Flashback: My Virgin Voyage to the Feminist Porn Awards

My first Feminist Porn Awards was also the first time I traveled outside the USA by myself. (There's a hundred good things doing porn has brought to me, and travel (or at least getting over my fear of travel) is one of them.) 

I more than a bit nervous about the trip. As I shuffled up to Customs with my newly acquired passport, I could feel my throat tightening and my mouth getting dry. The man at the Customs resembled an interrogation officer. He beckoned me to approach his booth. 

Raising an eyebrow to address me: "This is your first time traveling to Canada... what brings you out here?" 

The answer of course was porn, but could I just simply say that? 

I stammered. 

Should I tell him about the Feminist Porn Awards and about my previous wins, and the projects I was nominated for? Would he declare it an oxymoron and grill me on the concepts of "feminist" "porn"? It's legal to make porn in Canada, however I had some DVDs in my carry-on and it suddenly occurred to me that having materials on my person might not be as legit. Would he search my bag? Would he go through the images on my phone? It's technically a computer, etc.... *gulp* I hadn't considered this part of the trip. 

"I'm staying with a friend." I kinda-sorta fibbed. 

The raised eyebrows shot up higher. "How do you know this friend?" In the back of my head I heard a little voice chirping "porn, porn, porn, porn, porn..." Ignoring it, I blurted: "A friend I met online, through the internet." 

D'oh! Why did I say THAT? The Customs Officer adjusted his position on his chair, leaning up over the booth at my virgin passport and cleared his throat. 

"So you're traveling into another country for the first time to stay with a 'friend' whom you've never met before?" I couldn't tell if his domineering stance was skepticism or concern for my safety. Of course I could handle my own traveling decisions, why didn't he just stamp me and let me through?... now I was digging a hole. "I've been corresponding with her for a long time, I am sure it will be fine. 

"Are you staying with this friend?" He relaxed a bit, picking up the stamping implement in one hand. 

"No, at a hotel." I eased a bit, too. 

"Well... okay." And with that the stamp came down, the first of many imprints on my passport. 

I feel silly about this, even today. But how was I to know? I thought I was playing it safe... Now I've grown to be more secure in my travels. Coming in through Customs yet again, I placed my travel documents confidently on the counter and responded, with a smile, "I'm here for the Feminist Porn Awards!" 

My Customs Officer gave the slightest curl of lip, and she asked, "Is that here in Toronto?" 

"Yes", I replied. "It's an annual event hosted by a sex toy store called Good For Her." 

"Nice", she said, with a firm press of the stamp. "Enjoy!" 

I will. 

[At top: photo by N. Maxwell Lander; Blindfold Project, Jiz Lee's Karma Pervs]

[This post is a part of Fleshbot's Jiz Lee Week.]

Tagged in: canada, jiz lee week, feminist porn awards, jiz lee

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