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Blog by Arushi

So we’ve been a little quiet on the blog front but that’s because the blog site was not functioning for a few months and we’ve finally been able to sort it all out! The blog is back up and running and then we realised that the last blog was about our event in Goa.

Well guess what – this blog is about another event in Goa! Anne was holidaying in Goa and when Arushi and Anne got together we decided to rock the Goa scene a little and found a third partner in pleasure to do so – Q, the filmmaker. Opening the eveningWe had a fantastic evening discussing cinema erotica, access to sexual information, the politics around sexuality and taboos, porn, and how it all relates to good, safe sex.

Q talked about his journey from being a teenage porn film watcher to a grown up cinema erotica maker. Q Growing up in India meant a distinct lack of access to any kind of information on sex, pleasure, desire, or spaces for exploration. That’s one reason that Q began to make his own sexy films that push boundaries and hold up a mirror to society on sexuality. Gandu, is in an indie ilm, that has tantalised 4 million people to download it…

The Pleasure Project’s work, of course, aims to counter this paucity of information and of positive reinforcements around sexuality. Anne spoke about our work and how we try and counter all the negativity around sex, sexual acts, hierarchies of sexual acts and identities, and the

Anne quoting from 'Sex and the Citadel'political power-play around pleasure. One of our motivations for bringing together the public health world and the pleasure world stems from Reich’s comment on the sexual misery of the masses.

Our audience was riveted and they stayed to watch snippets of the porn films that The Pleasure Project has done condom consultancies for. Our quiz prize winner was able to come up with the maximum number of ‘signs of sexual arousal among women and men’!  Nupur wins the prize!A super sexy evening with the super sexy Goa crowd!Full house!

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We got some great coverage in Man’s World Magazine  in India. Read is here and see if you can spot a mention of your fantasy (or pick up a new one).

The link to The Pleasure Project in a Mansworld

And then read the unedited version here at Manavi’s blog where she talks about attending our Delhi fantasy evening and me rambling on about  women, guilt and pleasure, group lust fests without the sex and access to porn in India.

Never a dull moment at The Pleasure Project.

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Recently a number of articles have been published about more porn performers becoming HIV positive in the US. Each time it stimulates debate about condoms in porn becoming compulsory in California.

This article on the American blog The Daily Beast makes some interesting reflections. The industry has changed from the old days of a small group of performers who all knew each other and made films in California. Now people willing to travel to work – and get paid much less to work outside of America.

One performer says she is now much less likely to know the others who she works with until she meets them on set. Now we all know that knowing someone does not mean that they are HIV negative, but it does mean a smaller group of less people having sex with each other, and maybe more joint discussions and group loyalty to being safe.

The article also highlights that new technologies mean a wider less regulated labor force.

Means that many more people in lower income countries are performing for people in higher income countries. A point also made in this article recently in The UK Guardian byJill Filipovic.

So are we hearing that a globalization of the porn industry makes a more unsafe porn industry – and one in which compulsory condom use is still a distant dream ?

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A UK  hospital has been exposed for renting out wards to make extra cash – by shooting a porn film in a hospital ward – lets hope is was safer sex….. it seems no-one is asking THAT question in the Houses of Parliament.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/10518917.stm

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Berlin Porn FestivalChicks with Guts” was a discussion about women making films in a male dominated industry. There was a great range of speakers including  Anna Brownfield, Ovidie and Julia Simone.

I asked a question about making safer sex within sex films and there was an interesting range of answers. Points of view ranged from those that said it  was never a question and 100% of their films are safer sex… to those who agreed safer sex is important, but talked about it in terms of  the actors’ and actresses’ safety and considered regular testing to be enough. I felt that the discussion could have gone further to talk about the skills needed to make your film sexy and safe, how to portray safer sex  to your audience and how condom use is viewed by commercial distributors and the audience. Anna Brownfield gave a great answer – she sees safer sex practices on set as non-negotiable and believes that it’s not good enough just to show the condom during sex, but scenes can make the preparation for safer sex hot by using visuals and the twang of the latex to turn the audience on.

Lets hope next year we can have more discussion of the best ways to use porn to promote sexy safer sex!

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Betty_PageI’ve come to the 4th Berlin Porn Festival to talk about safer sex and learn more about the porn industry.

One major lesson I have learnt is that air sex is a much under-rated method of safer sex. Last night I attended the festival party – I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was not exactly it – however the highlight of the evening for me was the “air sex” competition. Basically, it’s like air guitar but with sex. Air sex allows you to totally use your imagination, act out fantasies and be an exhibitionist – with all your clothes on and with an appreciative audience watching.

The outright winner for me, and luckily for the jury also, was a man billed as Long John Silver (the jury was ably led by Courtney Trouble who always makes safer sex films, and who is more than qualified to judge the quality of the air sex). When he got on stage I did not expect much – frankly he looked kinda geeky and smartly dressed in contrast to the other contenders. But he stunned us as he gyrated to Johny Cash.

He was amazing and had the audience in the palm of his hand. The only way to have made it safer was if he had put on an imaginary condom before indulging in his extensive air sex performance. Air sex is a whole new range of safer sex possibilities I had never considered before… but will certainly consider again!

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