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Jiz by Any Other Name . . .

Jiz Lee, shot by Courtney Trouble for KarmaPervs.com

I agonized over the title of this piece for a little too long. I came up with about a dozen puns involving the name Jiz, but they all came out far too nasty-sounding for such a classy and upstanding media outlet as Tits and Sass. So, without further ado and no dirty puns, meet genderqueer porn star Jiz Lee.

June is a busy month for Jiz (man, this is all still sounding raunchy, isn’t it?), who is performing this weekend at OP Magazine‘s Trans March after party and Courtney Trouble’s annual pride party, Queerly Beloved, on Pride Sunday. You can get another hot load of Jiz next week, as the co-curator of This Is What I Want, an art show all about the intersection of sex and performance. The festival features a few other San Francisco sex worker superstars, like Michelle Tea, and is a part of the larger National Queer Arts Festival.

Jiz also just finished shooting (ohhh, yeah!) in Cheryl Dunye’s upcoming film, Mommy is Coming, and an engagement with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens at their Ecosexual Symposium last week. If you’ll miss the star in person, you can get some more Jiz all up in your face at the site KarmaPervs.com, described as a “philanthropic porn fundraiser,” full of hot exclusive photos all in the name of charity.

Fuck Your Feminist Porn

(Still of 1920s silent film porn by Narisa Spaulding)
(Still of 1920s silent film porn by Flickr user Narisa)

Last year, I was short on cash and struggling with full service work. For the first time in my life, I approached a porn company.

This was no ordinary porn company—they made this known every step of the way. They were “alternative” and “empowering.” They were “feminist” and made “erotica.” They were a company that was not like the others.

They were full of shit.

Here’s what working for them looked like:

They had me sign a form in which I promised that filming for them was just a hobby, not my job. It was a lie—one that was already pissing me off. They handed me a camera, took my passport for collateral, sent me home with a list of very exact specifications for what to film, and had me shoot my scene myself. Then, they had me come back to deliver the work. They complained about the amount of makeup I wore—said it didn’t fit their more “natural” style, though it was the same amount of makeup I had worn every day for the past 10 months—and handed me $200. They didn’t invite me back. They did invite back my skinnier, scar-free friend.

So feminist, right?

What Media Coverage of James Deen’s Assaults Means For Sex Workers

Stoya in 2012 at the AVN awards. (Photo by Michael Dorausch via Flickr)
Stoya in 2012 at the AVN awards. (Photo by Michael Dorausch via Flickr)

Content warning: this piece contains general discussion of rape.

I got a call from a reporter from Mother Jones the other day, her voice nervous. She was one of the many journalists who called the sex worker health clinic I work at, St. James Infirmary, looking for comments about the public sexual assault accusations made against James Deen over the past week.

She told me, “I’m learning about this world from this story, let me know if I say something wrong.” We tried in stops and starts to lay a groundwork of understanding about what Stoya’s tweets meant. It seems hard for people outside the industry to digest this story. This time around, most journalists seem to want to be survivor centered, and they want to be clear that they know a sex worker can be raped. But their understanding of the environment of porn is always one with contracts which, once signed, mean that anything can happen to you. Where all men on set are lurid in their gaze, and the sadistic domination they demonstrate is heartfelt and misogynist. It’s a world view in which porn shoots are a battle field where women try to keep as many of their boundaries up as possible.

For the survivors of James Deen whose stories are told and untold; for the sex workers whose perpetrators used the stigmatized environment of the profession to prey on their vulnerabilities; for the sex workers who have been assaulted and then continued to work, sometimes with the same person who assaulted them, because at that moment that was what they had to do to survive; this news cycle has been hell. The only thing more unrelenting than the new stories of James Deen’s violent misogyny cropping up every day is the understanding that these reports are only the tip of the iceberg, that there will be more stories of his attempts to “break women.”

There is a way in which these revelations are also exhilarating. I’ve never seen such public furor around the assaults of sex workers. It’s left everyone I know drained thinking, talking, or reading about it. Waiting to see what direction the narrative will take—will the news coverage continue to slant in favor of the survivors? What will the consequences be for Deen after the scandal of this story is dusted over by another? Will any long term systems be created to ensure worker safety, and will those be driven by performers themselves or placed on top by an outside enforcement agency?

These questions will take a long time to answer, but what is clear is the deep breath many took after Stoya’s two tweets were posted. It spread across my Twitter feed and it felt like witnessing a spell break. Arabelle Raphael said in an interview with Melissa Gira Grant that, “It was a big relief. Finally, someone had put it out there.”

I’m The Sex Worker Who Was Outed As Hugo Schwyzer’s Sexting Partner

This post was removed at the author’s request.