best Of' Quarterly (a lovely hardcover book in a fine dust jacket).

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