We’ve just made our sexy return from UNCENSORED—London’s one-of-a-kind festival on art at the intersection of pornography and activism. There, a female-led team brought together more than 35 artists, sex practitioners and activists from the UK and beyond, all immersed in a sex-positive space for collective reflection, exploration and critique. Despite a last-minute relocation due to public protests and legal threats, the festival’s claim for unconditional love and thorough acceptance won over narrow-minded bigotry.
Amidst the talks, film screenings and performances, a workshop by one of Italy’s foremost pleasure activists caused a (quite literal) splash of liberating emotions. Titled Ejaculation for C*nts and led by Valentine aka Fluida Wolf, the workshop aimed to break down taboos around squirting and gain control over a part of the female body that has long been silenced by Western science and society. Fluida, the trashy-drag-bitch, trans-feminist, anti-fascist, post-porn activist, militant translator and compulsive pegger, divided the experience in two parts: theory and practice. The former tackled the issue through offering correct information on a topic denied from public discourse, while the latter part, attended by cunt-having people only, focused on real-life body sexploration.
We won’t disclose our experience in full detail. Regardless, we wish to continue the essential conversation to be had on sexual liberation and porn activism. And so, below we share with you our talk with Fluida herself—a dialogue that, we hope, allows for a step towards new ways to conceptualize and practice body awareness, sex and love.
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#genealogie E poi per caso trovi questa e ti scoppia il cuore. Questa foto mi commuove. Ritrovarmi immortalata di fianco a te, lottando fianco a fianco, è un onore immenso ❤. Sabato a Verona ti ho detto: Porpora, io ti devo baciare. E tu hai sorriso e mi hai accolta. Non c'era bisogno di spiegare nulla. #porporamarcasciano Grazie. Sei storia, presente e futuro. #veronatransfemminista #transfemminismo Credits: Andata e Ritorno
Hey, Fluida Wolf! I haven’t spoken to anyone with a more unique moniker than yours… How, and why, did you come up with it?
Living in Italy, where the Vatican is one key agent in laying down the law, we need to pay a lot of attention to indexing on search engines. To keep their job, many people dealing with sexuality, or activism in general, must be careful not to appear with their real data on the Internet. It’s something that weighs heavily on me—not being able to be all the things I want to be. Yet, my socio-economic condition does not allow me the luxury of risking it.
Another reason why I choose to offer myself to the public as Fluida Wolf goes hand in hand with my identity as a drag-bitch and the desire to express its essence directly. “Fluida” refers to the concept of fluidity, which is very close to my heart. Also, my interventions are often centred on the relationship that Western societies have with body fluids. “Wolf” is about the most lycanthrope part of myself and feminism. It’s a claim. Wolves are an ancient symbol of lust, such as theRoman slang lupa—whore, or literally, she-wolf.
When did your activist spirit awaken?
It’s been a slow journey that started years ago. Regardless, my activism has always been linked to the struggles of the streets and has taken the form of political collectives originating from anti-capitalist, anti-fascist and anti-sexist ideas. Even in the world of political militancy, questions concerning sexuality, bodies and genders are still viewed with suspicion. And it is precisely this that led me to deal with these issues with greater dedication. Certainly, my encounter with the post-porn environment in Barcelona has also played a key role, since it’s there that I finally recognized my identity and found precious alliances.
What made you want to explore sexual liberation through your work?
Surely, it has a lot to do with me living in a fiercely Catholic country, where religion pervades every sphere of one’s life. Italian politics is completely subservient to the Vatican, which is read as the most powerful political party. This is a society full of stigma, openly hostile to everything that deviates from the hetero-patriarchal norm. This is why it’s very difficult to navigate a discourse of liberation around bodies and sexuality, and therefore even more essential.
A bit of a broad question, but how and when does porn become activism?
Porn becomes activism when it dismantles cultural cages and breaks down stigma. In the moment in which it presents itself as otherness with respect to the capitalist hetero-patriarchal norm, and is endowed with a language and tools to fight it.
I have a very critical view of mainstream pornography, so I speak as a trans-feminist activist, who is, instead, invested and reflected in the language of post-pornography. A dissident body can create a crack, but many dissident, pissed off bodies walking together can become a political weapon. You realize that you’re in the right direction when you recognize that many other people feel this urgency of a revolution of the imaginary, of wanting to get rid of all the social and cultural norms that cage us; of finding new ways of sharing knowledge, changing perspectives and unlearning induced desires; of rejecting a codified sexuality and the existence of a normal-versus-abnormal dichotomy, and using other languages to expand alliances and become a real counter-proposal. The beauty of it all lies in the fact that it’s very achievable and real.
Speaking of a post-porn movement, can you tell us more?
I honestly don’t know if we can define it as a movement. There’ve been many changes in the last decade and approaches in different countries often vary from one another. Personally, I’ve drawn much from post-pornography in Barcelona, which has had the merit of being crossed by many people from Central and Latin America, who’ve incorporated elements of colonial criticism, racialization of bodies and white priviledge.
When it comes to trying to explain what post-pornography is, I always mention the thoughts of Rachele Borghi, queer geographer and activist, university professor, performer of the Zarra Bonheur collective, author and many other things. As she points out, “[post-pornography] is a fluid phenomenon, which seeks to free itself from every type of label. The protagonists define themselves as” post-porn”, but at the same time, they reject the idea of being part of a homogeneous movement, some even of a collective, united by definable characteristics and well demarcated traits “.
Also, I believe in genealogies, and so, I want to mention the person who made me discover this world: the activist and performer Slavina. She defines post-pornography as “the critical discourse and the joint of discursive practices, artistic and audiovisual that propose a new representation of genres and sexuality visualization, which is at the same time a platform for action and intervention. The challenge is to regain possession of a language that for decades has been bent to the dominant regulatory needs, rediscovering its revolutionary potential.” To me, it seems like a fantastic way to attack the domain!
Would you also say you’re a pleasure activist? How is fighting for social justice interwoven with pleasure and how can activism become a pleasurable experience?
Yes, definitely. As I always say, I firmly believe in the potential of the body and sexuality as tools and collective weapons of knowledge, personal growth, and empowerment. Our bodies are political battlegrounds, but often they’re also the only weapon we have with which to resist and fight. Yet, a body alone is not enough. Through pleasure, I discover the infinite possibilities of my body and I empower myself; I start healing processes, I become more and more powerful, present to myself and desirous of alliances. Pleasure is my starting point. Activism is a pleasurable experience if guided by the fire of passion and not only by moral duty. Anger and love fuel this fire.
A bit about your workshop, Ejaculation for C*nts. What sparked the idea to focus on ejaculation in particular?
I started from myself. I wanted to understand what this powerful liquid was when I was at the peak of pleasure. Finding even the slightest valid information was practically impossible. Luckily for me, I met Diana J. Torres, a.k.a Pornoterrorista, one of the greatest exponents of the post-porn scene in Barcelona. While I was at the beginning of my research, she had already recovered—although with a lot of effort—several materials and had already started doing workshops. I started working with her. We had the same political and feminist approach to the issue.
Why did you choose the format of this work to be a workshop?
Western medicine has deliberately cancelled our prostate denied correct information about squirting. And so, through a workshop like Ejaculation for C*nts, we share knowledge about our bodies to reach another truth that is our truth. I see us as a group of witches sharing knowledge against what doctors and official medicine say, in a way our society is not used to and perpetually invalidates. We make our own science, a science from below. It’s a collective operation of re-appropriation of a part and a possibility of our bodies that has long been silenced. If there is no information out there, then we will created it!
What role do intimacy and trust play in the process behind and during the workshop?
Intimacy and trust come into play especially in the second part of the workshop, the part that consists of a guided self-exploration. It takes place in a safe environment, where every single person decides their own level of exposure, with no force or pressure, and in a non-sexualized environment. Precisely for this reason, and for this second part, I try to do it with, and address it to a limited number of people with cunts. Also, this is not a workshop to squirt, but to recover a part of your body, which is a different thing.
How can people, after attending the workshop and hopefully becoming more in touch with their bodies, use the power of ejaculating for larger changes within society?
It’s not so much the power of ejaculation but the re-appropriation of a part of ourselves—erased by modern Western science—that makes us stronger and more aware of the enormous wrong we’ve suffered, guiding us towards what we can do to get revenge. Even today, there are many people who live with great shame for this fantastic possibility of our body that manifests when we feel a lot of pleasure. And there’s someone to blame for this: Western science. I want to use all the information I have to prevent other people, who turn to doctors for information on this liquid, to be diagnosed with, and medicalized for, a urinary incontinence problem. I want to prevent other people from being ashamed, thinking they are wrong, dirty, and inadequate. Only by spreading the truth will we put an end to all this.
What’s a porn (or pleasure-focused) video our readers must see?
Piedad, by the Minus Is Válido crew and Meow Meow films! It’s a short film that was presented at the Hacker Porn Film Festival in Rome in 2018. I was in the jury and this particular work deserved our unanimous “No border, no gender” mention for this reason: “A short that demolishes and resets the boundaries of decency and morality. Non-binary bodies, impossible to classify, in a trash and post-apocalyptic atmosphere, express in a desecrating way care and respect towards the desire, beyond the borders of gender and life.” Piedad was also among the principal causes of the scandal that led to the demonstrations against London Porn Film Festival. It almost makes me afraid that so many people haven’t understood the love and poetry of this work.