Nica Noelle Do I Make ‘Feminist Porn’?

Apr 3, 2013
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The term “feminist porn” has been getting a lot of traction in the mainstream press lately, and I can’t help but notice that my name often appears as a shining example of “women directors who make porn aimed at a female audience.” Uh… I do?

Nica Noelle

Don’t get me wrong: I do shoot porn for women. I also shoot it for men. What I mean is that I make adult films for human beings, and women obviously fall into that category. But I’ve never referred to myself as a “feminist,” or to my films as being “made for women.” And not to sound ungrateful, but I’m not sure that I want a gender-specific political term attached to my work, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute.

But first I’ll begin with an awkward confession: I’m not entirely sure what “feminist porn” describes. Is it “empowering” images of women “choosing” to have sex? Is it created with the discerning tastes of the “female porn fan” in mind? Are my (all-male) gay films “feminist porn” too? How about my transgender films? Is any porn I make “feminist porn” because a woman (me) is behind the camera, literally calling the shots?

According to director Tristan Taormino, feminist porn describes an adult film production where a specific code of ethics is observed. Talent can expect to be treated with “respect” and to never be asked to perform sex acts that make them uncomfortable. Feminist porn sets are rumored to be clean and sanitary, with fresh linens, vacuumed floors and healthy snacks provided for cast and crew. “Real sex” is encouraged, meaning that performers are allowed to explore each other’s bodies naturally (rather than according to a pre-set quota of three minutes for one position, three minutes for the next, etc.).

This actually describes my sets pretty well. But when did professional ethics and artistic honesty become gender-specific?

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