Thursday, February 9, 2012
I love you, Sasha Grey
For those of you who don’t know…
Sasha Grey is a young woman from California who, at the tender age of 17 and a half, wrote a compelling manifesto about her beliefs regarding sex and womanhood as it related to pornography and her desire to work in the porn industry. She then mailed this letter to an agent outside LA and showed up shortly thereafter to work in the industry. She made her first movie on May 1 2006; she performed in 224 films for almost exactly 3 years and then promptly announced her retirement on Facebook. She has since started a band, had a recurring part on Entourage (which I have never seen) and posed in Playboy (which I have seen).
But let’s get back to the compelling part: She wrote about sex, sex on film, womanhood, feminism, about her likes and dislikes, her kinks, her perversions, how they related to her life and other people, what she was willing to do in the industry, what she was not willing to do, what she thought and what she felt. And I think she mentioned the word “consensual” in there somewhere. If you read her awards from her filmography, one of them reads “Orgasmic Oralist”. Now I fairly certain they made that word up (as related to fellatio) because if I haven’t mentioned it before, let me mention it now; I scored a near perfect on the SAT verbal and “oralist” in NOT in the dictionary (dick-shun-ary?). But it should be.
For you own interest I am re-posting this quote from her iMDb page:
I was born in Sacramento, CA and moved to LA when I turned 18 to pursue a career as a porn star. I grew up in North Highlands (a part of Sacramento). It is a disenfranchised, lower-to-middle class neighborhood. I never allowed myself to be a negative product of that environment. I used it as a source of inspiration to challenge myself. I began college in August of 2005, balancing school and work seven days a week. Around this time I started thinking about pornography as a career opportunity. I have a huge appetite for sex and self-exploration. I wanted to express my sexuality as a strong woman, to push my own boundaries and see which part of my psyche would take me to my next euphoric sexual experience. I wanted to do all of this in a sex positive way. Despite the controversy that surrounds this industry, I felt I could ultimately bring an enigmatic quality to it. I decided that if my instinct continued to push me toward the reality of this, and the dissatisfaction with my education continued, I would seize the opportunity on my own. I began my research that month, making my decision absolute in October 2005. On April 17th, 2006 I moved to LA, got tested at AIM and found an agent. I performed my first sex scene on May 1st, 2006 in The Fashionistas 2: Safado. Although I have come a long way since then, many people in society believe that I am a victim. I was not sexually abused. I am not on drugs. The acts I perform are always consensual. I am a woman who strongly believes in what she does - it is time that our society comes to grips with the fact that "normal" people (women especially) enjoy perverse sex. I hope to inspire people from all walks of life, and to collaborate with innovative individuals (bohemians welcome). Many people mistake this thought and believe that I desire all women to do porn and fuck like rabbits, ignoring all health risks. This is not what I preach or believe. Like any business, I take risks in my profession. Anyone considering porn as a career should be fully aware of these risks before jumping in. I am ready to take on any opportunities and challenges that face me as a woman, porn star, and artist.
Let the following be my personal love letter to Sasha Grey:
I love you because you wrote about what you thought and felt and demanded that those thoughts and those feelings be taken seriously. I love that you were the one to use porn and not the other way around. I love that you recognized that you were sexually expressive. I loved that you acknowledged that you were unfulfilled. I loved that you looked for a different path that still managed to fulfill you as a woman and as an artist. I loved that you believed in what you did, while you were doing and moved on when other opportunities presented themselves. I love you because you dropped a lucrative career for something else. I love that you were open to change. I love that you were open to risks. I love that a man was not involved in this story. I love that you are not victimized. I think are absolutely correct in what you have produced as an artist. I look forward to what you continue to produce. I think you are inspiring. I see you as a role model.
And let the following be my personal love letter to myself:
Sometimes, as I write this blog, post my photos online, connect with men, allow them to call me, text me, date me and have (versions of) sex with me, I have the sense that I am getting attention for the wrong reason; I have the impression that some are attracted because they think I am doing something wrong, as though they are titillated by a perversion. I want those people to know that they are not the kind of people I want reading my blog. You don't get to have an opinion if you refuse to first understand my reasons.
I am telling you the truth because I considered it and then decided to do it. It quite literally pours out of me. I write this blog while on the phone at work. I type without looking at my hands. I do it as fast and as hard as I can because I am compelled to do so.
Not because I think I am funny. Although it's funny, right?
Not because I am trying to get published. Although that would be cool, too.
Not because of any reason you can think of…
Because I am driven to do it. My stories only make sense to me after I have finished writing them. I desire that clarity. I sincerely hope you find something that drives you as well.
I won’t always do this. Someday I will simply retire like my Sasha did. Someday I will simply change my mind. Because it’s just. that. easy. I haven’t made a pact with the devil because I am open to sex, sex toys, sex clubs and open relationships. I simply entered into this adventure with an open mind and have gone where it led me. So did Sasha Grey. I hope you have the courage to do the same in your life.
More than that, I find the anthropology of human sex behaviour endlessly interesting. I find my place in it a position of power (gasp). I am sick to death of how misunderstood both sides are. I love men! I want to understand them more. I think men feel as trapped by traditional gender roles as women do.
I am sicker to death of Christian websites that also say they love men, and that women need to somehow limit themselves in order to be better partners to men. See “Obedient Beauty” and “To Love, Honour and Vaccuum” for Christian housewives who have trouble fucking.
I have no trouble fucking. Sasha and I have this in common, too. And I want to be clear that if the shape of womanhood is so contrasted as to only include either Sasha Grey or a Christian housewife, then I would choose Sasha Grey each and every time without a moment’s hesitation.
Sasha Grey will be a guest DJ at My Apartment this Saturday in Mississauga.
I will be the sweaty geek outside trying to get an autograph.
Posted by Elle Persephone