Saturday, August 15, 2009

Three Profiles In Sexual Courage: Shyla Stylez, Renegade Evolution, and...Elizabeth Wood?!?!?

[Yeah, it's been a while since I last posted here...and I do promise yet again that I will be posting here more often. Take that with the proverbial three grains of salt and a lemon shaker.]

There are a lot of words that we use these days for women who are upfront about their love of sex.

If we happen to be the immediate beneficiaries of their sexual generosity, we'll call them such names as: Girlfriend. Honey. Sweetheart. Baby. Darling Wife. Goddess.

If we are not, then the names get somewhat darker and more insulting: Tramp. Trollop. (Cock) Tease. Slut. Whore.

Either way, we tend to vision them as either objects of our deepest desires or figments of our worst nightmares.

What we tend not to vision them as, on the other hand, are as full human beings.

It is so easy these days to get caught up in the fantasy of the beautiful, glamorous slut goddess (or the nightmare meme of the beautiful Femme Fatale/Black Widow who mates with then kills her men for their money) and forget to see that beyond the 36DD rack, the round apple ass, the throbbing clit and the screams of orgasm (whether real or slightly simulated for show) there is an actual human being who eats, sleeps, works, and loves for a living, and who is plenty more than the sum of her lingerie or Hitachi Magic Wand or navel jewelry.

[And I'd say the same thing for the men in porn, too...they are more than the sum of their dicks. But, that's a seperate issue.]

It's even more vexing if you happen to be a woman who is not necessarily the Playboy/Vivid prototype: you are basically assumed not to even have a sexual lifestyle, or at least not to the same degree that a woman with a "perfect 10", 36-22-36 body is assumed to have just because that is the prototype that tends to inflate a guy's groin.

That's nothing against guys and girls who do get off on women with Barbie-doll like measurments (hell, most of the porn starlets I get off to are exactly like that, anyway), or men with six-pack abs and 8-inch schlongs.. But, in a culture that is both immersed in sexual imagery and still quite ignorant and in denial about sexual pleasure and sexual autonomy, it seems to be an act of political will and resistance for most women to attempt to express themselves as openly sexual beings.

You all know the risks involved: Misunderstanding men who either want them for themselves as either personal slaves and get-into-sex-club-free trophy dolls or demonize them if they are beyond their reach as whores and trollops or "teasers". Jealous women who see such "sexbots" as cosmic threats to take away their own men. Morality pushers who decry the "pornification" of America and demonize why they have to settle for "sloppy seconds" rather than the joy of "deflowering" the fresh, ripe ingenue for themselves. Radical feminists who pontificate about how such "cumdumpsters" are destroying "the sisterhood" by giving men the idea that they are freely available for sex, rather than bartering sex as a tool for security and wealth (mostly through marriage). The threat of rape, STI's, unintended pregnancy. The loss of employment if outed. The loss of reputation, the shaming and humiliation and silencing, even the loss of their children if their favored sexual outlet is revealed and discovered by the wrong person. And so on, and so forth.

And yet, despite all the odds and risks, there are women who are more than willing to go through all that crap and negotiate the minefield of societal disapproval of outward sexual assertiveness to discover themselves. For them, while the journey can be hazardous and the ride is filled with bumps and jolts...the end results and the pleasures entailed and lessons learned are more than worth the struggle.

I'm going to pay my respects to three such women. There are so many more whom I have saluted and will probably give more of this space to later on...but these three are on my mind right now, and I only have so much time to post.

Sex Heroine #1: Shyla Stylez (nee Amanda Freeland). As you can plainly see from her profile pic (from Penthouse) Shyla could be the prototypical glamour beauty...and as both a Playboy Playmant and a Penthouse Pet, she definitely fits the picture....right until the moment that she followed her clit into the world of hardcore porn and transformed herself into a bona fide slut nympho. Most of the projects she has done for various porn companies such as Brazzers, Reality Kings, Naughty America, and others video/Internet producers reflect her voracious sexual appetite as much as her inflated yet still quite lovely 36D pair of boobs.

As with the usual LA porn girl prototype, Shyla's on-screen/online persona is of a party girl who works very hard at what she does, is efficient and prompt in what (and who) she does, and generally loves being a horny, exhibitionist girl who is at peace with her profession and her life. She also seems to have a genuine mind and a generous heart about what she expects to get out of being a porn starlet; which is probably the biggest reason why her career has exploded out of sight this last year. (She is currently doing a complete overhaul of her website, which is expected to launch later this year; and she is currently on a feature dancing tour, to which readers of her blog and Twitter page can keep up to date.

What strikes me most about Shyla is that she is basically unapologetic about liking and wanting sex on her terms, and that she does feel so much at ease about her body that she is willing to show it off in so many public ways....often taking many risks in the process. One notorious clip she did with Brazzers has her going through the streets of downtown Los Angeles in a very skimpy sundress, flashing the photographer and even a few passers by along the way...culminating in an intense sex scene in the alley. It makes one wonder whether she's actually done something like that in the real world.

Heroine #2 may seem a bit more problematic at first sight, but if you happen to know Renegade Evolution as I have, you'll understand quickly why she is pretty damn high on the list.

Unlike Shyla Stylez, you won't find Ren Ev anywhere near a Brazzers or Naughty America box cover...for starters, she's 37 years old, and not neccessarily the prototypical porn starlet look. Then again, she's not even a pro starlet; she mostly does freelance porn work out of her home space near the Washington, DC area...and most of her favored work is closer to the hardest core of "hardcore gonzo" that is usually frowned upon by the more genteel classes of "feature" porn. Ren, you see, is into a much....shall we say, darker mode of sexuality than most; the rawer, more (cum) in your face, (dick) up your ass, "pound me until it hurts", "I wanna fuck you like an animal" style that reduces sex down to the rawest, most primal instincts. In short, Ren's a different kind of a slut god than Shyla (and the "god" gender is deliberate, since she is big on identifying herself with Roman emperors...hence the gloss of "God Emperor of Rome"), even if her libinal instincts are just as strong, if not possibly stronger, than most porn starlets.

Ren also has earned her sexual stripes by being a part-time paid escort who has done whoring on the side for personal pleasure and profit, and has become quite an activist for defending the humanity and profession of sex workers on her own behalf. Naturally, that combined with her particular tastes have gotten her in some hot disputes with people who don't share her vision of free sexuality. Her battles with a certain group of hostile radical antipornography/antiprostitiution feminists have become stuffs of Internet legend, and she gives back as much if not more than she has taken. Her defense of sex work and sex workers and her insistence on them being respected as human beings rather than dismissed as mindless sexbot freaks or weak damsels in distress needing rescue has earned her much accolades and many enemies as well...but she takes it all in stride and with the basic desire to level everyone with a machete and a loaded M-16 with endless aggro. (She is as big into online gaming and roleplay fantasy games as she is into sex, and she often uses her online space to riff on how female gamers are given the shaft when it comes to respect.

Still, Ren can certainly turn on the sexual fireworks like the best of 'em...and she does have that trigger finger horniness that the best of sluts thrive on. Her biggest hope for the future: bigger boobs to further trap the men. As in...FF-size.

My third and final courageous sex goddess is probably the strangest candidate of all, because she is no porn starlet or sex worker, or even a professional or amateur model. In fact, the closest that Elizabeth Wood has come to practicing sex modeling is as a volunteer for a fundraising calendar of New York City's more reknowned sex bloggers to raise money for the sex worker organization Sex Work Awareness.

And yet, Elizabeth Wood may represent in her own way the most courageous of all these women in that as a "civilian", she has done more to take risks to her career and to herself to develop herself as a sexual much intellectually an spiritually as physically.

Elizabeth is, in her day job, an assistant professor of sociology at Nassau Community College in New York; but her main passion has been social and political activism and progressive political movement building through personal transformation. Her basic approach to activism is basically reduced to a saying that I am fond of: Always set your boundaries clearly so that people will respect them..and then challenge them yourself. As one of the founders and main contributors of the blog Sex In The Public Square, she carries that approach over to her teachings and writings about sexuality, always encouraging her readers and fellow/sister contributors to push the envelope and challenge the prevailing sexual moralities and assumptions.

And she is willing to apply those principles to her own personal life as well....though not nearly as publically as professional porn starlets or activist sex workers do. She has told many stories about how she has made the effort to liberate herself sexually doing everything from skinny dipping in a public pool to dabbling into BDSM and exhibitionism as a means of personal experimentation and putting her sex-positive beliefs into practice.

None of this has come without controversy, fact, this week, a prominent antiporn/antiprostitution activist publically attempted to use Elizabeth's own history against her in the debate over proposed legislation in Rhode Island that would have banned prostitution completely in that state. (Elizabeth had signed onto a letter to the legislators opposing the legislation on principled grounds.) The response defending Elizabeth's right to free speech against such slander has been swift and overwhelming (for the sake of disclosure, I have my own defense posted at my other blog, you can find it here.)

Nevertheless, Elizabeth has remained strong about her principles of defending sexual speech and expression as well as her own right of self discovery..while focusing her efforts on the task at hand. This is especially encouraging, considering the pressures that she must face to either conform to the usual social mores or risk losing her reputation. That courage makes her almost as sexy as an activist porn starlet..but not in the usual fashion.


Like I have frequently posted before, these are only three examples of women displaying sexual courage...there are plenty others, but these three will suffice for now.