Farewell, Candida Royalle - You Did Good For Orgasm Equality

I went to see Annie Sprinkle speak tonight, and it was pretty sweet. I'll be writing a blog on that soon, but I learned something there that I thought should be included in the daily blogging thing I'm doing for the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party.

Candida Royalle, a pioneering director and producer of female-centric porn, died Monday at 64 of ovarian cancer. Have yourself a good rub-off in her honor tonight because Ms. Candida Royalle was no joke. She was an OG of feminist porn, of females occupying power roles in porn, of females pushing creative choices in porn. She created space for herself and her voice in an industry that was not so interested in giving her that option, and we all owe her a debt.

Mainstream movies #DirectedByWomen is important, but for orgasm equality, porn #DirectedByWomen is maybe even more important. Porn often leads the way for depictions of sexuality in our culture, and there are not only all the roadblocks in porn that also exist in mainstream media for women directors, but there is also this other thing in which there are people (and often loud, powerful people) who don't think porn should even exist or who believe women porn directors don't help women, but actually further hurt women. Female porn directors get it from all sides, and it's just too damn bad.

Depictions of sex will always be. Like anything else, they can be harmful or kind, one-sided or inclusive, restrictive or freeing, fake or realistic. If we want this part of our media to be more kind, more inclusive, more freeing, and more realistic, we need more diversity of perspective, but unfortunately a group of people that make up close to 50% of the population is largely disenfranchised from the power roles in porn. We need more women directing and producing porn.

There is still far to go, but there are extraordinary women out there breaking new ground in this cause and proving that things can get better, women who may not have been able to get where they are today without the trailblazing of Candida Royalle.

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