Courtney Trouble's Guide To Trans Porn

 I'm not a trans woman, or a trans man. (Side note, I am not cisgender, either.) These are just my observations of what I believe is missing from the mainstream trans porn genre - and things for fans and cisgender participants to remember when watching trans porn. I am interested in the genre, and want to be an ally to trans porn performers, simply because i love my friends who happen to be trans porn performers, and I want to do what I can to support their work.

This essay is written with utmost respect for the women and men, sex workers, and heros who perform in mainstream trans porn. I am open to this writing being expanded, corrected, or edited by trans performers.

My politics behind making porn are this way, across the board - to break down stereotypes and rebuild with positivity. I recognize my privilege as a non-trans porn performer and director, and my writing reflects that.

As a genderqueer, my connection to the trans* community is deep and personal, and as a white, feminine performer who can perform as a cis-female for work, I understand my privilage in getting my voice heard. Thank you to Fleshbot for inviting me to write for them this week, and giving me an opportunity to reach people outside of my direct community.

I find it difficult to write this alone, and beg Fleshbot and other porn blogs to find trans voices to represent themselves and to counteract the amount of transphobic or misguided porn that gets released, promoted, and reviewed. My friend and porn performer and director Tobi Hill Meyer (https://twitter.com/Tobitastic) added her voice to this piece a few times, and I thank her for it.

I would love to step back and hear trans voices on this subject if others would like to comment on this essay and add their own perceptions and experiences from within the industry, and have included some feedback from trans performers within this piece. Thank you.

Anybody from within the porn industry knows that transsexual porn is really, really popular. Language like "she male," "he she," "Tranny," "guy with a pussy," and "chicks with dicks" are the main keywords that get used to find porn with trans women and trans men. This language, however, is not what most (and I say most because in real life, we all have our own desires about identity and language, right?) transsexual people like to be called, in bed or on the street.

"Mainstream 'tranny' porn is about as representative of trans women's sexuality as 'girl-on-girl' porn is representative of queer women's sexuality," as trans performer and director (and friend) Tobi Hill-Meyer reflected to me on the eve of this essay being published.

This language makes it difficult for trans folks and the people who love them to connect to the mainstream fantasy-based trans porn that's out there. There are amazing performers in the industry, incredible sex workers and porn stars that make the genre  (Mandy Mitchell and Michelle Austin are two of my personal favorites) - but the way this porn is talked about, marketed, and treated in general - makes it hard for real porn fans - and trans people - to connect with.

First of all, it's completely fantasy based. Women who take estrogren and testosterone-blockers and have penises (though most women do not call anything on their body a penis) often cannot maintain erections or ejaculate, unlike what you see in mainstream trans porn. Being unable to ejaculate is a dealbreaker, as Tobi has told me about her time spent pursuing a career in mainstream trans porn - "I never liked working within the mainstream 'tranny' porn model, but I discovered that even more so, that model didn't like working with trans women like me."

And also, while you may love this kind of porn, for good reason, it's hot sometimes - language like "shemale" and "Tranny" are incredibly disrespectful to use without knowing someone - so don't assume that trans people you meet in real life - or in a porn scene, like to have these terms used to describe them.

What you see in most mainstream porn is a fantasy world, and much of it (including the language) was not created by the performers themselves, but cisgender directors and producers who want to sell this content to you at whatever cost to the dignity of the performers. It's so pervasive that it's hard for the performers who release their own porn to not use this language - because in order to reach the fans of trans porn, they have to use the language that comes with the genre, whether they like it or not. Tobi adds, "Even releasing independent work that I directed, I've had to work hard to make sure it doesn't get labeled 'shemale.'  I'd be horrified to have my cast subjected to that and some of them work specifically with me because they know that as much as it's in my power I won't let that happen."

With trans men, it's much more subtle. There are no mainstream FTM porn stars. Every single one of them is making all of their own work, or working within indie, small-budget porn operations. I'm curious to see how this genre grows, since it seems to be the only porn niche that has been largely created by the stars themselves, including the marketing language that's being used, the imagery that gets released, and the information, be it true or misleading, that's being attached to this porn.

I would love to continue to see respectful marketing and imagery as trans porn starring men gets more and more popular, and mainstream. I think that's why there's so much attention being given to trans men in queer porn right now, it simply never existed in any form, and now it does, it's new and exciting, and it pretty much belongs to trans men and allies. Building a foundation of a porn genre before formulaic profit-driven producers and larger companies get involved is RARE if not non-existent.

How do we keep it ethical and hot? Advice: don't call them "men with pussies," call them men, and let them tell you what they like their stuff to be called). Don't assume that they all like to get penetrated - many trans men don't enjoy getting fucked. Though some do.

In general, as a fan: keep an open mind, and support projects that allow performers to have their own sexual identities, genders, and body politics. Any project where a performer gets a chance to say who they are is probably a good one.

When speaking about trans people, it's important to not reduce them to their physical transformations or medical histories. We don't sit around talking about Jesse Jane's boob job as though it's some incredibly interesting, wild thing for her to do - why would we do that about anyone else?

It's important to remember that trans people have just as varying sexual identities as cisgendered people as well - not all trans women like men - some are lesbians. Some trans men are gay. Same goes with physical appearance - not all trans women are super feminine, some are more butch! And there are many femme and/or dandy trans men - they aren't all bodybuilding, hyper-masculine cowboys.

There is a lot of information about all of this out there in the world - I am reading "Whipping GIrl" by Julia Serano right now, and she has an entire chapter devoted to why trans women have been fetishised as hyper-feminine sexual objects and how media in general showcases trans bodies... it's a good read for anyone looking for more depth to this discussion.

Here is a list of some alternative trans porn scenes and projects that i really love, and recommend to anyone looking for non-mainstream trans porn, or perhaps projects that use ethical marketing practises and respectful language, and offer a more realistic version of transsexual sexuality.   If you have more scenes and projects to add, please leave them in the comments - I would love to see an entire collection of awesome trans porn showcased here on Fleshbot!!

My guidelines for choosing this list were broad: First, no cisgender directors use the word "tranny" or similar words to market the scene or the project. I have made a few exceptions for instances where 2 trans porn stars have the words on their own sites. Second, there's no mention of surgery, or hierarchy in transitioning or "passing" (looking like what we assume the cisgender version of that gender might look like). And third, it authentically depicts the desire and identity of the performers.

·  TUMBLR

I think that Tumblr is perhaps the best place to find really awesome trans porn. Of course, there aren't many options to financially support the people making it, it's a good place to explore. (last time i did the search, it seemed to be mostly trans men that came up, but this shifts from week to week. keep searching. and sharing.) ·  Doing It Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project - director Tobi Hill-Meyer

· Ftmfucker.com - Director James Darling

· Emma and Trixi (queerporn.tv)

· Maya Mayhem and Tobi Hill-Meyer (queerporn.tv)

· Drew Deveaux and Nic Switch (queerporn.tv)

· The Trans tag on IndiePornRevolution

· The "trans" search results for Crash Pad Series (also included, a lot of great blog posts and behind the scenes footage)

· Michelle Austin - BBW TS Porn Star

· Mandy Mitchell (while she makes "mainstream" porn I still feel like she does whatever the hell she wants and looks fantastic doing it. I love her kinky lesbian anal fuckfests!!!)

· Trans Romantic by Nica Noelle - a more mainstream approach, and heterosexual couplings, I'm interested and excited to see where this goes, and those looking for less-queer representations of trans porn will enjoy.

· Billy Castro's Naughty Squirters - A brand new film, and Billy's directorial debut, where he is cast with four major porn stars - each of which get fucked senseless by the sexiest ftm porn star eveerrrr!

· Trans Entities  by Morty Diamond - an older film with a lot of love, and papi coxxx's first porn film

· Queer Porn Tube - More and more folks are posting their home-made sex tapes and favorite indie porn clips on QPT, including trans folks.

Please feel free to add more links to the comments, to your own porn, or porn you love!!

· Photos of Maya Mayhem, Power Jones, Puck Goodfellow, and Drew Deveaux, courtesy of Courtney Trouble (queerporn.tv and indiepornrevolution.com)

Tagged in: essay, courtney trouble week, mtf, transsexuals, ftm, top

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