Upset pornographers and the definition of scissoring: "Queer and Boning" controversy

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Brouhaha! That would be the word I'd use to describe the reaction to today's cover story, "Queer and Boning in Las Vegas," about Courtney Trouble and her posse's adventures at the AVN Awards in Vegas. The crux of the matter revolves around my interview with lesbian pornographer Jincey Lumpkin, whose oeuvre falls into a more conventional mode of pornmaking than Trouble and the other queer pornsters profiled. Jincey commented extensively in the article's comment section and on her own website:

(This is in regards to a quote we printed that, compared to Bay Area queer porn, Jincey's work "has more of an emphasis on aesthetics.")

Throughout our interview what I discussed was my point of view in making porn. That I wanted to create something that was in the middle ground. Real lesbian porn, but created with an emphasis on glamour and aesthetics. Since the quote is taken out of context, it appears as though I am dismissive of the work of my peers, which I am not. I admire my queer porn peers, and I could not be where I am today without the trail-blazing efforts of Shine and Crash Pad Series. I have worked with a lot of the same stars, and have taken influence from their work. However, I don’t see anything wrong with creating work that comes from a different point of view.

When I say that I emphasize aesthetics, what I mean is that we spend a tremendous amount of time researching the look and feel of each series, and we collaborate with people in the fashion industry to achieve a certain look. I’m certainly not saying that the work of my peers is inferior or has no aesthetic appeal. In fact, I find Courtney’s work quite inspiring, even though we have a different point of view in the way we create things.

I'm not printing a correction on that. My reportage on the quote was accurate, however it was intended by the person who said it. But it's nice to have it clarified here because it did seem like a weird thing to say.

She also clarified that she has shot fisting scenes, but that Girlfriends Films won't allow them in her releases through them (I updated "Queer and Boning" to reflect that fact). She pointed me to this column she wrote in support of the Trouble-founded International Fisting Day. Also, that she doesn't do scissoring scenes, but she does do tribbing. At the time that I'm writing this, the porn professionals, and non-professional lesbians I've spoken with are unable to tell me the difference between the two. Here's the Urban Dictionary entries on the two, which are completley unhelpful. 

So there's that. I have to quibble with one of Lumpkin's points though. Saying "I control all of the business of Juicy Pink Box, including the content of what we shoot" and then going on to write in a different part of the same letter "However, because Girlfriends is concerned about obscenity prosecution, my contract with them requires that I cut those [fisting] portions out for DVD release," (I assume she's referring to the Cambria List, a rundown of no-nos that also include transsexuals, squirting, bisexual sex, and incest, the last of which Girlfriends seems to have no problems with) is a direct contradiction. She's filtering the sex she shows, or being filtered. Either way, there's a big difference between her work and the work of people that include sex acts deemed subversive not only because they're hot, but because it's part of their activism.

Lumpkin's work is significant, which is why she's in the article. A ton of people get off on the style of porn she makes. If you want my opinion, there's more than enough room for QueerPorn.TV, Girlfriends Films, and all the rest of the porno continuum in this big, pervy world of ours. 

But there's no denying that differences between them. And that we heart Bay Area-style queer porn. And that's why we published the piece. So let's get back on the awesome train, shall we?

Comments

other than the author of this piece - is it still a controversy?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

To Twitter. It's this wacky new website that is really making waves.

Posted by caitlin on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Will your la vida loca never end?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

I wish that comments on blogs had to do the same sort of fact verification that authors did before they posted comments, but that would cut into their baseless complaining time and make their opinions dangerously well-informed.

Posted by DJCarnita on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

First off, despite this side track, I rather enjoyed the article and was very happy to see it run.

For some clarification, though, production and distribution are two very separate things, often handled by separate entities. When a producer and a distributor make a deal together, there must be agreement. Just like an author and publisher, the distributor may create requirements and the producer is welcome to reject the deal and seek another distributor or do self-distribution. That is a very different arrangement than when a distributor sets up a production division: when the producer is an employee of the distributor, the distributor owns the final product and can do what they want with it without the permission of the producer. That is the distinction Jincey seems to be making. Very few distributors follow the Cambria list in it's entirety, but it is very hard to find a distributor that allows fisting.

Secondly, few lesbians distinguish between scissoring and tribbing, however, the porn industry often uses scissoring to mean something very distinct. It is a position where two women lie down apart from each other, with heads at opposite ends, with legs wide open and wrapped around each other. It's difficult to describe, so look at this crude depiction:

o<-< >->o

It has frequently been criticized as a misinterpretation of what queer women actually do and is probably what Lily Cade is referring to when she says "That's stupid." Certainly some people do have sex in this position, but it is much more common to be face to face, with a thigh pressed into a partner's crotch, or lying missionary position and grinding. That is usually what is being reffered to when queen women talk about tribbing or scissoring.

Especially because mainstream girl on girl porn has been criticized for misunderstanding how actual lesbians have sex with scissoring as a key example, it's a sensitive subject. Jincey's clarification is meant to make it clear that what you describe as "scissoring" in her films is not the same as what Lily is referring to when she calls it stupid.

Posted by Tobi Hill-Meyer on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

Thanks Tobi for the 101.

Posted by caitlin on Feb. 09, 2012 @ 9:22 am

You're welcome!

Posted by Tobi Hill-Meyer on Feb. 09, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

and no one sees them, is it still porn?

Posted by Chromefields on Feb. 09, 2012 @ 11:50 am

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