Sex Tips From Feminist Porn Stars Will Change the Way You Think About Intimacy

Sex Tips From Feminist Porn Stars Will Change the Way You Think About Intimacy

When it comes to feminism, porn occupies a particularly awkward space. The feminist porn wars of the 1970s and 1980s pitted anti-porn feminists and sex-positive feminists against each other in battles that continue — in various forms — today. 

Indeed, current sentiment seems to be split on the issue, with some continuing to argue that porn can never be feminist, promotes violence against women and that there's no salvaging the porn industry. This line of reasoning, of course, would seem to imply that the people who act in porn, by virtue of doing that, can't be feminist either. 

It is certainly true that a good portion of content created by the porn industry is directed by men, marketed for men and designed to be enjoyed by men. However, it's reductive to say that acting in porn disqualifies you from being a feminist.

Enter Belle Knox and Jiz Lee, two porn stars who believe that being a feminist and an adult actor is not mutually exclusive.

Earlier this year, Knox, a Duke University student, rose to national fame after she published two articles outing herself as the until-then unnamed porn star who had been targeted by malicious campus gossip. Soon, media outlets were clamoring for exclusive interviews with Knox, who has tried to use the newfound attention to advocate for the rights of sex workersWhile many pieces have critiqued her brand of feminism, Knox has publicly embraced the label of "feminist." 

Similarly, genderqueer porn performer Lee, who goes by gender-neutral pronouns, blew up the world of queer porn a few years ago with their natural abilities, winning multiple awards, including the "Boundary Breaker" award at the Feminist Porn Awards, and the show's Heartthrob Of the Year Award three years later.

Speaking with PolicyMic, both Knox and Lee noted that being a feminist in the bedroom does not mean you have to have less fun. The following are a few handy feminist sex tips, as provided by Knox and Lee.

1. Consent is sexy.

"Most important tip: Consent is sexy. If a girl (or guy!) is blackout drunk and you want to have sex with them, you can wait until they're sober!" Knox said. 

This rule extends to role-playing and rougher sex (a topic of heated debate in feminist circles.)

"Be sure that you have clearly laid out the ground rules beforehand," Knox said. "Create a safe word, lay out your boundaries."

But Knox isn't shy about what really turns her on. One of the sexiest sentences she's ever heard was, "I can't wait to have amazing, crazy, consensual sex with you," she told PolicyMic.


Image Credit: CrashPadSeries.com, courtesy of Jiz Lee

2. The first rule about ______ is not to make it a goal.

What goes hand in hand with clear and explicit consent? Making sure that sex doesn't become a means to an end.

"Seriously. Fill in the blank ... the best rule to go about doing it is not to make it about accomplishing the goal," Lee said. "Take the pressure off. It's OK if it doesn't happen the first time, or the 50th."

Lee explains that setting "sexual expectations" for your encounter can easily become a recipe for disaster. "There's a chance you'll stop listening to the body's cues and sexual responses, making it harder to do what you're trying to accomplish and you'll set yourself up for further disappointment," Lee noted.

Rather than make sex about getting from A to B, Lee said people should have a different mentality: "Instead, come into sex with a curiosity to try it, but without any expectations of it happening. Try it simply just to try it."


Image Credit: Jiz Lee

3. Warm up like a sexual athlete.

Like a lot of things, good sex often boils down to preparation. Since sexual activity is basically exercise, according to Lee, there are several things one can do to warm up in anticipation of the big event.

"The body's sexual response cycle is a natural series of events that varies slightly from person to person," Lee said. Sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson spent a lot of time researching the stages of sexual satisfaction. According to Lee, those stages are arousal, followed by the actual sex, which builds in intensity until what many experience as an orgasm, finally followed by recuperation. "If you'd like to have better sex, you can't skip the first step," Lee notes, adding that "For many people, sex can be painful if not fully aroused."


Image Credit: Getty

4. Don't forget your own needs.

Knox is not one to mince words when it comes to her own sexual goals. To that end, Knox recommends that women be assertive when telling their partners what they prefer or what particularly arouses them. Often, this means paying some deserved attention to an often ignored sexual organ, the clitoris. 

While Knox unabashedly embraces the power of her clit, she also notes that, "Every girl is different. Communication comes into play here."

5. Do your sex-geek homework.


Image Credit: Tumblr

"Pick up some literature, click over to a sex ed site, watch educational porn, sign up for a class at your local sex shop (makes a great date night!) and stock up on sex supplies," Lee said. (The website Slutist includes a list of feminist sites.)

And there's nothing wrong with having a little bit of "me time" — in fact, Lee strongly encourages it. 

"Pick up a mirror and discover your body, map out your fleshy bits and learn about the many different techniques that make 'doing it' so damn fun. Our bodies were literally designed for pleasure!" Lee said. "You could spend your entire life as a student of sex and still never know it all — but you'll have a fun time learning."

Lee's top three reading recommendations include the website Scarleteen, educational pornography from sites like CrashPad or Tristan Taormino, as well as the Guide to Getting It On.

"Extra credit," according to Lee, is to "Teach someone else what you've learned."


Correction: June 19, 2014

This article was originally posted to Mic's Facebook with the caption, "We have a lot to learn from these women." However, Jiz Lee, one of the people featured, identifies as a genderqueer.