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The Queer Porn Mafia: Redefining identity, sex and feminism through commodified sexuality

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This article explores the queering of identity and industry in relation to the selflabelled Queer Porn Mafia (QPM), a group of US queer and feminist porn producers and performers. Through in-depth interviews with ten key QPM colleagues, it explores the meanings of ‘queer’ and ‘feminism’ for queer adult film performers and producers. It examines ‘queer’ as both an identity and a politics in the business practices of queer porn and in the relationship between queer porn and the mainstream porn industry. It then interrogates the relationship between ‘queer’ and ‘feminism’ for queer porn performers and producers, arguing that the Queer Porn Mafia is evidence that commercial forms of resistance can be effective tools of representation, visibility and community building. The article concludes with a discussion of how the Queer Porn Mafia’s critique of heteronormative gender, sex and desire illuminates the limitations of feminism as identity and practice for those who queer gender, sex and activism. It demonstrates how the politics of queer porn challenge feminist notions of the relationship between sex and the market as well as disconcerting remnants of gender essentialism in feminist thought.
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Keywords: community building; feminism; identity; pornography; queer; resistance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: John Jay College–City University of New York 2: Columbus College of Art & Design

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture (QSMPC) is a refereed academic journal devoted to the study of representations and expressions of queerness in its various forms. International in scope and representing a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, it publishes scholarship on topics at the intersection of media/popular culture and queerness in gender/sexuality. QSMPC invites articles and artwork pertaining to queerness in media and popular culture, as well as reviews pertaining to recently released queer media artifacts.
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