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The Controversy of Pleasure

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TORONTO, ON: Porn elicits many reactions in people, from pleasure to disdain. The Toronto International Porn Festival addresses many of the negative reactions, in particular the following three aspects of the controversy:

1. Concern for the Lives of Sex Workers: The prominent messaging we hear and see from academics and activists portray sex workers as addicts with low-self-esteem and traumatic histories, and/or resorting to sex work as a means of survival. A panel of sex workers themselves will explore the myths and assumptions about sex work. They will share their experiences, what draws them to the profession, what keeps them there, and how others can be allies. In collaboration with SlutWalk.

2. Porn as Sex Education: Many people learn about sex from porn. Porn stars and producers have acknowledged this fact, actively taking on the role as sex educators and feminists, gender and body awareness advocates. Sex workers and producers will illuminate how porn as education can be empowering or problematic.

3. Lack of Diverse Representation: Erotic films, similar to other media, present a very narrow view of beauty and sexuality. Many people do not see themselves reflected positively in mainstream porn. Those with different bodies, sizes, pleasures and desires are usually excluded or fetishized and/ or presented in degrading manner. This week’s Porn Fest strives to present a more diverse representation of positive porn. Samples of short clips of films available.

Screenings: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema 506 Bloor St W April 20 @9:30pm; April 21 @7pm and 9:30pm

Panels: Super Wonder Gallery 584 College St April 22 @2pm Class In Session: Are sex workers and porn producers the new educators? April 22 @3:30pm Sex Workers and Porn Performers Speak For Themselves Also includes an opportunity to try VR porn provided by Lightsouthern and FiveStar!
Available for interview:

Carlyle Jansen, Good For Her and Toronto International Porn Festival founder
Shine Louise Houston, filmmaker and producer
Jiz Lee, filmmaker, on-screen talent, producer


Press inquiries and to request samples of films to watch online:
Carlyle Jansen 416-899-4003

About cjasher (1622 Articles)
C.J. Asher is a blogger on various subject matters and trending topics related to sexuality, such as prostitution, women's rights, sex trafficking and LGBT issues as well as the adult entertainment industry, having interviewed celebrities such as Dennis Hof and Joanna Angel. C.J. currently resides in Philadelphia, PA and his blog can be found at

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