I went to Amsterdam to meet some ladies that make porn for a living. They don’t mince their words
“In my films, women like the elimination of cum-shots.” Welcome to the Porna Awards. I’m in Amsterdam, listening to porn veteran, Candida Royalle speak at Dusk TV’s first ever awards ceremony – a channel which caters exclusively to women, showing porn that is made by women and designed for a female audience. They use the word ‘porna’ as opposed to the more masculine sounding porno. Dusk aim to answer the age old question of what women really want, by creating a platform for them to determine and discuss what good porn is via their online panel.
There are four Samantha Jones’ present. British-bred, ex-Liberal Democrat candidate, Anna Span; Dutch film-maker, Rozemarije de Ronde; Harvard graduate, Jennifer Lyon Bell, and the aforementioned Candida Royalle. Both Bell and Royalle are candidates for the same award for their respective films Skin. Like. Sun., and Aphrodite Superstar. Anticipation is in the air of Akhnaton nightclub, which is walled with women from all walks of life – the female attendees ranged from eye candy, to librarian look a-likes, sex shop owners, to sex slave owners and journalists. As a young female predisposed to good pussy-eaters and insecure men, I want to know what makes Dusk’s porn so different, and why female POV shots of face-sitting would be better, than a birds-eye angle of some guy chomping on a clit.
Candida, who appeared to be the matriarch of porna, maintains a regal presence as she makes a highly political speech, concluding with a statement about the popularity of cum-shots in mainstream porn. I give a strong crescendo clap that could probably shatter the glass holding my chilli cocktail, because she’s right. Most porn does end with a jizz finale, guy-on-girl, sometimes after a few dickslaps. But Candida’s films are different: “Suddenly women felt good watching my films and could relate to something that has class and dignity instead of feeling degraded and dirty,” she tells the crowd.
Sex toy tester Luna of Climaximaal leads the event into to an auction style presentation of the best varieties of dildos and vibrators that euros can buy. Although she is speaking in Dutch, her review of one particular product resonated fluently – holding up a tiny fuchsia pink one, I wonder which woman would actually get pleasure from such a small implement. I’m suddenly struck by a tequila induced epiphany and realise I can’t see a single male guest. In fact, after a proper scour of the room I realise that a total of three out of the 150 guests are male. And the rest undoubtedly all own dildos.
Before I know it, a male poledancer has performed a strong routine in patent black stripper boots, and the entire scene begins to look a bit too fuckesque: ephemeral and dim lit, and I couldn’t help but wonder if some practical demonstrations would be going on. I try to mingle, and get myself into the cushty circumstance of talking to the male bartender about Amsterdam’s leather and fetish scene. The dick count has been raised to four. German-born film director, Petra Joy is eventually announced as the winner of the first Porna award for her scene, Room Service from the film Taste of Joy. The award confirms her vision to create films about erotic female fantasies that strike a chord with her target audience. To congratulate her, I engage in a brief boogie with herself and Candida, during which we seem to have performed the official chorus choreography of the hokey cokey.
Before I leave, I start to consider my own sexual politics as a porn watcher. My lifestyle choices aren’t necessarily reflected in my choice of films, but if they were, I’d probably opt for the kind of emotionally realistic porn Jennifer and Rozemarije create. Being dominated by men is not something I’m used to in my personal life, and this seems to be a particular aspect of mainstream porn that the feminist panel are keen to keep out of their films.
I make a mental note to line up their porn for a prospective wank sesh, glad to have this experience, seeing women who are doing great things for the porn industry. I’m happily interrupted with a goodie bag containing a pimped out Christine le Duc dildo and plenty of porn paraphernalia. So many thoughtful gifts: a free Brazilian wax, Dusk TV mints resembling AA batteries, first class lube. I was touched that they gave a damn about the welfare of my pussy and left with a true sense of Dutch hospitality. I see Dusk TV and the four filmmakers as my sexual freedom fighters that night, and I returned to London in reversed sex shellshock, wanting to go back to the frontline.
Featured Image: Tope Fabunmi
Inset: Dusk TV