Positive Sex Education at Xbiz 360
On Thursday January 23rd, I visited the XBIZ 360 conference held at the W Hotel in Hollywood. Xbiz is one of the largest providers of news and information in the adult business. This event brings together many different components of adult entertainment. Industry leaders from retail & distribution, digital media, pleasure products, and film production were all in attendance for a week long trade show ending with the XBIZ Awards held on Friday at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Even though the spotlight was shining on Adult Film that day, I was thrilled to hear an emphasis on education during all the presentations I attended.
The primary goal of the panel discussion “Porn & Condoms: The Great Debate” was to help educate the adult community about new laws. In November 2012, the County of Los Angeles passed Measure B, a law making condom use mandatory in porn but now the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has a law on the books and can investigate any company for up to 6 months after production if a complaint is filed. This means shooting porn outside of LA isn’t safe either. These restrictions call into question freedom of speech and performer choice. The adult community recognized their pitfalls during the passage of Measure B and they hope to shed more light on the porn industry to help teach the public.
“Porn Disrupted: The Politics of Changing Sexual Attitudes“, started off with a discussion on sexual media trends but the conversation quickly turned to education. Carol Queen, founding director of the San Francisco Center for Sex & Culture explained how most people’s sex education comes from either “figuring it out” or watching porn. If more explicit sex education is available, we can teach people the skills they need to know and help them enjoy sex safely.
In between sessions, I was honored to chat with adult performers Kelly Shibari & Stoya. Kelly was beaming with excitement about her upcoming educational DVD produced by Wicked Pictures. jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex: Plus Size Sex will be the first sex education video created for the plus size community. Kelly & jessica have been developing this project for over a year and both recognized the need for a sex education video for people of size. They both believe in positive sexuality and Kelly “hopes the DVD will help men, women, and couples of size become more confident in their sexuality, explore their amazing bodies, and communicate better as to their sexual desires.” The film starts shooting at the end of February and should be released mid-spring.
Both Kelly & Stoya are members of APAC (Adult Performer Advocacy Committee) which received a lot of buzz last week with the release of “Porn 101”. This nearly 15 minute video features top female and male adult performers providing education on how to get into to the business, what you’ll be giving up to do sex work, testing & safety, and how to manage your brand and finances. Stoya mentioned, not all mainstream press is positive but it does help to spread the word and it has. The video has been viewed over 96,000 times and it’s only been out for a week. To see the full video, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpLhW8sxlLI
Unlike 20 years ago, pornstars are more visible and accessible than ever before. There’s been a lot of mainstream attention paid to them in the last few years which makes adult films not seem so taboo. I was lucky to hear four of the most well-known pornstars discuss how they handle the limelight in “Tomorrow’s Adult Entertainment Celebrity“. Asa Akira, Christy Mack, Keiran Lee, and James Deen spoke about how they maintain a separate life outside their work, how they deal with negativity and how they’ve stayed at the top of their game in this business. They believe educating new performers is essential especially since the turn-over rate for actresses use to be 2-4 years, now its 6 months to a year. They all stressed the importance of teaching newcomers how to create their brand, save money, and to make a plan for the future when performing is a wrap.
To conclude the day, Keynote Speaker Scott Taylor, Founder of New Sensations gave an inspirational talk about his experiences failing & succeeding in the adult biz. He wants producers of adult content to recognize the power of “the couple” as a consumer of porn. Women are watching porn too so making it more erotic instead of hardcore is important if you want to keep them as customers. Scott explained, having a clear vision and seeing it to the end is how he’s continued to thrive in this business and he hopes others will take his advice. He hopes producers and directors will embrace new technologies like Google Glass and possibly move into creating episodic porn.
Overall, the day was a success, filled with exciting & interesting individuals and great conversations.
-For more information on XBIZ and a complete list of award winners go to: www.xbiz.com
-Check out the San Francisco Center for Sex & Culture at: www.sexandculture.org or follow Carol Queen on twitter : @carolqueen
-For more information about jessica drakes Guide to Wicked Sex visit: www.GuideToWickedSex.com.
-Special Thanks to Kelly Shibari for providing the Official Press Release for jessica drakes Guide to Wicked Sex. To learn more about Kelly and jessica drake, check out the following:
-You can also follow Stoya on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/stoya,
-For more information on New Sensations go to: www.newsensations.com