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The V-Spot: Watching Porn in Public with Bella Vendetta

It’s not what you’d expect — this whole watching porn in a room full of strangers with your friends thing. On Saturday night, in an expansive room of the Eastworks building, about 50 of us did just that. And it was a wicked good time.

The Training of Poe is an award-winning documentary-style erotic film shot in the beautiful hills of Western Massachusetts. The indie porn/documentary hybrid (docuporn?) follows the two-day BDSM submissive training of Chelsea Poe at the instruction of local professional and lifestyle dominatrix Bella Vendetta.

Heavy on power play, and low on overt penetrative sex acts, the film takes viewers through a lovely arc of intentional consent negotiations, playfulness, tenderness, sexiness, and really at many points, downright humor.

Vulnerable and self-assured in both their work and in person, Chelsea Poe and Bella Vendetta nearly charmed the pants off us, and watching the film in their company complete with a Q&A was one of my favorite things I’ve done this fall. Lucky me, I got to have a little chat with Bella Vendetta afterwards.

Yana: What are three things you hope people take away from watching the Training of Poe?

Bella: 1.) That BDSM doesn’t always have to look like Fifty Shades of Grey.

2.) That sexuality and sex can go far beyond traditional orgasms.

3.) The natural beauty of Western Mass and how unique fetish films made here are.

Yana: How did you get started doing this work and what motivates you to keep doing it?

Bella: I got started by doing a formal training at the world’s oldest BDSM training chateau. Messages I get from students and retirees alike thanking me for opening their minds up to new ways of thinking about sex and sexuality is what makes me want to keep going.

Yana: What’s the hardest part of this work?

Bella: It’s just so much WORK — actual labor that’s exhausting. The stigma that goes along with this work because you’re a sex worker can get overwhelming. Then, most folks don’t view your work as actual work, so it’s a constant fight for legitimacy.

Yana: In what ways do you think watching smut is positively sex educational?

Bella: For the queer community, it’s one of the only places where we can see our sexualities being played out in an authentic way.

Yana: How do you prioritize consent in these projects and how can we apply that to our real, everyday sex lives?…continue reading on ValleyAdvocate.com where you can also watch a NSFW trailer of the Training of Poe…

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Gimme That Grass-Fed Porn

My wife and I have previously been pretty conservative when it comes to sex and not super-adventurous. Recently we realized our marriage would be better served by us servicing each other. The journey has been great and fun and messy and awkward … but mostly great.

We are against people being used, abused or manipulated without their consent, so for a long time that kept us from pornography, which we felt is not always the nicest business to actors and actresses.

We’ve come across a lot of research that shows women who watch porn, or couples who watch porn together, have some amazing benefits to the relationship: greater sexual satisfaction, more happiness, feelings of togetherness — all the things we all want. But what are some good porn companies and films? By good, I mean the organic, grass-fed, free-range beef of porn?

Well, you nailed it. Here in the Valley, we like our groceries in hemp tote bags, our kale served with (gluten-free) soil, and our porn organically orgasmic.

The good news is this kind of porn is both possible, readily available, and hot.

In the past, I’ve written a lot about what I call “feminist porn.” Whether or not you’re into that particular F-word, feminist porn has a lot to offer women, couples, queer folk, and anyone else looking for a pornographic viewing experience different than the drugged-up wham-bam that pops up after a basic “porn” Google search.

Yes, traditional porn isn’t always the nicest to its performers. Yes, several studies show great benefits to individuals’ and couples’ sexual self esteem, closeness and satisfaction via enjoying porn. And yes, you can stand against manipulation, abuse and non-consent and still get off to porn! Continue reading…