“It’s Just Porn”… Right? A Critical Insider’s Response to the Call for Inclusion at XRCO

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Venus Lux, winner of multiple awards and savvy businesswoman

As I don’t necessarily expect Elaine Costellano to understand the ins and outs of… well, the ol’ in-and-out industry, I wanted to chime in with an alternative view.

I’ve been in the industry for 6 years now, though I mostly make queer, indie porn. I’ve been on 8 DVDs. All of them have been reviewed by only 3 people on Xcritic, because there are very, very few reviewers who take on BBW content. In fact, there are only 3, and only 2 of them review it regularly. If it wasn’t for Rob Perez, Apache Warrior and Sex Reed? I doubt I’d be nominated for 2 Biggie Awards this year, because no one would have any idea who I was. Reviews are vital for the success of porn companies and performers, but many reviewers aren’t interested in covering niche porn… or, at least, they’re not willing to cop to fapping to it.

It’s not like people aren’t watching BBW porn.

Ask Pornhub, who put out data specifically about the niche last year. A 47% increase in searches is nothing to sneeze at (which is good, cause you probably have other uses in mind for those tissues!) AVN recently added a BBW category to their awards. Penthouse featured a BBW for the first time ever. Places like Mic.com, Cosmo, and Bustle are talking about the niche. So why are people (men, mostly, let’s be honest) so afraid to come forward about something they’re obviously buying into?

The hypocrisy is real.

It’s not just the award shows, mind. I mean, North Carolina recently passed HB2, a bill banning trans people from using certain bathrooms… yet they’re also heavy consumers of trans porn. Sure, XHamster decided to declare it was banning access to the site in North Carolina because of the bill, but that feels hypocritical considering their copious use of slurs to refer to trans people (even if that’s in keeping with the industry at large). As genderqueer performer and editor of “Coming Out Like a Porn Star”, Jiz Lee,points out on Twitter, “Hey tubesites, want to actually support trans rights? Stop stealing, segregating, and slurring trans porn on your site.” More to the point, Chris Lowrence, who lives in North Carolina, pointed out that no, actually, it wasn’t blocked after all. Whoops.

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Kitty Stryker, Vixen Gamer and Busty Cookie at AVN 2016

I believe it’s in the best interest of these award shows to demonstrate that there is a place for trans and BBW performers in order to attract that patronage.

One of the things that came up in the discussion was why have a separate category? Trans women and BBWs can be nominated for female performer of the year, after all. In response, I would look towards the ways in which racism also impacts porn award shows. While yes, Blacked.com (a site specializing in interracial porn) had 15 nominations and took home 11 of them, 5 of those identified their work as “ethnic”, “interracial” or “niche/specialty”.

We need to recognize the ways in which porn legitimizes some while casting aside others, and begin to address that disparity… before anti-porn activists do it for us.

Part of that means we need to be on our game, doing our research, and citing our information. Before we dismiss criticisms coming from successful members of the industry, let’s do our due diligence.

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Professional Bleeding Heart. Sick & Tired. Patronize me: http://t.co/RSd5cSVGE5 Image by @mayakern

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