In protest against the new UK porn laws which have made a large number of consensual acts illegal to depict in porn, including corporal punishment that leaves lasting marks, queer porn producer Courtney Trouble has released a new DVD. This is the sort of resistance I like best: rebelling against censorship by deliberately distributing banned material, combined with fundraising and educationabout the issues.
In collaboration with Kitty Stryker, Courtney set out to compile a collection of films banned in the UK, hoping to alert the US audience to the rising levels of censorship in this country. She discovered that the resulting collection was also denied DVD distribution in the US, and so 'Banned in the UK' became 'Ban this Sick Filth'. Although the UK censorship applies to films distributed online as well as DVDs, in the US video-on-demand distribution is still uncontrolled, and so that's how you can get hold of this provocative, political porn film.
Porn, often decided to be without “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value”, can and does serve as validation for sexual diversity, queerness, and an enjoyment of non-heteronormative sex. Yet obscenity is not protected by laws around freedom of speech, leaving those who choose to deviate from that norm at risk for social and legal action. Because of this, a portion of the proceeds of this film will be donated to Backlash UK, an organization that offers legal, academic, and campaigning work on behalf of those who find themselves defending their freedom of expression.
- a lightly kinky scene with Kitty Stryker, Courtney Trouble, Andre Shakti, and Ned
- a female dominant disciplinary caning scene by Pandora Blake
- a nun/altarboy scene with Joey Minx and Akira Raine
- a menstruation masturbation solo scene with Courtney Trouble
- interviews with directors and cast on the intersection of porn, artistic expression, and censorship laws
It's a playful piece with a serious message- porn censorship is bloody awful!
When Courtney invited me to contribute a film I had to think hard about what to send. It had to be uncompromisingly severe - showing blood, if possible, so there was absolutely no doubt about whether it would count as "banned" or not. I also decided to send a F/M scene, because it's generally less well represented than female submission.
Molly Malone and John Beecroft's dynamic is so playful and tongue in cheek, and their interview so genuinely affectionate, that they were ideal candidates. The Schoolgirl's Revenge is queerer, but Slight Damage to the Rear End shows the welts and blood in more graphic detail - including the moment when John's weak spot breaks and Molly briskly applies a plaster and wipes up the blood before continuing to thrash him. Hot!
So I sent in 'Slight Damage to the Rear End', along with the behind the scenes video and performer interview. Courtney also asked if I could record a video blog of me talking about the new legislation and how it affected me. Which is how, at 3am one Monday morning, I came to record this video, which has since collected over two and a half thousand views:
So that was worth doing.
'Ban This Sick Filth' has already picked up a couple of reviews. Kitty's girlfriend Jetta Rae posted a self-confessed biased review, which mostly talks about how weird it is for her to watch porn produced in familiar settings by people she knows, but which has some good quotes about censorship too:
Every sex act depicted in pornography is a vote for what you can and can’t do with your body in our society. When you disallow paid professionals to enact the sex that regular, everyday Wilmas and Winstons would do at home, you deprive people the opportunity to provide for themselves through skilled, professional labor, while leaving people to their own devices to figure out the “how to be safe” thing for themselves.
Of 'Slight Damage' she writes,
Produced by Dreams of Spanking and directed by Pandora Blake, this scene is incredibly affirming in how self-aware and homely around the edges it is in its presentation of a disciplinary spanking/caning. As sex performers, we put on costumes, we play parts, but we are still real people who have to navigate around living room furniture and occasionally blister and bleed when hit hard enough.
Molly giving John’s blistered and callous ass necessary aftercare as the credits roll over is where I live and have grown my roots — kink hurts and is yet a very rife avenue for affection and transformative healing.
Porn review site XCritic also has a review by ApacheWarrior:
Ban This Sick Filth! is a collaborative production by Kitty Stryker and Courtney Trouble. It was developed on account of the 2014 censorship laws in the United Kingdom. During the final months of 2014, the UK passed laws that are a blow to feminist and queer porn. Acts such as aggressive whipping and caning, spanking, facesitting, and choking are banned. Ban This Sick Filth! uses interviews and sexual performances to further explain some of the types of porn activities that are now censored in Great Britain. It was a very good idea to incorporate British pornographer Pandora Blake to this production since she gives a very clear explanation of those laws. We also see and feel how much her website means to her and how these controlled laws have made it a scary future for her. It's must-see material. Ironically, this film was denied DVD distribution in the USA on account of some of the consensual acts performed like peeing, full fisting, and menstruation play.
As a niche site I don't often get to read commentary on my work by mainstream porn critics, so I was interested to see that both reviewers highlighted the same elements of Molly and John's scene - the authenticity and care inherent in Molly applying a plaster to his bleeding buttocks (discernable even through her brusque Headmistress manner), and the affection and trust evident between the two of them in their behind the scenes videos. ApacheWarrior writes,
I enjoyed the graphic nature of this scene and it gives a good glimpse to the type of intense activity that is shown on her website. I have to give John much credit for taking much pain. Many younger guys could not do what he does. After their performance, we get a Behind the Scenes look of their scene that also has an interview part. The chemistry between John and Molly is cute. It makes me want to see more of their performances.
It's cool seeing a Dreams of Spanking film distributed by a US feminist porn company, and it's great to see the issue of UK porn censorship being talked internationally. I hope that 'Bank This Sick Filth' educates lots of people about the situation faced by UK producers, and raises a tonne of money for Backlash. Buy a copy, tell your friends, and support independently produced filthy feminist porn which intends to fight censorship every step of the way.
TROUBLE Films have extended an exclusive discount to Dreams of Spanking viewers - use code 'PANDORA' at checkout to get $3 off!