My First Time at a Queer, Feminist Porn Festival

by | August 4, 2015
filed under LGBT, My Reality

SmutFest 2015 poster

 

by Katherine Green

When I asked my straight, male partner if he wanted to go to a queer, feminist porn festival with me, I didn’t expect him to say yes. But I was pleased that he did, because I wanted to show him what porn made by every-day people looked like rather than what most of society sees on sites like PornHub. As someone who doesn’t watch porn for this reason, I was excited to open both of our minds.

As we arrived at SMUTfest, created by Prairie Oyster Entertainment, we were greeted by clever vagina magnets, sex positive art and cheesy vegan popcorn. A bit nervous that the first time my partner and I would watch porn together would be in a room full of strangers, I felt more concerned that he would feel awkward in what appeared to be a room majorly of queer women watching other queer women, trans or non-binary people fuck each other than about my feelings about porn. I came out as queer a few years ago, and have been a proud sex-positive feminist for some time, so it didn’t occur to me that the event would stir up so much emotion as I confronted my deep insecurities of society’s views of what sex should look like.

The first film, Hey Hey Hey by Fourth Wave Freaks, caught me off guard as a more artsy, sort of Beatles-inspired-Love-is-All-You-Need-type-short with people bearing what their mothers gave them. It was both awesome and incredibly beautiful, but I was instantly made to feel when I thought I was had just gone to watch other people get off. The film completely smashed society’s idea that being naked in public and not looking like a Victoria Secret model while doing it is wrong. And as someone who’s all for people being naked and not looking like society’s ideal version of beauty, this unexpectedly opened up my insecurities of not being comfortable being naked in public or having anything other than a tight, toned body as well.

As we moved onto a film about making love to yourself called Masturbation in Our Own Terms by Kiyl Keys, I started to warm up to feeling vulnerable in a room full of people. Although I’ve never been shy about masturbation, seeing people confidently get themselves off on camera was something I’ve truly never experienced, and wish I had back in the day when I was learning about what the hell to do. This was followed by a brilliant spoken word performance about sex and disability called Square Pegs in Round Holes by Kinky Freak Collective, starting a dialogue about how people with disabilities experience the world around them, including the subject of finding love and having sex.

During the break I checked in with my partner about how he felt about the few short films we had watched so far, and I was surprised that he was so completely comfortable with what he saw. Suddenly I remembered my history of being uncomfortable with emotional intimacy, and watching people who seemed so in tune with their bodies, their sexuality and their ability to be intimate with another human being brought out a lot of feelings I hadn’t anticipated. Perhaps part of this is the fact that I grew up in a Catholic home where homosexuality was looked at as ‘gross’ and ‘wrong,’ and these antiquated opinions that had been pushed on me bubbled to the surface while witnessing queer people being so intimate and so happy together.

The most fun part of the night was arguably a film called Back to School Special, by Prairie Oyster Entertainment and Education. The topic being consent and BDSM, the film used pizza as a way to metaphorically and humorously make the viewer more comfortable and enjoy themselves while learning about such an important topic. The laughter was a nice break from all the feels I had experienced up to that point in me in the night, and it got me ready for more of them later to come. As a side note, just because of this film I’ll probably never look at pizza quite the same way again.

My favourite film, however, was a more intimate short called Garden Party by Prairie Oyster Entertainment and Education with two people getting to know each other in a welcoming backyard. The latter was incredibly special for me, as I left the event longing for more transparent, emotional intimacy with my partner in the future. As someone who had previously admitted to not watching porn because of the harmful misrepresentation of real, sexual people, it was deeply eye opening to see what porn can look like when the people who are making it truly care about the people who are watching. I can undoubtedly say that if mainstream porn looked more like the films at SMUTfest I would definitely watch it.

For more information on SMUTfest and Prairie Oyster Entertainment and Education, click here.

Originally posted at Flurt Magazine. Re-posted with permission.


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