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  • Clarke Rose.

PORN, CONCUBINES AND TWERK CLASS: A SEARCH FOR BODILY FREEDOM.


Cleopatra, a renowned and well-known seductress


"Women feeling sexually alive in their bodies is the epitome of communion with life force with God. Any person, institution or teaching that attempts to strip you of that connection is also attempting to strip you of your visceral connection to your spirit, and when you aren't connected to your spirit, you die emotionally and then physically. We came into this life to be alive, to be vibrant, to feel, to be surged with the power of pleasure, don't allow anyone or anything to disrupt that connection between you and God."

-Rashida KhanBey Miller


*Note, this whole piece was written pre COVID madness, back in the beginning of March here in Australia. We went into lockdown end of March.

A couple weeks ago, I almost made some pornography. Why, you might ask? Wasn't your entire senior thesis on the negative effects of the porn industry?? Yes, yes it was, the mainstream, free, unethical world of Pornhub, that is. The light at the end of the dark misogynist sex porn tunnel was however, indie porn, indie porn artists and erotica. I feel that a lot of freedom and good quality sex education can come from these avenues when compared to popular internet pornography. In fact, for my thesis I conducted a study, called "Porn and Pasta" where a group of women came over and we watched mainstream porn, and then indie porn while eating pasta. I gave definitions, asked questions and held discussions; The main takeaway was this: indie porn is sexually freeing, and it made us all hot and horny.

Take this quote from Becoming Orgasmic, "All pornography is about sex. A portion of pornography (like most other fiction) is also abut human degradation, hostility toward women, and destructiveness and humiliation. You may want to avoid these materials, as they will inevitably support any negative feelings you may have about yourself as a sexual person... There are erotic materials that are sexy without being violent, hostile or degrading women."

One of these erotic avenues that I found was a little company off Brunswick Street, here in Melbourne, called Feck. I heard about them after work one night when some other waitresses' and I were having our knockoff drinks at the bar. I had been feeling so restricted and sexually frustrated; Not in my relationship per se, more so in my life in general. One of my friends told me I should work with Feck, some girls she knew made porn with them and had lovely experiences, and made $500.


Around this same time I had a dream one night that I was a concubine without ever actively choosing to be, I just kind of found out I was. And at first I was really embarrassed to be walking about nearly naked and as a sex symbol, but then another concubine-esque girl came up to me and said, "Why are you upset? We're free" and then it freaking CLICKED, and I just embraced it and felt truly sexually uninhibited. I felt happy. I was allowed to be myself and be sexy and naked and the whole thing made me feel so horny, wet and wild.

Valeria Messalina - known for her 25 affairs and insatiable sexual appetite. Of course, she was killed for it.

I awoke to the opposite- to pulling my skirt down on the bus to avoid pervy looks, to holding my keys in my hand when I walk home at night and to always feeling like my sexuality/just who I am in general is too much for those around me.

I wanted to work with Feck because they are a mostly women run indie porn company and it honestly seemed like it would be a fulfilling and sexy experience. So I made an appointment and I went, much to my boyfriend's dismay... I entered and it was only women working there from what I could see. They asked me to take a seat. In front of me was a photo album full of naked women with notes to Feck about how much fun they had getting naked for them.

A tall woman with red hot hair and a mini skirt came and led me into her office. She was a kind of modern looking Lilith-like porn consultant and an instant girl crush. She told me that Feck runs two projects:

1. I Shot Myself- Where they give you a camera and you go home and take photos of yourself however you like. They said you can (and should) get as creative as you want. She showed me an example of a curvy brunette German girl who had done it and the photos were sensual and stunning and also somewhat overwhelming.

2. Beautiful Agony- A project where they give you a camera and a tripod and you film your face (just your face, no nudity) while you masturbate and orgasm.

Both projects were paid and really on your own terms. Her office was incredible. It was covered wall to wall with photos of naked women, one of which really stood out to me, a framed photo of a woman on a farm. The sky was cloudy and she sat comfortably spread-eagled in between two hay bales. Behind her sheep were grazing peacefully.

I asked all my questions:

Who exactly is your audience?

What if the photos leak to mainstream sites?

Do women ever regret it?

Is the company really woman-run?

And all the answers comforted me except for one, audience- mostly older men in the USA. She handed me a disclaimer and I told them I was really excited but I needed time to think about it.

Lolita (1997) - A book, and film about a girl who was curious about her sexual power, and ultimately punished for it.

I really did think about it. For three weeks. And eventually, this was my response:

Upon MUCH reflection I will not be participating. 80% of me really wants to. But here's why the 20% is making me say no: as much as I want to work with you guys and also allow myself a space to feel sexy and have fun with my body, it's the audience that gets me. These older men don't really deserve to see me naked, even if I enjoy the process. I wish that these same sexual outlets existed for older women sitting at home who need to get off too. It's kind of a complicated answer I just want you to know I really thought through my answer. That being said, I really admire Feck as a porn company and think what you all do is the best of the best and if there was anyone I would get naked for, it would probably be you. I'm pretty bummed to not be doing it and maybe one day I'll feel differently.

So that's what it came down to for me. I knew the experience would be fun, but I also knew that it would be mostly older men looking at my pussy and that just rubbed me the wrong way. But don't get me wrong - I really wanted to do it and saying no was difficult. I got a long email back saying that the men do deserve to see these women naked because they've paid and that they have women viewers too. And I respected that answer a lot, it's true, at least these men are paying for ethical porn and not just scrolling the internet for objectifying free stuff. I wish I wasn't an over-thinker and could have done it. But alas- I am not the concubine I am in my dreams and Pierre is the only current viewer of my porn. (Also, to be deeply honest, Pierre was a big reason why I didn't go through with it. He was very upset at the thought of it, and this weighed heavy on both of us for many reasons).


I think a lot of women jump into porn or stripping without acknowledgement of the many risk factors; Sex workers work hard, and are not always treated fairly, and they deserve way more respect and protection. It's not a one time thing for them, it's their job.

All this to be said I was still feeling frustrated, still admiring from afar women who do have outlets to free their inner concubine. How I often long for that kind of bodily experience! To just be unapologetically sexual! And safe while doing it!

Eve.

And then I found a twerk class. I was recovering from the stomach flu and it was pouring rain but I got my ass dressed and headed to Aussie Twerk. Within five minutes we were on the floor grinding our booties. Women from all different walks of life around me. We were in all these sexual positions just looking at one another smiling and laughing, fucking free. I felt safe and sexual, a rare experience for me outside of my relationship.

I spend so much of my day trying to tone down my sensual energy in order to not bring unwanted attention to me and in that twerk class I just got to let go.

Side note: twerking is fucking hard! It's also a style of dance that suits women with booties and jiggle. There aren't many spaces that appreciate this body type, especially for white women. I felt sexy and liberated simultaneously. I included the quote at the beginning because I think as women, being connected (not apologetic/not shy/ not out of touch/ not hateful) with our bodies is our ultimate power.

Knowing our bodies, loving our bodies, touching our bodies, saying FUCK YOU to people who try to control our bodies is our connection to God. I use God in a broad sense here, whatever that means to you.

Women are holy, sacred, seductresses’, CEO’s, concubines, strippers, mothers, waitresses, mistresses, bosses, wives, doctors, nannies, porn stars and everything else.

Our bodies produce LIFE ITSELF, on top of pleasure and erotica simply through our being.

Our bodies lie in Le Louvre. We’ve been painted, tainted, hated, raped, celebrated.

Used, abused, objectified, sanctified, sacrificed, all-hailed.

We’ve been hung, strung, starved, and dumped.

And we’ve never been defeated.

Our bodies are all fuckin powerful.

So go and give your body a love letter; Whether you write one, have a one hour self-pleasuring session, take a hot bath or sign up for a twerk class, allow your body some time for pure unapologetic and uninterrupted existence, you deserve it.


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