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Nica Noelle...MIA?
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Posted 2/4/2017 9:47 PM


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Quote: Aw, thank you so much Robert! <3 I know this thread is kinda dead, but I don't want to start a whole new one for this because it's really not that big of a deal. But I posted a new Huffington Post blo...

Welcome back Nica.

Congratulations on winning the 2017 XBIZ Award for Trans Director of the Year.

I will definitely read the article that you linked us to. Thanks.

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Posted 2/5/2017 9:48 AM


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Quote: Interesting topic... I heard about this "male gaze" when "The Handmaiden" (it's not a porn movie, but a lot of its scenes are not for all eyes) was released and some people complained about that "male...

Johnny, I can't read your tumbler post since I don't speak French, but if you would like some context about the "male gaze"--and I think this relates to Noelle's excellent response to the youtube video--it actually comes from academic film theory from the 1970s. It argues that Hollywood films are edited to synchronize the gaze of the male characters with that of the implied male audience, turning the female characters into objects (there is also a whole psychoanalytic part that need not detain us here). Actual academic film theory has moved way beyond this simplistic way of theorizing gender in film, but the concept of the "male gaze" still tends to get thrown around a lot when talking about lesbian representation in mainstream films like "The Handmaiden" (which I haven't seen).

I don't think that "the male gaze" is a useful way to talk about most lesbian porn. As i said earlier, the theory of the male gaze depends upon a link between a male character in front of the camera and the male gaze of the audience. This is why the youtube video made by Ms. Norman used the clip from the News Sensations film in which the guy is watching the two girls make out on the couch. This does indeed suggest that any female pleasure represented in the scene is for the benefit of the guy watching. But to use this particular clip (which, if I had to guess, ends up as a threesome) to represent all lesbian porn is a huge stretch. None of the other clips shown from Filly and Sweetheart Video show men watching. The vast majority of lesbian porn doesn't have a single man in the entire movie!

The trope of a guy watching hasn't been a fixture of lesbian porn since the 1990s, in large part to the efforts of forums like this. And when there is a stray scene with a guy watching (GFF's first Crime Stories movie comes to mind), then we all bitch about it. The other things that Ms Norman criticizes about lesbian porn, such as acrylic nails, fake breasts, or women who are obviously not into each other, are likewise exactly the kinds of things we complain about. The youtube video isn't a critique of all lesbian porn, it is a critique of bad lesbian porn!

I am a guy, but I consider myself a card-carrying feminist and am dismayed when I see videos like this that hearken back to the old days in which feminists were against porn. This kind of argument is antiquated, as if she were unaware of all the developments in lesbian porn, including those made by actual lesbians or bisexual women. She would be much better served to make a video talking about the kind of porn that she does like(whether that be amateur, crash pad, whatever) rather than by lumping together very different sorts of lesbian porn and saying that it is all terrible.

So thank you Noelle for your excellent piece in which you counteract these sorts of arguments.

Edit: I should also say that the sober, thoughtful analysis of people like Noelle are exactly the way to counter the kinds of arguments found in the youtube video. I made the mistake of reading some of the comments for the youtube video and found the vast majority were snarky and simplistic rejections that don't speak to the author's actual points. I respect her opinions and am glad she brought up the important issue of sexist and homophobic harassment that many lesbians face from men. I just disagree that this harassment has anything to do with people watching movies from Filly Films or Sweetheart Video. But dismissing her argument out of hand is not a good way to convince her that the field of lesbian porn is a good deal more varied and more interesting than her video suggests. Nor is it a good way to convince more lesbians (or anyone) to broaden their horizons and give more kinds of porn a try.

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Posted 2/5/2017 10:30 AM


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Deephaven wrote: "The trope of a guy watching hasn't been a fixture of lesbian porn since the 1990s, in large part to the efforts of forums like this. And when there is a stray scene with a guy watching (GFF's first Crime Stories movie comes to mind), then we all bitch about it."

It wasn't JUST that the brilliant minds at Girlfriends Films opted to include a guy in that particular video - that was no big deal in itself - but to show two young women engaging in lesbian sex in front of him just so they could get him to talk was the very heighth of STUPIDITY - and yes, we all bitched about it - because it was NOT GOOD writing!

"The youtube video isn't a critique of all lesbian porn, it is a critique of bad lesbian porn!"

There are actually people here who oppose being critical of ANY lesbian porn-videos - they are "the enablers" who allow the crappy stuff to made made over & over & over again!

"I am a guy, but I consider myself a card-carrying feminist and am dismayed when I see videos like this that hearken back to the old days in which feminists were against porn."

Some feminists clearly dislike the fact that a lot of guys have always enjoyed watching women together with other women. They are NEVER going to like men writing, watching, or directing girl/girl scenes on video, in pictorials, or in literature. There's really nothing we can do about that.

I will always remember how PLAYBOY magazine always prided itself as being liberal & feminist, with Hugh Hefner bragging about how appearing nude in his magazine actually "empowered" young women, and the editorial slant of his publication was about as pro-liberal, pro-choice, & pro-Democratic-Party as you could possibly ask for - with the possible exception of the March-1990 issue when Playboy actually put Donald Trump on the magazine's cover!

Anyway, I remember how every single time Playboy attempted to do a "Girls of the Ivy League" photo-spread, outraged feminist groups at Harvard, Yale, and practically EVERY Ivy League university would angrily show up in large numbers to protest! So much for Hugh Hefner's liberal, pro-feminist politics!

- It's been years since I last picked-up a copy of Playboy - do they still even include photos of nude women anymore?
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Posted 2/5/2017 12:33 PM
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@Deephaven: actually, maybe I should write an english version of my post, in order to explain how I came to write this (it was before the YT video which Nica answered to).
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Posted 2/5/2017 1:19 PM


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I'd be interested to read it, Johnny B.

And, Anon, I think your critique of the Lesbian Crimes Stories scene (which I also agree is terrible writing) provides a really good refutation of the youtube video's point that guys aren't interested in lesbian porn that focuses on female pleasure. In this scene, what irked you and I (and many others, if I remember correctly) was that the girls were only having sex to get the guy to talk rather than because they were attracted to each other. We didn't like the scene precisely because it wasn't about female pleasure/desire.

I think this is always been the main criticism of the "guy watching" trope: it's not so much that there is a guy sitting there, but the idea that two women would only have sex to turn a guy on is profoundly unsexy. We want the characters in a porn film to have sex because they are actually into each other. Relatedly, almost all lesbian porn fans (of whatever gender) prefer performers who at least look like they are enjoying themselves. Female pleasure and desire is exactly what everyone who watches lesbian porn is looking for! From a feminist perspective, I think this is something to be celebrated.
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Posted 2/5/2017 5:53 PM


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Good to see that Nica is still around. It's funny how so many critics of porn have no shame in spouting off about something they have a surface level understanding of at best. They refuse to engage with people actually in the industry, and when they do it's only ever with those who align with their personal views. They take advantage of the stigma that surrounds the industry to go unchallenged and let their uninformed opinions infect the public consciousness.

But, it still helped start an interesting discussion nonetheless. Some thoughts on Nica's article;

Porn is about fantasy, so the premise that it's supposed to depict real lesbian sex is wrong at the outset. It's a mistake to assume that the majority of Lesbian porn fans actually want to see "real lesbian sex." It's also very dismissive to assume that Lesbians are the authority on the kind of sex that women can enjoy together. Just because you don't personally enjoy tribbing or using strap-ons, does not mean the orgasms women are experiencing on camera during those acts are not real.

And the other elephant in the room is the implied assumption that what straight men don't enjoy about "real lesbian sex" is the sex itself. More often than not it's actually the lack of attractiveness of the participants and the low production values that they don't enjoy.

At this point for the most part, fans of lesbian porn have decided what is good lesbian porn and what is bad lesbian porn. The gender of the director isn't as relevant as it may seem. But I can an argument for a female director who actually enjoys having sex with women and is interested in lesbian sex having an advantage over a who may not be able to relate. I think the most important thing is if the one behind the camera actually cares about sex between women who are actually attracted to each other, because I don't believe even the best director can make a good Lesbian scene with a couple of straight women.
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Posted 2/5/2017 6:37 PM
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Quote: Good to see that Nica is still around. It's funny how so many critics of porn have no shame in spouting off about something they have a surface level understanding of at best. They refuse to engage ...

Excellent points. But I think whether or not the woman behind the camera is a lesbian, there is already a kind of standardization of what constitutes a good and bad mainstream lesbian porn made for men, it is market like any other with its rules. Maybe she could implement some pinches of "realistic sex" in small doses and expect the results.
I've see this only women should direct g/g porn even here. There is no factual argument to sustain it, I think people really don't believe in that, it is just included in the fantasy. The most important thing: The person behind the camera has to like g/g.

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Posted 2/10/2017 4:56 AM


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I've been occasionally following Nica on her FACEBOOK page. Interesting stuff, much of it political in nature, but she's also written a few things that make me wonder if her heart is still in it when it comes to producing adult-erotica! For example, on February 7th she actually posted the following:

"I'll tell you how to get into porn... if you tell me how to get out of it."

That does NOT sound like a woman who is currently happy with her chosen field (which, I believe, we can all agree that she is very good at!) She continued the next day with:

"One thing for anyone in the adult industry to know: if someone in a power or money position wants to come to your page and troll and degrade you, tell you that you should apply for a job washing dishes, pouring coffee, or bussing tables, smile and take it. Thank them for their input. Don't defend yourself, and don't strike back. Be a doormat."

This tells me that working in the adult video industry means that you're working alongside & for some pretty slimey people who enjoy being abusive. That's not to say that they're aren't these same kinds of people in EVERY walk of life, only that it just seems especially wrong that they're treating a talented & creative person like Nica the exact same way!

- Hopefully Ms. Noelle WON'T get out of writing/directing erotic videos, despite those apparently trying to make her life miserable!
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Posted 2/10/2017 11:45 AM


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Quote: I've been occasionally following Nica on her FACEBOOK page. Interesting stuff, much of it political in nature, but she's also written a few things that make me wonder if her heart is still in it wh...

Very telling posts, to be sure.

Other than the good folks at Girlsway, Nica is pretty much the only creative force left that seems to "get" g/g and its appeal these days.
I would be very sad to see her leave the industry for good, but I certainly wouldn't want her to linger if doing so makes her unhappy.

My honest feeling is that Nica, like most artists, enjoys the creative part of the business and would be happy continuing with that, but is frustrated by the "bean counting" side of things, as well as the attendant darkness that seems to plague everyone in the public eye (weird fans, uncooperative co-workers, hostile press).

I get it and I'm sorry she's at this point. She's got a LOT to offer and it would be a shame to lose someone of her caliber. But in the end she has to think of her mental and physical health first.

Here's hoping things turn around.

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Posted 3/11/2017 11:25 PM


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Guess what, guys? Im being given a chance by Mile High to start a new g/g studio. Brand new. The kind of g/g studio I want to do. Not porno style sex. Not just mainstream porn girls finger banging each other.Im aiming to go into productuon this summer, the caveat being I have to have enough east coast talent committed so that Im not stuck having to fly girls in to get the movies made on time, and I have to keep the budgets tight because its going to be a brand new approach in the current market & we have to make sure it will sell before we try anything fancy. I feel like the gates of hell are finally opening & Im being let out. Its been such a horrible few years professionally even though the gay studio did well, I have been very depressed & felt awfully trapped. But fingers crossed Im about to put gay porn in the rear view mirror and get back to doing what I love. If you know girls who are east coast based, please spread the word! And thanks for not forgetting about me. I hope I can make you guys happy. 💖
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