In 2020, there remains a void of authentic queer eroticism that appeals to a youthful audience.
During my own coming out era, The L Word was new to TV, and (relatively speaking) it was the most genuine representation of queer culture available in the mainstream media. Back then, that was essentially the only “relatable” show to people, particularly lesbian identifying, who were coming out.
If you revisit the show today, however, it’s as antiquated as a condom from 2004 — way past its expiration date. Particularly because The L Word was a show that was almost strictly about cis women interested in other cis women — any other types of non-hetero or non-binary representation was completely glossed over or misrepresented.
In that sense, did that show even speak to me? Or was it just the only easily-accessible form of entertainment — especially for a young dyke like me who grew up in the Midwest — that remotely addressed LGBTQ+ culture?
Even outside TV, the term “queer” didn’t exist as an identity descriptor in the cultural consciousness — unless it was being employed as a slur. To identify as “queer” during this era was uncommon, and therefore people like myself were boxed into being a “lesbian,” even if the word didn’t feel applicable to how I viewed my sexuality and identity.
It’s now 2020, a decade later, and “queer” is a widely-used identity descriptor. And there’s also a new L Word reboot, this time called Generation Q, which markets itself as an updated version that embraces queerness broadly.
On one hand, I’m beyond thankful for the fact that premium cable would even attempt to become more representative. But at the same time, it feels very much like some corporate, neo-liberal posers trying to piggy-back off a moment in the zeitgeist where being queer or gender fluid is cool (ahem, Lil Nas X, Ruby Rose, Troy Sivan et. al).
The L Word reboot panders to marginalized people, rather than offering a platform for authentic queer narratives written by authentic queer people. In a way, it reminds me of when Citibank sponsored the Pride Parade. Sure, the new L Word is loud and proud — but in a white-washed way that is actually brought to us by overpaid Hollywood hacks who revere Will & Grace but have never seen a John Waters or Gregg Araki movie. Not to mention, the sex scenes in Generation Q are truly softcore porn material.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on pop culture creators for (clumsily) trying to give a spotlight to a historically marginalized community. And there are other examples that are more optimistic. HBO’s Euphoria, for instance, does a great job of depicting modern LGBTQ+ culture, without identity struggles being the only talking point. Queerness is visualized, but the writers don’t beat the viewer over the head or spell it out in a patronizing manner. This feels like a step in the right direction.
That said, while shows like Euphoria nod to underepresented communities in the premium television space, there is still a major gap when it comes to fresh, erotic content made by modern queer people for the younger generation. Yes, there is a whole spectrum of porn, and there are even a medley of new-ish media outlets like Them, Autostraddle, and Salty that explore sexuality and identity in a real-ass way. But there isn’t a resource that offers both erotic content and insight into the lives of queer adult performers. There isn’t a network dedicated to non-hetero sex — both the literal act and the conversation around it.
In 2020, DykedDown will become that resource. I intend to make it the ultimate queer erotic media hub, a platform that offers adult entertainment, as well as editorial, video, and other creative content with today’s cool LGBTQ+ generation in mind.
So alongside a regular output of premium videos, DD will be sharing a myriad of other stuff on a weekly basis, including:
- Editorial articles, including interviews with all DD performers
- A YouTube channel with SFW content
- A tier-based membership option via Patreon
- An active DD Instagram
- Merchandise, including limited-edition photo prints
- Monthly music playlists and culture guides
OK, but what makes DykedDown distinct within the porn community?
I know that DD is perceived as a lesbian, or “girl-girl,” site more than anything. And while yes, it currently features primarily lesbian scenes, that is far from our vision.
To date, our hardcore videos have focused on my exploration of passionate strap-on sex. I’ve starred in all of the scenes we’ve produced this past year, alongside women from the porn industry who I have great chemistry with. In the future, however, the goal is to introduce premium videos starring new, hand-selected queer models who want to showcase their sexuality on screen. This will allow me to focus on providing the platform from the other side of the camera. I want to offer an opportunity to people who may otherwise not find the space to explore sex on film in an artistic manner — without discrimating on a basis of race, gender expression, sexual orientation, or body type.
When I started working in the adult industry nearly a decade ago, porn production was strongly divided into three categories (at least in my opinion):
- “Mainstream” porn made by big companies out of LA, with straight and “lesbian” stuff (i.e. Brazzers)
- Gay porn, which was almost like a separate industry outside the mainstream
- Finally, way up in the Bay area, there were a few true indie “queer porn” companies (Think Crashpad Series, Jiz Lee, Courtney Trouble)
The indie companies were rarely acknowledged by the major porn media like AVN at the time, causing them to remain truly “underground” for a long time, even within the industry. And back then, those big companies would never dream of hiring non-binary performers. Nor would most known cis performers be willing to work with non-binary people for fear of damning their career. Everything was very segregated, and there weren’t reliable outlets for people who didn’t consider themselves distinctly “straight” or “gay.”
Going into the industry, I knew that I didn’t strictly fit into any of those categories. At first, I worked with the queer companies, and from there I became one of the first popular performers who managed to wiggle into mainstream lesbian stuff (and then eventually do a bit of “everything”).
When I started working in porn at 19, I never imagined that I would still be in the industry at the age of 28. In fact, I didn’t think I’d still be alive. I had only been “out” for about two years when I entered the game. Looking back, I had no real understanding of what it meant to exercise a fluid identity or sexual appetite. The way I present and identify sexually — in my personal and professional life — has never stopped changing. I’ve always considered myself androgynous and queer, but that has meant something new almost daily.
In a lot of ways, I am really glad that I can look back on the evolution of my public persona and sexuality via my porn career. That said, I don’t like how I was pigeonholed into certain sexual tags or aesthetics that were not anchored to any reality myself or most queer people might relate to. I never felt forced to do anything I didn’t want to do in porn, but I don’t feel like it ever represented what I wanted to experience and explore on a personal level.
Here we are in 2020, and the industry is finally a bit less segregated. Non-traditional performers can create their own erotic content, in their own voices, without having to navigate an antiquated industry system. Thanks to independent platforms like OnlyFans and Patreon, it’s easier than ever for sex workers and adult performers to build an audience on their own terms. But at the same time, there isn’t an independently-run space that connects these types of creators, showcases like-minded individuals, and promotes authentic queer sex — all in one location.
DykedDown will become that source for well-curated content where queerness is omnipresent, without it being exhaustively explained or even preachy in its goals. The output will speak for itself — authentic, artistic representations of passion among people who are not solely defined by their sexuality or gender. They are just busy being fucking hot.
DykedDown will be the definitive LGBTQ+ adult community and content platform that’s 100% DIY. I want it to be the type of outlet I wish I had when I was first starting to explore my own queerness — something the L Word barely scratched the surface of.
I want DD to be relatable but nuanced, beautiful and hot, honest and raw. For them, by them, if you will…
Keep an eye out for our latest episode, starring Nikki Hearts and Vanna Bardot, which drops Monday, 1-20-2020.