Film & Video
3 min

New porn series celebrates trans women’s desires — and desirability

Filmmaker Tobi Hill-Meyer nominated for two Feminist Porn Awards

“I enjoy sex with partners of all identities,” says Azure Monro (bottom, with Juicy, in Doing It Again). “People will be like, ‘What’s your type?’ and I’m like, ‘My type’s hot.’” Credit: handbasketproductions.com

Filmmaker Tobi Hill-Meyer has been applying feminist analysis to her life since the age of three.

Raised by queer parents, she recalls having academic debates about porn over the dinner table. As a sex educator in high school, by 16 she was seeking ways to get honest information about healthy sexuality to her peers and dreamed of opening a feminist sex shop.

Now she tells stories that traverse the territory between education and erotica. “When I started encountering a lot of stereotypes and misunderstandings and prejudices that people had around trans women’s sexuality,” she says, “I realized I should pull up that old dream I had, alter it slightly, and then make for myself what I wanted to see in the world.”

Following on the success of 2010’s Doing It Ourselves — for which Hill-Meyer won Best Emerging Filmmaker at the Good for Her Feminist Porn Awards — Doing It Again is an exciting new series that takes a visceral approach to representing experiences of trans women and their sexual partners. Steamy scenes intercut with perspectives shared by the performers combine to create a unique document of relationships, desires, negotiations and sexual expectations.

It’s a trust Hill-Meyer does not take lightly. “I’m really focusing on the interviews and talking to people and getting a sense of who they are and how the different issues in their life influence their sexuality,” she explains, “and that’s something that is very, very different than what you would see in a film you randomly grab off a porn-store shelf.”

The first volume of Doing It Again focuses on trans women and their trans partners, depicting people of various ages, shapes, cultures and economic status. Volume 2 will focus on trans women and their cis partners and Volume 3 on trans women and genderqueer people.

Intimacy — physical, emotional, spiritual — is a key component of this series. Not only is Hill-Meyer granted access to her participants’ explicit and clearly well-enjoyed sex but so, too, is she allowed to capture their real-life reflections on what they want when it comes to having positive sexual experiences.

Off the coast of British Columbia, featured performers and longtime partners Chelsea and Mo lead a fairly quiet rural life together. The film encounters them at a unique moment, as Mo reveals the fact of their own soon-to-begin transition (FTM). Two years after Chelsea’s own sex-reassignment surgery, she describes their sexual relationship as “very kinky,” though not without its complications. She calls making the movie with Hill-Meyer “a symbolic moment” in the couple’s ongoing exploration of their changing bodies and desires.

Porn veteran Drew Deveaux shares her motivation as an erotic artist. “Part of what I wanted to change through my work in porn was to get [cisgender people] to see us as objects of desire, which we are — [to] get them to see us as sexual equals.”

Deveaux appears alongside newcomer Hayley Fingersmith (who has since starred in Trouble Films’ Trans Grrrls: Revolution Pornstyle Now, nominated for Best Film at the 2014 Trans Porn Awards). Fingersmith describes her relationship with her body as being “at an all-time uncomplicated,” in part because she knows she will be able to access the surgeries she wants. In the meantime, “I can do really cool things with my body,” she says. “How many dykes have ever wanted a strap-on they could feel?”

Seattle locals Lilith von Fraumench and Violet DeVille discuss inclusion of trans women in queer sex parties and give viewers a taste of their own burlesque-influenced BDSM. The film rounds out with a vignette featuring performers Azure Monro and Juicy, who express their interests in dating and hooking up with partners of a wide range of self-identifications.

“I enjoy sex with partners of all identities,” Monro says. “People will be like, ‘What’s your type?’ and I’m like, ‘My type’s hot.’”

Hill-Meyer is up for two Feminist Porn Awards on April 4, for Doing It Again, Volume 1 and Money Shot Blues & How to Fake Ejaculation, and will present a workshop at the Feminist Porn Conference, to be held in Toronto April 5 and 6.