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    Clone-A-Willy Visits Berlin's Porn Film Festival - 2017

    Clone-A-Willy Visits Berlin's Porn Film Festival - 2017

    For the last twelve years, Berlin becomes a haven for both adult filmmakers and those who are ready to consume it for one full week. “Germany’s most unusual film festival” is indeed, the Porn Film Festival. The festival hosted around 150 screenings (to view the whole catalog, go here), workshops, lectures, panels, performances, and exhibitions. We ran around as much as physically possible and attended the eye-opening “DIY Digital Gender Workshop” with TECNOLOGÍAS MASTURBATORIAS.


    The idea behind this film festival is to question and ultimately, abandon conventional ideas of morality, sexuality, gender norms, and shame. The festival allows “anything and everything that offers pleasure”. This year’s short film competition, a PFF tradition, was judged by Ingo Cando (behind the Queer multi-layered Wotever World, Queer Art & Culture and Wotever DIY Film Festival), John Badalu (one of the founders of the controversial Q! Film Festival in Indonesia, Festival Delegate and Programmer for Berlinale, Shanghai International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and QCinema Film Festival) and Yavuz Kurtulmus (son of Turkish/ Macedonian immigrants to Austria, founded MiGaY, started TRANSITION Queer Minorities Film Festival Vienna).


    Twenty-five feature films in the festival were competing for best feature, chosen by an international jury including: Frédéric Jaeger (chief editor of magazine critic.de, writer for Berliner Zeitung, Spiegel Online, taz, Der Freitag, Die Presse, Kolik, chairman of the board of the German Film Critics’ Association), Jenni Zylka (writes for daily newspapers and magazines, works as a radio host, member of the Berlinale screening committee, moderates for other film festivals), and Petra dos Santos (designs leather fetish accessories).

    Lina Bembe. Photo: Owen Gray

    This year’s performers in focus were Bishop Black (a British performer with a background in movement and performance art who started working within the porn industry 9 years ago and involved within the queer feminist porn scene) and Lina Bembe (a Mexican performer and model based in Berlin with experience in the  European alt-porn scene, ranging from feminist amateur to queer post-porn narratives and occasionally engages in non-explicit films about feminism and sexuality).

    Bishop Black. Photo: Owen Gray

    Our favorites:


    GIRLS PLEASURE TRIP PORN SHORTS

    Two groups, two trips and a whole lotta lust. Locations include abandoned houses and experiences are not limited to, learning how to roll the dice. These shorts were fun-spirited and ideal to watch in a public setting.


    THE FEMINISTING OF TENTACLE PORN - LO-FI CHERRY

    DIY porn filmmaker Lo-Fi Cherry features female bodied tentacle monsters. Lo-Fi Cherry’s films ask questions like, which orgasms lead to something physical? This is future porn, where the masculine is strange and the feminine is a sexual predator.


    YO EXHIBICIONISTA - JORDI SOLER

    Spanish dancer and performer Jordi Soler screens his playful and amatuer debut for gay sex and gay porn with “Yo Exhibicionista”, the first film in a planned trilogy.


    Plan your next year at their official website.

    Creating Your Own Traditions With Chosen Family

    Creating Your Own Traditions With Chosen Family

    Winter holiday season has long been a difficult time of year for many LGBTQ folks, people who aren’t close to or don’t have a family, or anyone whose families aren’t accepting of them for whatever reason. Closed-minded, disapproving, and plain-old ignorant relatives can be enough to make you want to stay home, even if you do have family to visit. For some, it’s just more fun, less stressful and easier than traveling. Younger adults in America have become increasingly less religious, many are dispersed from their families and less interested in celebrating the problematic history of holidays like Thanksgiving. As we build lives for ourselves outside of the traditions of our parents, we have to gather community through the relationships we’ve chosen, in the places we live, with traditions we create. Whether it’s Friendsgiving, Queermas, Festivus, we still love gathering to cook and share food, joy, and time together.


    My house has been a weekly gathering space for my queer and chosen family every Sunday for years now. So, naturally I love to host holiday feasts for these cherished friends. Here are some of their stories.


    “I never liked Thanksgiving until I started going to yours. Holiday meals were a mandatory family event growing up. You had to sit at the table, you had to listen to adults discuss ‘important issues,’ you had to eat your string beans. I was totally unprepared that becoming an adult means I’ve found a chosen family. I want to sit at the table with them, and it’s one of the only times of the year I enjoy discussing important cultural issues.” -Jeff S.


    “I go to a cabin in Maine with my second mom/unrelated aunt for Thanksgiving every year. Five years strong.” - Kate H.


    “I try to have close, mostly queer, people who don't have blood family near them (be they estranged or no). We wear onesies and play games.” -Brenna K.


    “I did friend holidays even when I lived in the same town as my mom. I used to do Christmas eve with a bunch of my gay friends at their house. They would host every year. It was so awesome and warm and welcoming at their house. Then the next day at my mom’s it never quite had that family feeling to me because it was just the two of us. Once I’d had that experience I started seeking out the same thing when I moved to Oregon. It was just a bunch of us snowboarders on Mt. Hood that I hosted at my place. It was huge, like 30 crusty snowboard folks. But it turned out that a lot of us could make really great food. Then we started mixing holidays… Thankentines Day, Easter Giving or Zombie Easter. We would mess with stuff because we thought it was funny.” -Wendi A.


    Do you have an untraditional holiday celebration? Share yours with us in the comments!

    Written by Erica Meryl Thomas

     

    ~~ Get your besties the gifts that keep on giving with 20% off our entire site with promo CYBERWEEKEND ~~

    *ends November 28th!

    Cuddle Up to Samantha Hess

    Cuddle Up to Samantha Hess

    Samantha Hess, owner and founder of Cuddle Up to Me in the forest-themed cuddle room.


    I recently met up with the ever-delightful Samantha Hess, founder of the Portland-based Cuddle Up to Me, to talk with her about touch, healing, and what she calls “massage for the mind.” She invited me to to visit her studio space in NE Portland, and showed me around five cozy, themed rooms and the group room.


    “I have the worst business model,” she joked, all smiles. “My goal is to get people to a healthy place, the place they want to be, so they don’t need me anymore.” She says that for many people who come to her, this is their first experience with healthy platonic touch. “The vulnerability this creates is what I’m really interested in,” she says.


    Tell me more about your clients… how are they finding you?

    We definitely don’t have any trouble getting clients! We’ve had a lot of great press since we’ve opened. There are so many people who need touch for all kinds of reasons. There are people who come seeking healing around sexuality and it’s possible for this to help, but ultimately that’s not what we do.


    It seems like your work is kind of like therapy.

    Definitely. I see my work as creating a safe foundation for people to grow their worlds through touch. I help people understand how to be safe, and how to access consent and what language to use. It’s a form of self care for some people.


    That makes so much sense. Just like people go for massage.

    But it’s so different than massage! It’s really different with each cuddler and they come to each of us for different experiences. Some want to fall asleep together. Clients who come to see me actually do a lot of talking. It’s like massage for the mind!


    Your business has a lot to do with learning healthy consent and boundaries. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share about the recent rise of the #metoo on social media? Have you encountered anyone coming in for healing these kinds of traumatic experiences?

    Well, I wrote a blog sharing my own experience, which I think wasn’t even that bad compared to some others’. People do come to me with stories like this. My approach isn’t centered around fixing it. With these clients, we often start our work without us touching at all. We work over many sessions to get to a point where they feel safe with touch.


    How long are most of your clients seeing you?

    It’s a baseline average of 40 hours for most people to access that emotional healing.


    How does someone become a cuddler?

    I put all my employees through a 40 hour training and certification program that covers everything from cuddle positions to consent. And I send every cuddler I hire to Cuddle Sanctuary in LA for additional training.


    How do you feel about other businesses like yours?

    Several other cuddling businesses have opened since I started. I mean, I wish them well as long as they are operating in a way that’s safe for people. But for me, this this is my life’s work. No one else can do it exactly like me.


    For more info visit cuddleuptome.com.

     

    Written and photographed by Erica Meryl Thomas

    Clone-a-Willy Crafts at She Bop

    Clone-a-Willy Crafts at She Bop

    Everyone loves a good Halloween craft! This year we teamed up with She Bop for a for a super fun and sex-positive product demo. She Bop is local favorite offering Portlanders a bright, fun, and informative sex toy shop with products and events for “people of all genders, sexual orientations and social backgrounds.”

    Our very own Todd (who you may recognize from our handy how-to video) was the evening’s emcee for a dozen brave strangers. Couples, friends, and solo people alike got a little dirty and had a lot of fun, at an informative product demo live in the store. Using our fingers, of course!

    There were some shy giggles as everyone entered, that eventually turned to playful laughter, with the help of a little happy hour PBR magic. Strangers joked and smiled across the tables as we waited for the molds to set, fingers stuck in place.

    The finished products were a set of body-safe and semi-spooky silicone fingers for everyone to play with.

    A couple of lucky winners were even selected to take home full Clone-a-Willy and Clone-a-Pussy kits to try out the real deal!

     

    SIGN UP FOR FUTURE SHE BOP EVENTS HERE!

    written + photographed by Erica Meryl Thomas

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    Interview with Dustin Hollywood,
    founder of NAKID Magazine

    Interview with Dustin Hollywood, <br> founder of NAKID Magazine

    Interview with Dustin Hollywood, founder of NAKID Magazine

    NAKID magazine is an international brand publication that focuses on sex, culture, music and art. We chatted with the founder, Dustin Hollywood on the the history, his intentions with the platform and what’s been going on up until now.


    What is the earliest memory of you conceptualizing NAKID Magazine?

    Wow, good question... haha, I don’t know if I can put it into one memory but rather an overall experience that pushed me into it. Late Summer of 2014 I was shooting (I used to be a DJ/music photographer) on tour and just came to the realization that I wanted something more, something of my own – that coupled with the fact I didn’t want to be someone else’s employee was motivation enough, haha. I actually had no idea what I was doing when I first started, I learned everything as I went, now here we are three years later – it’s amazing what will/determination, inspiration and hard work can do.


    Credit: Charis Kirchheimer & Dustin Hollywood


    What is the history of NAKID
    Magazine?

    I know how hard it is creating something from nothing and also trying to get yourself out there, I wanted to make something that was showcasing content I thought was amazing from artists around the world I felt were amazing, many of which don’t get the exposure they should considering how badass their work is. That was always something that bothered me, how someone with so little talent can overshadow on social media those with immense talent all because of our social behavior and technology. Being an artist is hard, and when you have avenues to get your work not only seen by thousands or millions but are also having your work seen by industry scouts and brands that look to publications like ours for new talent and inspiration, that’s truly amazing for someone just trying to make it in this game. When I started NAKID it was only me, now we have contributors all around the world and a solid staff of creatives that help me push each other to do more and think outside the box. It’s really humbling and crazy to think about what we have been able to do in just the 3 years we’ve existed.

    How do you stay intentional with the content you share?

    I’ve been creative all my life and I do a lot of different artistic mediums, even within NAKID itself.. I don’t just run the magazine I also creatively contribute heavily. Everything from artistic direction & marketing content design to print design layout and photography and of course running the magazine as Editor-In-Chief and Founder. We meticulously plan, and design our content around not just what our readers love such as our daily exclusive editorials or our inspiration feeds on social media but we also curate and create collaborations with other brands such as TYFS/Red Bull/Tito’s Vodka and our new Bi-Monthly party in Austin, TX starting 8.25.17 or our Mini-Issue collaboration with Tax Collection, our clothing collaboration with Skim Milk, or our partnership with the creative/artist app OpenCall - diversifying what we offer and what the company can do to provide new avenues of content for the future but also helping the artists we feature and support have new opportunities for themselves and their work is what we are all about. “Content is king.” Is such a true statement, and I think NAKID is a place where we’ve built a reputation for having amazing content, style & aesthetic.


    Photo credit: Dustin Hollywood

    What community do you believe you've built because of the magazine?  

    This is a hard question, mostly because Charis and I travel everywhere all the time for the magazine and it seems everywhere we go people know NAKID now, it’s actually difficult to find someone who hasn’t haha, we try sometimes. So I don’t know if it is a community so much as it is notoriety that we have created. For a brand to do what we’ve done numbers-wise (between 1.1 and 2 million content views daily) it is truly special, so I think although we may not have created a so-called ‘community’ of NAKID readers, we have created an underground movement. We want to help artists and smaller brands, we want to show them that social media apps and their censorship can’t define them as artists. My hope is to one day help to push our partner app OpenCall into being an alternative to Instagram for artists, mainly due to favoritism and unchecked censorship within Facebook and Instagram’s business model. If I can help push that as a community and really free the social media grip that keeps so much amazing art out there from being seen, then I will feel like I have truly succeeded.



    Photo credit: Kristina Kubantseva

    How do you build an empire?  

    One stone at a time, one idea at a time. Vision, determination and sheer inspirational drive. Never giving up no matter what is what truly separates success from failure. You can fail 100 times, you only need to succeed once.

    Current creative motivations?  

    Everything. All the time.

    What is your definition of sex positivity?  

    The comfortability with not only your body but human bodies in general. Society is a piece of shit, it misogynous, politically correct for the most part now and it demonizes anything that could be construed as pleasurable. Honestly, be whoever you want, be whatever you want, love whoever you want – it’s really about you, not others, as long as you are happy that is all that matters. I would really love to see the gradual decline of testosterone driven laws in the U.S. – recently the Supreme Court said women can go topless just like men in any state in the union and there is nothing law enforcement or cities can do about it. Chalk a win up there for freedom on that one – we are obviously huge supporters of the ‘free the nipple’ campaign, haha. Love is love and we shouldn’t be ashamed of our bodies – those religious driven ideologies are dead. Maybe if we stopped demonizing nudity and sexuality in the world people would stop thinking it’s such a big deal.


    More Nakid Magazine

    http://NakidMagazine.com

    http://Facebook.com/​NakidMag

    http://Instagram.com/Nakid_Magazine

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