Today – March 8, 2017 – is International Women’s Day, a time when women across the globe celebrate our social, economic, cultural and political achievements, and call for gender equality. Supporting the advance of empowerment, inclusion and parity is surely a no-brainer for anyone with a conscience, male or female.
As a girl who spends her life writing, reading and watching erotica, I sometimes get asked whether being a feminist is compatible with working in the adult industry, as if the two were mutually exclusive; when in fact, I think it’s the most natural match I’ve ever encountered. In what other sphere do women freely and openly admit they love sex? That they fantasize, masturbate, chase multiple orgasms greedily? That they find erotic images and films highly arousing? Stigmatizing and slut-shaming sexually active and assertive women is still prevalent out in the real world in 2017, ridiculously old fashioned and prejudiced though it seems.
And yet, it’s a sad fact that I’ve lost female friends when I’ve revealed what I do for a living. Women judging other women for choosing to exercise their right to make their own choices about their body and their sexuality seems like a terrible double standard to me. I don’t believe I should have to be secretive about the fact that I write erotica. I’m not ashamed of it, I’m proud of it!
I find it ironic that the adult industry, often misjudged as sexist by outsiders, is actually the most level playing field I’ve experienced. There are women working at every level, from performers to stylists, writers, directors, photographers, entrepeneurs and CEOs – the only requirement to succeed is talent, and many women who start out as performers go on to enjoy very successful careers in other aspects of the industry. It’s utterly inclusive, maybe because it tends to attract open-minded, creative individuals who aren’t too interested in following other people’s rules.
As for the performers, I’ve been on shoots with brand new models, and an interesting thing happens when they step in front of the camera for the first time. As they shed their clothes, they shed their inhibitions too. They feel beautiful, sexy, confident; not just because they know they are desired, but because they fully inhabit their own sexual power.
So on International Women’s Day 2017, let’s celebrate the beautiful MetArt models who lay bare their sexuality so openly for us; the women behind the scenes who make it possible for them to do so; and the fact that we all enjoy the freedom to watch them.