Beanflicks or A Night at the Pictures

I so nearly missed this. It was a post on the Birmingham Feminists Facebook group that alerted me to it and I went along, not actually with any of the feminists but two of my best friends, who I shall call Angie and Sarah. Sarah is a long serving kinkster and swinger but had never been exposed to porn of this kind before. Angie is going through as sage of disillusionment with men accepted our invitation to go to a swing event with her, I guess as much out of curiosity as anything. But she is quite attracted to the idea of having good sex without all the emotional shit……   of which more later

I was interested to hear their views. No ice cream, no popcorn, just gin and tonic and we took our places in comfy seats at the back of the Mockingbird Cinema in Birmingham’s Custard Factory.  There were half a dozen films, their lengths ranging from two to fifteen minutes, including solo sex, couple sex, an orgy in a paddling pool and a femdom scene from Ms Tytania’s Urban Chick Supremacy Cell.  Feminist porn is not high budget and glossy but often the precisely the opposite. This is, of course, a good thing as it lends both immediacy and authenticity. And this can be uninspiring. People of my generation remember the famous edition of the punk fanzine Ripped and Torn that showed three chords and exhorted readers to “go out and form a band” Because this kind of porn is something any of us could make. You could even make a short film on your phone.

As to the content, cocks were normal size (with one exception)but, more importantly, female pleasure was foregrounded. Some had storylines to  hang the sex together, some didn’ t while the paddling pool film had a crazy plotline that I soon gave up trying to follow. But when you have a lot of people making out together and clearly enjoying it, you don’t really care.

It was all interesting, educational, funny too.  You can have a laugh as you make out. It works. But notwithstanding the heat and the effect of the gin, I found myself thinking that this didn’t quite work to get me horny. There wasn’t really anything that had ne itching to take 5 in the ladies. Then again each to her own and some of the stuff that gets me off isn’t actually intentionally pornographic at all, but rather images that trigger fantasies.  And maybe, maybe, we need to ditch the word pornography with its connotations and cultural baggage? Let’s call these just films, films that celebrate human sexuality and the human body in all their glorious, beautiful, diversity, films that also happen to make some viewers horny. Not me on this occasion but maybe if they had wrestled in lube in that paddling pool?

Would I go again? Most definitely. It was an inspiring evening and  I did get to chat to some really interesting and inspiring people.

As for my friends….well we had a lovely evening together, and plotted our campaign for our night at the swingers’ club but I had the impression they were both a bit disappointed. Sarah was unconvinced by the label “feminist” as applied to these films while Angie admitted that it was not really her bag, although the stuffiness of the cinema on a warm and humid night didn’t help. But she has overcome her reservations about swinging and is keen to go and dip her toe in the water. We are going out to play next week. I will blog about our experiences.


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