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The feminist pornographer

There was a time, not too long ago, when the idea of making porn for women was unthinkable. It was "completely unheard of," writes director Candida Royalle in the new anthology "The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure." She founded Femme Productions in 1984, but when she went looking for distributors for her "female-oriented" films, she was patted on the head and told, "This is a boy's club."

Then in the '90s, fresh off the so-called feminist porn wars, the genre of “couples porn” began to boom. That gave the small cadre of female directors of the time opportunities in the mainstream male-dominated industry -- and “porn for women” began to seem less of an oxymoron. The next decade brought an explosion of feminist-minded pornographers -- from trans performer Buck Angel to actress-turned-director Madison Young -- as well as the creation of the Feminist Porn Awards. Since then we've seen the growth of explicit fan fiction -- and with it, a greater cultural awareness of female desire for sexual explicitness -- which has culminated in the global "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon.

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