Porn Is So Boring gave queer bodies and diverse sexualities screen time

Nine short films flipped the script on mainstream porn at the Toronto Queer Film Festival screening


When’s the last time you watched porn on a large screen in a room full of people? For most people, that answer’s probably “never.” Nowadays, consuming porn is mainly a private activity. It’s usually done at home and the “source material” is probably found online.

So it was weird and exciting to see a crowded auditorium with a diverse audience for the second installment of Porn Is So Boring. Part of the third annual Toronto Queer Film Festival (TQFF), the screening took place November 2 at an OCAD lecture hall.

This year, a selection of nine short films from Canada, Argentina and the U.S. were included. While all the films were different, they invited the audience to start finding potential answers to the programming’s main question: Why is porn often so prescriptive and predictable, queer porn included?

TQFF is a community-led project that aims to provide a space for queer independent and experimental film and video art. Their porn programming fits with this year’s festival theme of Decolonizing Sexualities by showcasing a spectrum of sexualities, experiences and emotions expressed by queer bodies, who are often left out of mainstream porn narratives. Additionally, 45 per cent of films shown were made by Indigenous directors and another 40 per cent were made by directors of colour.

The emphasis on community really came through during the opening credits of Evie Snax’s D.T.F. (Down To Fall) when the room erupted in a round of applause for Jiz Lee, a popular name in queer porn. There were also plenty of light-hearted moments.

Other highlights included Mée Rose and Wy Joung Kou’s Call Tony is both, which was inspired by the directors’s involvement with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. The film examined the relationship between racial identity and kink, an area dominated by white people.

Another interesting short was Sebastian Friere’s The Eye Of God, which flipped the script on mainstream porn by pointing the camera at several spectators in an adult cinema. The porn clips they were watching were fuzzily projected over their faces, while ASMR sound bites of a Japanese language lesson served as the short’s sole soundtrack.

The screening was followed by a Q&A with the directors of Call Tony. Several audience members expressed their solidarity with the film’s material, telling the directors that while they might have felt isolated or misrepresented in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, they were not alone in their experiences.

What Porn Is So Boring did well was that that it invited attendees to check our own pleasures at the door in favour of a collective experience that examined and celebrated the multitude of experiences related to sex, sexuality and intimacy.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *